TVS Victor vs Honda Livo: Comparison test

27 April 2016, 07:00 PM Vikrant Singh

Introduction

Fact 1: Even after years of dominance and constant prayers from enthusiasts (to kill the entry-level class so that bike makers could concentrate their energies and monies towards developing more fun to ride and quicker motorcycles) the entry-level class is still king.

Fact 2: Even after years of dominance and constant attempts from rival bike makers (to develop and market entry-level bikes with various styles, engine configurations and price points so as to nudge the Splendor/Passion combo off their pedestal), the Hero Splendor and Passion still reign supreme. At least, when it comes to motorcycles, if not two-wheelers in general.

 

Reality: And therefore, we have decided to keep the Hero combo at bay for this test because if you want a Hero, you will buy a Hero, no matter what we say. And if you aren’t sold on a Hero yet, then you might as well choose from options that are new, more modern and better looking. Like the new TVS Victor and the still new Honda Livo.

Both bikes essentially come in one trim – electric start, alloy wheels, tubeless tyres, blacked out engine and a fancy grab rail. But, buyers can choose between a front drum equipped model or one with a front disc brake. We settled for the latter.

 

Looks & Style

The Honda Livo with its sharp bikini fairing, tank extensions and a sharper tail certainly looks the sportier of the two. And those body coloured rear view mirrors further add to its style quotient. It’s also devoid of any fancy stickering, which further confirms Honda’s confidence in the Livo’s design. But, the Livo seems like a smaller motorcycle, both visually and once astride.

The TVS Victor with its bulkier tank, its bigger seat and a larger front fairing, not to mention, more painted surface area, looks like a 125 more than a 110cc entry-level offering. The same is reflected once seated. But, in terms of dimensions, be it length or wheelbase, the Honda is actually bigger! As for the Victor’s more conservative design, clearly with so much riding on the bike, TVS weren’t willing to take a big risk to alienate first time and more risk averse buyers.

Honda Livo: 5/10

TVS Victor: 4/10

Ergonomics & Quality

Here again, the Honda shines through. It might seem small, but the riding position isn’t just more comfortable and upright, it offers better control too given the rider sits more centrally on the bike and has better leverage via the handlebar. We also prefer the firmer seat on the Livo. It might not seem comfortable at first, but it serves the rider better over longer hours of commute. Quality, surprisingly, isn’t as great. Sure, the paint finish is good and the panel gaps aren’t glaringly big, but the Victor does one better.

Not only is the paint and fit and finish on the TVS Victor better, the plastic used all over looks and feels more upmarket. It has a nicer fuel filler cap, a smarter key, and better looking handle grips. That’s not all, the operability, then be it for the switchgear or how easy it is to put the Victor on the centre stand or even the reach and positioning of the controls, works better on the TVS than the Honda. As for its seating, the TVS isn’t uncomfortable. And typical of this class of motorcycle, one does sit upright with the feet neutrally positioned. But, it doesn’t feel as natural or inviting as the Honda’s. Plus, we found the Victor’s seat a little soft for our liking.

Honda Livo

Honda Livo

  • Displacement109.19 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)8.2 bhp
  • Kerb Weight111 kg
  • ;

Ex-showroom, Mumbai

 60,728

Honda Livo: 5/10

TVS Victor: 6/10

Features & Technology

This is where the TVS Victor clearly begins to seem as better value, both in terms of features and technology. Feature wise both bikes get electric start, a pass-by switch, disc brake upfront and tubeless tyres. But, the TVS Victor has more modern and comprehensive instrumentation. It gets a tachometer, a digital speedo with two trip meters, Eco and Power mode indication (to extract better fuel economy) and a service reminder indication; all of this is missing on the Honda Livo. The Victor also gets bar end weights and hazards! Its engine also features a three valve head for better breathing and a wavy design for the front disc for better braking performance.

Honda Livo: 5/10

TVS Victor: 6/10

Engine & Performance

Now, both the Honda Livo and the TVS Victor have exactly the same engine capacity – a tad under 110cc. These are also both air cooled and are mated to four-speed gearboxes with an all-up shift pattern. But, the difference in performance, both on paper and the road, is quite telling.

The Victor with its three-valve head and a more oversquare engine layout makes more power and torque. And one can feel that on the road. It gets off the line quicker, revs cleaner and doesn’t seem to lose its spirit higher up in the rev range either. The Livo is a slow starter. But it is more refined at lower revs and it has decent mid range performance.

However, as the revs begin to climb, not only does the Livo vibrate with ferocity, it also sounds strained and less willing to reach its rev limiter. The Victor isn’t devoid of vibrations; in fact, at lower revs one can feel more vibes via the handlebar and seat on the TVS than the Honda. But, it is less of a chore riding the Victor over 60kmph than the Livo. And, the Victor has a smoother, more reactive throttle response too.

Honda Livo: 5/10

TVS Victor: 5/10

Ride, Handling & Braking

 

So far we have had clear favourites: the Livo for its style and seating, and the Victor for its quality, ergonomics, and engine and performance. But, when it comes to ride feel, things are a lot closer.

The Honda Livo with its slightly sportier seating, its ease of flickability, and better, more consistent response from its front end and chassis, is more fun around bends. It tips into roundabouts with ease, stays true to its line, is brilliant to filter through traffic with, and if it had better tyres, would be great under braking too. The front brake certainly has the bite for it.

It’s the Victor that runs better tyres, though. And that wavy front disc also has better bite, progression and feel. As a result, the braking performance of the TVS is simply superb. So much so that it will end up doing endos instead of the front locking up every time you squeeze that right lever hard. The Victor also has the more comfortable ride. It is plusher than the Honda and even with a pillion, the TVS doesn’t end up wallowing uncomfortably. As far as its handling goes, the Victor too goes around corners and roundabouts with poise and it isn’t cumbersome when riding in traffic. But, after the Honda, the TVS feels a little detached, slower reacting, and less fun.

Honda Livo: 5/10

TVS Victor: 6/10

Fuel Efficiency

The TVS Victor returned a commendable 59.8kmpl on our test cycle. With an eight-litre fuel tank this should translate into a range of around 470km, give and take a little. The Honda Livo proved to be even more efficient! It returned 63.4kmpl on the same route. And again with an eight-litre tank, a full tank should give the Honda a range of almost 500km. Given both bikes have similar engine capacities and weight, the difference in efficiencies – though little – is probably down to the gearing.

 

Honda Livo: 8.5/10

TVS Victor: 8/10

Price & Warranty

The Victor is the more affordable of the two. The drum version is priced at Rs 60,650 while the disc variant – on test here – costs Rs 62,950, both on the road in Mumbai. It comes with a 2 year or 30,000km warranty. It isn’t the best in the industry (Hero has that covered), and it isn’t great for a commuter either. But, for an extra Rs 350, one can opt for an additional 3 year / 30,000km.

The Honda Livo is more expensive. With the drum variant costing Rs 63,174 and the one with the front disc priced at Rs 65,892 it makes the drum brake equipped Honda pricier than the top of the line TVS with a disc front. And one needs to pay around Rs 800 extra for the leg guard, which is standard on the TVS. However spec for spec, the Honda is nearly Rs 3,000 more. The Livo doesn’t score higher for warranty either with the standard issue being 2 years or 34,000km. The Livo’s extended warranty of an additional 3 year – which dealers say only applies to the engine – costs Rs 635.

Honda Livo: 7/10

TVS Victor: 8/10

Desirability

Based on the looks and the brand, we’d say the Livo and Honda are clearly more desirable. But then again, the Victor has history. And as a commuter brand, it’s probably second only to the likes of the Splendor and Passion. And then it has better performance, better quality and more features as its tangible assets. Assets even a first time user will be able to figure. Guess we will call it even then.

Honda Livo: 4/10

TVS Victor: 4/10

Verdict

TVS Victor: Rank 1

Final Score: 58/100

Price: Rs 62,950, OTR, Mumbai

TVS has done a good job with the Victor. We said that in our first ride report and this test has further cemented that deduction. It is better equipped, has the peppier engine and even then, it still returns almost 60kmpl. It’s also more affordable to buy than the Honda. And lest we forget, at city speeds, it has a more pampering ride. Yes, it could do with a younger design, but it isn’t a deal breaker. For these attributes and the fact that the Victor actually is better value no matter how you look at it, it is our winner.

Honda Livo: Rank 2

Final Score: 54.5/100

Price: Rs 65,892, OTR, Mumbai

Not even four points separate the Honda Livo with our winner. Just goes to show that the Livo does a good job as a commuter too. But, it just isn’t as good a value proposition as the TVS. It is more expensive along with being slower and one with a shorter features list. We like the way it looks, we like its handling and we like the seating posture too. But, to us the Livo still fails to justify its Rs 3000 premium over the Victor.

Photography by Kapil Angane

Final Scores

 Parameters/Models  Max Points TVS Victor Honda Livo
 Rank    1  2
 Looks & styling  10 4 5
 Ergonomics & Quality  10 6 5
 Features & Technology  10  6 5
 Engine & Gearbox  10 5 5
 Performance  10 5 4
 Ride quality  10 6 5
 Handling & Braking  10 6 6
 Fuel Efficiency  10 8 8.5
 Price & Warranty  10 8 7
 Desirablility  10 4 4
 Total  100  58 54.5
 Price (OTR, Mumbai)   Rs 62,950 Rs 68,892

Specifications

 MAKE TVS Honda
 Model Victor

Livo

 POWER TRAIN    
 Engine Type Air-cooled Air-cooled
 Capacity 109.7cc 109.1cc
 Max Power  9.5bhp 8.2bhp
 Max Torque  9.4Nm 8.6Nm
 Gearbox 4-speed 4-speed
 CYCLE PARTS    
 Chassis Single cradle tubular Diamond
 Supension F  Telescopic Telescopic
 Suspension R  Spring loaded hydraulic  Spring loaded hydraulic
 Brakes F 240mm Disc 240mm Disc
 Brakes R 110mm Drum 130mm Drum
 Tyre F  2.75-17 Tubeless 80/100-18 Tubeless
 Tyre R 3.0-17 Tubeless  80/80-18 Tubeless
 MEASURES    
 Fuel Tank  8 litres 8.5 litres
 LxWxH  1980mm x 750mm x 1090mm 2020mm x 746mm x 1099mm
 Wheelbase  1260mm 1285mm 
 Kerb Weight  113kg 111kg 
 COST    
 Price (OTR, Mumbai) Rs 62,950 Rs 68,892
 Warranty 2 years/30,000kms   2 years/34,000kms

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