You don’t want to be seen on the TVS Scooty – its hurts the ego of the male in you. You are probably not aware of this, but you have created big trouble for TVS. They were selling scooters when everyone else was sleeping. But just because the Scooty was a feminine machine, you didn’t bother to buy it, and now see, what Honda have done. They have grown into a giant solely by virtue of their scooter sales, while TVS still remains just another scooter manufacturer, even after being in the business for the longest period of time. About time TVS pulled up their socks. And guess what, with the Wego they have pulled them up high enough..
The Wego is TVS’ tool to massage the urban male’s ego. It’s substantial, well built, well designed, well engineered and has the arsenal to intrude Honda’s territory with confidence. With the launch of the Mahindra Duro and Rodeo, the scooter arena was warming up, but with TVS throwing in the Wego, it has turned red hot!
To start with, the Wego, just like any other sensible commuter-scooter features a 110cc engine, putting out a respectable 8bhp of power and a little more than 8Nm of turning force. The most noticeable visual aspect of this scooter is its big 12-inch alloy wheels, which make amply clear its intentions to target the Honda Aviator squarely. But while the Aviator is a radical, rather unconventionl looking machine, the Wego is a visual delight. It complies to the traditional school of scooter design, but with a dash of freshness. Unlike the Scooty, the Wego doesn’t have its front panel extending as a mud-guard. It goes the conventional way with a proper mud-guard and has steel body – something that we Indians associate with ruggedness and durability for some reason. The Wego is big and substantial too, not only to look at, but from the saddle as well – something which we Indians associate with more value. The Wego doesn’t challenge or defy the traditional Indianmindset – it complies to the fundamentals of the market and introduces novelty without attempting to be overly bold. Wego’s girth is a big positive for it, but surprisingly even with those relatively large dimensions, the Wego manages to look elegant and sporty at the same time.
The Wego is a fresh design, and it has been built from the ground up. I think the designers at TVS need to be congratulated for having been able to execute something so well proportioned in the first attempt. The Wego has a chiseled, slanting nose with vertical blinkers. Interestingly, the snout also features two small ‘nostrils’ which somehow remind me a little of the new Acitva. Overall, the front part of the Wego looks nice, and showcases a good balance of tension and elegance. It is, however, the central-rear part of the Wego that really delights design-wise. The rear of the scooter originates from the footboard in the form of an arc that culminates into the terminal part of the body above the tail-lamps. A crease divides the side panel of the Wego into two horizontal parts. Interestingly, when looked at closely, the upper part along with the tail-lamp resembles a shark leaping out of water, with the keyslot to unlock the seat falling in just the perfect place to make the eye of the creature. Overall, the lines of the Wego look distinctive, yet well proportioned and pleasing to the eye. It somehow manages to look elegant even after being bigger than even some of the 125cc scoots. The Wego has something about its design that makes you stop and have a look at it.
There is an interesting inclusion in the tail-lamp cluster of the Wego. The semi-circular cluster has a hexagonal brake light which has three lines of opticcal guides a la the BMW 5-series ‘moustache’ pilot lamps and its red tail-lamps. The guides glow as the brake lights are applied, giving the Wego’s rear its distinctive look in the dark. This is the first time in the country that a bike maker has tried something of that sort. While the novel inclusion is welcome, we think the idea could have been better executed. There are a few other neat touches too. The fuel cap is positioned behind the seat and pops out with the twist of the key in the slot placed on the panel under the seat. The fuel filler cap is specially designed to look as classy and substantial, ‘as the filler cap of a car’, if the TVS boffins are to be believed. It looks nice, though its not as convenient as the front placed inlets featured on some other scooters. The instrumentation is basic with a speedo and fuel-gauge with usual turn-indicator lights. There is a power outlet for cellphone charging, powered by a maintenance-free battery. Then there is the patented EZ stand which really makes light work of putting the scooter on the mainstand owing to its specially designed lever.
There is plenty of space under the seat. The hinged seat unit is cavernous enough to swallow your usual full-face helmet. However, if you own one of those imported ‘horny’ helmets with air-intakes then youmay have to find another place to park your lid. There is a decent amount of space in the front locker as well, which surprisingly doesn’t hamper the leg space at all! The seating position is nice and comfy and the seat is just the right width and has the foam with right density. There is ample seating space for two, and even with two heavyweights like Rash and myself on, the Wego didn’t feel cramped.The saddle height too, unlike the Aviator isn’t too lofty and makes the Wego a connvenient scooter to ride for ladies as well.
As we stated earlier, TVS have been making scooters since ages now, and the company knows the finer nuances of the business better than most others. The expertise of the company is evident right from the time you twist the ignition key and dab the starter button. The 110cc motor comes to life in the smoothest manner possible and runs silently without any vibes. At the time when you start off from a standstill, however, you can feel some mild pulsations typical to scoots equipped with CVTs. The vibes are highly muted though and they disappear as soon as the Wego nudges past the 40km/h mark. The Wego acclerates effortlessly – there is sufficient power and torque on tap to accelerate confidently even with two aboard. Of course, it doesn’t feel as keen to gather speed as some of the bigger 125cc scooters, but then, that’s the case with the other similar capacity scooters as well.
Once it gathers good pace, the Wego feels remarkably smooth and vibe free. It gathers pace with confidence and never fails to make you feel increasingly reassured with its brilliant engineering and build quality. The big wheels augment stability at high speed and the Wego feels rock solid even at 60+ speeds. The telescopic front suspension and gas charged rear suspension make the ride quality of the Wego stand out from the rest of the crop. Not only does it feel stable at high speeds, but also accounts for better damping and resultantly a more comfortable ride over undulating and rough surfaces. The Wego also features what TVS like calling the Body Balance technology, wherein the engineers at TVS have facilitated minimal steering effort, better control and maneuverability by distributing the mass of the vehicle optimally. The experience from above the saddle is that of a refined, well-engineered and phenomenally well sorted machine which is built to last a lifetime.The Wego spells quality, no matter which part of it you look at. The plastic bits, the paint quality, the panels assembly, the up-market fuel cap – you can make out that TVS have gone the whole hog to make sure that every minor issue is ironed out before the vehicle hits the road.
At Rs 42,000 ex-showroom, the Wego is a formidable opponent of the Aviator, and trumps its prime competitor on almost every front (including price) except refinment. Moreover, the Wego can lay a much stronger claim on ‘the Best Unisex Scooter’ crown than its winged nemesis. TVS have definitely worked very hard on getting this scoot right and their efforts are reflected clearly in the brilliance of the Wego. As we said at the outset, it’s so brilliant, we had to shoot it in the night.