Starting with ergonomics, swinging a leg over the Radeon is effortless due to its low seat height. Once astride, you are in a comfortable position with a neutral riding stance. The seat is also adequately cushy and is forgiving even on longer rides.
While the impact of BS6-bound revisions is a bit unpleasant on paper, there’s hardly any difference felt out in the real world. In fact, the engine feels smoother and more refined now while the throttle feels slightly more direct. We have always loved the peppy nature of this motor and it continues to be a positive attribute of the bike. The low-end acceleration of the Radeon is sprightly, with enough pull for easy overtakes in traffic. The profoundly light clutch and slick gearbox further strengthen its rideability, both of which felt improved over its BS4 counterpart. Also, for better or worse, the distinct bassy exhaust note of the motorcycle sounds a tad subdued now.
The vibrations are very well contained as they are close to none up to 60kmph of speed. Post that, you feel a slight tingling on the handlebar and footpegs. However, keep pushing it to 80kmph and the vibes surprisingly die down to a great extent. Although TVS has impressively managed to keep the NVH levels in control, the Radeon’s engine does feel slightly stressed on the highway and the need for a fifth gear is felt consistently. The overtakes too need a bit of planning.
Where the Radeon particularly amazes is on the handling front as it is extremely light on its feet. Thanks to its light weight and nimble handling, filtering it through traffic and changing directions is extremely easy and fun. And the narrow width of the handlebar makes it easy to squeeze through the tightest of gaps. Coming to the ride quality, the slightly stiff suspension setup means undulations aren’t completely bottomed out. Going over potholes, stones and rumblers at low speeds feel a bit jarring, but it glides away smoothly at higher speeds.
The braking hardware of the Radeon is something that needs substantial improvement. The drum variant which we tested offer very little bite and feel, which further fade after a few minutes of riding. It’s the same case for the front and rear both. However, seldom do the wheels lock up under braking, thanks to the SBT (synchronised braking tech). For better braking performance, the front disc model should suffice.