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Review: TVS Scooty Zest 110
Driven August 2014
Back in the nineties, if Indian girls wanted to be singers, chances are they’d own Britney Spears or Whitney Houston cassettes. If they wanted to be models, then they’d look up to Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, swimmers like Pam Anderson and Yasmeen Bleeth, and if they wanted to ride around town, they’d want to own a TVS Scooty.
Since then, the Scooty brand has been considered as the most ideal for girls, with the name ‘Scooty’ becoming a commonly-used term to define a girls’ scooter at one point. Over the course of time, the Scooty received minor styling changes and flashy colour schemes to keep up with the times. But this here is something else. The Scooty Zest 110 is an all-new iteration of the Scooty, and is effectively TVS’ third entrant in the 110cc automatic scooter segment.
Looking at that familiar headlamp and beak over the chunky front wheel, it’s easy to tell that the face of the Scooty Zest is synonymous with that of the older 90cc and 60cc models, while TVS has given the rest of the new 110cc model fresher styling. The backlit instrument cluster is an all-analogue affair, housing a speedometer, odometer and fuel gauge, along with TVS’s ‘econometer’, which helps riders squeeze out the most out of every last drop of petrol. Switchgear, as we’ve seen on the new Jupiter and Wego, is of good quality, and feels nice to use. There’s even a rear brake lock clamp, which most other automatic scooter manufacturers don’t offer with their products. The body-coloured mirrors, though petite, offer a decent view of what’s behind you. The scooter sports a LED tail-lamp at the rear, however, the styling out back may raise unimpressed eyebrows.
The Scooty Zest 110 is powered by the same 109.7cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, carburetted engine that we see in the Wego and Jupiter scooters. On the road, the CVTi automatic transmission puts out all of the 7.9bhp and 8.7Nm in a very smooth and refined manner. On this scooter, it feels like you could cruise around town at a comfortable 50kph all day, while it didn’t feel overly stressed or uncomfortable when we twisted the throttle hard and closed in on 90kph. If ridden conservatively, the scooter is expected to return a mileage figure of 62kpl.
Weighing in at 97kg, the Scooty Zest is one of the lightest in its class, and we wouldn’t be surprised to find TVS’s claim of 0-60kph in 11.1secs true in the real world. Girls who like it relatively fast will enjoy the fact that this lightweight and adequately powerful Scooty is brisk off the line. The turning circle is small, and a light front-end makes it an agile handler. The Zest 110 employs a 100-profile front tyre and a 90-profile rear, while both are 90-section tyres on 10-inch rims. The choice of rubber provides good grip on all kinds of surfaces, while the suspension setup keeps bumps and undulations at bay in a very pleasant manner. What gives the new scoot proper stopping power is the 110mm drum up front and a bigger 130mm drum at the rear. There’s no disc brake available, even as an option.
TVS has even thrown in some clever engineering elements to aid the fairer sex – a low-resistance throttle, an auto-choke system that makes cold starts easy, and there's even a side stand-down warning indicator. We found mounting the featherweight on its main stand just too easy. Besides the open glovebox up front (which can be used to store all sorts of ‘artefacts’, according to TVS), there’s even 19 litres of under-seat storage space, which can just about accommodate a full-size helmet, or a pair of size 8 Steve Maddens.
TVS says that the scooter is designed to attract female customers. This is somewhat true. But that doesn’t mean those who have an Adam’s apple won’t find the scooter appealing.
1cyl, 109.7cc, 7.9bhp, 8.7Nm, 0-60: 11.1sec (claimed), 62kpl (claimed), ₹42,300 (ex-Delhi)
The Scooty Zest 110 is a well-engineered, well-finished product that functions in a sound manner and is capable. Given its price, it’s a very compelling package for a 110cc automatic scooter.