The TVS NTorq will take on Honda Grazia and Aprilia SR125
The NTorq is TVS’ most powerful scooter offering, one that also comes with segment unique features. We went all the way down to the company’s private test track on the outskirts of Bangalore to see if the NTorq packs enough to whizz past other premium 125cc scooter offerings in India.
Quite a stunner
With passing time, Indian two-wheeler manufacturers are giving increasing importance to aesthetics when it comes to scooters and the NTorq is a perfect example. Among the home grown rivals, it edges past the Grazia as well in terms of street presence. The big headlamp is mounted low and gets a V shaped glossy black panel above, the effect of which carries into the bikini fairing which also houses the indicators and clever elements like the Indian flag colors and ‘Smart Connect’ badge.
The 12-inch wheels show their presence in the side profile and so does the petal disc brake – hints at the strong performance but more on that later. TVS’ designers have given a rather racy theme here : the seat angle, rising side panels and sharp grab rails look great. Even the saree guard / side step has been crafted well and does not look out of place.
The rear is busy. While we love the LED taillamps which look best in the business, the faux air vents are a bit loud for our taste. The big exhaust though does not look out of place, and sounds great on the move.
Bag full of goodies
This is the single biggest USP of the TVS NTorq. Salesmen at the showrooms will have an easy time selling the scooter to prospective buyers and owners will love bragging about the endless features and tech on board. From brake lock to external fuel filling, you also get under-seat charger and a light, a front hook for bag and day time running lights. Daily commuters will also appreciate the presence of an engine kill switch.
And then there is the much talked about Smart Connect display. The entire speedometer console is digital and we are sure it will look jazzy at night. It displays almost everything a rider would want to know (fuel economy display missing, you see) and has two two modes. The default Street mode and the Sport mode which lets you record those magical figures of top speed and acceleration. You also get a lap timer!
Next, it even lets you hook up your smartphone via Bluetooth – but currently only for Android users. With this, you can use navigation assist, see the name of the caller on the move and even set up a default message incase you do not want to pick the call. Surely aids rider safety IMO.
I am way off the size of a typical NTorq user. 6 feet tall with a large frame means scooters and I don’t go hand in hand. I do own an Aprilia SR 150 Race back home (love the performance) and a minute into riding the NTorq had me all smiles. Inspite of not too generous dimensions, the NTorq feels big.
The seat is large and well padded with a subtle foam bump separating the rider and pillion areas. Mirrors offer a reasonable view of the back and the controls are handy. But, my large feet weren’t too happy and I heard this from a few other riders as well. The floor area isn’t generous in terms of space.
Talking of which, the NTorq gets 22 litres of under-seat storage, but not enough for premium full sized lids. Nevertheless, among the highest we have seen on scooters.
The NTorq uses an all-new 125cc engine that shares nothing in common with TVS’ other domestic or international offerings. It has a segment first 3 valve set-up, two intake valves and one exhaust valve, and generates almost as much power as the segment leading SR 125. In terms of torque, it is right there with the Honda Grazia. In terms of percentage, as compared to the Jupiter, the NTorq gets a 14% larger motor with 17% more power and a whooping 31% higher torque!
TVS claims a 0-60kph timing of 9 seconds and a top whack of 95 kph, figures easily achievable by most riders. Experienced owners will better these figures easily and we have every reason to believe via this screenshot taken from TVS’ official video.
As for fuel economy figures, ARAI approved figure stands at 48 kmpl which is good for a scooter of this segment and weight.
The engine impressed me with its vibe-free nature, even at lower revs, something that other scooters like the SR150 cannot manage. And it remains so till the top whack. I was particularly happy with the punch from standstill till about 50kph after which the acceleration slows down. Roll on from 30 to 50 is excellent but there on, specially over 70 kph, the engine takes its time gaining momentum.
It is not as bad as it sounds here though. Pin the throttle and you will see speeds in excess of 95 kph and even with my weight (over 100 kilos), I saw 90+ on several occasions on the limited straight run. I even did two-up riding with my colleague Shantonil and this included starting off from standstill on the steep incline stretches at the back of the test track. We were impressed, the extra torque does the magic here.
For most owners, who will weigh under 70 kgs, the NTorq will be a great tool to tease other commuters during traffic light GPs and/or utilizing little gaps in slow moving traffic. This also gets me to the handling department.
Its flickable and predictable
I was happy the test ride took place at TVS Motors’ test track. The place is not only about the high speed straight or the long flowing high speed right curve, but has enough elements to test a city scooter. Bumps, slalom marks, undulations, tight corners and jumps, you have it all.
The NTorq might not holds its card in front of the Aprilia SR 125 in terms of handling, but ends up offering a great compromise for comfort and agility. The all-new suspension mounted on a new underbone frame is tuned well to iron out imperfections without transferring the jerks via the handle bar or the seat. The set-up works and the NTorq gets the credit of being one of the most comfortable scooters in the segment.
The NTorq is also a forgiving scooter if you jump the gun. The side stand scraps without effort but its easy to correct the lean mid-corner. Ditto for high speed manners or posing with the left arm up in the middle of a lean as seen below.
Icing on the cake is the 220 mm petal disc up front. This combined with the brilliant TVS tyres gives the NTorq excellent braking abilities. Those who love using the front brake over the rear one will appreciate the response and bite from the disc brake set-up.
The value tag
At Rs 58,750 (ex-showroom Delhi), the NTorq is just Rs 3,600 more expensive than the Jupiter ZX Disc version. This is unbelievable value for money and helps TVS under-cut the top end versions of other 125cc premium offerings like the Suzuki Access, Honda Grazia and the Aprilia SR125. There is only one version to pick up and it comes fully loaded.
Is this the perfect 125cc scooter? The small 5-litre fuel tank will give you a limited, usable tank range of (only) about 160 km, floor board is tight on space and the top-end performance could have been punchier. But I feel these are minor shortcomings for an otherwise well packaged product. TVS, you have a winner here!
Before we sign off, here are two color combinations which we think will look great on the NTorq, in addition to the current four color options.
And here’s the video review