TVS Raider 125 Review
Although TVS has carved out the Apache brand in the 150cc and 200cc segments, it has been longing to make a mark in the 125cc segment for some time. The 125cc segment might appear to be for commuter bikes, but Bajaj and KTM have been attracting Gen Z by launching bikes with a sporty look in that segment as well. TVS has launched a new bike based on this formula of being a sporty commuter in the 125cc segment.
The new Raider 125 targets the Z generation. TVS wants to offer the new Raider as a balanced mix of both commuting and sportiness. We went to the test track inside the TVS Motor factory in Hosur to test ride this new bike. Here is our full review of the performance, features and style.
The Raider is designed to look like a 150cc bike at first glance. Designed with a sporty look from the front DRL to the rear taillight. All lights are LED. TVS has used a petrol tank similar to the Apache fuel tank. The silver tank shroud and belly pen attached to the tank add more beauty to the design of the bike. The split slip on the back is just for a little sporty flavour, though designed like a commuter to accommodate two people comfortably. Although the Raider looks small to look at, it definitely gives the feeling of a big bike while sitting on it.
The riding position is a bit more flexible than a complete commuter bike. Footpegs are designed to fit that. A premium feature in this new 125cc Raider is the negative LCD display with many features such as a gear indicator, two trip meters, fuel economy, side stand indicator and helmet indicator. In a few months, the top-end model with a TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity will also be released. We give this Raider a thumbs up for the design.
The Raider is powered by a three-valve 124.8cc engine that produces 11.3bhp at 7,500rpm and 11.2 Nm torque at 6,000rpm. TVS has introduced a new feature called 'Integrated Starter Generator' technology. Turning the engine on/ off with this feature makes the start noiseless and smooth. Also, with this ISG the engine automatically shuts off when stuck in traffic. Simply twist the accelerator to start the engine again. TVS claims that this could save a significant amount of petrol. This worked well when we rode it.
For the first time in the 125cc segment, Raider has two riding modes, the Eco and the Power. Eco mode for mileage. It also claims 3% more mileage on the Eco mode than the Power mode. You can travel in power mode to fully realize the power of the bike. However, the above on/ off system does not work in power mode. It is given only for Eco Mode.
Raider runs smoothly without any stress on the engine even when going over 95 kmph. The engine was smooth even when going at 103 kmph on the TVS test track. If the performance is good, we will think that the mileage will be less.
The Raider’s performance lived up to our expectations. A smooth engine and ample initial (low-end) power make this commuter a sporty bike with great performance. Raider runs smoothly without any stress on the engine even when going over 95 kmph. The engine was smooth even when going at 103 kmph on the TVS test track. If the performance is good, we will think that the mileage will be less. However, TVS claims 67 kmpl mileage. Thumbs up for performance as well.
Riding quality and handling
TVS has given this Raider a brand-new chassis. Telescopic fork at the front, mono-shock suspension at the rear. Not gaining weight just for the sake of having a sporty look. The overall weight of the bike is 123 kg. Also, since the height of the seat is 780mm, even shorter people can ride easily. Handling is good. The front is provided with disc brakes and the rear with drum brakes. TVS has given this Raider a Combined Braking System instead of ABS. The braking of this variant was not as good as expected. There is another variant with drum brakes at both ends. We didn’t get the chance to do a test ride. ABS has not been given, but they have given the disc and drum setup. When we asked the TVS officials, they said, customers will have to pay thousands more for ABS and that will affect the pricing of this bike. To keep it in the 125 segment price point ABS has been dropped.
Should I buy it?
The variant with drum brakes is available at Rs 77,500 (Ex-Showroom). The disc brake variant is available at Rs 85,460 (Ex-Showroom). It is at par with its competitors Hero Glamour, Honda SP Shine and Pulsar 125. The Pulsar competes with the NS 125 in design. But the price of NS is 20,000 rupees more than TVS Raider. Overall, the best all-rounder bike in the 125-cc segment.