Wishing upon a Star

Written by Vikram Chaudhary | Updated: Jun 28 2014, 07:36am hrs
Of late, some of you must have seen a TV commercial in which Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni gets dwarfed by a new star in the city. Somewhat perturbed, MSD takes to the cricket ground in vengeance. Finishing the game in his peculiar style, MSD wins the trophy. Eager to prove his fans that he is the real star, MSD is soon surprised to know that the star which overshadowed him earlier is, indeed, the prize for his success. Thats how TVS is marketing its newest motorcyclethe Star City+.

The design

Although the Star City+ resembles the previous generation bike, there are subtle differences. First, the new graphics are such that they appeal to the younger audience. Second, the redesigned headlight looks good and lights up the road at night. Third, the reshaped fuel tank now houses knee slots. And four, the pillion grab handle is bigger and provides good grip. The overall build quality has improved and paint job is top-notch. The instrument cluster, as expected of a bike this segment, is basic but informative. One nice touch is a service indicator light that, TVS says, blinks and notifies you as and when the bike is due for its next servicing.

The performance

As soon as you fire the engine, a soft purring sound greets you. This 109.7cc Ecothrust motor producing a maximum power of 8.3 bhp is quite refined. The clutch is light and the gear-pattern is four-up. Riders will appreciate the all-gear electric start featureyou dont have to find the neutral when stuck in traffic, simply press the clutch and start the engine. Performance is decent for a 110cc engine and the bike feels at home in the 50-70 kmph rangebut it gets a little nervous above 80 kmph. The company-claimed fuel-efficiency is 86 kmpl and in our little test run, when we rode the bike in heavy city traffic, we got 65 kmpl. However, when we took the Star City+ on the highway, we got a very impressive 80 kmpl. The seating position is upright and short tripsin the range of 30-40 kmare comfortable. Handling, again, is stable and the bikes cornering ability is good. The Star City+ gets 130-mm front drum brakes and 110-mm rear ones, which seemed quite effective in city driving. But, making the case for safety, we believe TVS must offer disc brakes at least as an option.

The need

Perhaps the biggest plus point of the Star City+ is not the features it comes with but its pricing. At R41,500 for the kick-start version and R44,000 for electric start (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Star City+ is good value. It is a comfortable city-commuter and is decently fuel-efficient too. Although it is a well-thought-out and well-executed productand a leap ahead from the earlier avatarthe competition for the Star City+ is significant. The next few months will tell if it, indeed, is the new star in the city.