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Review: TVS Star City+
Driven April 2014
TVS will soon be launching its revised Star City+ in a few weeks time and we get astride this commuter to check out what's new about this updated motorcycle. And within a few kilometers of riding the Star City+ at the TVS plant in Hosur, we are impressed with its supple ride quality that will be highly appreciated by customers in this segment. An average commuter opting for an entry-level bike is likely to spend a major chunk of its travel time ambling around the town on a bike this class and the Star City+ seems apt for those very chores.
And while city commutes would involve riding through a lot of chock-a-block streets and bylanes, snaking its way out of narrow gaps won't be an issue for this TVS as its light weight and easy handling characteristics makes it quite a nimble motorcycle for city riding. What would also be appreciated will be its engine and gearbox combination that does a decent job in such conditions.
TVS has worked on its 110cc EcoThrust motor to make it more tractable in stop-go conditions and it shows in the manner the Star City+ pulls effortlessly from low speeds in higher gears without stressing the motor, which saves the hassle of frequent gear shifts. Not that the gearbox isn't up to the standards. This 4-speed gearbox is precise and butter-smooth, with a light clutch further sweetening the experience. However, we wished the revised 8.1bhp, 8.7Nm, 109.7cc engine could have been more peppy as it doesn't come across as quick as say, a Honda 110cc doing duty on the Neo. Throttle response is smooth and the motor feels adequately refined at speeds close to 60kph. But take it to its top speed, which is in the region of 85kph, the motor starts showing signs of stress.
For the records, TVS claims it will do the 0-60kph drill in 8.1secs. The Star City+ feels more tilted towards fuel efficiency than performance, which may work well with its customers. But for us, we would have appreciated a better balance between performance and efficiency as it would have enabled the TVS to fare better on those occasional highway trips where a slightly more power would cause no harm.
TVS says the Star City+ will run 85km to a litre of petrol, which is almost 5 per cent more than the earlier model. It's a good thing, but this figure has been achieved under testing conditions. In the real world, it would be 25 per cent less than the claimed figure. Also, the Star City+, which is available in kick start and electric start variants, doesn't come with front disc brake, not even as an option. Apart from that, TVS has given this commuter motorcycle a lot of features to boast about, the kind none of its competitors offer.
TVS is yet to reveal the prices of the Star City+ but confirms there will be a marginal price hike over the older model. The Star City has always been a strong product and this new motorcycle promises to take things further from here on. The Star City+ may not look radically different from the earlier model, but the efforts gone into making it a better commuter motorcycle shows and it would be interesting to see how well TVS can price this one. We are told it would be competitively priced, but we will have to wait for a couple of weeks to see that.
Single-cyl, 109.7cc, 8.1bhp, 8.7Nm, 4M, 0-60kph in 8.1secs (claimed), 85kpl (claimed)
Ride and handling are its strongest points. And while TVS claims its highly efficient, we would have loved the new EcoThrust engine to be a bit more peppy.