2014 TVS Star City+ India First Ride
TVS has shown the new Star City+ at the Hosur factory near Bangalore. The big new thing in the motorcycle is its 109.7cc engine named EcoThrust. The bike claims an efficiency of 85kmpl in the test cycle and says that 65kmpl should be possible in all real world situations.
In terms of performance, the engine makes 8.3PS of power at 7000rpm but more importantly makes 8.7Nm of torque at 5000rpm. The 0-60kmph run takes a claimed 8.1s. The torque is achieved at an rpm that is lower than most competition. The high and flat torque curve promises excellent ridability at low speeds all the way its claimed 90kmph top speed.
Our short ride reveals that the engine as TVS says is extremely tractable. Trundling along in low speeds in high gear is as easy as buzzing along on a test track at as high a speed as possible.
In the real world, the Star City+ promises to be an excellent little commuter that might just bring TVS the high volumes it hopes the motorcycle would bring.
Apart from the new engine, the Star City+ uses a tubular single cradle frame with telescopic forks in front and five-step adjustable hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear.
TVS says that riding comfort was one of the key concerns for the target customers and they have spent a lot of time and effort ensuring that both the ride quality and handling are at least as good as the competition if not better in every respect.
The motorcycle doesn't get disc brake option currently and you get front (130mm) and rear (110mm) drum brakes for both the variants (electric and kickstart).
On the track, the handling feels extremely reassuring and the motorcycle is as agile as we have come to expect a TVS motorcycle to be. The quality of ride is harder to ascertain from our short ride but the way the suspension is able to absorb large bumps around a corner suggests a great degree of compliance.
What that means in the real world is excellent dynamics and what should be an extremely comfortable bike.
And finally the Star City+ comes loaded with features and TVS promises that this is the most feature laden bike in its segment. It gets electric start, alloy wheel, adjustable shocks, paper air filter, clear lens indicators, easy access choke position, all-gear electric start and numberplate illuminator lamp.
The motorcycle also gets a digital speedometer with power/economy mode, service indicator, aluminium pillion handle with side holding, all of which, TVS says, are unavailable in its competition.
It also gets a stainless steel muffler guard, chrome finished handlebar, coloured shock-absorber spring, high efficient charging system and load based continuous variable ignition timing.
What, however, remains to be seen is the pricing as well as the date of the launch, and if TVS gets that right, then this should be an excellent motorcycle to buy.