Ownership Review of my TVS Jupiter : Dawn of a new beginning.
Date acquired : 9th September, 2015 (Ask me this when I’m asleep, who forgets the date they got their first vehicle!)
Kilometers clocked : 4125 kms.
Major issues : None as of now. *touchwood*
Average : 48 kms per litre.
Name given : Flash. Probably because of the fact that at that time, I was watching Flash the TV show, and I was loving every bit of it. Apart from that, Jupiter isn’t a slouch.
1. The decision : Dad had a good old Bajaj chetak which had run its course. We needed a practical update. A two wheeler which could fulfil the practical needs and provide some fun when the inner enthusiast demands. About two months before the purchase date, uncle got himself a TVS Jupiter. Though not often, but I rode that a couple of times. Large boot space, external fuel filling, large wheels and huge floorboard screamed practicality. While the large wheels, telescopic front forks and a peppy motor guaranteed the fun.
Shortlisted TVS Wego, Suzuki Swish and Jupiter of course. TVS Wego was ruled out because of the unavailability of the disc brake variant. Swish, because of the comparatively low fuel economy. Jupiter was finalized then.
I know I know, many of you might be thinking why not the proven Honda Activa. Well, the reasons were many. It was more common on the roads than the item numbers in bollywood movies these days. The spring loaded hydraulic suspension upfront robbed it of the comfort. Smaller wheels were taking a toll on its handling ability and the extra features offered as compared to Jupiter were none.
Got the scoot in the most attractive color available at that time, which was titanium grey.
2. Design and looks : First things first, it isn’t something that would turn heads or make you look twice when you park it. It’s decent, sober and masculine. The matte grey color do gives it some glamor. Large front cowl, turn indicators integrated in the front fairing, LED tail lamps, 3D nomenclature on the side fairing, black inserts on the side fairing are the main talking points on the design front. And oh, those large wheels with black painted alloys look spectacular. There are some ugly panel gaps though, which doesn’t come as a surprise given that it’s still a budget scoot.
It’s something which would suit uncles perfectly, but won’t disappoint the young lads too. The stallion brown, matte grey and matte blue are some cool color schemes Jupiter comes with.
3. Engine and performance : It comes with segment standard 109 cc, 4 stroke, air cooled engine which pumps out around 7.8 bhp at 7500 rpm and 8.83 nm of torque at 5500 rpm. The performance figures aren’t something to write home about. But it’s the way the power is delivered. You will feel like riding a normal gearless scooter upto 40 km/h. In fact the acceleration from standstill isn’t spontaneous, you will feel like riding a slow scooter. It isn’t in the league of Activa. But the surge above 40 km/h is quite good, not neck snapping though which is too far a thing for a gearless scooter. The surge lasts till 65 km/h or so. But even after that, it doesn’t run out of breath. It pulls cleanly till 85 km/h which is the best I’ve seen on the speedometer. And the remarkable thing is, the engine doesn’t stress out even on the upper spectrum of the speedometer. It can comfortably cruise at around 65 km/h all day long, if you’re thinking of taking it on highways for a weekend getaway. Maneuvering in the city traffic is effortless, as you just need a twist of the throttle to zoom past the traffic. It cuts through the traffic easily, thanks to the peppy motor and able handling.
4. Ride and handling : I was serious about the able handler thing. I needed something which could do more than just transport me from one place to another. The inner enthusiast was craving for a scooter which could handle well. This is where the Jupiter doesn’t disappoint at all. It carves out corners with ease, maintains its line in the mid corner, probably because of the large wheels and telescopic front suspension. It isn’t something which would encourage you to touch your knees down while cornering, but honestly, I did scrape the main stand twice while cornering on ghats. No no, it isn’t a flaw, it’s a compliment about how good the handling is. It cuts through the traffic with ease, which makes it a good scooter to potter in the city. The TVS tyres hold well under hard braking. Though the brakes could’ve been more sharp. I recommend all the readers to apply both the brakes all the time. It will prevent the rear wheel from sliding.
About the ride, plush is the word. The telescopic front fork and gas charged rear suspension does their job perfectly to soak the bumps which our mighty indian roads throw at it. It just flies over potholes. The comfy seat does the job well to prevent the back of the rider from the impact of the bumps.
Special mention to the exhaust note. Though it’s noisy in the speeds south of 40 km/h, but after that, whack the throttle open and it’ll produce a throaty sound. Which comes as a surprise. In terms of looks, the exhaust looks good too.
5. Switchgear and other features : Switchgear is pretty well laid out, and great in build quality. It oozes out premiumness. The self start and the horn switches are colored in red and yellow respectively, just like the Wego.
It does come with pilot lamps which look cool and a pass switch integrated with the high beam and low beam switch. It comes handy while overtaking and *feminist alert* to throw the light on gorgeous ladies while maneuvering in the market. Though the headlight is segment standard (35/35w), it could’ve been better. If you’re a night owl, I suggest you to bump up the watts.
Other features include large underseat storage (17 litres), external fuel fill, mobile charger in the underseat storage and a power and economy mode indicator. It’s based upon the throttle input, be gentle with the throttle and the green light (economy mode) will stay on, whack the throttle hard and orange light will come on indicating power mode. Though it’s advised to remain in the economy mode if you want to extract better mileage. But who doesn’t want some fun with the wrist? *winks*
6. Average : Now comes the most important part according to a typical indian. “Kitna deti hai” (Deti hai to de, warna kat le, in the case of Chetan Bhagat.) My daily route to the college comprises of 60 % highway roads and the rest 40 % city roads with medium and heavy traffic. Though the company claims an optimistic figure of 62 km/ per litre but it translates to 48 km / per litre in real life conditions. That isn’t bad at all.
7. Niggles : So far, I haven’t faced any major issue. Though there was this annoying noise from front suspension whenever it came through a speedbreaker.
Turned out it was just the brake wire rubbing against the metal ring which held it in its place. Sorted it out with a jugaad.
8. Conclusion : So far, so good. The hunt for a practical scooter which doesn’t compromise on the fun factor ended with the Jupiter. And the 6 months spent with Flash have been very good. It introduced me to the thrill of riding a two wheeler, which I wanted to experience from years. It has delivered on every front I’ve expected it to. The only requirement which it hasn’t fulfilled it yet, is calming down my wanderlust. Looking forward for a ride to Jaipur. I hope it turns out well, and Flash delivers on that front too. From a simple city commuter to a mile muncher, I want Flash to transform itself in that way.
Photography : Harshad Sadhnani. Thank you brother.