TVS Star City Plus BS6 Road Test Review: Not As Much A Star

While the Star City ticks all the boxes for a quintessential commuter bike, there are still some areas that need to be improved

Commuter motorcycles have been the breadwinners for the majority of Indian two-wheeler brands. For TVS, its star is the aptly named Star City Plus, which has been delivering well consistently, both in the Indian and, more importantly, international markets.  In its BS6 avatar, the venerable motorcycle comes with a few tricks up its sleeve. We find out whether these changes have made it a more wholesome mile-munching mule than before. 

Makes you go: “Baap mileage”

We tested the Star City in the city, maintaining around 20-30kmph to ensure the conditions mimic real-world traffic as much as possible, and it returned a whopping 83.09kmpl! To ensure you ride as efficiently as possible, the motorcycle also comes with an ‘Eco’ and a ‘Power’ light, which works simply by considering how much gas you are feeding to the motor. 

Now, this can be a bit tricky. The test bike had a particularly snappy throttle which wanted to jump at every small input, making it a bit of a nuisance in stop-go riding scenarios. When there’s no traffic, or it is free flowing, finding the sweet spot of 35-40kmph and making those quick overtakes was easy. Plus, shifting from the third to fourth gear was also a tad problematic, as the gear didn’t slot in properly in the first attempt. This can be annoying especially when you’re trying to accelerate and then move on to the next gear. 

Out on the highway, the Star City Plus returned 66.34kmpl, which is equally impressive considering we tried to maintain around 70kmph in fourth gear. So if you're careful and patient enough, you can easily cover over 650km on a tank full. That’s pretty much fill-it-shut-it-forget-it territory. But you will not like to venture on the highway too often. Why? Check the next point.

Frugal yes, but refinement? Umm…

The Star City Plus feels properly refined….but only as long as you stay under 40kmph. As you cross 45kmph, the vibes start to creep in, only with increasing intensity as the needle climbs. By the time you’ve reached around 60kmph, you could feel the buzz on the handlebars, footpegs, and the tank. This is really disappointing for such a small capacity motor. Even more so, considering the BS6 Radeon that we tested felt a lot more refined despite having literally the same powertrain. Even though the motorcycle has enough grunt to touch around 75kmph regularly, the lack of refinement really puts a damper on things. 

An agile (Star) City slicker

The Star City Plus’ front fork and twin rear shock absorber are tuned to be plush, soaking up bad roads with aplomb. It can get a little extra bouncy, especially over sharp bumps or the large ones. That’s because the shocks have a slightly quick rebound. The ride stays more composed with two riders or with luggage, though. 

At 116kg, the kerb weight is quite manageable both while maneuvering the bike in parking lots or while snaking through the traffic. The steering is light, making it easy to switch directions. The inclusion of a 240mm petal front disc is a welcome addition, and its bite is fierce too. However, there’s no progression and feel. Hence, under the event of panic braking, the Star City Plus can feel a bit nervous. You have to use both brakes gently and equally to keep it from feeling like a bag of nerves.

Odd ergos

As soon as you swing your leg on the saddle, you feel like you’re sitting ‘On’ the bike. The handlebar is low, and so are the rear view mirrors. You’ll have to slightly bend your neck down to check out the speedometer, and this riding stance may get even more uncomfortable for taller people. A higher-set handlebar could’ve made a big difference to the ergonomics. 

Star-studded styling

TVS has ensured the Star City Plus looks properly premium, and it can easily pass off as a 125cc commuter motorcycle. The sharp bikini fairing nicely complements the segment-first LED headlight. The side panels look beefy, and the overall fit and finish is quite good as the bike feels solidly built. TVS has equipped the bike with a semi-digital instrument cluster, but the digital inset doesn’t show anything other than the fuel level and odometer reading, which is a bit of a shame. The Hero Passion Pro 110 has a bit more data on display. 

Summing up

The TVS Star City Plus looks fancy, and is an exceptionally fuel-efficient motorcycle. At Rs 72,955 for the disc variant, it is reasonably priced too. However, there are some areas where it feels a tad crude, putting a dent on the overall riding experience. If you’re looking for a frugal, reliable commuter from TVS, you’re better off with the Radeon as it achieves everything that the Star City Plus does, and even more, for around the same price. And might we add, it looks cooler as well. 

TVS Star City Plus
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