The scooter segment of Bangladesh has been growing rapidly during the last 2 years, especially since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. With social distancing becoming a necessity, a scooter seems like the most convenient way to hustle around the busy city streets.
Markets in neighbouring countries like India were always saturated, with prospective scooter riders being spoiled for choice with dozens of options of various make. On the other hand, the scooter market of Bangladesh consists mostly of bland looking scooters targeted mainly towards the older generation of people. When it comes to adding new features, the scooters were always the last in the line for almost all manufacturers.
In August of 2021, TVS Bangladesh officially unveiled the TVS Ntorq 125 Race Edition for the local market. With its bold design and powerful 3-valve 125cc engine, it was different.
Coming equipped with features such as the digital gauge cluster with Bluetooth connectivity and a sleek up to date look, it is the only scooter which appealed to me other than the Aprilia SR125 in terms of visuals.
But, the Ntorq was almost as powerful, more practical and safer than almost any other scooter available under the sub 2 lac segment. All in all, it offered a great package and ticked most boxes according to my needs.
I recently bought one for myself, and after using it for a month and riding it for over 1000 kilometres, here is what I think about it.
Design is one of the main selling points of the Ntorq 125. Styled quite aggressively to attract the younger generation of bikers, the Ntorq is full of sharp edges that are claimed to have been inspired by stealth fighter jets. Notwithstanding the Ntorq can neither fly nor avoid radar detection, its flashy three-tone colour scheme makes it rather hard to mask it even from the naked eyes.
Described in the marketing material as "wearing the looks of steel", the exterior panels of the Ntorq are ironically made out of fibreglass. The large front LED headlight features an integrated Race Edition exclusive "T" shaped DRL, with the combination deceptively resembling the logo of a certain evil robot organisation from outer space. And while the marking folks claim the shape represents the "T" in Ntorq, I would have also believed TVS if they said that it actually stood for "Transformers."
The Cybertonian design theme carries over to the rear as the Ntorq comes with a uniquely designed LED tail lamp, which also suspiciously looks like an Autobots badge in disguise.
The seating position of the Ntorq is a bit higher when compared to other scooters in this segment. However, this shouldn't be a problem for most riders above 5.4ft. Pairing the seating position with the relatively wide handlebar, the Ntorq will make many bikers feel right at home.
The seat is flat and wide enough to comfortably fit a pillion rider, who is helpfully provided with a very aculeated set of grab rails.
In terms of comfort, I would say the scooter sits (no pun intended) right in the middle between the Suzuki Access and the Aprilia SR 125. With the Access being the most comfortable between the three.
Every Ntorq comes equipped with a large LCD gauge cluster at the centre, flanked on both sides by various switches for the passing light, high beam, indicator, horn, self-starter and a Ntorq exclusive engine kill switch, a rare feature on scooters.
When set up, the Ntorq's large LCD display greets its user by name every time the bike is switched on. The display comes built-in with TVS's Smart Xonnect system, allowing the Ntorq to pair with any android phone via a preparatory Bluetooth app.
The app, found under the name "Smart X-Connect" in the Android Play Store, opens up the display to more than 60 new useful features. From receiving phone calls, sending text messages to GPS navigation, there is also an exclusive Race Mode which lets the rider record lap time, 0-60km/h time, top speed and whatnot. A bit too fancy for a 125cc commuter scooter in my opinion, but still worth appreciating especially at this price point.
The Ntorq has a BS-IV compliant 4-stroke air-cooled single-cylinder carbureted engine mated to a continuously variable transmission(CVT). The motor produces 6.9kW of power at 7500 revs per minute and 10.5 Nm of torque at 5500rpm.
Weighing at 116kg, the Ntorq sits on 12-inch rims both in the front and the rear and are wrapped around in 100/80 and 110/80 tires respectively. Excluding Maxi-scooters, this is the biggest tyre configuration available in any scooter after the Aprilia SR 125 and the SR 150 in the sub 2 lac price segment.
For a 125cc CVT, the Ntorq feels great. It is by no means a slow scooter. The initial acceleration is quite punchy although the torque delivery becomes more linear up the line.
When it comes to cornering, the beefy tires paired with the rather stiff front suspension allowed me to confidently ride around corners. The turning radius is also decent, although both come at the cost of ride comfort. The stiffness of the suspension, while great at taking turns, becomes more prominent when going over potholes or speed bumps.
A strong point of the Ntorq is its brakes. The scooter comes with a 220mm disc brake at the front and drums at the rear. The setup is backed up with what TVS calls "Synchronised Braking Technology(SBS)", known to the rest of the industry as the Combined Braking System.
Though ABS would have been the cherry on top, the SBS also works amazingly well. In my last 1000km of riding, there hasn't been even a single instance where I have lost control of my bike, even at times when I had to apply the brakes quite hard.
Scooters of the 125cc displacement are generally designed for light use, with the goal of easy commuting from point A to point B. These aren't meant to be taken out for spirited rides. As such, barely any new innovation can be found in this segment.
However, TVS deserves a round of applause for thinking outside the box by taking inspiration from their racing heritage and adding many industry-first features on the Ntorq.
Priced at around Tk 180,000, the Ntorq is a bit on the expensive side for a scooter. Although, given the huge ton of features it packs, the Ntorq still stands strong when compared to other scooters in Bangladesh.