The BS4 TVS NTorq was a peppy and fun-focused little scooter when first introduced. In the upgrade to BS6, TVS managed to retain the NTorq’s output figures, but gave it gentler power delivery in an attempt to make it a better-rounded package. However, this also robbed the NTorq of the grunty nature that made it such an enjoyable ride. Now, TVS has introduced the NTorq Race XP, which promises to recapture the spirit of the original, and then some, thanks to a class-leading output of 10.2hp.
The Race XP sports the same bodywork as all the other NTorq variants, and it also gets the LED headlight from the Race Edition.
But its shouty paint scheme and loud graphics make it quite easy to tell the XP apart. Aside from flashy stickers all over the scooter, you also get snazzy red wheels and even a red engine cooling fan. If all this seems a little over the top to you, then you’re out of luck, because this is the only colour option available.
The NTorq has always been a feature-rich scooter, but TVS has made the list longer still. In addition to Bluetooth connectivity, you now also get a Voice Assist function.
After pairing your phone and starting the engine, you can use the starter button to prompt the scooter to start listening to you. Using a wired or wireless headset, you can then give the scooter voice commands to perform various tasks like navigating to the nearest fuel pump, changing the brightness of the scooter’s display and even changing the riding modes.
Yes, the Race XP gets two riding modes – Street and Race. As their names suggest, the former aims to strike a balance between performance and fuel efficiency, while the latter prioritises acceleration at the cost of efficiency. The NTorq also offers an underseat LED light, USB charging slot and external fuel filler, though a combination keyslot and storage on the back of the apron would’ve been nice.
The moment you twist the throttle, you can feel that the performance and the fun are both back. Even in the milder Street mode, the Race XP feels noticeably quicker on its feet than the BS6 version, though not quite as zippy as the original BS4 scooter. In Race mode, though, the NTorq feels just as quick as it’s ever been, and is certainly one of the quickest accelerating scooters in the country once again.
Throttle response is crisp and it’s more than happy to help you quickly seize gaps in traffic. Keep the throttle pinned and it’ll also get up to reasonable highway speeds in a respectably quick time. Even though the engine RPM is quite high at this point, there are barely any vibrations to be felt. It’s at idle where the NTorq’s engine can feel a little gruff.
Throttle response is smooth enough in Race mode for you to pretty much leave it there all the time, unless you’re actively striving for fuel efficiency. Even if you are, it won’t be easy to come by, at least in the city. Because our fuel efficiency test was conducted in Street mode, it returned 46.45kpl in the city. This isn’t disastrous, but it’s a fair deal lower than most of its 125cc rivals, the standard Ntorq included. This number can also plummet quite drastically if you decide to get frivolous with the throttle on the Race XP. Things are a lot better on the highway, with a 55.06kpl figure.
RIDE AND HANDLING
TVS has managed to shave off 2kg by using lighter materials, but aside from this, the Race XP shares its underpinnings with the other disc brake-equipped NTorq variants. That’s good news, so long as you’re not a very light rider. While the rest of the team finds the NTorq to have a rather comfortable suspension set-up, my 55kg frame doesn’t seem to work it enough. So to me, the rear shock feels rather stiff and ride quality is quite uncomfortable. We’d recommend trying this one out for yourself and seeing how the scooter reacts to your weight.
The NTorq is always going to feature towards the top of a list of best-handling scooters. It tips in effortlessly, like most scooters. But unlike most scooters, once leaned over, it still feels confident and sure-footed, at least on well-paved surfaces. In my case, it did seem to get unsettled by mid-corner bumps. The NTorq’s poise and dynamics are partly down to the chunky tyres and 12-inch wheels at both ends. Braking performance is similarly impressive, and the NTorq has one of the sharpest, most powerful front disc brakes on any scooter we’ve tested. As a result, it also has one of the shortest stopping distances.
At Rs 84,025, the Race XP costs Rs 4,000 more than the Race Edition, but around Rs 12,000 more than the drum brake-equipped base variant. In the context of the market, it’s still quite well priced, though, especially considering the sort of features and performance that it offers. It’s got scooters like the Suzuki Burgman Street beat on both these fronts, despite being nearly Rs 3,000 more affordable.
At the end of the day, the Rs 4,000 premium over the Race Edition is a very fair price to pay, considering the extra performance and features that the Race XP packs in. Most importantly, it recaptures the enjoyment and the spirit of the original NTorq, which is music to the enthusiast’s ears. If the price or the city mileage are deal-breakers for you, you always have the other variants.