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TVS Radeon road-test review: TVS Motor Company launched the Radeon in the Indian market back in August 2018, and it has been selling reasonably well. A 109.7cc engine, 8.2bhp and 8.7Nm might not sound very enchanting but it is the volume driving end of the segment. How does it feel when pushed hard? Let's find out.
The TVS Radeon sells in the highly competitive 110cc motorcycle segment and it is in the very same segment that TVS Motors alone sells three other motorcycles - Sport, Star City Plus and Victor.
Design & Styling
The words ‘beautified simplicity' should perfectly describe the design characteristics of the TVS Radeon. The TVS Radeon is directly targeted at the Hero Splendor and it does look like the designers took some inspiration from the competition and then improved those design details as much as they could, before putting them on the Radeon.
Up front is a simple headlamp unit with integrated LED daytime running lights, flanked by clear-lens turn signal indicators. The mirrors are housed in premium-looking dual-tone units. When viewed from the side, there are a few premium details like the black-coloured fibre tank pads, the contoured brown-coloured seat with contrast stitching.
TVS has surely paid great attention to the little details like the attractive graphics on the tank and side panels. The engine crankcases are painted in a champagne gold shade with the TVS badge embossed in red.
The TVS Radeon rides on good-looking matte-black alloy wheels shod with TVS Tyres' Duragrip series. At the rear is a tail-lamp that is dangerously similar to that of its direct rival flanked by clear-lens turn signal indicators. Just above the tail-lamp is a rack for mounting luggage, again like its competitor, but this one feels premium with the addition of the black-coloured fibre plate.
The TVS Radeon has also got just the right dosage of chrome cycle parts, just right enough to give an upmarket feel to the average buyer in the commuter segment. There is a chrome bezel around the headlamp unit and the entire exhaust system is fashioned in chrome.
The overall design is as simple as can be, with a touch of premiumness and this is what sets it apart from the competition.
Engine & Performance
TVS has stuck to the bare basics in terms of the engine powering the Radeon. It is an air-cooled, 109.7cc single cylinder engine and yes, it is the same unit that powers the TVS Star City Plus as well. It produces a maximum power output of 8.3bhp at 7,000RPM and a peak torque output of 8.7Nm at 5,000RPM.
When it comes to the commuter segment, it is not about the power output but about the torque offered by the engine and the fuel efficiency it delivers. I must say, the TVS Radeon does not disappoint on that front. TVS Motors claims a fuel efficiency figure of 69.3km/l and the Radeon when ridden extremely cautiously and efficiently delivers around 70km/l.
We did more 300 kilometres of in-city riding and most of it was during peak traffic hours, so it did see a lot of riding with the throttle whacked open. Surprisingly, it still returned 58-60km/l and that is just perfect. This, combined with a 10-litre fuel tank gives the TVS Radeon a real-world riding range of over 650 kilometres with just one tankful of petrol.
At 8.7Nm, the torque output figure isn't too great, but it is perfectly adequate for usage in this segment. An extremely short first gear further betters the load-hauling capabilities customers in this segment would be looking for.
The short first gear however, widens the gap to the second gear, and this takes some getting used to. The rider has to rev it in first gear higher than one usually would, before shifting into second.
TVS Radeon owners would never try to do acceleration tests or top speed tests, but in case you're curious, the motorcycle accelerates from 0-60km/h in under eight seconds and will go on to touch a top speed of 90km/h. One ride on the motorcycle, and it is pretty obvious that the TVS Radeon is also the best-sounding motorcycle in the segment.
Ride & handling
For a week, my 40 kilometre commute duties were handled by the TVS Radeon. It was almost always at full throttle in peak traffic hours and not once did the TVS Radeon hesitate or slow down.
The TVS Radeon rides on conventional telescopic suspension up front and twin adjustable hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear, both from Gabriel. The motorcycle takes potholes, bumps, ditches and patchy roads all in its stride. The ride is soft and supple and this comfort is further enhanced by the cushioning provided by the seat.
The TVS Radeon weighs just 112 kilograms and this plays a major role in how the bike handles. Hence, hitting a patchy road or a pothole at considerable speed does unsettle the motorcycle. The less weight however, is a bonus when it comes to handling traffic.
Riding through traffic and filtering through the littlest gaps one can find is actually fun when on the TVS Radeon. The suspension as mentioned earlier is soft and as a result, the front end begins to feel loose while ferrying a passenger around.
It rides on 2.75x18 and 3.00x18 size tyres on the front and rear-end respectively. The tyres are from TVS Tyres and offer modest levels of grip irrespective of the road surface.
The TVS Radeon isn't exactly a feature-loaded motorcycle. It is a bare-bones commuter with a few premium touches. It features analogue instrumentation with a speedometer and a fuel gauge. It also indicates the rider if the turn signals are on, the gearbox is in neutral or the headlamp high-beam is turned on.
The TVS Radeon also debuts TVS Motors' SBT (Synchronised Braking Technology). This is TVS' terminology for combi-brake systems, and makes the Radeon a lot safer in emergency braking situations. The TVS Radeon is offered in four interesting colours: Pearl White, Metal Black, Golden Beige and Royal Purple
The Radeon is TVS Motors' attempt to bring a premium feel into a segment in which the buyers are usually used to getting just the bare basics and nothing more. The fit and finish is great, the design is pleasing to the eye, the seat is very comfortable and it is the best-sounding motorcycle in its segment. At an ex-showroom price of just Rs 48,400 the TVS Radeon is a steal.
Stephen Neil Thinks!
What the TVS Radeon did for me was, bring efficiency in my commute and reduce my fuel expenses by a huge margin. It feels well-built and I know it will keep going strong for a long time. This is what sets it apart from its competition and the Radeon will strengthen TVS Motors' reach in this segment.