TVS Jupiter scooter review: Almost an Activa-beater

Written by Vikram Chaudhary | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 1 2014, 19:20pm hrs
TVS JupitarTVS has launched the Jupiter directly aiming at the best-selling Honda Activa.
In India, scooters never went out of style, they just had to be reinvented. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) precisely did that with its Activaa scooter that, last year, briefly became the highest selling two-wheeler in the country. But the veteran in the Indian scooter space is not HMSI, but TVS Motor (okay, hamara Bajaj also, but the company exited the scooter space some time ago). TVS, which has in its portfolio the well-received Scooty Pep, Streak and Wego scooters, has now launched the Jupiter, which the company is directly aiming at the best-selling Activa.

The design

Unlike the Wego, which looks fairly distinct, the Jupiter is a far more generic and contemporary looking scooter. It has got cleanly moulded body panels that will catch your eye; the front indicators especially look smart. Then, because it rides on large, 12-inch wheels, the Jupiter comes across as a relatively taller scooter. The Jupiter, in fact, can pass off as a young college-going students scooter, a housewifes commuting bike, a retired officials morning-ride-to-the-park vehicle, or even as a salespersons daily companion.

TVS Jupitar

The practicality

Where the Jupiter scores is not in terms of looks, but practicality. First, you get retractable bag hooks on which you can hang your groceries or other stuff. Need more Open and seat and there is a 17-litre boot that, though, is primarily to keep your helmet, but can also be used for storing your bags. There is also an under-seat mobile charger that allows charging on the go. Its seat is large and well-cushioned, and the seating position is upright, with the handlebars rightly placed to make you feel comfortable for those long rides. Then, there is also a pass-by switch which the Jupiter introduces to the scooter segment.

The Jupiters fuel tank, which has a capacity of 5 litres, can be filled via an external fuel filler (you dont need to get off the scooter and raise the seat for refuelling). And as far as I have researched, this convenience is currently offered only on TVS scooters. It results in not only hassle-free quick refuelling, but can also protect the under-seat storage contents from petrol fumes.

The powerplant

The Jupiter is powered by a single-cylinder 109.7-cc engine that makes a decent 8 bhp of power and 8 Nm of torque.

The ride

The best thing about the Jupiter is the way it rides. The 12-inch tyres grip the road well and the front telescopic suspension ensures your ride remains relatively comfortable even on bad roads. As expected, at speeds close to 80 kmph the Jupiter does feel a little nervous, but then this is a scooter, and is best ridden at 40-70 kmph within city limits. It is equipped with 130-mm drum brakes both on front and rear, which provide good stopping powerin fact, we didnt quite feel the need for a front disk brake but if TVS is planning to come up with a disk-brake version, we look forward to it.

The Jupiter comes with an Econometer which guides riders and one can choose either to ride in the Eco mode or in the Power modeunderstandably, the engine delivers better fuel economy when the rider is in the Eco mode. The Wego is decently fuel-efficient, and so is the Jupiterwhile the company claims a fuel-efficiency figure of 62 kmpl, we got 50 kmpl in our brief test, where we rode the Jupiter in heavy stop-and-go traffic and also did some high-speed riding. Sensible riding in the Eco mode can give you close to 60 kmpl. The Jupiter also has a reserve fuel light indication, which we found very useful.

The need

After the recent excise duty cut, the Jupiter retails at Rs 43,850 (ex-showroom, Delhi). And that is what really works for this scooter. It still may not be the best scooter in India, but it certainly is a better value-for-money proposition than many others.