TVS Phoenix review, test ride
9th Oct 2012 11:19 pm
TVS’s latest bike aims to excel in the fiercely competitive 125cc segment. A substantial test ride on the Phoenix reveals more.
The Phoenix is an important motorcycle for the TVS Motor Company, giving them a capable new model in the 125cc segment where the company today lacks a strong presence.
The Phoenix is a commuter motorcycle, with a broad bikini fairing housing the headlight, and its integrated LED pilot lamps. This new TVS uses 6-spoke alloys wheels front and rear, while its engine, exhaust system and several other lower parts sport an all-black look.
The digital instruments boast an amber backlit digital display, with prominent speedometer, a fuel-gauge, low battery reminder, trip-meter and service-due reminder all tucked under a wind deflector. TVS’s latest motorcycle uses really top notch grips, good switchgear and nice control levers. Its mirrors function well. Hazard warning is provided on the Phoenix, marking a first for this class of motorcycle.
You can’t miss the Phoenix’s prominent decals which proudly announce this as a 125cc motorcycle. The well padded seat gets a dual texture fabric, flowing from the Phoenix’s rounded, ample feeling tank with its comfortable knee indents, all the way to the alloy grab bar and integrated tail-light.
The Phoenix is powered by a new, 124.5cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled and four-stroke engine, that makes 10.9bhp at 8000rpm, and a torque figure of 1.1kgm at 6000rpm. The new TVS commuter bike is tuned for good low and mid range power delivery, which was apparent during our ride at the company test track. The CV carburettor equipped Phoenix uses a four-speed, all-up, slick shifting gearbox, this operated via a heel-and-toe lever. Clutch feel is light, just as required in city riding conditions. Final drive is through a fully enclosed drive-chain, which may not look as nice as an exposed chain, but is sure to ace on reliability in tough Indian conditions.
The Phoenix accelerated from 0-60kph in 7.3 seconds when tested by us. The Phoenix deploys a single downtube, steel fabricated frame. It comes equipped with telescopic fork suspension up-front, and a five-step adjustable ‘series spring’ suspension at rear, this consisting of dual spring coils of varying rates.
The riding position is good for a commuter bike, upright, astride a long seat, and handling feels par for a 125, light with neutral steering. Cornering manners are good, while the Phoenix provides fair ride quality. Braking is via a 240mm, petal type single disc brake in front, and 130mm drum brake at rear. The Phoenix stops with confidence, holding its line well even under hard braking, and never compromising stability. The Phoenix offers a 90/90 x 17 inch rear tyre, wide for its class, and grip levels proved adequate for a 125cc commuter bike.
Look out for the full story in our shortly upcoming Nov 2012 issue.