India’s TVS Motor Company has a rich racing legacy, which for more than 36 years, has spilt over to most of its mass-produced products. But besides making the sportiest homegrown two-wheelers, TVS has also addressed basic needs, practicality and ease of commuting. The company has been making gearless scooters for more than 25 years, on its own, without any intervention or assistance from an international giant. Here’s how it all started:
It all started in 1994, when TVS’ first gearless scooterette – the TVS Scooty, democratised the two-wheeler space with its feather-light weight and unisex appeal, making fuss-free and personal commuting accessible to those who were averse to operating heavy and traditional two-wheelers. To be more precise, women. But its popularity wasn’t limited among women alone as almost anyone in the house could twist its throttle and experience the freedom of mobility.
When it was first introduced, the TVS Scooty was India’s first indigenously-built gearless scooterette. A little later, in 1997, the TVS Scooty ES (Electric Start) was introduced to add more ease to the experience. In 2003, the TVS Scooty Pep (75cc) was introduced with auto choke technology. As customer needs evolved, in 2005, the TVS Scooty Pep+ (90cc) was launched with an in-built mobile charger – a first for the industry. Later, in 2009, the TVS Scooty Streak received more modern kit in the form of LED taillamp, an easy-to-use centre stand, and an external fuel filler cap. The evolution got a big update in 2014 with the introduction of the TVS Scooty Zest 110 and a year later, it became the first 110cc scooter to scale the heights of the Khardungla Pass in the Himalayas.
In 2016, the TVS Scooty Pep+ got an Ecothrust CVTi engine and in 2017, the Zest 110 Matte series was introduced with a utility box light and charger with a 3D logo. In 2019, the TVS Scooty celebrated 25 years of popularity and to conform to BS6 norms, its engine was upgraded with TVS’ ET-Fi technology. No wonder people fondly use the term “Scooty” for a gearless scooter in India. Be it any make, from any other brand.
In the year 2010, the TVS Wego was introduced as India’s first scooter with body balance technology. This was a big breakthrough as most scooters until then had their engine fitted on one side of the rear wheel. The Wego was also one of the first scooters to offer a telescopic front suspension with a 12″ front wheel and gas-charged rear suspension. A couple of years later, it was fitted with a front disc brake to up the safety quotient. In 2014, it was fitted with an all-digital speedometer and in 2015, received another update in the form of synchronised braking technology.
The year 2013 was a major milestone for the TVS Motor Company as this is when it introduced the Jupiter, which has become immensely popular over the years. The one to challenge all other mainstream examples, Jupiter’s winning formula is a mixture of offering more style, comfort, mileage and features than its rivals. In 2015, considering the hot conditions in India, it became the first scooter to offer a heat-resistant seat on its first limited edition and in 2016, within three years of introduction, it stamped its authority in the Indian scooter market by celebrating 1 million customers with a special MillionR Edition.
In 2017, in addition to the standard ZX trim, a Classic Edition with retro styling elements, a USB charger and a more comfortable dual-tone seat was introduced. This was followed by a Grande Edition in 2018 which featured diamond-cut alloy wheels, adjustable rear suspension with a manual knob for increased comfort and an LED headlamp. In 2019, the Jupiter became India’s first connected 110cc scooter when its Grande Edition received TVS’ SmartXonnect technology. The same year, its engine was upgraded with ET-Fi tech to make it conform to BS6 norms. In 2020, the TVS Jupiter ZX BS6 was introduced with ‘iTouchstart’ – an integrated starter generator system and an all-in-one locking mechanism for added convenience. Over the years, the TVS Jupiter has offered first-in-segment features like a pass switch, low fuel indicator, a throttle-based multi curve TCI ignition map technology and the list will keep growing.
TVS Ntorq 125
In 2018, TVS Racing decided to sprinkle its racetrack-derived pixie dust on gearless scooters and the result was the TVS Ntorq 125 – India’s first Bluetooth-connected scooter. A sporty, youth-oriented offering, the Ntorq enjoys immense popularity among those who want their gearless scooters to be sporty, stylish and powerful. To conform to BS6 norms, the Ntorq 125 received RTR-Fi in 2019, TVS’ fuel injection system for its race-inspired offerings. The same year, a race edition of the scooter was introduced with LED headlights and dual-tone colours.
TVS iQube Electric
As we march towards an electric future for mobility, TVS has also taken its first step in that direction with the iQube. Based on TVS’ SmartXonnect platform, the iQube Electric is a connected scooter which like all TVS products, focuses on the fun-to-ride factor. It is equipped with a 4.4 kW electric motor which promises to deliver both high power and efficiency with no transmission loss. The scooter has a max speed of 78 kmph and can travel up to 75 km on a full charge. The urban commuter can accelerate from 0 to 40 kmph in 4.2 seconds and comes fitted with a TFT cluster which can be paired with the TVS iQube app and offers features such as Geo-fencing, Remote Battery Charge Status, Navigation Assist, Last park location, Incoming call alerts/SMS alerts among others.
Going forward, expect a lot of new and exciting TVS scooters to be introduced in the Indian market, ones which will appeal to all kinds of users. The company had showcased some state-of-the-art concepts in the past and if their existing range is a hint, these new-gen TVS scooters will pack everything that’s latest and fortify a strong legacy, the foundations of which were laid a quarter of a century ago.