I don’t discriminate when it comes to motorcycles, but let’s face it – some bikes are just more exciting than others. Prior to my stint with the TVS Radeon, I didn’t really think commuters had much in way of character. The little Radeon, however, has changed that, to some extent. This TVS fits right into my commute and it has cut down my cost of travel significantly. As a matter of fact, it reduced my travel time too, as compared to travelling by Mumbai’s public transport.
ON THE CHARGE: USB port is convenient if you want to charge your phone on the go.
Having squeezed the Radeon through the tiniest of gaps around the city for a couple weeks, I wanted to see how it faired on the highway. So one weekend, I rode to Dahanu, about 140km to the north of Mumbai – a majority of which is on the very smooth and fast NH48. For most of my journey, I had the throttle pinned all the way and this had the Radeon maintain a little above 80kph. At these speeds, the engine doesn’t feel overly stressed but a full tuck got me closer to the 90kph mark; at this point, you can really feel the vibrations at the foot pegs, and then the handlebar. Doing this for longer durations will leave you with a tingling sensation from all the vibrations.
LIGHT SHOW: The LED DRLs give the bike a more premium feel and certainly add to its street presence.
In the 1,000-odd km I’ve ridden it, I’ve found a few things I really like. Firstly, the sound – an Apache-like rumble that’s most familiar when you roll off the throttle. It cracks and pops, too! Then there’s the fuel efficiency. Previous tests of the Radeon saw 78.5kpl on the highway, while the figure dropped to 57.7kpl in the city. On my trip to Dahanu, with the engine at the limit most of the time, I managed to squeeze out 42.4kpl. Quite impressive, considering what the bike had to put up with.
COLD-HEARTED: Engine takes a while to warm-up on cold starts. This results in very hesitant throttle response.
So far, I’ve only been disappointed by the braking performance. It’s dull and the front needs a massive pull at the lever for a quick stop, but I suppose that is expected of a drum-brake setup. The Radeon also comes with SBT (Synchronized Braking Technology), which is a welcome safety addition, especially if you’re someone who tends to primarily use the rear brake. The bike has not been entirely trouble-free, though, and we did face the unusual case of a snapped clutch cable. Clutch cables do wear out and will snap over the lifetime of a motorcycle, but 3,000km is far too early for one that’s only been subject to regular, everyday use.
IN THE WAY: Larger footwear tends to accidentally engage gear while trying to access the side stand.
Aside from the hassle of getting the clutch cable fixed, the Radeon has been a likeable partner and one that does its best to ensure that my wallet has to leave the safety of my pocket as infrequently as possible.
2018 TVS Radeon long term review, first report
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