The 125cc scooter class has been growing at a rapid pace with a variety of options available to choose from. And this space got even more crowded in October last year when the new TVS Jupiter 125 broke covers. Although it looked like a regular twist-and-go offering with its no-nonsense design, TVS made sure to add a few tricks up its sleeves which promise a lot of bang for your buck.
If you want to read our detailed road test review of the scooter, head here. However, if you’re one of those with short attention spans, here’s our more concise take on the Jupiter 125 in the form of five pros and two cons.
Scooters are inherently much better than motorcycles when it comes to storage space. Interestingly, this aspect of the Jupiter 125 is stronger than most scooters in our market. We are talking about an under-seat storage space of 33-litre which is two litres more than what the true-blue maxi-scooter BMW C400GT offers. To give you a perspective, I could easily store my fully stuffed backpack, riding jacket, gloves, and two water bottles, with still some space left for small things. If only it was deep enough to gobble up an imported, full-face helmet. What’s more, the footboard, too, offers generous space while the two cubby holes and retractable hooks at the front only add to the brownie points.
The Jupiter 125 will be extremely easy to live with and ample storage space is not the only trait responsible for that. There are a host of nifty elements targeted at making your ownership experience seamless. To start with, the external fuel filler located under the handlebar negates the need to get off the scooter at the gas station. Other such goodies include a multi-function keyhole that opens up the fuel lid and the seat, a USB charging port, a flexible boot lamp, and a parking brake. Furthermore, there’s an easy centre-stand function which provides added assistance while putting the scooter on the centre stand, making it convenient and welcoming, especially for women and old-age users.
An upright riding stance and a cushy seat are common traits amongst scooters. Well, the Jupiter 125 offers a little extra with a profoundly roomy seat which, TVS says, is 65mm larger than the Jupiter 110. So, it should be comfortable even for two large-sized individuals. The good ride quality of the scooter does the rest of the job of keeping the rider pampered. Although it doesn’t have the plushest suspension, the scooter irons out minor undulations like stones and road joints flawlessly. It’s only when you go over a tall bump that you feel the rear bounce a bit. The rear suspension also gets a three-step preload adjustability option and you can tweak the preload with your thumb, without the need for any special tool.
Engine performance and mileage
Propelling the Jupiter 125 is a 125cc, air-cooled, two-valve engine that makes 8.04bhp of power and 10.5Nm of peak torque. Out in the real world, this engine feels lively and useable, despite not boasting segment-leading numbers. Quick off the line, it goes on building up speed linearly until 70kmph. The most shove is felt between 30-60kmph which is the average speed most of us ride at while going through high to moderate traffic. Even the throttle response and fuelling are on point, so there’s no lag between your inputs and its response. The engine maxes out at around 95kmph where it doesn’t feel very stressed.
Not only is the performance of the Jupiter 125 impressive for a city runabout, but the fuel efficiency is also on the impressive side, typical of a family scooter. In our mileage test, it returned a healthy figure of 50kmpl which means it can keep going for about 255km with its 5.1-litre fuel tank filled to the brim.
Handing and manoeuvrability
With a kerb weight of 108kg, the Jupiter 125 is not the lightest of the lot. However, it’s incredibly light on its feet. Changing directions quickly and flicking from side to side in traffic is something that Jupiter does with amazing agility. In fact, even moving it around in the parking is easy. A major credit of its nimbleness goes to the placement of the fuel tank; it sits under the footboard, resulting in better weight distribution and lower centre of gravity as compared to many other scooters.
Lack of modern features
The Jupiter boasts segment-leading practicality but it could surely do with modern features to give its rivals a run for their money. Yes, we are talking about Bluetooth connectivity, or rather the lack of it. TVS should have offered it at least as an option. That said, the tiny LCD present in the cockpit area of the Jupiter 125 shows all the important data. You can toggle between things like distance to empty, average and instant fuel efficiency, low fuel indicator, and other basic information. You also get to see if you’re riding in economy or power mode, along with a host of other tell-tale lights.
This is another department where the Jupiter 125 could be marginally improved. Now, vibrations aren’t present to the extent of causing any discomfort to the rider. But it exists like a fly in the ointment, given how responsive and punchy the engine is otherwise. It feels smooth and refined for the most part but when you accelerate it from any particular speed, a minor buzz creeps in on the footboard and a bit on the handlebar.
The positives of the TVS Jupiter 125 clearly outweigh the cons by a substantial margin. It is an everyday family scooter in the truest sense. While the younger ones in the clan will admire its performance and handling, the elders will be pleased by the comfortable ride, generous space, and other subtle features like an easy centre stand. May it be bringing home multiple bags of groceries, commuting to the office, or riding to the college, the Jupiter 125 should be up for the job. However, Jupiter’s starting price of Rs 78,175 is around Rs 3,000-4,000 more expensive than the Access 125 and Activa 125 both. While the Jupiter 125 does have an edge over its rivals with its features, space, and comfort, a lower price tag would have taken its desirability a notch higher.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi