Bhargav TS

SUN_2858TVS Motor Company, recognised for prowess in manufacturing gearless scooters, has fielded yet another offering, but this time with primary focus on the male riders. The company that makes scooters like Scooty Pep, Streak and Wego, has been hitherto targeting women customers. The expectation of customers from any brand or product is ‘more for less’ and the vehicle manufacturer has taken this perspective as the main-stay to launch the new scooter TVS Jupiter.

Typically, responsibilities of family men never end as they want to pack more for less in everything they do; be it procuring for the family or combining work to optimise time and money. As a result, the company developed Jupiter with many features to satiate the male rider. Aptly, it has rolled out a new commercial ‘zyada ka fayda,’ through which the OEM establishes itself as a superior scooter maker by claiming the vehicle has zyada (more) features. According to the company, TVS Jupiter offers ‘more’ in every dimension – power, mileage, comfort, convenience, space, safety and style. It is profitable while doing more; TVS wanted to establish this as an attribute for the new scooter. In addition, the OEM assures the customer more fun and gaiety while riding. Well, is Jupiter interesting from a family perspective? Testing the vehicle, we felt that while there are several features that satisfy expectations, some needs are missing. For instance, the step or footrest for the female pillion is absent. However, the company affirms this is available as an accessory.

IMG_0356Earlier in 2012, TVS launched Wego; the scooter came with some new features targeting women riders. And now the giant planet named vehicle is also manufactured on the same platform with a few new additions that make it more potent. The Jupiter, says TVS, is a scooter meant for males. So, compared to its other scooter models, the Jupiter is bigger, brawnier and significantly more stylish as well. Making it stylish doesn’t mean it’s heavily plastered with stickers; in fact it has none. But the shape of the headlamp, the front apron and the rear make it look very up-to-date. For enhanced safety and strength the vehicle has a metal body supported by chunky and strong road-grip tubeless tyres. The floorboard is large and there’s good distance between the seat and handlebar, increasing the feel of roominess. Another notable feature is the easy to deploy patented E-Z centre-stand and alloy grab bar, which assists quick operation.

IMG_0365Wego looks sporty with sharp edges; however, Jupiter has more features. In terms of styling, both Wego and Jupiter are very different and the latter looks superior with premium build quality and a bold look. Though it appears to be somewhat inspired by other gearless scooters, Jupiter has its own eye-catching style.

In the front, Jupiter has vertical creases and sleek turn indicators, which are borrowed over from the Wego. The trapezoidal headlamp is big and does more than a decent job at night. It is also equipped with twin city headlamps that further add to style. The sides of the body have got clean moulded panels, with a perfect balance of simplistic design and sharp styling, but look very bland. The cosmetics in the existing models are clearly missing since it is a man’s vehicle. Perhaps the company thought that decals, as with Scooty and Wego, might feminise Jupiter.

In the rear, Jupiter gets the angular tail lamp with LED lights surrounded by similarly shaped clear lens indicators. As in Wego, the fuel filler cap is in the rear, which helps in filling fuel without opening the seat, besides adding to safety for items in the utility box. However, the missing internal lid might allow dust to enter the fuel tank.

Jupiter comes with an array of features on display. The ‘Econometer’ that indicates ‘Eco and Power’ modes represented by green and orange lights are segment-first features. It serves as a good guide on how riders can achieve the best fuel economy or better power since family-men, at times, go the extra mile. In addition, this indicates the health of the battery. The power mode blinks when the battery is low. Also, it blinks if the vehicle is idling for more than 20 seconds. The rider cannot miss out on the alert as the flashes draw attention even in broad day-light. The dedicated each-side turn indicators, fuel reserve light and high beam indicator are placed on the instrument cluster.

TVS has concentrated on minute details, which in turn enhance the rider’s experience. The company claims that the unique low fuel indicator feature is borrowed from cars. It gives an early and accurate indication to the customer to fill up petrol. Switchgear is borrowed from the Wego and is attractive due to the use of red colour for the ignition switch and yellow for the horn. Another first-in-segment feature is the ‘integrated pass-by switch.’ The high beam button acts as a pass light switch which is an appreciable attempt to adapt features from automobiles.

Coming to the powertrain, TVS Jupiter runs on the same engine which is currently powering Wego. The single cylinder 109.7 cc engines produce a maximum power of 8 bhp @ 7500 rpm with a maximum torque of 8 Nm @ 5500 rpm, with an improved gearbox and combustion chamber over the Wego. But the company has made significant changes in the engine for better mileage and life. TVS claims the scooter gives 62 kmpl under ideal driving conditions. For a quick warm-up, the ignition timing has been advanced by 8 degrees from base ignition timing after starting the vehicle. Along with ignition advancement, the compression ratio has been increased by 0.5 count that helps in early warm-up and higher fuel economy.

The two-wheeler maker has also optimised the continuous variable transmission (CVT) to improve fuel efficiency. It reduces the engine speed by 300 rpm at the initial stage for more mileage, and to complement this, the engine is tuned for high torque at low speeds. Further, engine friction is substantially reduced by using coated pistons and roller cams. TVS has also used special engineering plastic for guides and tensioners to contain friction. It also uses special engine oil, ‘TVS Tru 4’, which is specifically formulated for longer life, reduced friction and increased oil change interval.

IMG_0361Even though the engine specs remain the same, TVS has ‘fine-tuned’ it for better ride quality and fuel economy. Due to its high rigidity frame it feels sturdy and always in control. Seats of Jupiter are wider than Wego, ensuring comfort for the rider and the pillion. However, as indicated earlier, it will be difficult for a sari-clad woman to climb and sit on the pillion, without the required accessory.

The riding stance of the Jupiter is quite comfortable – you sit upright with hands running parallel to the ground, which makes for easy ride in the city, and on highways. Seating position and controls are ergonomically designed to suit the average Indian male. The seating posture, elbow angle and knee angle are all optimised for male riders. With comfortable ergonomics and a well-tuned suspension, the handling of the Jupiter is exceptionally good. The comforts are further enhanced by providing gas-charged suspension at the rear that provides ample support. Even on bad roads the shock absorbers pitch in to maintain comfort. Suspension manufacturer, Gabriel, says the new, improved front fork design will reduce noise and steering effort. This improves maneuverability and adds to safety, especially in cities. This is achieved by upgrading the internal valves in the front forks for noiseless operation and a smooth ride in different conditions.

IMG_0364Looking at the utility value of the vehicle, the Jupiter can accommodate 17-litres of storage space under the seat, which is more than enough to fit in a full faced helmet and some documents. The company also offers a mobile charging point under the seat storage space as a retro-fitment. Again, considering the male rider, Jupiter has 375mm leg space, which is largest among all scooters. The overall performance is impressive, without compromising on efficiency.


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