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
Hit the start button and the Phoenix’s peppy EcoThrust motor emits a promising growl. The short stroke 125cc powerplant with a 57mm x 48.8mm configuration breathing via Ucal-Mikuni CV instrument produces 11PS of power at 8,000rpm and 10.8Nm of torque at 6,000rpm, taking it to 60km/h from standstill in just 6.41 seconds, which is pretty much on par with its segment rivals. Mated to a four-speed gearbox, the engine feels refined at city speeds and there are no vibrations reaching the footpegs or the handlebars.
This is certainly a good point on the bike and mighty helpful to those who need a basic commuter machine every day of the year. The transmission that follows an all-up shift pattern common to most commuter segment motorcycles is smooth as silk. A light clutch means stress free travel even in traffic clogged conditions in town. A flat torque curve means there is enough low and mid-range grunt thanks to which the bike easily picks up from speeds as low as 15km/h in the fourth gear without any knocking whatsoever, so you can cruise in the top cog without bothering too much with the gear lever.
The Phoenix impressed in the in-gear acceleration tests, completing the 30km/h to 70km/h run in just 6.37 seconds slotted in fourth gear. But the downside, is that being short geared, its top speed is restricted to just 92.1km/h, which it struggles to reach. Overall the bike fares well in its intended in-town commuting task, being comfortable enough and just about coming close on the fun-to-ride element that is critical in this breed of motorcycle. However, when you really need to shake things up, the overall gearing is also the one which contributes to go against the one holy grail of the commuter class – the fuel efficiency.
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