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Road Test: TVS Star Sport 100 - Dec.2010=Five years ago

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Road Test Report :

TVS Star Sport 100:

 

The MOST Value–for–Money bike in India which gives 78 kmpl in city!

FACT: 89.7% of India’s bike users want a commuter machine/bike.

Please note: I am using the word bike users, not bikers.

Bikers are different from commuters. The difference between them is very primary.

The commuter segment does NOT want Bullet, Pulsar, RTR, Karizma and R15.

So what does the commuter want? Who is the commuter? A commuter does not want a bike, but needs a bike. He wants purely a means of transport, which means he needs a cheap, easy, convenient, affordable, independent means of individual transportation, at the cost of bus fare, even less if double seat, which is what commuter machine/bike TVS Star Sport 100 bike is.

The commuter human is a nine-to-five type – almost Android! He is a monthly-salary employee who has to reach office / factory / workplace at a fixed time and leave at a fixed time. He could also be a student who has to attend classes at a fixed place (college / university) at fixed timings. The age of worker / student is not important. In his whole life cycle, the most important thing is timings and punctuality – at work or college==Worker’s work timings, and student’s class timings – both of which are mostly Nine-to-Five! That is 8hours of time, And TiME IS MONEY!  Worker EARNs money by SELLiNG his time at workplace. Student (parents) SPENDs money by BUYiNG faculty (and infrastructure) time at college. The journey to and from workplace or college, is an essential activity which may or may not (mostly not) be enjoyable, like shaving and polishing your shoes. Not necessarily an enjoyable or welcome activity, but is a compulsory activity. They have to get to office / college in time and get back home in time because wife / mother is waiting. They have to achieve this with least effort at least cost, so that they can brag to their wife / mother that their bike is giving 80 mileage, and with the money saved how wife / mother can buy ear-rings and necklace and saree. Journey time is not important. Journey quality is slightly important to the extent that it should be as hassle free as possible. That is why you see FAT ladies driving FAT un-geared scooters. But in FAT un-geared scooters, mileage is a problem. Getting anything above 50 kmpL in city traffic is almost impossible except in Pep+ of TVS. But FAT ladies need FAT scooters. And though Pep+ is FaTaFaT, it is NOT FAT.

 The husband of these FAT ladies is not FAT. He is average or thin. Student is not FAT but his mother driving un-geared scooter is FAT. Both==husband / student have to ECONOMiZE their daily travel==daily commute. So they have to use geared bike. In the last 25 years the general speed of traffic on our city roads has REDUCED to less than HALF of what it was in 1990 because the traffic density has increased four times while the road space is reduced due to ments-En-Kroch=Crotch, that is EnCroachMents, and other problems in the Kroch.

 In such a situation, in order to get maximum mileage, the most operative factor is

LOW-END-TORQUE (LET), that is, HiGH pulling power at LOW engine rpm. And that is what TVS StaR Sport100 is all about. Developing powerful 7.5 Nm of Torque at just 5000 rpm, this bike can easily pull (even double seat) from 25 kph speed in top gear. Therefore you can continue to drive in top (==4th) gear over long distances and for long periods with almost no gear changing needed, which means very less driving effort almost like un-geared (without gear) scooter and yet get excellent mileage of a geared bike.

 TVS Sport100 bike rides on 17-inch diameter tires, 2.75 inch wide front and 3.oo inch wide rear. Wheels are 5-spoke alloys. The 99.7 cc engine has bore X stroke of 51 mm X 48.8 mm (same stroke, but NOT same engine as TVS Jive clutch-less bike, StaR City110, WeGo & Jupiter scooters) and produces 5.5kw=7.4 bhp=7.5 ps of power at a compression ratio of 9.15. The engine is fitted as a stressed member on the single down-tube chassis having a wheelbase of 1250 mm. Fuel tank capacity is 12 liters with a 1.5 liter reserve. Stopping is by 110 mm dia drum brakes front and rear. The engine is all black in keeping with the current trend of FEAR THE BLACK. A low fuel indicator in the dashboard serves as a fuel gauge.

 ROAD BEHAViOUR :

 I have stopped at a traffic signal that just turned red and I have switched off the engine, since the lights will turn green again after 70 seconds (most traffic lights in Pune have time indicators, which are correct), and at any stop of more than 10 seconds, you MUST switch-off your engine, for economic reasons, for pollution reasons and therefore for the sake of your OWN LiFE. As the light turns green again I kick the kick-lever and the engine sputters to life instantly. The pull is so powerful that I change to second gear almost immediately. The pull in second gear is still very strong so I quickly get into third gear and by the time I am 50 feet away from the traffic light, I shift to fourth gear. Traffic is heavy with people jostling for space. But I am in 4th gear and trundling along RELAXED ! Because in the kind of traffic atmosphere that exists in Hyd, Bang, Pune, Delhi, Chennai………..you name it, it is the same in all these cities and more. And if you want to buy the most economical bike with high quality and best Value-For-Money, it is TVS Star Sport 100.

 I move along with the traffic, easy to keep up with any kind of city traffic. Handling is superb.  Steering response is very nimble and effective. Cutting through space between four-wheelers and autorixas is a breeze = as good as any other bigger and / or more expensive bike. Braking is very good. This is a light bike, one of the lightest in this country! So 110 mm dia drum brakes, both front and rear feel adequate. I have been long distance on this bike. I have been from Pune to Goa and back on this bike. It was the most relaxed long ride of my life. That is because I was not in a hurry. Of course in city traffic this bike is as good as the hurry-est of hurry bikes. But if you want to get to Goa from Pune in five hours, this is not the bike to do it on. Sure you can go to Goa, but not in five hours. For that, you can use an Apache 180 RTR or even 160 RTR. Please note that this is NOT Apache RTR 180. Or even 160! This is pure economy. The pickup is as good as the best of the 100 ccs and the mileage is even better. Top speed is in the low eighties and it does the job. This is the ultimate commuter machine. Period!

 FUEL CONSUMPTION:

Fuel consumption test was done on exactly same route [@ 19.5 km] on which all other bikes are tested, by me (weight 55 kg, height 174 cm), using ordinary unleaded green Petrol

 

S.No

Test conditions of TVS StaR CITY

Distance Covered (km)

Fuel Consumed (litres)

Fuel average (kmpL)

1

Speeds up to 55 kmpH. Fourteen gear changings, some to 2nd. Twelve Brakings. Up-slope and down-slope

      4.3

     0.065

   66.2

2

Almost steady 40-45 in top (4th) gear. No braking. No gear changing. Once quickly accelerated to 65 to overtake truck, and back to steady 45.

      2.5

     0.028

    89.3

3

No braking. No gear changing. Almost steady 40. Some up-slope.

      2.9

     0.035

    82.9

4

No gear changing. No braking. Almost steady 40. Much up-slope

      2.6

     0.038

    68.4

5

Down-slope + plain road. Eight gear changings to third. Thirteen brakings. Speeds up to 60.

      7.1

     0.083

    85.5

6

Overall Fuel Average

    19.4

     0.249

    77.91


CONCLUSiON:
The above figures speak for themselves. Low End Torque==LET, is this bike’s USP==Unique Selling Proposition. Every product MUST have USP – as they teach in India’s topmost MBA institute: Sri Balaji Society in Wakad, Pune. LET makes it the most effortless bike to drive (
except un-geared scooters) because you can stay continuously in top gear from 20 kph onwards and even pick-up effortlessly in same top gear without changing any gear. Sure there are other bikes capable of doing this and more, but not at this price. At @ Rs.40K on road Pune on 19 Dec. 2010, with alloy wheels, 110 dia drum brakes, best headlight beam and best LOW-END-TORQUE, this bike gives the best value for money, best value for looks and best commuter in city traffic or relaxed drive on highway. A sporty bike for city use! You have style (celebrity?). You have ease of driving (Low End Torque). Best headlight beam quality (night safety). Great mileage (78 kmpl in city)! All for less than 40K on road Pune in December 2010! That’s value for Money with a capital M. The price may have gone up. You can get the current price on TVS website.

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