We were very impressed by the brand-new TVS Jupiter 125 after riding it at its launch a couple of months ago, on TVS Motors' test track in Hosur. The brand's second 125cc offering is built from the ground up and gets a new two-valve engine that isn't shared with its sporty sibling, the NTorq 125. It also gets reworked styling, new features and a whole load of practical bits and bobs. So does it have enough to take on the segment rivals, the Honda Activa 125, Suzuki Access 125 and Yamaha Fascino 125? We've puttered around with the Jupiter 125 for a while and here's how it performed in the real world.
The TVS Jupiter 110 has always been a good looking scooter with its simple and no-nonsense styling. And TVS has played it safe and given the Jupiter 125 the same design mantra. It is a handsome looking scooter, and it does look like a class above its 110cc sibling. That is courtesy of premium bits like chrome accents on its front apron, around the headlight, speedometer console, and on the side panels. The LED lighting at the front and back along with those sharp looking 12-inch diamond cut alloys make the Jupiter a head turner. Our test unit was sporting the 'Dawn Orange' colour and this colour especially surely is an attention grabber. The other colours available — Indiblue and Titanium Grey look great as well. The LED headlight has a long as well as a wide spread throw and it does a very good job of lighting your path ahead. To aid better visibility at night, TVS has also added a reflective strip on the rear grab rail.
The Jupiter 125 gets a semi-digital speedometer that offers all necessary information, including fuel consumption, distance to empty and real time fuel consumption figures, as well as trip meters. But Bluetooth connectivity is something which isn't offered on the Jupiter 125 yet, and that is something which TVS says that is market bound soon. What's completely new on the Jupiter 125 is the external fuel filler cap that is now shifted to the front, on the left side of the inside of the apron. This makes it even more convenient as you now don't have to turn around to close the fuel cap after you're done fuelling up. The fuel tank too has been moved under the floorboard, and it's opened up a lot of space under the seat. Practicality is where the Jupiter 125's real forte is at. With 33 litres of underseat storage space, the Jupiter 125 has the best-in-class storage space. TVS claims that it can swallow two full-size helmets, but that seems to be an exaggeration as the space is sufficient only for smaller full-size or half-face helmets.
Moreover the Jupiter 125 also gets a two-litre storage space at the front, on the right side, for you to store your mobile phone or a water bottle. And just above it there's also a USB port for your charging needs. TVS has also given the Jupiter 125 a multi-functional key port, with which you can access the fuel filler or the under-seat storage compartment.
The TVS Jupiter is powered by a specially developed 124.8cc, single-cylinder, two-valve engine, which TVS says is totally different from the NTorq 125's power plant which gets a three-valve head. This unit produces 8.04bhp at 6500rpm and 10.5 Nm torque at 4500rpm, a gain of 0.3bhp and 1.7Nm more than the Jupiter 110. From a standstill, the Jupiter accelerates smoothly. Its 125cc mill has a good low end and mid range and it accelerates with a constant pace up to about 75kmph. After that, the acceleration decreases and it takes a while for the Jupiter 125 to reach 90kmph. We achieved a speedo indicated top speed of 92kmph on the Jupiter 125. All in all it is a very refined engine, with no vibes on the floorboard whatsoever. 20-60kmph is where this engine shines at and the Jupiter 125 makes quick overtakings at those speeds without breaking a sweat.
TVS has equipped the Jupiter 125 with its Intelli-go start-stop system that can be switched off with a switch on the handlebar. It's operation is a bit unorthodox though, you have to apply the brake, then twist the throttle and let go of it completely to fire up the engine back. It takes a little getting used to, but this system works every time. We achieved a combined fuel economy of 50kmpl, with a lot of spirited riding. Ride more sensibly, and we reckon that it will easily deliver over 55kmpl.
We were smitten by how the TVS Jupiter 125 handled at the TVS test track and in the real world it retains that character too. With a kerb weight of 108kg it is one of the heavier scooters in its class, but it feels extremely nimble and is very flickabe. That can be owed to the new chassis and its fuel tank which is housed under the floorboard. That lowers the centre of gravity, which gives it better handling, and not to forget that class leading storage space.
Out on the test track, my colleague Karan Ramgopal felt that the Jupiter 125 handled very well and his only complaint was that the rear was a little too soft. But that issue was soon addressed by tweaking the 3-step adjustable gas shock. In the real world though, the stock setup is perfect for city riding. The Jupiter 125 uses a 30mm telescopic fork set up at the front and a gas-charged monoshock at the rear which give it a superb ride quality. The front is a little stiff, still better than rivals like the Fascino 125, but it gives the Jupiter 125 good compliance at high speeds, even on undulations. It soaks up bad patches and potholes nicely too.
Moving on to the braking setup, our test unit was the one equipped with a disc brake at the front and a drum brake at the rear. I felt that the front brake had good feedback, but a little more bite would've made it absolutely spot on. Overall, the braking is confidence inspiring. The Jupiter 125 is also available with drum brakes at both ends.
The Jupiter 125 is longer, wider and taller than the 110cc Jupiter and that translates to more room for its occupants. The rider gets an extra 25mm space and the pillion gets a full 40mm more room. That combined with the longest in class seat, make the Jupiter a lot roomier and also comfortable.
Here's the answer to the "Is the Jupiter 125 THE commuter scooter to have?" question. Yes, if you don't care about connected tech that is. It makes a very good point for itself with its high practicality and comfort and is the perfect family scooter. It looks contemporary and delivers respectable fuel efficiency. It is feature-packed with things like a front fuel filler, a 2-litre glove box with a USB charger, a start-stop system and that massive boot. Although it's not the sportiest scoot around, it feels spritely enough with its handling and performance.
With an ex-showroom price of Rs 81,300 for the top-spec front disc brake variant that we tested, the Jupiter 125 offers great value for all the features it is loaded with and makes a very strong case for itself. Yes it isn't perfect and Bluetooth connectivity would've been the icing on the cake, but TVS has told us that it will launch a variant of the Jupiter 125 with its SmartXonnect connected tech. If you want a comfortable everyday runabout, the Jupiter 125 should be high up on your consideration list.