TVS Motor Company has been putting its products on steroids to push out more horsepower than their respective 2020 iterations. Previously, we saw the 2021 Apache RTR get a performance boost of nearly 2bhp and 0.6Nm over the 2020 model. Now, the company has announced the launch of the 2021 Ntorq 125 Race XP which is by far the most powerful variant of the 125cc scooter. Apart from the added power and torque, the XP badge brings along a whole host of features to the Ntorq series, albeit at a slightly higher price tag than the rest of the portfolio. We tested the scooter in various riding conditions to bring you a detailed road test review.
The Race XP carries forward the commendable build quality of the Ntorq series. The colour may look similar to the Race (non-XP) edition, the XP variant, however, gets a separate set of graphics, slightly different paint theme, and red-coloured alloy wheels that further enhance the sporty look of the scooter. The three-tone paint scheme comprises a combination of red, black, and silver. The addition of carbon fibre texture across various body panels and the red stitching on the saddle further enhance the aesthetics of the scooter.
The fit-and-finish is pretty solid, and we did not hear any unpleasant rattling noises from the scooter during our test ride. The switchgear, too, feels properly put together, and if you exclude the turn indicator controller, all buttons operated with assuring clicks. What we would have liked, however, is the addition of a multifunction keyhole to operate the under-seat storage lock and fuel lid, but then, we are nitpicking here. While we were pleasantly content with the build quality, we had a mixed reaction in the comfort department.
The Ntorq 125 Race XP carries forward the design and dimensions of the standard scooter. Thus, the ergonomics are comfortable. The design of the apron provides ample knee room. Moreover, the handlebar placement ensures that it does not hit your knee when making tight U-turns. However, the footboard on the Ntorq 125 Race XP, similar to the rest of the series, is very compact. Thus, there isn’t a lot of room to move your feet. Moreover, the compact dimensions of the footboard mean that you cannot carry a bag without further compromising the comfort levels, and your feet would remain on the edges.
The ride quality, too, isn’t very plush. The sporty suspension setup, which is tuned for enthusiastic riding, aids the handling department. However, it makes the ride quality very stiff. Thus, you would notice most of the undulations on the roads, and it may cause discomfort after a few kilometres.
On the upside, the low seat height would be ideal for most riders. At 5’10” tall, I could place both my feet flat on the ground with more than sufficient bend on the knees. Add to that, a low kerb weight of 116kg and a remarkably short turning radius, and the Ntorq 125 Race XP is almost effortless to move around in tight parking spaces. The short turning radius also comes in handy while filtering through bumper-to-bumper traffic as the Ntorq 125 Race XP makes its way between vehicles like a hot knife through butter.
One of the biggest USPs of the new Ntorq 125 Race XP over the standard variants and its competition is its engine performance. The company has made revisions to the motor to churn out more power than other variants of the Ntorq 125 family. The 124cc, single-cylinder motor on the Race XP variant produces 10.05bhp of power at 7,000rpm and 10.8Nm of peak torque at 5,500rpm as against 9.25bhp at 7,000rpm and 10.5Nm at 5,500rpm on the rest of the Ntorq 125 line-up. Thus, the XP edition feels noticeably sportier than the other Ntorq 125 models.
TVS Motor Company has also added two riding modes – Street and Sport – to the XP edition. These riding modes alter the throttle response. The Street mode, which makes slightly less power and torque than the Sport mode, feels mellower and it is tuned to deliver better fuel economy. More on that in the latter part of the review. The Sport mode, on the other hand, provides a sharper throttle response and quicker acceleration. Check out the claimed power, torque, acceleration, and top speed numbers claimed by the company below:
The Race mode gives access to full power and torque output while the numbers are restricted to 9bhp and 10Nm in the Street mode. The power and torque output numbers in the Street mode are lower than the standard Ntorq 125 variants too, and it reflects in the fuel economy figures.
In the Race mode, the acceleration until 60kmph is strong, and it continues to build momentum well until 90kmph. It starts to lose steam post that, but keep the throttle pinned and the Ntorq 125 Race XP will climb into three digits on the speedometer.
The rider can toggle between the two modes on the fly, either through the multifunction electric starter button or the mode button near the LCD screen. Apart from the engine character, the riding modes alter the instrument cluster display as well. The difference is visible on the top of the display that shows trip meters and an odometer in Street mode and a lap-timer in the Race mode. That said, the riding modes aren’t the only technology upgrades that the Race XP gets.
The Ntorq 125 Race XP edition is the first scooter in its segment to receive a Voice Assist function that works through the switchgear and offers quick access to various functions. The Voice Assist function packs over 20 commands which comprise location services, call notifications, and information about the ride-related data. You would, however, either have to use a pair of wired earphones or get a Bluetooth set for your helmet to operate the system on the fly.
The smartphone app, which works with Bluetooth connectivity, gives access to more data than you would ever need. This includes ride-related data such as ride duration, top rpm, best 0-60kmph acceleration, fuel level, time spent in Race and Street mode, average speed, service information, your last parked location, and a lot more. You can also set the screen brightness, high-speed alert, automatic SMS reply, and DND, and even store documents digitally.
The colour theme of the app changes depending on the mode selected. The smartphone app worked smoothly during the test ride, although it crashed once when it wasn’t connected to the scooter via Bluetooth.
The Street mode, as mentioned above, makes less power and torque than the Race mode. In fact, it makes lesser power than the standard Ntorq 125 variants. The scooter returned 48.5kmpl (tested in Street Mode only) in Bikewale’s test runs. In comparison, the standard Ntorq 125 range delivered an economy of 45.3kmpl during our tests. With a tank capacity of 5.8-litre, the Ntorq 125 Race XP should cover a distance of approximately 280km between fuel stops.
Fitness of Purpose
The peppy engine character, bold graphics, and sporty design will grab the attention of the young buyers, and they would definitely find the Race XP edition more appealing than most scooters in the 125cc segment. Despite its sporty persona, the Ntorq 125 Race XP is a fairly practical scooter. The 22-litre under-seat storage provides ample space to store a backpack. Features like a boot light and a USB-charger further enhance the utility value of the scooter.
The new TVS Ntorq 125 Race XP is one of the most appealing and fun-to-ride scooters in its segment. The peppy performance, tech-laden feature list, build quality, and bold styling make it stand out from the crowd of 125cc scooters in the Indian market. This isn’t, however, a scooter for the family man as it is too bold and sporty. Moreover, the stiff suspension setup may leave you sore after a long day’s ride which can be a deal-breaker for some buyers. But if you can live with that, there should be nothing stopping you from writing a cheque for the TVS Motor Company.
Photos by Kapil Angane