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xBhp was born more than 16 years ago and since then we've had a chance to ride or drive hundreds of machines running on two wheels or four wheels, and sometimes even three wheels. We are not done yet, and this list is still growing. In these pages, we take a deep dive in the treasure trove of our ride experiences and bring you all that we have ridden or driven.

TVS Raider – First Ride Review

125CC 11.38BHP 11.2NM

If you are a regular on social media, then you must have noticed that there have been some murmurs about an upcoming launch by TVS where some people even predicted a 125 cc Fiero and some talked about the impending launch of an all new scooter. And by the time you get to read this, chances are that you’ve already figured out what that new launch by TVS is – it is the TVS Raider, an all new 125 cc motorcycle which we got to ride a couple of days ago at their Hosur plant. And here’s all that we know about this new offering from TVS so far: 

Text: Sunil Gupta
Photos: Sunil Gupta / TVS Motor Company

The TVS Raider is a 125 cc 3-valve single cylinder motorcycle that produces 11.38 hp of peak power at 7500 rpm and 11.2 Nm of torque at 6000 rpm. 

Also Read: 2021 TVS Apache RR 310 Built to Order

Just one look at the motorcycle and you’d figure out as to what its target audience is : the youth, or GenZ as TVS prefers to call them. It is targeted at the younger riders who are probably looking for their first motorcycle but want more than what their dad’s 100 cc typical commuter can offer. They want a bit more style, a bit more aggression, and a bit more features without compromising on fuel efficiency and without burning a big hole in their pocket. In other words, the target market for the Raider is similar to that of the TVS Ntorq. And in fact, that is what we found the Raider to be, the motorcycle version of the TVS Ntorq; although the Ntorq feels sportier & peppier among the two.

The overall design of the TVS Raider is one of its highlights and the bike certainly looks bigger and sportier than a normal 125 cc motorcycle. It has got a rather sharp looking headlight with daytime-running-lights, which is its most prominent feature, along with a sculpted tank and spacious split-seat arrangement. There are 4 color options available, namely the Fiery Yellow, Striking Red, Blazing blue, and Wicked Black. And currently there are 2 variants of the Raider available – the base variant with drum brakes and the top variant with a front disc brake.  In terms of looks and overall styling, the Raider has got everything going in its favor. A bit of a downer in this department is the plastic quality on the switchgear, but it is not a deal breaker. 

For the features, it has a fully digital reverse LCD cluster which offers a truck load of information for a motorcycle of this category, including the current riding mode, the gear shift indicator arrows, range, trip meter, and the distance you’ve covered after hitting the reserve along with the usual information like speedometer, tachometer, etc. TVS will soon also launch a new variant with bluetooth connectivity and voice assist.  Other noteworthy features include a gas charged 5-step adjustable monoshock at the rear, engine cut-off with the side stand down, USB charger at the front, and a neat underseat storage space big enough to keep your wallet along with a mobile phone and your bike documents. Though we do not recommend keeping your wallet and phone there in that space. 

As mentioned above, there are 2 riding modes in the TVS Raider, namely Power & Eco, which can be switched on the go with the help of a button on the right switchgear. The Eco mode, TVS said, gives you 3% better fuel economy and it does so by bringing the engine cut off at 7000 rpm in the first 4 gears and at 8000 rpm in the fifth gear, which also results in a reduced top whack as well. TVS says that Power mode also gives you a crispier throttle response; the change in response is hard to notice though for a normal rider. 

A special note here must be made of the silent start system that is so silent that it screams of its quality. Just press the starter button and you will hear the engine start with no starter motor noise at all. It is courtesy the TVS’s IntelliGo tech, which also enables the Intelligent Start-Stop system in the TVS Raider, where the engine cuts off automatically when lying idle for a long time, like waiting at the traffic signal, and comes back to life automatically as soon as you twist the throttle. This start-stop system works only in the Eco mode though. 

And once you are on the saddle, you can’t help but appreciate the real estate you have to accommodate your rear, even if you are a plus size rider. The same can be said for the pillion seat as well.

Twist the throttle and you can immediately feel the refinement of the engine. The grunty exhaust note also makes things interesting here. There is very healthy torque available in the lower and mid range and you quickly see the speedo going north. It feels very amenable to the rider inputs and can change directions rather quickly. The straight line stability is on point here as well as how it behaves in the corners. It needed a very little amount of effort in the corners and seemed to hold its line with the TVS Remora tyres giving decent grip and the chassis-suspension setup working perfectly in unison. 

Speaking of suspension, it is set towards the softer side but that doesn’t seem to be hampering the handling at all. And we found just how plush this suspension setup is when we took it through the cobblestone surface patch and the various speed bumps that are a part of the TVS test track. It absorbed all the bumps with much ease and transferred very little to the rider’s back. 

Existing out of the long left hander, we regularly found ourselves to be clocking a top speed of 104 kmph on the main straight and even then the engine didn’t feel much stressed. You can easily be doing 80-85 kmph on this bike for the whole day and it won’t complain at all. 

The 240 mm front disc and the 130 mm drum brakes with the Combined Brake System did the job of stopping the bike very well and you won’t find anything to complain about here. 

Now, to sum it up, the TVS Raider will fill the vacant 125 cc slot in the TVS’s stable. And, we do believe that they have a very strong product in their hands now to fight for them in this segment. It looks refreshing, has loads of features, and performs great as well. We would surely love to do a road test to assess this motorcycle’s capabilities in detail. But, whatever we know so far, we are very happy with this bike. For us, it evoked the same emotions as when we first rode the TVS Ntorq – it is different, it is wicked as TVS loves to call it. 

The TVS Raider is priced at 77,500 ex-showroom. At this price point, it will be fighting directly against the segment leader Honda Shine and SP 125. The disc brake variant feels a little expensive as it is costlier by approximately INR 8K and for the disc brake alone, the cost seems unjustifiable. 

If you are considering a bike in the 125 cc segment, we would strongly recommend that you go and take a test ride of the TVS Raider. We are pretty sure that it would definitely make a strong case for itself. Happy Riding. 

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