TVS Victor Review: The True Blue Commuter?

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TVS initially launched the Victor brand back in 2002, a boxy looking commuter, that promised incredible mileage. Soon, the name 'Victor' became synonymous with 'Mileage' and the motorcycle threatened other established models in the Indian market.

Over the years somehow, TVS decided to discontinue the Victor brand after sales slowed down. Now, in 2016, TVS decided to bring back the Victor brand to life, and what they have come up with is quite spectacular, or is it? Let's take a detailed look.

Design

First impression matters, and the TVS Victor does impress people with its design. It has evolved from being a boxy commuter to a rather well toned one. The lines are sharp and sleek, giving the Victor a sporty look. The large bikini fairing upfront houses the large headlight and towards the side, the side panels are well finished with the black and coloured theme.

The matte black finish for the wheels and other plastics bits, including the stubby exhaust give the new TVS Victor a fresh and smart look.

When compared to the old Victor that came out in 2002, you could clearly make out the change in design. The new TVS Victor has evolved from being a boxy motorcycle to a rather curvacious, well toned two-wheeler.

new tvs victor 2016 vs old front

The design carries on top the rear of the motorcycle as well, and TVS has moved the logo from above the tail light to below the lamp, where the branding just seems a lot better with the new age tail lamp. 

new tvs victor 2016 vs old rear

Engine, Specification & Mileage

TVS have equipped the new Victor with the same engine that powers the Star City Plus, but with a few changes. To start off with, the engine is now a three valve engine, and the 109cc motor produces 9.5bhp and 9.4Nm of torque. The engine comes mated to a 4-speed gearbox, with an all up (N-1-2-3-4) shift pattern. The fuel is fed via through a carburettor system.

It may not sound much on paper, since what really matters is how that power is being delivered by the engine. We tested the motorcycle for around 300km and what we can tell you is that the engine is very smooth and and offers a lot of torque. Peak power is delivered higher up, beyond the 4,000rpm mark, and the most comfortable the engine feels is between 4500rpm and 5500rpm.

In terms of mileage and fuel efficiency, TVS promises that the Victor will deliver 76km/l, but in real world conditions, the Ecothrust 3 valve engine returned a mileage figure of 50km/l, in mixed conditions (city and highway).

If your sole purpose is only to commute in the city, the engine on the TVS Victor is very impressive. A small drawback is that if your commute involves highways, the engine begins to really strain after the 60km/h mark. You would constantly be looking for another gear, which TVS could have equipped the Victor with. The 4-speed gearbox is good for the city, but on highways, a fifth gear would have definitely helped.

The tachometer is equipped with a 'Economy' and 'Power' indicator to ensure the rider gets the best mileage. The power indicator (Red) illuminates post 4,000 rpm and while in fourth gear, the power indicator comes post 5,000 rpm.

Ride & Handling

The ride quality is brilliant when kept under 65km/h. The chassis is very well set up, coupled with the telescopic front forks and the 'Series Spring' rear suspension, the Victor offers a very comfortable ride. That is key for a commuter, and the Victor also soaks up bumps and potholes quite well.

Power, as mentioned earlier comes post 4,000rpm and the first gear on the Victor is very short. The gearbox feels quite clunky, but the clutch feels butter smooth.

One factor TVS could improve is the visibility in the mirror. The mirrors are quiet wide, but the arm could have been a little longer. 70 percent of the visibility in the mirror is that of the rider and pillion, while only 30 percent overlooks what is behind you. This is one key area TVS could improve since the 2016 Victor is ridden mostly in the city. 

The new 2016 TVS Victor uses 2.75/17-inch front wheels and 3.00/17-inch rear tubeless tyres. TVS recommends 25psi for the front and 35psi for the rear.

Braking

Braking is another crucial factor, and the disc brake variant, which comes with a petal disc we tested had sharp braking. The 2016 TVS Victor gives the rider loads of confidence while riding the motorcycle in the city and also on open roads. Another worthy mention is the comfortable seat and the upright riding position, which makes a potent recipe for a good commuter segment motorcycle.

Build & Quality

The overall build quality is very good. The switches are top notch and are placed perfectly, making it easy for the rider to reach. Plastics are fit well and have absolutely no vibrations or rattle at high speeds, like how some motorcycles do.

The foot controls too are positioned very well, which is an important factor. The rider does not have to move his foot around much to reach the brake pedal or shift gears.

The paint too, is well finished, but what caught our attention was the fuel cap, which does not hinge off the tank when opened. One needs to be careful while filling as to not scratch the tank trying to place the fuel cap somewhere on the tank.

Comfort

Now, one may think why would we speak about comfort separately when we can mention it under ride and handling. The reason is that TVS claim that the new 2016 Victor has a broad seat dedicated to give the utmost comfort for the pillion and rider - very true! The Victor's seat, finished in contrasted stitching was indeed very comfortable, and we could say, the most comfortable seat on any motorcycle we have tested or ridden till date.

Electricals

Electricals are spot on. Absolutely no glitches and the electric start never missed a beat in the start-stop conditions in the city. The Victor also has a pass switch, and hazard warning lights (in place of the engine kill switch), which is a rare sight found only in bigger displacement motorcycles.

The headlight is a worthy mention as well since TVS claim it is bright. Even we felt the headlight was bright for a commuter segment motorcycle.

Features & Instrumentation

Apart from the disc brake that has a good bite and suspension that soak up bumps very well, the grab rail is also well proportioned. The grab rail on the 2016 TVS Victor offers adequate space for the rider or the pillion to grab on to, unlike many motorcycles that offer no space to use it.

The instrument cluster is laid out well, making it very easy to read. It does look similar to the Apache's unit. The instrumentation consists of a large white dial tachometer with a digital fuel gauge, and a digital display that reads the speed, odo, and trip.

Warning lights on the TVS Victor's instrument cluster are placed on the top of the console, in a neat row. This helps in not mixing up the warning lights with the mode indication (Economy and Power).

Price & Colours

The 2016 TVS Victor comes in two variants, one with a disc brake and one with drum brakes. The approximate on-road pricing (Delhi) is as follows:

TVS Victor Drum Brake VariantRs. 56,500
TVS Victor Disc Brake VariantRs. 58,500

    The TVS Victor is available in six colours, namely, Blissful Blue, Generous Grey, Beatific Black Silver, Serene Silver, Restful Red, and Balanced Black Red.

    Competitors

    The new Victor will compete with models such as the Hero Splendour, Honda Livo and Dream series, Bajaj Platina, Suzuki Hayate, and the Mahindra Centuro in the Indian market.

    Specifications Overview

    Displacement109.7 cc
    Power9.5bhp @ 7500rpm
    Torque9.4Nm @ 6000rpm
    No. Of Gears4
    Mileage76km/l (claimed); 50km/l (achieved)
    Fuel Capacity8-liters including reserve
    Reserve2-litres
    Weight112kg (Drum brake variant); 113kg (Disc brake variant)
    Brakes(Front) 130mm Drum; 240mm Disc
    (Rear) 110mm Drum
    Tyres(Front) 2.75 x 17-inch
    (Rear) 3.00 x 17-inch
    Suspension(Front) Telescopic Oil Damped Front Suspension
    (Rear) 5 Step Adjustable Hydraulic Suspension
    Wheelbase1260mm
    Height1090mm
    Ground Clearance175mm
    Length1980mm
    Width750mm


    2016 TVS Victor Pros & Cons

    + Excellent build quality
    + Very comfortable commuter
    + Refined and smooth engine
    + Good brakes (Disc brake variant)
    + Mileage
    + Bright headlight
    + Easy to read meter console
    + Nice choice of colours

    - Not an ideal motorcycle for the highway
    - Clunky gearbox
    -
    Rear view mirrors

    Verdict

    We are really impressed with the new TVS Victor. Unlike a few manufacturers who rule out the style quotient in a commuter, TVS has not compromised on looks. The Victor has a great engine, good suspension, is very comfortable, and to sum it all up, a great overall package as a commuter. The disc brake option and colour schemes TVS provides make the Victor feel like a premium offering in the segment.

    So, answering the question, is the TVS Victor a true blue commuter? Yes it is.

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    Read more on: #tvs #review
    Story first published: Monday, April 4, 2016, 14:37 [IST]
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