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TVS Radeon BS6 Commuter Of The Year Edition: Road Test Review

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  • Mar 3, 2021
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Just a nip and tuck job or a definite improvement over the BS4 model?

 TVS Radeon Commuter of the Year Edition BS6: Road Test Review

TVS first launched the Radeon back in 2019 to compete with Hero’s legendary Splendor in the 110cc commuter space. Back then I thought to myself, there was no way TVS could pull this off. And it still hasn’t really managed to make a dent in the Splendor’s invincible sales. But almost everyone who’s ridden it has spoken highly about the bike. One colleague even went about getting one for himself.  

I, on the other hand, not being able to wrap my head around the fact that the bike could be this good even poked fun at it. But then I got to ride the Radeon, and every negative perception I had about it was chucked out of the window. It was extremely light, had a butter smooth engine, and build quality that was better than a lot of bikes in the 200-250cc segment. I was speechless! 

With strict BS6 emission norms kicking in, TVS then updated the bike with fuel-injection. And that’s about it. So that shouldn’t really make much of a difference now, should it?

Wrong Again!

 

TVS Radeon BS6

TVS Radeon BS4

Power

109.7cc, fuel-injected air-cooled, single-cylinder

109.7cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder

Torque

8.2PS @ 7350 rpm

 

Gearbox

8.7 Nm @ 4500 rpm

 

Acceleration

   

0-40kmph

3.58 seconds

NA

0-80kmph

7.53 seconds

7.88 seconds

30-70kmph in 3rd gear

8.79 seconds

10.92 seconds

40-80kmph in 4th gear

12.45 seconds

14.51 seconds

TVS Radeon Commuter of the Year Edition BS6: Road Test Review

The BS6 Radeon is powered by the same 109cc engine that makes 8.19PS and 8.7Nm, however, it's now fuel-injected. This has improved the fueling, making it more precise and the throttle response more crisp. The engine now feels more responsive and believe it or not, even smoother than its predecessor. There's little to no vibes until the engine starts hitting its limiter or its top speed. I’d say the sheer refinement of the engine is the key takeaway from the BS6 Radeon. 

TVS Radeon Commuter of the Year Edition BS6: Road Test Review

Thanks to the fueling, the motor feels a bit livelier at lower revs which has improved its acceleration to some extent. 0-60kmph comes in at 7.53 seconds -- 0.35 seconds quicker than the BS4 model. All this even though it makes slightly less power compared to the BS4 version. Post 70kmph though, the power does taper off noticeably just like the older model. Roll on accelerations have seen a noticeable improvement as well, shaving almost 2 seconds off the previous bikes test figures. This is especially useful during quick overtakes in city traffic.

 

TVS Radeon BS6

TVS Radeon BS4

City FE

73.68kmpl

66.29kmpl

Highway FE

68.6kmpl

63.97kmpl

Fuel tank capacity

10-litres

10-litres

Expected range

Approx 711km

Approx 650km

TVS Radeon Commuter of the Year Edition BS6: Road Test Review

Good bottom end grunt means the BS6 Radeon can comfortably trundle along at speeds as low as 30kmph in fourth all day long. The result is improved fuel efficiency figures. It manages to better the BS4 model both in the city and highway by around 7kmpl and 4.5kmpl respectively. So in theory, you could expect over 700km on a full tank of fuel, which is good enough to get you from Pune to the borders of Udupi. 

The all-down shifter is precise as well, delivering quick and positive shifts throughout. At no point did I find the gearbox to be clunky or have false neutrals.

 

A Real Workhorse?

TVS Radeon Commuter of the Year Edition BS6: Road Test Review

The butter smooth engine goes hand in hand with the Radeon’s hardware. The suspension is tuned to deliver a magic carpet-like ride by ironing out imperfections on the roads with absolute ease. It feels sure footed even over tall speed breakers or crater-sized potholes. A weight of just 116 kg (drum variant) also makes the bike feel light and flickable in city traffic. 

TVS Radeon Commuter of the Year Edition BS6: Road Test Review

What you may or may not like is the seat. And that’s mainly down to its soft cushioning. It’s perfectly acceptable in city limits when you’re travelling about 10-15km one way. But anything over 25km at a stretch and it starts to get really uncomfortable, with your back taking most of the beating.

 

A Bit Rudimentary

Specifications

TVS Radeon BS6

Frame

Single cradle frame

Wheelbase

1265mm

Front suspension

Telescopic

Rear suspension

Twin 5-step adjustable shock absorbers

Front brakes

130mm drum

Rear brakes

11mm drum

Front wheel

2.75 x 18

Rear wheel

3.00 x 18

TVS Radeon Commuter of the Year Edition BS6: Road Test Review

Another chink in the Radeon’s armour are the TVS Dura Grip tyres. The skinny profile does help extract excellent fuel-efficiency but it gets a bit unnerving while travelling at about 70kmph out on the highway. There’s not enough feedback from the tyres either, making it feel a bit vague.

Braking

TVS Radeon BS6

TVS Radeon BS4

80-0kmph

48.60m

47.10m

60-0kmph

25.99m

23.74m

TVS Radeon Commuter of the Year Edition BS6: Road Test Review

And then there are the brakes. Nothing alarming, but these drum units just feel outdated if you’re used to having a disc up front. It lacks feel and bite but has decent progression. If you were in the market for a Radeon, I'd suggest opting for the disc variant which will set you back by just Rs 3,000 more. 

 

Charming Looks

TVS Radeon Commuter of the Year Edition BS6: Road Test Review

The test bike we were given was the Commuter of the Year Edition which gets a few extra bits and pieces compared to the standard model. For starters, it comes in a chrome purple finish which isn’t the best colour choice in my opinion. Other noticeable differences include metal finished levers, round chrome mirrors, a chrome carburettor cover, redesigned tank pads and a cross-stitched maroon seat. All of which add to the aesthetics of the bike. 

I for one didn’t find much of a difference in terms of ergonomics. Both the BS4 and BS6 bike felt equally comfortable for city use. Everything else is pretty much the same. We’ve already spoken about it in detail which can be read about here.   

 

An Even More Potent Machine?

TVS Radeon BS6

Price

Hero Splendor Plus BS6

Price

Base Edition: Self with Alloy Wheel

Rs 59,962

Kick Start Drum

Rs 61,785

Commuter Bike of the Year: Self Drum

Rs 64,287

Self Start Drum

Rs 64,085

Commuter Bike of the Year: Self Disc

Rs 67,287

Self Start Drum i3S

Rs 65,295

TVS Radeon Commuter of the Year Edition BS6: Road Test Review

The updates, although small, have made the Radeon an even more compelling proposition. It’s built to last, has a gem of an engine that you’d absolutely love, comfortable ergos for the most part and a feature list that’s hard to argue with. All of this for a price of Rs 64,287 (ex-showroom Delhi) which is about Rs 1,000 cheaper than the Hero Splendor Plus it competes with. To add to this, TVS even gives you the option of a front disc brake, something the Splendor completely misses out on. 

So as an overall value for money proposition, the BS6 Radeon is a sure winner and definitely worth considering in the 110cc commuter space.

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