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TVS Motors’ Jupiter 125: Style and substance!

S Muralidhar | Updated on October 15, 2021

The Jupiter scooter sub-brand gets a bigger-engined sibling. With the new 125cc power unit, it will cater to the customer who wants ‘zyada’ space and ‘zyada’ presence

TVS Motor has had a busy two months; launching a trio of new or refreshed two-wheelers. The new RR 310 with the Built to Order (BTO) personalisation programme, the all-new Raider and, more recently, the brand new Jupiter 125 have in quick succession managed to deepen the company’s portfolio. The Jupiter scooter sub-brand itself is now many variants wide, since the 110cc Jupiter will continue to be available with the new 125cc.

It is TVS’s view that the commuter scooter customer, just like the motorcycle buyer in this segment, is evolving. And the company believes that this customer’s expectations today has increased and that they seek more power, more space and more usable features.

The new Jupiter attempts to fulfil those demands with some nifty changes to the design and intuitive placements within the layout of some conventional features. So, what’s new in the Jupiter 125. To find out, I travelled a couple of weeks ago to TVS Motor Company’s test track located at its plant in Hosur, near Bengaluru.

Design

New Jupiter 125’s design doesn’t seem to be radically different from the previous iteration. TVS officials say that the TG continues to be the family man. In fact, without promoting the practice, but acknowledging its prevalence, TVS says that the 65mm longer seat in the Jupiter 125 is meant to allow a family to be seated more comfortably on the new scooter.

Similarly, it’s floorboard is wide and long enough to allow a gas cylinder to pass through easily from one side to the other. So, it is not surprising that the design is still that of a conventional, large scooter. The choice of metal panels for all the major ‘ding and dent’ prone sections of the body was also probably driven by the preferences amongst this segment of buyers. The rest are moulded ABS plastic panels.

The Jupiter 125’s V-shaped highlight on the front body panel with pilot lamps and turn indicators within the housing, and chrome garnishes on either side greet me at the track.

The main headlamp is a large unit moulded onto the handlebar, with more chrome trim and a blackened short visor. There is more chrome on the side panels, in addition to the Jupiter 125 badging.

The new Jupiter 125 shares its wheelbase with the smaller engined Jupiter ZX and Classic, but is longer by about 18mm. One of the reasons why TVS engineers have managed to give the new scooter a longer seat.

The leading edge of the seat is also placed ahead of the earlier scooter’s position. The ground clearance is also the same 163mm for both the versions of the scooter (110cc and 125cc).

The rear design of the 125 is very similar to the 110, though now the tail-lamp housing is clear-lens type and the cast metal grab rail is body coloured; speaking of which, there are a few really bright and attractive new colours to choose from for the Jupiter 125.

The electricals are all LED except for the tail-lamp and the light guides at the front give it an interesting night signature.

There are two important, unconventional changes that are special for the Jupiter 125; both are related to the fuel tank. First, the fuel filling cap has been moved to the front apron. The multi-function stem lock and the fuel cap are now on either side and just below the handle bar. The fuel tank itself has been moved from the traditional under seat position to under the floorboard. The 5-litre tank is sealed and has been given extra reinforcements outside to handle the position’s risks of punctures etc.

Features and build

Shifting the fuel tank to the floor has also lowered the CG for the scooter, and there is just that bit of improvement in taking turns and confidently flicking the scooter in the event of an obstacle on the road. The other positive fallout of the fuel tank’s change in location is that it has liberated more under seat storage.

TVS engineers claim that the 33-litres under the seat can now accommodate two full-face helmets. There is some storage pocket in the front apron for small knick-knacks, a mobile phone, keys etc. To compensate for the reduced airflow to the engine, the Jupiter 125 has been given vents on body side panels to channelise cool air. The aerodynamic profile also allows for air flow being directed to these vents and intakes.

The instrument cluster in the Jupiter 125 is an analog-cum-digital unit. Like the display in the Raider, this one too offers a host of information, many of which are unique.

Side stand indicator and auto engine cut-off, helmet reminder and distance to empty in reserve are a few interesting features of the instrument cluster. Bluetooth connectivity option is due soon in another trim variant. The switches and controls are similar to the ones we have seen in other TVS scooters.

The riding position is good with the saddle height set at 765mm; should be comfortable for the average lady rider too. The kerb weight of the Jupiter 125 at 109 kg , continues to match that of the Jupiter 110.

Performance

The Jupiter 125 is powered by a brand new 124.8cc petrol engine. The unit has been developed from the ground up, say TVS engineers. More compact and lighter than other engines in its class, this power unit delivers 8.3PS of peak power and 10.5Nm of peak torque. The engine is paired with a CVT automatic gearbox.

It is not the most powerful or peppiest engine in its size class; and TVS says that its focus audience is not enthusiast or young, so the metric will still be efficiency-biased. So, while its power delivery feels measured, there is still enough torque available in the low and mid rpm range to enable it to easily pull an entire family up the steepest flyovers and inclines.

Similar to the Raider and its new patent-pending engine tech, the Jupiter 125’s engine too gets a few segment firsts like PVD-coated piston rings, silent cam chain and double cog belt for better durability and improved refinement.

The engine also gets an integrated starter generator (ISG) enabling the company’s proprietary ‘IntelliGO’ start/ stop system. Works seamlessly cutting off the engine during idling at a signal, for example, and restarting with just a twist of the throttle. Overall, refinement levels are good with noise levels well contained even in full throttle. Vibrations were felt while idling and after I crossed 90kmph speeds.

TVS engineers say that some of the idling vibes have been retained on purpose, though I felt it could have been lower.

The suspension set up includes hydraulic, telescopic front forks with 77mm travel for the front and a 3-step adjustable canister charged monoshock for the rear. Ride quality was good on the smooth test-track tarmac at TVS’s plant in Hosur. Making adjustments for the rear shock takes a bit of effort and time, but you can choose a sportier set up too. My test mule featured a 220mm disc brake for the front and a 130mm drum brake for the rear. The entry variant will only have drum brakes for the front and rear with steel wheels. Top variant gets alloy rims.

Bottom line

The TVS Jupiter 125 attempts to offer the practicality focused commuter scooter buyer a choice to upgrade his or her ownership experience.

With more space and more efficiencies being assured, the new scooter also manages to deliver better fit and finish and a tech-laden, feature-rich package in this segment.

The NTorq will still be the choice for the younger, performance-focussed buyer. But for the family man/ woman, the Jupiter 125 could be the chosen one. Prices start at ₹73,400, ex-showroom, Delhi.

Published on October 15, 2021

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