New TVS Jupiter review, test ride

Autocar India
First Published: 16:33 IST(28/10/2013)
Last Updated: 15:21 IST(30/10/2013)
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TVS Motor Co. is quite a veteran in the Indian scooter space. The south Indian two-wheeler major already offers a capable range of small capacity automatic scooters in India that cater to a wide variety of customers. TVS’s automatic scooter portfolio includes the well received Scooty Pep, Streak and Wego. It’s a space that represents one of the few remaining growing segments of the market today, which is why every manufacturer is toiling hard to gain ground here and boost market share. The reigning champion remains Honda’s bestselling Activa, which TVS is aiming straight for with the Jupiter.
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The new TVS offers a sprinkling of first-in-class features, on the back of which TVS hopes to clobber the competition. Does the Jupiter have what it takes to succeed? 

TVS’s Jupiter is a contemporary looking scooter. It’s neatly moulded body panels catch the eye, while the scooter is styled to hold wide appeal. The Jupiter can pass off as a young college going student’s scooter, and still also fit the bill as a commuter astride which to complete your daily errands on or around home.

Viewed from the front, the Jupiter front apron is home to a set of clear lens turn signal indicators, as well as a central air vent. Above is a bright headlight that works well at night, and sits surrounded by a pair of pilot lamps. Bold, analogue instruments offer the rider a speedometer, fuel-gauge, economy or power riding mode indication and low fuel warning. There’s really good attention-to-detail, as seen everywhere including the Jupiter switchgear. The switches get dimpled texture that add good feel. The switchgear includes a nicely integrated pass-light flasher which proved handy when riding in city, a feature not regularly found on scooters here.

The palm grips feel soft to touch and comfortable. The Jupiter front brake lever has a flatter profile, while the more rounded rear brake lever is inclusive of a locking clamp. We found the Jupiter rubberised floorboard roomy enough. TVS offer convenience hooks below the handlebar and rider’s seat, and these can be neatly tucked away to fit out of the way, flush within the body when not in use. However, TVS isn’t offering a front storage compartment or cubby holes as on rival scooters. The Jupiter seat gets white stitching, which is a nice touch.

The TVS Jupiter’s fuel-filler lid is located at the tail end of the scooter, and doesn’t require the rider to dismount for a tank-up. Storage space under the seat remains about the same as on any rival scooter. Other nice touches come in the form of an easy to deploy main-stand, catchy looking 3D emblems, an alloy grab-bar for the pillion and 5-spoke alloy wheels that are black finished. The Jupiter’s rectangular taillight is flanked by clear lens turn signal indicators which look smart.

Overall quality and fit-finish are both fair on the new TVS scooter. 

The TVS Jupiter houses a 109.7cc, four-stroke, single-cylinder and air-cooled engine, as also used by the Wego, albeit in a new state of tune now. The Jupiter engine comes with re-mapped ignition, and a higher compression ratio that allows quicker warm-up and cold starting. Then there’s also improved combustion thanks to revised ignition timing, as well as a relatively slippery, friction cutting piston for improved wear character during cold starts.

Bore and stroke measure 53.5mm x 48.8mm, while the Jupiter is fuelled via a carburettor and breathes via a viscous paper type air-filter. The Jupiter generates 8bhp at 7500rpm, with a peak torque figure of 0.81kgm at 5500rpm. The Jupiter engine is tuned for commuting, and power delivery feels strongest in the mid-range of its powerband. Throttle response and low end grunt are adequate for a scooter.

The Jupiter’s vibe free engine is allied to a variomatic drive transmission system that worked seamlessly throughout our ride. During performance testing, the Jupiter proved adequate for its class, although it lags a slender margin behind the refinement and smoothness available on the Honda Activa. The Jupiter breaches 60kph from standstill in 9.9 seconds which pegs it at par with the Wego, and the segment leading Activa. The Jupiter steams on to achieve a true top speed of 86kph when stretched to the limit. 

The Jupiter tips the scales at 108kg and is held together by a steel constructed, underbone type frame. TVS has lent its new automatic scooter up-to-date telescopic fork suspension in front, while there’s a gas-charged rear shock absorber, the setup resulting in good ride quality. The Jupiter riding position mirrors that of a Honda Activa, seating the rider in a comfortable, upright riding position, with the handlebar offering good leverage. The Jupiter’s large and generously wide riding saddle proved on the uncomfortable side when riding longer distances, as padding is too soft.

The Jupiter feels planted and stable for a scooter at all times, and negotiates corners just as well as any of its rivals. There’s grippy front (90/90) and rear (90/90) tyres fitted to relatively larger, 12 inch alloy wheels. The tubeless tyres offer ample traction. TVS has equipped the Jupiter with 130mm drum brakes front and rear, which work well to provide good stopping power. When testing the brakes, the Jupiter halted from 60kph in a reasonable 21.32 metres. We look forward to TVS offering a disc brake option with the Jupiter in the near future.

TVS’s motorcycles and scooters are known for their good fuel efficiency, and the Jupiter is no different. Doing its maker proud, the Jupiter did well during our tests, to return 43.4kpl in congested city traffic, this going up to 45.3kpl when on the highway.

Fact File

Engine
Type                109.7cc, Single-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke
Bore/stroke      53.5mm x 48.8mm
Power              8bhp at 7500rpm
Torque             0.81kgm at 5500rpm
Transmission
Type                Variomatic
Dimensions
Length              1834mm
Width                 650mm
Height               1115mm
Wheel base        1275mm
Ground clearance 150mm


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