The Flame is quite the head-turner. You can’t help but bask in the attention that this superbly-styled TVS motorcycle gets you. It’s also a very able handler in spite of seating its rider in an awkward, less-than-ideal posture.
The brakes are well modulated and make the Flame a bike that stops well. With better quality tyres, this bike should display better handling and braking characteristics as we don’t find the current TVS tyres quite up to the mark.
The Flame’s handling is complemented by supple ride quality that doesn’t break your back. Build quality is very good indeed and the Flame as a result emits no rattles or squeaks. Also, there is little chance of rust setting in as there are few chrome parts which makes the monsoon a less daunting time.
The Flame soldiers on in our long-term fleet, but not without its share of problems. Cold- starting the bike is sometimes a task, and even the electric starter can’t help disguise this problem. The bike also stalls sometimes when its throttle is closed, even in third or fourth gear; this, despite a trip to the service station where this minor issue involving setting its engine idle-speed should have been addressed. The Flame fails to feel really smooth when revved hard. In fact, anything above half-throttle and its engine starts to sound stressed out. The Flame is a bike that is happiest being ridden in top gear in traffic. It pulls from as low as 15kph in third gear, making this bike more a relaxed commuter than a highway runner.
The Flame returns 48.3kpl, this par for the course in Mumbai’s despicable traffic.
The storage box in the fuel tank, which worked perfectly when new, is troublesome to shut now. You have to give it a couple of blows to make sure that it closes.
On the whole, the Flame is a motorcycle that runs well, but one that still fails to have any of us clamoring for its keys.
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Issue: 165 | May 2013
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