TVS Jupiter Test Ride and Scooter Review
The obsession with “gender scootering” has become endemic in India. Home-grown two-wheeler manufacturer TVS Motors has erected its own male offering – the new Jupiter. We get astride to take a test ride on the new TVS Jupiter.
Personally, my introduction to twist-and-go scooters was the lightweight and loveable TVS Scooty. Launched before Y2K (yes, that long ago!), the Scooty had a two-stroke engine displacing a mere 65 cc, which produced 3.5 PS. But it did have much of the same mechanical template which we see in the Jupiter today.
The Jupiter has a stiff underbone chassis, telescopic front forks, and a single rear shock absorber, all of which appears to be the norm on most of the competition. One area where the Jupiter does differ though is wheel size, which at 12 inches is a full 2 inches larger than most of its competition, be it Yamaha’s Ray Z, the Honda Activa, or the Suzuki Access. This pays dividends in handling, making the Jupiter more stable over ruts and bumps, and giving it arguably better ground clearance.
The Jupiter’s 110 cc engine is quite refined while cruising, but there is quite a lot of vibration which rears its head when the scooter is idling. Against, this is a characteristic of continuously variable transmissions CVT) and the centrifugal clutch used to transfer the power, but I feel TVS could revisit the engine mountings to isolate the vibrations further.
Power and torque are rated at 8 PS and 8 Nm respectively, which again is about the norm for the class. Don’t expect scintillating performance from the Jupiter, but suffice to say it has sufficient grunt to haul two large adults respectably. Real-world mileage or fuel-efficiency is a shade under 44 km/l, which is better than the Suzuki Access, and about the same as the Activa.
The 130mm drum brakes are either end are once again adequate, but not exceptional. The Jupiter does not get combined braking, which is a feature which TVS should consider incorporating on this scooter. Strangely, there is no disc brake option on the Jupiter, which is available with the TVS Wego though. Why, TVS?
Having the fuel filler cap externally rather than under the seat is a useful innovation in the Jupiter, but still not as convenient to use as the front filler in the Mahindra Rodeo. Under-seat storage will take a full-size helmet. TVS has missed a trick by not offering a 12V point on the Jupiter, which is a useful feature, especially for the smartphone, dumb battery generation. Overall, the build quality is very good, with well-finished paint and panels and high-quality switchgear.
I must make mention of the very well-designed centre stand, which is easy to operate and requires very little effort. All it requires is some planning on the contour of the stand. Brilliantly executed this, TVS!
So should you buy one? Absolutely. If you’re in the market for an easy to use urban runabout, there are few which are as well accomplished as the new TVS Jupiter. The name is catchy too, and don’t be surprised if a future “girlie scooter” from TVS is called Neptune or Venus or some such. At Rs 49,210, ex-showroom Kolkata, the Jupiter is cheaper than much of the competition, except the Mahindra Rodeo / Duro. It is also a ‘desi’ product, and the very fact that a home-grown product can match the best the Japanese have to throw at TVS is worth mentioning. If only other Indian two-and-four wheeler manufacturers had imbibed a similar spirit and ethos, the Indian auto industry would have been further along the road than it is today.