TVS Phoenix 125 : Road Test
TVS has been the underdog in the commuter class of motorcycles for far too long. With the Phoenix, the company is aiming to make its presence felt in the miscellany of the 125cc segment albeit trying to do quite lot. Ravi Ved and Varad More get aboard to see if all this makes sense to the buyer out there
Styling is quite a crucial factor for motorcycles in the 125cc segment being mid-way between the commuter class and the relatively sporty 150cc segment. And in the premium 125cc niche segment, product placement is a vital aspect. Tagged as a premium class entrant, the styling of the Phoenix is conservative yet attractive. The smart design features a typically TVS wide front fairing that contains the headlight, with the all-day LED powered pilot lamps adding some glamour. The spread out side panels and the wide slash-cut tail light looks similar to the one adorning the Star City and the TVS family resemblance is evident.
However the manner in which the nose fairing, the tank, the side panels and the tail have been crafted and integrated is pleasing with a good blend of surfacing along with snazzy graphics to make the whole ensemble a striking one. The funky new graphics on the tank, digital console, petal disc brake up front and hazard lights imbue the Phoenix with a fresh, youthful aura. However, despite a rather extended features list, the Phoenix does not come across as being more premium or different from the Star City, something which rival manufacturers have succeeded in differentiation with ease in their own portfolios...
The wide tank (good to take in 12 litres of petrol) that boasts the bike’s displacement fairly loudly is well crafted and easy to grip with the inside of the thighs. The orange backlit digital console houses a bar graph speedometer which is snazzy to look at but is quite difficult to read and decipher in real world conditions, especially when on the move. Apart from the usual telltale lights, there are low battery and service due indicator lamps along with a digital fuel meter. However this premium offering from TVS misses out on a tachometer, which is a norm for premium 125cc motorcycles in India.
The tall and wide handlebars enable the rider an upright seating position ideal for city commuting.The chrome-laden bars sport newly designed switchgear with large chunky buttons and switches that make for good ergonomics. The bike is also fitted with a first-in-class hazard warning switch, sadly where the engine kill switch should be. The black six-spoke alloys with a 240mm dia petal disc up front, the black-finish engine and the exhaust are well built and turned out. All in all the Phoenix design sports a load of TVS signature flair, but while some of the stuff works best when seen from afar, overall it is a bit of this and a bit of that machine.
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