The last time I rode the Jupiter 125, it was at TVS’s test track in Hosur. After a day of riding it in ways no one would dream of replicating on public roads, we journos had enjoyed it a lot and had high hopes for how the scooter would perform in real-world conditions. And finally, I got the chance to test the scooter in its natural habitat, under the various conditions that a scooter faces on a day-to-day basis.
This could be flagged as boosting, but I never thought a conventional-looking scooter would draw so much attention on the road. Every time I stopped at a signal, fellow motorists, most of them uncles on scooters, were keen to lean in to check out the TVS. It made me feel as if I had something that belonged to them, and that I had no right to have it. Well, if that is the case, I am not annoyed but rather happy that TVS has managed to do a fantastic job here. After all, the Jupiter 125 is aimed at those two-wheeler buyers who want a premium scooter experience after already having owned a 110cc scooter.
TVS hasn’t gone all wild with the Jupiter 125 as it did with the Ntorq 125. Instead, it has played it safe, sticking to the familiar scooter design language, while also managing to incorporate some eye-catching lines. There are enough chrome accents on the scooter’s body to make its presence felt. And keeping the premium customer in mind, the paint quality and overall fit and finish of the body panels doesn’t leave anything to complain about. Although, on our test scooter, the alignment of body panels was a bit off at the seam between the headlamp and instrumentation casing.
Speaking of instrumentation, the Jupiter 125 has an attractive looking semi-digital console that feels upmarket and is easy to read. You get an analogue speedometer on the left and a digital display for other information like the odometer, instant fuel consumption, overall efficiency, a fuel gauge, and some more.
But the main feature that stands out the most is the 33-litre underseat storage. Not only can it swallow two regular-sized full-face helmets, but when the helmets are in use, there is a whole lot of storage space that will make people wonder how TVS managed it. And it all comes from relocating the fuel tank in the floorboard, smartly using that space, and the fuel-filler cap in the front apron. The abundance of space continues in the front apron with a 2-litre open storage compartment below the ignition and USB charging socket.
Now, if you like the features that TVS has included in the Jupiter 125, then you won’t be disappointed when it comes to how it rides. The badge does say 125, but it isn’t the same 125cc power unit from the Ntorq. Using the same bore and stroke paired to a two-valve head, TVS has managed to put together a motor that’s zippy and quick in traffic. It sure isn’t the quickest 125cc scooter out there, but it definitely isn’t the slowest, either. The CVT is tuned for quick acceleration till 60 kph, beyond which the acceleration is relaxed, something that is appreciated by the kind of buyers the scooter is aimed at.
TVS has equipped the Jupiter 125 with a smart start-stop function which, in my opinion, hasn’t been executed as well as the rest of the scooter. Instead of simply twisting the throttle to start up the motor, one needs to depress either brake lever to complete the start-stop circuit. This added step gets quite taxing as you usually end up with a lag when the signal turns green, while traffic has already started moving.
Being a family scooter, TVS has done a fantastic job in setting up the suspension. The telescopic fork at the front and preload-adjustable monoshock at the rear iron out road undulations well, leaving you with a smooth ride experience. Even for the potholes, the 12-inch wheels round them off nicely, preventing any impacts from being transferred to the handlebar. Lastly, the Jupiter 125 employs a CBS system for the brakes that TVS has specially recalibrated for more bite at the front on the application of the rear brake without the fear of locking up. Out of the multiple times and different occasions I braked, it only inspired more confidence in them.
After spending a couple of days with the Jupiter 125, from zipping through traffic to filtering through a crowded marketplace, its nimble and light nature made the Jupiter 125 a calm yet fun scooter. It has features that make other scooter users envious and design elements that make it stand out from the crowd. It might not be the best 125cc out there (which it doesn’t try to be), but it is a scooter that can do a lot of things well, not just one. I think the Suzukis and the Hondas of the 125cc segment have a lot to learn from the TVS when it comes to completing the circle.
TVS Jupiter 125
8.2 bhp@6500 rpm
1.07 kgm@4500 rpm
Type: Underbone tubular
F/R: 220-mm disc / 130-mm drum
F/R: 90/90 R12 / 90/90 R12
Rs 81,300 (ex-showroom, Delhi)