There is a perception that “bigger is better” and TVS, the South Indian two-wheeler manufacturer, keeping in line with that belief, has come out with their latest offering, the Jupiter, in the competitive segment currently dominated by Honda. In fact, the TVS Jupiter commercial “Zyada Zyada” further emphasizes its bigger size. TVS is quite well-known for providing products which are value-for-money. The Indian automatic scooter market has flourished over the past few years as more and more people are realizing that automatic scooters are easy to ride, economical, comfortable and best suited for city riding. Also, gearless scooters were associated with the fairer sex only, but the impression has changed now and the male counterparts are also getting inclined towards the gearless scooters. TVS wants to cash in on the changing trend and is promoting the Jupiter as a ‘male oriented’ product.
Now, with the Activa ruling the roost and Yamaha’s RAY and RAY Z models also in the picture, the path of Jupiter is not going to be easy. We rode it extensively to find out whether it has what it takes to usurp the king or will it just remain as just another automatic scooter in the market.
LOOKS,STYLING AND FEATURES
At first glance one would confuse the Jupiter with the Honda Activa or the TVS Wego, especially in white, which we got. It is a contemporary looking scooter but it still attracts the attention. The scooter is neatly designed and its well-crafted and moulded body panels appear soothing to the eyes. The Jupiter has been given an angular styling with black finished wheels to give it a more masculine character. It does look bigger than the TVS Wego, with which it shares its platform. There is a central air-vent at the front and a set of clear-lens turn indicators. The headlight is bright and effective and is surrounded by twin pilot lamps which look really nice.
The instrument cluster is analog; it includes a speedometer, fuel-gauge indicator, and also a new feature called Econometer, which gives economy and power riding mode indication. The lights come on as per rider’s inputs and driven gently, the economy mode light stays on uptil around 50kmh as well. A low-fuel warning indicator, absent on the Activa for example, is also present which alerts the rider when the fuel level goes down. The detailing on the Instrument cluster is good and everything is very legible under all riding conditions.
The build quality of the Jupiter is impressive and the scooter will hold through the rough well. The quality of the switches is also very good and TVS has also equipped the Jupiter with a pass-light flasher, which is necessary during overtaking in the night – again something that is unique to the scooter segment. The 17-liter underseat storage is enough to accommodate a normal size helmet and other items. The overall length of the Jupiter is more than that of the Honda Activa and its wheelbase too is longer than the Honda’s. As a result the Jupiter feels very planted and stable.
I like the chrome shield on the exhaust that adds just the right dose of bling and provides a premium feel too. The huge 3D Jupiter logo adds some character to the styling. The sleek front mudguard and black finished 5-spoke alloy wheels add a touch of sportiness to the scooter. Coming to the rear, TVS has equipped the Jupiter with a LED tail lamp. LEDs reduce the electrical load and are more long lasting than the normal bulb indicators. The tail light looks quite similar to the Honda Activa’s.
Floorboard of the Jupiter is also bigger than that of Honda Activa; it offers the best leg space in the segment and this is because there is no front storage compartment provided in the Jupiter, which is a sad trade-off. Two hooks have also been provided, one below the handlebar and one below the seat, and these can be tucked away when not in use. The Jupiter is equipped with a very comfortable well-cushioned and wide seat which proves to be a boon on long commutes. A tamper-proof and theft-proof key shutter lock has been provided for additional safety so no one can poke inside the ignition unless they have the original key – a very thoughtful feature in our conditions indeed!
The Jupiter’s fuel-filler lid is located at the tail-end of the scooter. This feature comes in handy as the rider is not supposed to get off the seat and lift it up while re-fuelling, like in most scooters. The Jupiter has also been provided with a “Patented E-Z centre stand”, which is easy to deploy with just an easy push. Parking brake feature allows to park the scooter comfortably on uneven and sloped surfaces. It works similar to the hand-brake in cars and keeps the scooter fixed at its position.
ENGINE AND HANDLING
The TVS Jupiter comes equipped with a powerful 109.7cc, four-stroke, single cylinder, air-cooled CVT-i engine, which is also used in the TVS Wego. The engine churns out peak power of 8 bhp at 7500 rpm and peak torque of 8 Nm at 5500 rpm. According to TVS, CVT-i technology delivers the best-in-class combination of power and fuel economy. TVS has used the viscous type air-filter in the Jupiter.
Switch on the ignition and the engine comes to life with a single press of the starter button. The acceleration and power delivery of the Jupiter is linear, which enhances its commuting capabilities and the power delivery is very smooth. Darting in and out of the traffic is a breeze while on open stretches the engine feels happy to be revved. Another plus point of the TVS Jupiter is a vibe free and refined engine. The Variomatic drive transmission system does its duty seamlessly and because of the rev happy engine it is very easy to overtake slow moving traffic on highways which actually form a major part of my forty-five kilometer daily commute. No wonder, I was impressed with Jupiter’s engine capability and I also managed to clock a top speed of 90 Kmph, which is quite enough for a 110 cc scooter meant primarily for city riding. Still, at that speed, as mentioned earlier, the Jupiter was felt very stable and planted.
TVS Jupiter weighs in at 108 kg and is held together by a steel constructed, underbone type frame. Advance Telescopic Shock Absorbers at the front and Gas-filled shock absorbers at the rear are effective and the combination results in a smooth riding experience even when riding through potholes and bumpy roads.
The upright riding position of the Jupiter is comfortable and is similar to the Honda Activa’s and it actually helps while maneuvering it in traffic. The tyres are grippy and are fitted on relatively larger, 12-inch sporty looking alloy wheels. TVS Jupiter comes equipped with 130 mm drum brakes at both front and rear and they are confidence-inspiring and have enough bite to bring the Jupiter to a halt without any fuss. TVS motorcycles and scooters are known for their good fuel efficiency and the Jupiter is no different. I managed to get 48 kmpl in city traffic, and 58 kmpl on the highway. The CVT-i engine does its duty well.
IS IT WORTH BUYING ?
The answer is Yes. This time TVS has played its cards right with the Jupiter and has shown that its not behind the arch rival, Honda Activa, in any aspect. TVS has provided the Jupiter with class leading features and a vibe free, rev happy engine which manages to perform seamlessly while returning healthy mileage too. This fun-to-ride scooter comes with better suspension than the Activa’s and overall at Rs. 44,204 (ex-showroom, Delhi) it offers way more than the Honda Activa which costs more (Rs. 47,596, ex-showroom, Delhi) but comes with an unbeatable trust. The Jupiter, we feel, is a right scooter from TVS, at the right time!