TVS NTorq Road Test Review
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The TVS NTorq is here to lure the hearts of the young. Can it strike the right chords without compromising on the practicality of scootering?
Joining the 125cc scooter lineup in India is a new entrant from TVS, the NTorq. It left us impressed on the track during our first-ride experience but then scooters are supposed to be impressive in the real world as well. So, is the torquey scooter as practical as it is fun on the racetrack?
Design & Build Quality
The TVS NTorq is basically the Graphite concept in production guise, with a few of the concept’s features not making it to the production model. Otherwise, the pronounced design lines and chiseled edges have made their way on to the funky-looking scooter. The sharply raked apron with a two-tone paint scheme gets black panels running from the center, with bright matte finish colors highlighting the sharp lines of the scooter.
The V-shaped headlight is the only basic looking thing on the scooter. Instead of an LED setup the headlamp uses a halogen bulb with bright LED DRLs underneath. That said, the brightness from the headlight is admirable, with a more focused low and high beam, which can be adjusted. The Aprilia SR150-inspired front indicators look a bit plain too.
The PSP-inspired digital display comes with host of information, but we’ll get to that later. The bar-end weights iron out all the vibes off the handlebar and the switchgear quality is also the best in segment, with crisp working switches. The large indicator switch, however, will need getting used to. The TVS NTorq also gets an engine kill, a first for any modern scooter in India. The broad, rectangular mirrors provide ample rear view. We also liked the carbon texture present all across, but it can seem a bit overdone to some.
The T-shaped LED tail light flanked by jet exhaust-like vents is a very distinct part of the NTorq’s design, but we believe it might be a bit polarising in terms of opinion. We, however, like it. Furthermore, the motorcycle-like side indicators at the rear add to the sharpness of the design.
Apart from that, the red stitching on the seat with carbon fibre-style finish, machined alloy footpegs/filler cap and even the paint quality is top notch. Based on our short term experience at least, the NTorq gets a thumbs up on the fit-finish and build quality front.
But that said, the NTorq comes with a few concerns. The front mudguard is a three-piece set that is clamped together, which we think, in the long run, will be prone to rattling. Similar is the case with side panels and plastic extension under the floorboard, which are bolted together with a lot of screws. For the time being, they seem to be holding quite well but we’ll have to see whether they’ll loosen over time. The major point of concern here are wires and pipes that run around the engine bay as these are left completely exposed to rodents.
Digital Display with Smartphone Connectivity
The digital instrument console gets Bluetooth connectivity and a host of information is displayed on the panel via the NTorq app available only for Android phones. Once connected, the app offers information that includes last parked location, last ride report with distance covered and top speed, and also built-in navigation courtesy MapMyIndia. During our test run the navigation assist feature left us impressed, with directions popping up on the white-backlit display. You can even search for nearby petrol pumps, hospitals, restaurants and authorised service stations.
Other features include rider name customisation, which is displayed every time you switch on the ignition. There’s also a ‘do not disturb’ mode, auto-reply SMS and overspeeding alert, all of which can be accessed in ‘Street Mode,’ while ‘Sport Mode’ allows riders to record top speed and lap times. While this might seem a lot for a 125cc scooter, the youngsters might think otherwise. Basic information includes a speedometer, two tripmeters, odometer, fuel meter, time and engine temperature.
Engine & Performance
Powered by a 124.8cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine with 3-valves, the TVS NTorq produces 9.4PS of power and 10.5Nm of torque.
Our test run concluded that the NTorq is the quickest 125cc scooter we have ever tested. Off the line, it’s a whopping 1.3 seconds faster than the Honda Grazia, its closest rival. The 0-60kmph stint is achieved in just 7.65 seconds.
Even post 60kmph the NTorq pulls strongly. The same was confirmed by our 20-80kmph kickdown figures, which the NTorq achieved in 11.97 seconds. This is just 0.20 seconds off the Aprilia SR150. Impressive indeed! Mild vibrations do creep in between 45-50kmph but nothing disconcerting. The most entertaining bit on the NTorq is the induction noise, which adds a bit of bass to the raspy exhaust note.
The NTorq is not only quick but fast as well, managing a Vbox-tested number of 101kmph, with 106kmph on the display. Refinement levels are impressive as well, as there are absolutely no vibrations even when pushed to the limit. The engine doesn’t feel stressed either.
The stress-free character of the engine at high speeds attests to our fuel efficiency figures as well. Its is one of the most fuel-efficient of the 125cc scooters we have tested on the highway, offering 53.4kmpl. In the city though, the efficiency figure of 47kmpl puts it in the same ballpark as its rivals.
Ride Quality & Comfort
The NTorq is built around an all-new chassis, with telescopic front forks and a gas-charged rear monoshock. The balance of sportiness and comfort is spot on on the TVS NTorq. The front suspension is set on the firmer side with the rear being relatively softer. So you do get a minor thud from the front every time the scooter tackles a sharp bump, while the rear soaks up the same with ease. It deals with rough road patches with competence though, and in our opinion, has the best ride quality in this segment of scooters. Also, the 116 kg kerb weight and the chunky tyres provide immense stability and confidence on loose surfaces.
The TVS gets a soft padded seat that feels plush without being too soft like the one on the Jupiter. However, it still feels a tad soft for really long hauls in the saddle, especially if the rider is on the heavier side. The seat isn’t as long as the Jupiter’s, but proves to be comfortable for the pillion. It’s also slightly raised at the end, which makes for a more natural pillion posture. However, a generously sized pillion will find the edges of the seat a bit pokey. The NTorq comes with a tapering and narrow seat which allows shorter riders to reach the ground easily. The rider seat area is also quite low.
The TVS NTorq gets typical scooter ergonomics with an upright riding position. The handlebars are flat and higher-set, allowing for an easy and comfortable reach. This is a boon for even six-feet tall riders as they can manoeuvre the TVS NTorq with ease and without having the handlebar hitting the knees in tight turns.
Handling & Braking
Thanks to its slightly stiffer front end the NTorq is eager to duck into turns. In fact, it’s so reactive to the slightest of input on the handlebar that it catches you off guard at first. But you do get used to it quite quickly. Thanks to the longish wheelbase of 1285mm the scooter feels confident even mid-corner. However, the extensions on either side of the floorboard will scrape if pushed too hard into turns. We are mighty impressed by the specially developed TVS Remora tyres, which further aid the TVS NTorq’s handling characteristics.
The more rounded profile of the tyres help with the lean angles on this scooter, which is unlike any.
For braking, the NTorq gets a 220mm petal disc up front and a 130mm drum at the rear. While the front brake doesn’t have very sharp initial bite, go hard on the lever and deceleration is progressive. Comparatively, the rear brake is sharper and tends to lock up under hard braking. However, apply the two together and the scooter stops without any fuss or tyre squeal.
On the braking front, there is a slight letdown in terms of braking distance. In our 60-0kmph test the NTorq managed 18.93 metres, which is about 0.9 metres more than its closest rival, the Honda Grazia. But that can be accounted for when you factor in the NTorq’s heavier kerb weight.
Currently, the TVS NTorq doesn’t get TVS’ Integrated Braking System but the company is planning to introduce it in the near future.
Storage & Utility
The NTorq only gets a luggage hook behind the front apron but it is placed fairly high, allowing you to place your feet comfortably. That said, some more breathing space on the floorboard would have been appreciated. Also, there are no cubby holes on the front apron. As a result, mobile phones and other knick-knacks will have to go under the seat.
The 22-litre underseat space is class-leading, beating even the Suzuki Access by a tiny margin. Unfortunately, it still isn’t enough to make way for an international-spec full-face helmet. But something the size of a laptop, along with other small items, can easily fit in. The boot light is bright and comes with an integrated USB charger. So all you need is a charging cable.
At Rs 58,750 (ex-Delhi) the TVS NTorq comes across as a strong value proposition. It offers many segment-first features, looks attractive, and gets a refined motor that’s not only powerful but frugal as well. Top that off with well-sorted ergonomics and ride quality and you have a winner in your hands. To put it simply, it gets you the peppy nature of the Aprilia SR150, without compromising on the practicality side of scootering.