TVS NTorq 125 Race Edition BS6: Road Test Review
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Does the 125cc scooter remain a compelling package despite a price hike of Rs 9,440?
The TVS NTorq 125 has been at the pinnacle of sporty 125cc scooters sold in India. It looks fantastic (especially the Race Edition), gets a host of features, offers sporty dynamics and a powerful motor. The BS6 version leaves those traits unchanged except for the motor which now receives fuel injection. But the BS6 transition has come at a hefty cost with the Race Edition Rs 9,440 more expensive. So does the new motor warrant the extra price hike and does the NTorq 125 BS6 remain as compelling a package as before? To find out we are riding the sportier Race Edition NTorq 125 BS6.
Improved fuel efficiency.
Upmarket features such as LED headlamp and digital instrument console.
Headlamp beam focus set too low.
Soft seat gets uncomfortable on longer rides.
Stiff front suspension feels jarring on sharp edges.
Costs a hefty Rs 9,440 more.
Full-digital instrument console with Bluetooth connectivity.
Fantastic handling characteristics.
Carbon-fibre texture for the seat.
In terms of design, the TVS NTorq Race Edition retains the same bodywork as the standard scooter but gets a sporty-looking LED headlamp and a three-tone red, black and grey paint job. It also gets a nifty looking Race Edition badge below the grab handles. While switchgear quality is not as impressive as the Japanese competition, it feels built to last. What is also impressive is the attention to detail like the machined pillion footrests that have a unique pattern. Overall, the quality is impressive with high fit and finish levels.
Apart from an updated motor, the fuel-injected NTorq also sees its fuel-tank capacity increase by 0.8 litres. With the addition of fuel injection, a new catalytic convertor and a larger fuel tank, weight is also up by 1.9kg. The additional weight isn't ideal as the NTorq 125 was already one of the heavier scooters in its class. While the ground clearance is lower than other 125cc scooters, the NTorq’s underbelly did not scrape any speed breaker we encountered during our time with the bike.
Overall, the NTorq 125 is a good-looking scooter and the Race Edition looks sportier and more premium.
The NTorq 125 has tall-set handlebars that do not foul with your knees while taking U-turns. Its recessed front apron also offers ample knee room but is tapered towards the rider and eats into the floorboard space. The rearview mirrors offer good visibility but limited adjustability. Shorter riders will find it easy to place both feet on the ground while seated thanks to the low set and tapered 770mm tall seat. The cushioning isn't as soft as that on the TVS Jupiter, but soft enough to feel uncomfortable on commutes longer than 20km. While the pillion seat isn't as spacious as that of the Suzuki Access 125, it is comfortable.
Technology & Features:
The BS6 NTorq Race Edition gets an LED headlamp. It offers a stronger and wide beam spread than the halogen unit but is angled low towards the ground so only a short part of the road ahead is illuminated. Usable features include an external fuel filler cap that pops open so you do not have to get down to manually unscrew a cap like you do on the other 125cc scooters. However, we would have liked to see the fuel cap and seat release switch integrated with the ignition switch like in the Honda Activa 125 BS6 instead of it being positioned on the rear panel. The spacious storage bin also gets an LED boot light and a USB charger, both useful features. If we were to nitpick, we would have liked a cubbyhole with a USB charger in the front apron.
The NTorq 125 gets a large digital instrument console that besides the usual speed, fuel level, odometer and trip meter, gets sporty information like top speed, 0-60kmph time, and a lap timer. It even gets an engine temperature gauge which isn't exactly useful information about an air-cooled motor. We would rather have the average fuel consumption data and fuel range. It does get Bluetooth connectivity and a dedicated app that shows incoming call alerts, the scooter’s last parked location, vehicle statistics, and programmable navigation routes. Overall, the BS6 NTorq impresses with its feature list.
Engine & Performance:
The fuel-injected three-valve air-cooled BS6 motor makes the same power and torque as the BS4 version but peak power now comes 500rpm earlier. What’s immediately noticeable is the motor's improved refinement. While the previous motor sounded gruff, the updated fuel-injected mill now feels smooth even at higher speeds. As before, the motor feels responsive to all throttle inputs.
However, there is a drop in performance figures with an additional 1.61 seconds to 60kmph. It is also almost a second slower in the 20-50kmph kickdown run. This can be attributed to the revised engine tuning and the additional 1.8kgs it now carries. The BS6 NTorq is not just 1.61 seconds slower than its BS4 predecessor but also 0.38 seconds and 1.77 seconds slower than the Honda Activa 125 BS6 and Suzuki Access 125 BS6 in the 0-60kmph run. That's disappointing given that the BS4 NTorq 125 was the quickest 125cc scooter around. Out on the highway though you can easily cruise at speeds of 70kmph without straining the motor.
Besides, there is also a change in the way the NTorq 125 sips fuel. The dampened performance is compensated by the fuel-injected motor which is a lot more fuel-efficient than before returning an additional 4.5kmpl in the city and about 2.8kmpl on the highway. On paper, these numbers might look minuscule but in the long run, they will add up and will definitely bring down the running cost. Add a 0.8-litre larger fuel tank to the mix and you get better range on a tankful.
Ride & Handling:
The suspension setup remains unchanged and the BS6 NTorq 125continues to use the same telescopic fork and rear monoshock. Surprisingly, while the TVS Jupiter gets a preload-adjustable rear monoshock, the more premium 125cc NTorq continues to use a non-adjustable unit. The front suspension is set on the stiffer side and it helps the NTorq handle better. Direction changes are quick and the wider TVS Remora tyres offer exceptional grip and make the NTorq quite stable in corners.
The tradeoff is in the ride department with the road imperfections filtering through the handlebars. It doesn't judder as prominently as the Aprilia SR 125 though and given the exceptional handling is a compromise we are willing to make. On the other hand, the rear suspension impresses by soaking up road imperfections without getting soggy. Interestingly, the ride quality feels composed at speed, whereas at low speeds it is a bit bouncy.
For stopping power, the 220mm front and 130mm rear disc offer a strong, progressive bite and under hard braking, the wide tyres help bring speeds down without any drama. However, the extra weight increases 60-0kmph braking distance by 1.37 metres in comparison to its predecessor. When it comes to fun-to-ride scooters, the NTorq 125 still ranks high in our books.
The TVS NTorq 125 comes in three variants: drum (Rs 67,885), disc (Rs 71,885) and Race Edition (Rs 74,365). The drum variant gets a front drum brake and comes in two colours: blue and grey. The disc variant gets a 220mm front disc and six colours: yellow, red, blue, grey, matt red and matte silver. The Race edition gets a similar braking setup as the disc brake variant along with a sporty three-tone colour scheme, race-inspired graphics, an LED headlamp, and a different app interface. We are reviewing the Race Edition variant here.
The TVS NTorq 125 BS6 receives a substantial price hike but so do the other 125cc BS6 scooters. Despite being high on features, the NTorq 125 is priced lower than other premium 125cc scooters like the Aprilia SR 125, Honda Grazia BS6 and Suzuki Burgman Street. While the performance has dropped, the fuel-injected motor offers better refinement and fuel-efficiency which isn't a bad tradeoff. TVS has done well to leave the good bits like an extensive feature list and fun handling intact.
The TVS NTorq 125 is a sporty scooter and looks the part even more so in the Race Edition trim. Given its racy paint scheme, we feel that the NTorq Race Edition is worth the extra Rs 3,520 over the disc brake variant. If you want to save that money, the disc brake variant is a good bet as well as it offers the same features sans the LED headlamp and three-tone paint job.
So what you have now is a better evolved NTorq 125 which remains a good value-for-money proposition despite the price hike.