Not too far from the world of fast bikes is one that is full
of humble and sensible commuters. It is in this world that TVS has deployed
their latest contender, the Radeon. This new bike finds itself in an arena that
has some prominent and much loved products. Will the Radeon be able to find its
footing in this cutthroat segment of the market? Will it be able to become
another success story for the company? We try to find that out in our review.
Design and Styling of TVS Radeon
Addressing the elephant in the room, yes, the Radeon does look inspired by the Hero Splendor. Still the designers at TVS have etched a couple of things to make the Radeon look smart and appealing to the masses. The use of chrome around the headlamp, rear suspension and on the exhaust is one such example. There is a strip of LED DRLs underneath the halogen lamp and the cowl is nice and curvy. The fuel tank gets ribbed pads that lend the commuter a rugged appeal. TVS is also giving a USB port to charge your phone or other accessories. The charging port is placed on the lower right side of the instrument panel and can be easily missed if one is not specifically told about it. However, having said that, it is still fairly easy to reach. Another neat little addition is the grab handle on the right side of the bike which also has a hook for hanging things.
The instrument cluster is also unlike any other two-wheeler in the market. The wide, dual dial panel looks like something that you would see on a rugged SUV. The left dial has an analogue speedometer, a power and eco indicator and odometer. The right one houses the fuel indicator, side stand indicator and low fuel indicator. Additionally you can fit the bike with a buzzer that will beep when you switch on the bike with the side stand open. This way you will ensure that you never leave your side stand open. In between the chrome lined dials are four prominent indicators for left turn, right turn, high bean and neutral. The only eyesore would be the large nut housed at the top of the cluster. TVS could have easy done something to cover it up. The rear view mirrors are positioned lower than I would have liked but after a little adjustment I could set them according to my height. Despite this, I feel larger mirrors could have certainly serviced the bike better. The switches on the handlebar are of great quality and have a premium finish. In fact, the same can be said for the bike as a whole. It feels solidly put together and there are barely any hints of cheap plastic or cost cutting. The turn indicators, headlamp and tail-lamp are unapologetically simple and large. The whole designing of the Radeon looks intentionally simple, to please a different set of crowd that does not get excited by flashy colours or high cylinder counts. The black alloys compliment the white colour that we had and even when paired with other colours they do not fail to impress.
Engine and Performance
of TVS Radeon
The 110cc Duralife engine on the Radeon performs aptly in
the city. It can pelt enough power to carry two people around at city speeds
and a little beyond. The 4-speed gearbox also performs well. The first two
gears don't stick around for long and you will mostly find yourself cruising in
the third and fourth gears. The
acceleration is slightly weak, especially in the first gear but you can still
manage to get a spirited run out of this commuter. With a rider of average
build, the bike will have no issues reaching 60kmph. Post that the acceleration
takes a hit but once can easily cruise between 60-70kmph. The 18-inch tubeless
tyres provide great grip on the road and the bike feels confident even through
corners. The long wheelbase makes the bike feel stable and planted when
cruising at higher speeds. The engineers at TVS seem to have mastered the art
of producing exciting exhaust sounds. It is uncommon for a bike in this segment
to throat such a deep and defining rumble. I don’t think that I could ever grow
tired of the exhaust note of the Radeon.
The suspension on the Radeon is not the softest in the
business. It does provide for a comfortable ride most of the time but once in a
while when you are on a really bad patch of road or when you encounter a rather
large speed breaker, you do wish that the bike was kinder to you. The rear
shocks are 5-step preload adjustable so that should take care of this problem
to some extent. The ample ground clearance of 180mm saves you the worry of
bottoming out when tackling all sorts of terrain. You get drum brakes both at
the front and rear along with Sync Braking Technology (SBT). SBT engages the
front brakes when you use the rear brakes for a better control and shorter
stopping distance. The braking is nice and progressive but the front brakes
could have done with a little more bite. The bike provides an upright and
confident seating position that is great for cruising and daily long usage. The
long cushion is soft and can easily accommodate two people and even a bag in
between them. The carrier at the back can act as a great place to carry some
extra luggage or other things. The bike also gets a hook on the right side
which also acts as a grab handle. I was able to extract about 63kmpl out of the
bike during my city runs, which is quite a decent figure. With a 10L fuel tank
you can expect to get a range of about 600km.
The Radeon certainly does not fail in being a capable daily
driver. It becomes a more obvious pick for people who want something simple yet
good looking. Slight improvements to the brakes and suspension would further
make the bike potent. The deep exhaust note is definitely the biggest buyer
attraction but it will be the solidly built product that will keep customers
happy. I believe that the masses would be pleased by this commuter that packs
in more features than its looks give away.
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