Update – Disclaimer – As the manufacturer has blacklisted Rushlane from it’s events/rides, original dynamic photos and video from the review have been replaced with stock images to safeguard interests as a consequence of restrictive practices. The review continues as a experience report from ride experience/study notes of Rushlane contributor/source.
What is it?
While there are two-wheeler manufacturers who have been busy launching commuter-ish offerings in the performance-end of the Indian two-wheeler market, there’s TVS, which sticks out the tongue at all of its rivals and comes up with a sufficiently sporty offering in a segment full of plain-jane offerings. The new TVS Ntorq 125 cc (pronounced ‘entorq’) is a fun little scooter that takes on some really well-sorted, albeit a tad boring, offerings in the automatic scooter space.
The entorq, nay, the ntorq is targeted at the young and the thrill-seekers, combining the convenience of an automatic scooter with the fun that some international moto scooters have on offer. I rode the South India-based company’s latest baby at the company’s test track. Here’s my TVS Ntorq 125 cc review.
Looks sporty and different
TVS says that the design of the Ntorq finds inspiration in the stealth fighter crafts. Hang on, you won’t find any afterburners on this li’l scooter, but you do get some air vents that seem to take inspiration from a fighter jet. The LED DRLs and the V-shaped headlight do make the front-end look sufficiently exciting. It’s all about sharp lines, taut surfaces and an overdose of faux carbon fiber plastics in the side profile; the sharp lines do induce enough excitement as this thing looks nothing like anything else out there.
The rear-end is characterized by a funky LED taillamp and the aforementioned afterburner-inspired faux vents. Other interesting bits include a rather sporty-looking end-can, black-painted alloy wheels and a stylish set of grabrails. An external fuel-filler cap, a USB charger, decent underseat storage, a pass beam switch and a parking brake make this offering all the more practical.
Now for the pièce de résistance – the speedo console is actually a highly functional digital display that offers information on everything from 0-60 kmph timing and last top speed to incoming call alerts and your laundry bills (okay, I made up the last one). Basically, this scooter offers the company’s new ‘Smart Xonnect’ smartphone integration system that patches up with your phone thru Bluetooth. The end result? You benefit from a host of features including auto-reply to SMSes and GPS navigation. Amazing, no?
All this looks very interesting but wait, let’s not forget the mindset of a typical automatic scooter buyer. While all this jazz will appeal to the young, the middle-aged and the typical scooter-buying lot will definitely shy away for all the loudness. Maybe, just maybe, TVS could have tried to take a middle path by offering a mix of funkiness and a design with which a large age group would have related. Only time will tell how well received the design will be amongst typical scooter buyers.
At the heart of the matter
Powering the new TVS Ntorq 125 cc automatic scooter is an all-new engine that benefits from 3-valve breathing. The engine outputs a maximum power of 9.4 PS and a peak torque of 10.4 Nm – a slight anti-climax if you take into account those sporty looks. Other point to add is that TVS is still short of achieving the kind of refinement that its Japanese rivals offer. The engine at idle does sound like a rickshaw badly in need of servicing. TVS claims that the engine offers a sufficiently high mileage, which is somewhat of a saving grace after the lack of tarmac-scorching performance.
Talking about the performance, the Ntorq never feels underpowered. There’s enough punch on offer to keep up with every other offering in this segment. However, I would have liked a sharper throttle and a brisker acceleration to match all that show. The top speed is claimed to be 95 kmph, which is good enough if you can keep your boy racer aspirations under a check. So, basically, the performance is exactly like what the rivals offer – adequate. I was a bit disappointed here.
Fun in the corners but not the most comfortable
TVS is known to offer dynamically sorted products that are enough fun in the corners. The Ntorq is no different. Built around the same frame as the Juptier, the Ntorq offers sufficiently sharp handling characteristics and a planted ride. You can easily push this scooter hard into the corners and the new model is considerably flickable, especially if you take into account a relatively higher kerb weight of 116 KGs.
On the flip side, a typical automatic scooter buyer might frown a little at the stiff ride. It doesn’t ever get bone-jarring hard, mind you, but the new 125cc scooter from TVS is definitely not for ones with a week spine. The ride remains considerably firm over well-spread tar and gets a bit harsh on rough surfaces, which is somewhat of a concern as many of our cities are not exactly known for well-paved surfaces.
Should I buy it?
With the Ntorq, TVS is not targeting their usual customers. If you are in looking for a sporty scooter, you are the target audience. With the Entorq, TVS is targeting new gen scooter buyers, who basically want a cheaper Aprilia SR 150. Yes, the Ntorq is cheaper, but it is too heavy and gets difficult to manoeuvre in tight spaces (traffic). This in addition to the not-so-impressive acceleration, uncomfortable riding posture and a smaller 125 cc motor, makes the Aprilia SR 150 a much more impressive offering in the sports-scooter segment.
Other segment of scooter buyer is a middle-aged family person. This segment usually looks for a comfortable scooter, and probably are better off with the likes of Suzuki Access and Honda Activa. The pillion seat is not as comfortable as one would expect. Don’t get us wrong, for I was really impressed with the way TVS has tried to inject some fun into a 125cc automatic scooter, but I wonder if our market is ready for a rather radical offering. Moreover, more power would have been welcomed by the performance enthusiasts.
Then there is the issue of timely delivery and after sales. TVS has often faltered on their promise when it comes to delivering new products. They announced the Apache 200 FI with ABS back in 2016. The bike is yet to be launched. In early December 2017, they finally launched Apache 310, but there are hardly a few dealerships across India which offer test ride and even fewer which have given deliveries to customers. Most of their dealerships are in need of an upgrade as customers who are paying close to Rs 3 lakhs for a motorcycle, do not want such sub-standard experience. Only time will tell how the Ntorq is handled by TVS.
First Look Video
TVS NTorq 125 is here. Is its design copied? Does it remind you of Honda Grazia or Yamaha Ray-ZR?
Posted by RushLane on Monday, 5 February 2018