2021 TVS Raider track test review: Commuter for the young at heart
TVS Motor Company aims to revolutionise the 125 cc commuter space with its latest offering - Raider that claims to offer several segment-first features, alongside a completely sporty and energetic design. The homegrown automaker aims to lure in a younger set of audience with the Raider that is an all-new product built from the ground up and takes aim at already established offerings such as the Bajaj Pulsar 125 and the Honda CB Shine SP.
Is the new TVS Raider worth checking out? Or is it just another product with all show but no go? Read more to find out.
The TVS Raider comes out as a whole new offering. It doesn't share any of its body components or mechanicals with the existing TVS products, making it a fairly new model from the ground up.
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On the outside, the Raider gets fairly sporty exteriors which are surely on an aggressive side. At the front sits an LED headlamp with unique-looking LED DRLs placed inside the assembly. While the headlamp is LED, indicators are traditional halogen units. The fuel tank sports a fairly muscular stance with a black stripe running in the middle, contributing to its sporty appearance. Furthermore, there are split seats and LED tail lamps at the back to woo its target audience.
(Also See: In Pics: 2021 TVS Raider track test review: Sporty commuter on a budget)
One of the key highlights of the bike includes its reverse digital display which is new for its segment. It is capable of displaying all the necessary information in a clear and readable format. Apart from the regular informatics such as speed, rpm meter, time, fuel level, etc. the screen also shows riding modes information and gear position indicator.
The new engine:
The new Raider comes based on a fresh platform and sources power from a 124 cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine. This brand new powertrain delivers 11.32 PS and around 11.2 Nm of torque. The transmission includes a 5-speed unit. TVS says that it has laid special stress on the internal cooling of the engine to keep the efficiency and output high. With a claimed mileage figure of around 60-70 kmpl, the engine is already up there to meet the expectations of its target audience. The engine manages to stay smooth even under hard acceleration tests and the transmission is also slick to complement the powertrain. It stays relatively vibration-free even when revved hard, and there's enough low-end torque to keep the rider engaged at city speeds.
The dash manages to show triple-digit speeds when the bike is pushed hard, but that's not what the Raider is all about. It has friendly, yet sporty power delivery that combined with its nimble handling makes it quite an engaging offering for the Indian roads.
To make things even more interesting, it gets two riding modes - Eco and Power, which can be selected using the switch placed on the right side of the bar, but sadly, there is no engine kill switch which is quite an important feature irrespective of the segment. But to compensate for that, TVS has given it an electric start and also an optional USB that is placed very conveniently near the fuel tank lid. Also, what's to be noted here is that in the future TVS is going to introduce a SMART XONNECT variant of the bike with TFT cluster, Bluetooth Connectivity & Voice Assist feature. But that's for another day, the current model doesn't get all these features.
How about the comfort?
TVS has designed the Raider to fit riders of all heights and at just 780 mm of seat height, it surely feels low enough to keep your feet down with confidence. Also, the riding geometry has been kept on the sportier side thanks to the slightly rear-set footpegs and forward-placed handlebar.
The light and agile nature of the Raider makes it a fun bike to ride. Also, its adjustable rear monoshock can be tuned to the rider's preference which is new to the segment. While the soft tuning has been made for everyday Indian roads, a stiffer setup gives the bike a different ability to feel faster around the corner and not hop on undulated patches.
Even though the Raider gets a split seat setup, there is clearly no compromise on the comfort side thanks to the natural, yet sporty riding position it offers. But the detailed view on the city, highway comfort remains reserved for obvious reasons.
The last words:
The TVS Raider is a very uniquely positioned product that appears to be a sportier offering but not at the cost of burning a hole in your pocket. Aimed at other already established names in the 125 cc category like Honda CB Shine SP or the Bajaj Pulsar 125, the Raider brings a fairly unique proposition to the table thanks to its feature-rich and energetic appearance.