Scooters have so far only been restricted as a mode of transport to those looking for comfort and convenience, now though, the scenario seems to be changing with the introduction of the likes of TVS Ntorq 125. A kid who is reluctant to buy a scooter, because he/she thinks it won't make them look 'cool enough' in their circle of friends, can now rethink their decision to go for a similarly priced motorcycle instead. The Ntorq 125 is clearly one of the coolest looking scooters in our market today. While Aprilia did roll out performance oriented scooters in India, TVS has a reach much wider than the Italian brand. TVS Motor Company has maintained that the Ntorq 125 is not a performance scooter, but even with the fact being admitted by the company, I do believe that it is a step in the right direction we've been waiting for – better performance from scooters.
The Ntorq 125's is most certainly a very new design in TVS' scooter lineup. Compare it to those that have existed so far, such as the Jupiter, the Ntorq indeed looks very fresh. While the likes of Jupiter seem fit for daily office commutes, the Ntorq 125 is better suited for the young rider, who expects more than comfort from his/her scooter.
It is nice to see TVS including more and more of qualities from its TVS Racing division to its mass production motorcycles and scooters. We saw such design inspiration in the TVS Apache 310 RR and now the Ntorq 125 too has a sharp and sporty design with TVS Racing badging. It has been fitted with LED lamps both front and back, and the tail lamp has been designed very tastefully denoting a 'T'.
The first thing that catches the eye is the design, but the real deal with the TVS Ntorq 125 is fully digital instrument console, which is loaded with a lot of features. So many, that this is perhaps the most feature loaded scooter on sale in the Indian two-wheeler market. The Ntorq 125 is the first scooter in India to feature navigation, a kill switch, multiple modes to choose from, among many others.
The scooter features TVS SmartXonnect, a Bluetooth enabled tech, through which the rider can stay connected with their scooters. It is so far only available for Android, but TVS says that the Apple iOS friendly smartphone app is under development.
The instrument console indicates 55 features, including the navigation, top speed recorder, lap timer, service reminder, last parked locator, and among others the ride statistic modes – Street and Sport. The Sport Mode can be used to record data like lap time and distance, top speed, average top speed and 0-60 km/h times.
Speaking of navigation, do not be expecting a full Google Maps sort of map on the screen, and it is I suppose a good thing or else the rider would be staring at the map more than the road. How it works is that it simply gives directions turn by turn. If you skip a turn, it will reroute and bring you back on the road. TVS has collaborated with Map My India and the mobile app is fed with these apps, which help it decide the route. The system can also be used to save a route for future use.
Since we've only ridden the Ntorq 125 on a test track, we couldn't have possibly tested the navigation, theoretically, the navigation sounds like it will be a boon to riders. And so will be the smartphone connectivity, well, to the socially active ones. The instrument console will also flash incoming calls and messages. The system is smart enough to allow the rider to customise a message to send in case they can not receive the phone call or set the system on 'Do Not Disturb'.
While features like lap timer and top speed recorder deem it inclining towards performance, what really gives the Ntorq 125 its sporty character is the three-valve single pot engine. The 124.79cc four-stroke, three-valve, air-cooled engine makes about 9.3 hp at 7500 rpm and churns out 10 Nm of torque at 5500 rpm. TVS claims the top speed is about 95 km/h, and while I saw 97 on the speedo on the track at TVS' Hosur plant, I do admit I wish the top speed was at least 100 km/h.
However, when I consider the entire package with the petal disc up front, the gas charged mono shock at the back and the 110 mm tyres, which do allow a considerable lean angle, I don't think the top speed remains to be a disappointment at all.
TVS seems to have paid an equal amount of focus on comfort, convenience and maintaining the Ntorq 125's racing pedigree. The large and well-cushioned seat, combined with a telescopic suspension up front and a monoshock at the back, ensures a comfortable ride. The many, many features like USB charging, a lamp in the boot, engine kill switch, pass light, external fuel filler, dual side steering lock, parking brakes, navigation, smartphone connectivity, add to the rider's convenience. And features like lap timer, average speed recorder, 0-60 km/h time recorder, best lap and ride statistics make the TVS Ntorq 125 that much more interesting.
While the Ntorq 125 features equipment that may light a fire for racing, especially in young riders, one must also keep in mind that public roads are no place for racing, and always have your protective gear on while riding.
India has not had a culture of performance scooters. If someone is interested in speed and lean, they would always consider a motorcycle over a scooter. But now, 'the times, they are a-changing' since more and more powerful motorcycles are making their way to India, with TVS too launching its most powerful one yet, the Apache 310 RR, just recently. Similarly, the TVS Ntorq 125, priced competitively at Rs 58,750 (ex-showroom, Delhi), paves a way for more power and better performance in the scooter segment in India.