TVS Scooty Zest Review – Should’ve named Scooty Swift
The last line kind of summarises what the new TVS Scooty Zest is all about, given almost all of us would’ve tried some model of Scooty at least once or twice. And one thing, one word we would all remember from riding the Scooty, is FUN, and we’re quite certainly not wrong.
TVS Scooty, however rudimentary the entire model range may have been, was always found to be one fun filled machine, always wearing a grin; including the boxy first generation 60cc ES model launched back in 1996.
Thriving, not just staying alive, for almost two decades now, the latest iteration is packed with bigger engine, the kind that is much in demand, along with similar chic styling to earlier versions. Way to keep the fan base cheerful.
So what’s in this new TVS Scooty Zest? Like mentioned before, except for a very few elements, the overall body styling is very close to the previous models. One can easily recognise the Scooty from any angle of glimpse.
But how does the Scooty Zest stand out from other / lower models of the nameplate? How does the premium positioning defined in terms of looks? Firstly, TVS has modernised the same Scooty Pep look by making the edges of body panels quite sharper, and the contour of curves are chamfered adding to edgy appeal.
Front apron is made to look somewhat muscular from the sides and new piano black motif matching the blacked out fork and wheels creates a contrasting effect to elevate the chosen body colour, ‘terrific turquoise’ in this case. While turn indicators are prominent and stylish, headlamp assembly and centre cowl are mostly carry overs. But the subtle tweak in headlight design helps in improving compatibility with rest of cosmetic elements; also to distinguish from other variants of TVS Scooty.
Side panels of foot board have flamboyant cutouts, which along with racy decals, compliment the boomerang shaped beginning of side housing. Other end of the said fairing is finished with smaller boomerang shaped turn indicators, also with clear lens. Altogether, the side body design of TVS Scooty Zest is truly a work of art, and the overall package is also nothing short of an inspired work, especially for a makeover job for the nth time.
Tail lamp is isolated from the pair of blinkers, total look of which does not quickly remind of a Scooty – this is probably the only element in Scooty Zest to stand out, rather away from the design textbook of Scootys. Grab handle is also new, simple and solid.
Whats a bummer here is the seat. Front end is chiseled a bit too much leaving scarce area to support one’s bottom. So longer rides even in city can end with a sore butt. Otherwise there is no vibration or any other disturbance in TVS Scooty Zest that will probably cause rider fatigue.
Except for seat, there is no other problem for comfort, as the suspension setup (with telescopic fork upfront and hydraulic monoshock at rear) does its duty well trying to flatline bumps and pits on road. The scooter may not provide a smooth runway-like ride quality, but on Indian roads and well acquainted irregularities, the scooter is a pretty good negotiator.
Suspension also does a good job of keeping the scooter’s composure pretty intact during heavy braking and sudden leaning. Well this is not a race machine, but to the extent the engine pushes the Scooty Zest forward, rest of mechanicals come in handy while testing the overall capabilities.
Speaking of engine, this is the highlight of new TVS Scooty Zest. With 60 percent higher power and over 50 percent better torque rating than the smaller displacement version of Scooty, both Scooty Pep+ and Scooty Streak, new Scooty Zest zooms past the two with much enthusiasm.
Powering the new Scooty Zest is a 109.7 cc single-cylinder CVTi Air-cooled engine, producing 8.02 bhp max power @ 7500 rpm and 8.8 Nm peak torque @ 5500 rpm. Needless to mention, the engine is mated to a Continuously Varying Transmission (CVT) that sends power to the wheel via composite belt.
What is to be noted in TVS Scooty Zest is that apart from fastening a much powerful engine, the bike maker managed to round off the entire package at just 98.5 kg (including accessories), which is only 2.5 kg and 3.5 kg heavier than Scooty Streak and Pep+ respectively. This makes the Zest a much better performer in comparison, especially in tight traffic where you get very little windows of opportunity to insert into a creek from halt and proceed without looking back.
The motor could’ve had better low-range push, but for light commuters the behaviour is nothing to worry about. Much like other variants, mid-rev range is strong. But all that happiness lasts only until back seat is empty. Call a pillion aboard and the scooter does struggle to overtake and clock speeds despite being very light. (In all fairness, we tried to accelerate with net passenger weight of 150 kg, give or take a few grams). For average weighted chaps splitting a ride, Scooty Zest will not be a disappointment at all.
Riding solo, TVS Scooty Zest touched 80 kmph just as quickly as one would expect, and managed to get past 90 kmph after some weird expressions on our face. All the while, there was no annoying vibration, throughout the rev-band. And despite putting the scooter through rigorous tests, it returned around 46 kmpl mileage, which is as good as other scooters in the segment offer in reality; the company quotes 60.1 kmpl (ARAI Certified).
So, if you’re looking for an extremely light weight, super nimble and quick on the heels scooter in the 110 cc segment, TVS Scooty Zest would be an attractive option, only thing you will need to keep in mind is the braking. Many folks in the country are still under the impression that using front brakes at all is risky, and are in the habit of biting only the rear set. Those, please note that TVS has installed a larger drum of 130 mm at the rear, unlike 110 mm kit on smaller variants. This is very good news for those who clutch both brakes together, as the scooter stops quickly with good balance. But dare not to clench the rear lever alone as it locks the rear wheel very easily and you may be in for a surprise if the road is sandy or wet.
Please use comments section at the bottom of page for any queries.
Why would you buy TVS Scooty Zest:
Affordability – ex-showroom Delhi price is Rs. 42,300.
Attractive colours / excellent paint job – available in Terrific Turquoise, Powerful Pink, Dynamic White, Fiery Red and Daring Black colours.
Low seat height of 760 mm from ground, good for plenty of foot-downs while riding in traffic.
Low weight, easy to handle and park.
Numerous utility solutions – fits a full face helmet in under-seat storage compartment easily; comes with bottle holder upfront.
Why would you not buy TVS Scooty Zest:
Uncomfortable seat for rider.
Looks too flashy for personal taste.