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
RIDE AND HANDLING
Swing a leg astride the Phoenix and the comfort aspect is immediately evident. The soft seat is easy on the backside even over long hauls. The flat saddle is well crafted and upholstered and this makes it comfortable even for a pillion with chunky, easy to hold grab rails. Ride quality is typical TVS forte and the Phoenix is no exception in delivering this. Offering a plush ride without compromising on the handling, the Phoenix walks the thin line remarkably well. And a lot of this supple feel is courtesy the well-damped telescopic forks up front and the 5-step adjustable twin spring set-up at the rear. The latter configuration, first seen on the Bajaj Platina, consists of two springs of varying ratings placed one over the other for progressive damping.
In simple terms, the slightly stiffer spring at the bottom absorbs all the undulations of the road while the softer one above it ensures that most if not all of the inclement shocks are transmitted to any part of the rider’s anatomy.The handling of the Phoenix is up there among the best, thanks to a good overall layout with a short wheelbase and a quick turning ability which is also a TVS hallmark. Right from the days of the Samurai and Shogun duo, all TVS motorcycles have that quick to turn on a dime ability and it is no different with the Phoenix.
Overall the riding geometry is fairly pleasing for most commuters and with the thoughtful ergonomic features like the well shaped tank to aid control and grip, the tall and wide handlebars and the forward-placed footpegs, the upright stance helps the bike to be both nimble and easy to control in tight city riding conditions. The enthusiastic sort can corner in a sporting manner to a certain degree on the bike given the fact that the performance is well within the overall capability of its chassis and suspension. However, there is a limit to how far one can stick it out but for regular commutes in an easy paced manner the Phoenix works well.
However, the front end does go light with a pillion astride and as far as sporting pretensions go, it is best to do the spirited stuff solo on this machine. Brakes are impressive, especially the one we tried with the front disc and rear drum set-up. Braking performance was respectable, not just in hauling down from 60km/h to rest in 17.63 metres but also for the feel under braking. However, we wish the tyres were up to scratch, because the ability of the bike to deliver feedback and even more feel from its front end could result in a more confidence inspiring ride. Also as the 125cc class has been evolving constantly, we definitely would have liked TVS to be just as progressive as the others and fit tubeless tyres on the Phoenix. The call to rise has to be on all fronts!
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