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New TVS Jupiter review: Honda Activa alternative just got even better

The Financial Express logo The Financial Express 15-07-2017 Abhilasha Singh
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India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world as it is a large country with a lot of people, most of whom require an affordable and reliable mode of transportation. Hence, the two-wheeler is a very popular mode of transportation here. As much as we would like to see performance motorcycles and scooters run on our roads, the fact remains that it is the 100-110-125 cc scooters and motorcycles that make up the most of the sales. Customers in the 110cc scooter segment have come to be incredibly easy and equally difficult to impress. While several brands offer similar practicality on their scooters with similar power figures, somehow Honda Activa has been the apple of their eye to a majority of the customers in this segment. Why does a scooter equally powerful and equally comfortable, which is not an Activa, not impress as much? It is a matter of loyalty, which I think the TVS Jupiter can build for itself too since this scooter is pretty good.

The Jupiter is rather very comfortable to be on, to ride, even through the rough patches on roads. It looks like a well-built machine. The fit and finish are impressive, and the seat is pretty sizable and will keep the pillion happy as well. The floor board is large and if you happen to carry luggage, there will still be enough space for your feet. And when the sun sinks below, the headlamp is aptly bright and features AHO (Automatic Headlight On) too.

Speaking of a comfortable ride, the Jupiter accelerates effortlessly from stationary and remained quite composed at speeds above 80 kph too. The 109.7cc engine produces 7.88 bhp, which is lower than an Activa by a tiny margin but has barely affected the performance.

Now that we are on the subject of speed, braking is all the more relevant. The Jupiter features the sync braking system (SBS), which is a new inclusion. Similar to Honda's Combi Brake System (CBS), which works rather very well, the SBS automatically manages the braking between the front and rear by applying both brakes. The system automatically activates the front brakes even if the rider applies only the rear brake. This provides better stability and of course, better braking.

Such a scooter is mostly meant to deliver great practicality and ease of handling so riders of all sizes and experience levels can ride it. The Jupiter has got these aspects covered. It gets two hooks above the floor board to carry bags, which can also be folded away when not in use. The storage bin under the seat is quite large, however, it will not accommodate a full face helmet.

The most relevant convenience feature on the Jupiter though, is the external fuel filler cap, something that is a blessing for new riders who have trouble handling the weight of the scooter every time they get off it. And of course, if you have a backpack on and another on the floorboard, you wouldn't want to get off.

Fuel efficiency figures of the Jupiter will have the customers satisfied as it delivers a claimed mileage of 62 kmpl and has a five-litre tank. Depending on your riding habits, it can deliver a range of about 300 km. The instrument console has two indicators - power and eco, that tell when the engine is using more fuel.

The tyres provide acceptable grip for a scooter at this price-point and having said that they are meant for civilised riding. If you happen to go Moto Cross on it, then the scooter will perhaps not be at fault.

In terms of pricing, the Jupiter offers good value-for-money. About Rs 50,000 for the base variant and the prices go up to Rs 55,000 for the disc version. In the interest of safety though, I would suggest going for the disc variant as no price can be more valuable than your life. Also, the Jupiter is available in 10 different colours, of which the Volcano Red, in particular, is striking.

There are many scooters cheaper than the Jupiter in the market, however fishing out some extra money for better quality seems like a good plan. Not just cheaper than the Jupiter, there are also those which are priced higher but in no way did the Jupiter feel like it lagged behind them considerably from a practical perspective.

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