The Raider offers a more youthful, fun and engaging take on what a 125cc commuter motorcycle can be.
When it comes to motorcycles, especially basic mass-market commuters, manufacturers usually stick to the formula that’s proven to be successful. Bikes in this space usually distinguish themselves with minor cosmetic differences and one or two unique features. When it comes to the Raider 125 though, TVS hasn’t gone for the usual safe approach. Our review from the track revealed that it’s quite a fun little bike, however, that’s only half the story as it has to prove itself in real-world conditions. Here’s how it did.
There’s a lot that’s expected of a 125cc commuter motorcycle. The last of those things, for most buyers, is performance. Despite this, TVS has given it quite a bit of attention. While 11.4 horsepower and 11.2Nm of peak torque doesn’t sound like much, and it isn’t, it’s the way that it delivers its power that’ll put a little smile on your face.
First, its burbly exhaust note plays a big role in adding to the overall characterful experience. The bike’s 0-60kph and 0-80kph timings are also the quickest in the segment, and it shows. The Raider 125 doesn’t feel slow and it’s quite peppy in comparison to its direct rivals. Refinement levels are also mighty impressive, with only a tiny hint of vibrations being felt through the seat.
Eco mode lowers the rev limiter.
The Raider 125 is also tractable, and capable of doing as low as 35kph in the fifth gear. It shouldn’t be surprising then that this is a great motorcycle in traffic. On the flip side, something else that left us rather impressed was how effortlessly this bike sits at 80kph. We even managed to get it up to a speedo-indicated 118kph.
Spend a short while on the Raider 125 and you’ll be really appreciative of the engineers who put it together. The ride quality is soft and supple, ironing out most undulations. It’s so well set up that even large potholes don’t really unsettle this lightweight bike.
That’s not all, it feels very light and agile, with almost instantaneous flickability that might take you by surprise at first. However, you can get used to it quite quickly. When it comes to braking, we found that equal use of the front and rear brake results in the best braking performance.
The commuter space is full of motorcycles with flat, single-piece seats. The Raider, on the other hand, uses a more supportive and stylish split seat. The rider and pillion seats are also well padded.
Under the pillion seat is a neat cubby for storage, which proved to be quite useful. The TVS Raider 125 comes equipped with a multi-colour LCD that shows loads of information. It includes a gear position indicator, two tripmeters, fuel economy, range and more.
Multicolour LCD display is lovely.
The Eco and Power ride modes are another big feature. Eco mode brings the rev limiter in at 8,000rpm in the first four gears and at 7,000rpm in fifth gear. It also enables auto start/stop. While this feature is more for the pull factor, it did slightly improve the fuel economy. Despite its peppy performance, the fuel economy in general is on par with competition and our tests with the Raider produced similar numbers to the Hero Glamour XTEC we tested last month.
WHO DARES WINS
The peppy performance, segment-rivalling fuel efficiency and impressive dynamics come together to make the Raider a more youthful, engaging and fun to ride motorcycle than any of its rivals. And at Rs 85,469 (Disc variant), it costs around the same as its rivals. If you’re after the affordability, comfort and practicality of a commuter, but you also want a youthful and fun to ride bike, it doesn’t get much better than this.
The characterful Raider is a potent addition to the 125cc commuter segment.