TVS Jupiter 125 Review
Ddo we still like it as much as we did during the first ride review? Let’s find out.
This is TVS’ newest contender in the highly-competitive 125cc scooter genre - the Jupiter 125. We had ridden it back in October, at TVS’ test track in Hosur, and told you everything that we could in the short amount of time we spent with the scooter. You can read our first impressions here. But now, we have ridden it comprehensively and lived with it for a few days, eventually knowing it much better. So do we still like it as much as we did during the first ride review? Let’s find out.
The Jupiter 125 is not setting a benchmark in terms of quality. A close inspection reveals that certain areas like the handlebar cowl and instrument cluster have uneven gaps and the fitment wasn’t as tight as it should be. However, this was a negligible issue as the plastic quality and paint finish were decent. Even the switchgear operated without a fuss. Moreover, even after spending a week with it, there weren’t odd noises emanating from any of its components.
Comfort is another strong point of the new Jupiter 125 and the highlight of the scooter is the seat. TVS says it is 65mm larger than Jupiter 110's. In that case, it should be comfortable even with two large-sized individuals seated on it. And the cushioning is also apt for the job. Even when I rode the scooter for over an hour continuously, there was no sense of discomfort.
The good ride quality of the scooter does the rest of the job of keeping the rider pampered. Well, this is not the plushest setup we have come across, but it isn’t jarring either. 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 bouncing a bit but never to the extent of throwing the rider off the seat. The rear suspension also gets a three-step preload adjustability option and you can tweak the preload with your thumb, without the need of any special tool.
Also, taking care of the rider’s convenience are small but nifty features that’ll make living with the Jupiter 125 a seamless affair. For instance, take this external fuel filler cap located at the front. It negates the need to turn around or get off the scooter at the gas station. This placement of the fuel lid is courtesy of the fuel tank being placed under the seat, which offers additional benefits like a better centre of gravity and weight distribution.
Other features that make it a practical ride include a multi-function key hole that opens up the fuel lid and the seat, besides handling basic functions like ignition and handle lock. Then sitting right beside the key hole is a USB charging port that comes as a standard fitment in the top-spec disc variant. What’s more, TVS has equipped it with a boot lamp. While that’s a common feature lately, the one here is flexible and can be pointed in different directions to light up more area. You also have a parking brake that is easy to use and does a great job of keeping the scooter fixated on one spot.
The Jupiter 125 is powered by a 125cc, air-cooled, two-valve engine that churns out around 8bhp of power and 10.5Nm of peak torque. Now, these numbers are obviously not segment-leading, but out in the real world, it feels fairly lively and useable.
The scooter is pretty quick off the line and goes on linearly building up speed until 70kmph. It’s decently peppy between 30-60kmph, which means I never had trouble overtaking other vehicles in 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 somewhere around 90-95kmph and it doesn’t feel very stressed even at that speed.
The engine of the scooter feels smooth and refined for the most part. However, when you accelerate it from any given speed, a minor buzz creeps in on the footboard and a bit on the handlebar. While this doesn’t cause any discomfort as such, we believe smoother acceleration will make the whole riding experience a bit more pleasant.
What’s considerably more impressive than its engine performance is the handling. Weighing at 108kg (kerb), this is not the lightest scooter out there. But thanks to the commendable weight balancing and low centre of gravity, it feels extremely light on its feet. Maneuvering through traffic is literally a breeze and switching lanes feels effortless. It’s a similar story on the braking front. The front end has gallops of bite and lever feedback, resultantly shedding speeds swiftly. The rear feels a little soft but TVS’ Sync Braking Technology makes sure the rear wheel doesn’t lock even under hard braking.
Storage space is something that gives scooters an edge over motorcycles. And I must say that TVS has nailed it in this department with the Jupiter 125. It can carry a lot of your belongings on the footboard, in the cubby hole at the front and under the seat. Speaking of under seat storage space, the Jupiter 125 has a 33-litre boot which is the largest in any scooter in India.
Under the seat, we could easily store my properly stuffed backpack, my riding jacket, my gloves, a water bottle, with still some space left for small things. TVS claims it can accommodate two full-face helmets. But mind you, these should be locally manufactured, small-sized helmets. If you try to accommodate a full-blown imported helmet, the seat just refuses to close down.
The footboard is generously spacious too. Even with your feet resting comfortably on it, you have enough space to keep many things, like a big bag of groceries. And for hanging these bags, there are two retractable hooks on the front. It doesn’t end there. You have access to a cubby hole at the front that can take in a one-litre water bottle along with a smartphone.
This is 2021 and things like a fully-digital instrument cluster have become a norm. We have started seeing an LCD console with Bluetooth on a lot of scooters, especially in the 125cc segment. And we think this one feature should have been incorporated in the Jupiter 125 as well, at least as an option.
Having said that, 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.
In our mileage test, which comprised riding in moderate traffic and on the highway, the Jupiter 125 returned a fuel efficiency of around 50kmpl. Considering its 5.1-litre fuel tank, you get a range of about 255kms which, in our books, isn't bad at all.
TVS has churned out a very attractive product in the form of the Jupiter 125. We have already said this in the first ride review - almost everything about it is either exceptional or on par with the competition. The engine performance is acceptable, the handling dynamics are incredible, brakes are strong, and it’s very comfortable as well. Above all, the utility features are, hands down, the best in class.
As for the pricing, the base model of the Jupiter 125 is pegged at Rs 74,425 (ex-showroom, Delhi) which is nearly identical to the corresponding variant of the Suzuki Access 125 and Rs 1,000 more than the Honda Activa 125. Whereas, the top model of Jupiter sits in the middle of the corresponding trims of the Access and Activa. Although the top-end variant of the Access is Rs 2,000 more expensive than the Jupiter, the former offers Bluetooth connectivity.
While the lack of Bluetooth in the Jupiter 125 is definitely a downer, it makes up for that by offering great practicality with oodles of storage space and nifty elements, keeping the value-for-money quotient high. So if you’re planning to buy a premium, no-nonsense, everyday family scooter, you won’t regret buying the TVS Jupiter 125 whatsoever.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi
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