TVS Star City Plus Review: After Track, We Ride it on Road

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Added in: News

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Before I start talking about the motorcycle, I would like to make a small disclosure. I own a KTM 200 Duke, so for me, any motorcycle below 25bhp is boring. Anything above that figure can be safely considered fun. Frankly, I stereotype a lot. So, the day I received the TVS Star City Plus, I had very little expectation from the motorcycle. However, two days and about 150 km later, the Indian workhorse proved all my pre-conceived notions wrong and I was pleasantly surprised after riding it around town and on the highway.

Well, then, let’s start with the review, shall we?

Looks and design

Let’s talk about the design first. The new Star City Plus has more than just a new embossed logo on the side of the motorcycle. The cosmetics have been reworked by the company to appeal to the younger audience. The new version gets a redesigned headlight which is actually smaller than the earlier iteration. This does not mean that it lacks illumination capabilities though. The performance of the headlight is fairly decent during night and it illuminates the roads quite efficiently. The tank gets beefier, and houses the knees well while riding. Creases on the tank and body have become sharper, and add to the new, sporty design. The sides of the bike get sports faux mesh inserts which are followed by the embossed “Star City+” logo. The side panels hide the top portion of the rear suspension as opposed to the earlier version which had a completely exposed view of the springs. The pillion handle grab is bigger and provides better utility than the earlier model. The seat is almost the same as before and provides comfortable seating to rider and pillion.

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Build quality is good and the paint finish is impressively smooth throughout. The black coating on the engine, the quality of plastic used, the handlebar weights, handlebar grips, switches – all point towards the effort put in by TVS to provide top notch quality for the given price. Electrical switches have undergone change as well and feel more premium than the ones on the earlier Star City. The only suggestion to TVS would be to add backlit switches.

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In terms of the instrument cluster, while the speedometer is an analogue unit, fuel gauge and ODO meter are fully digital. The dashboard also features tell tale lights representing turn signals, upper beam, neutral gear, and a service reminder unique to the 100-110cc category. The handle bar comes with end-weights on both sides which would come handy for protecting the levers in case the bike takes a tumble. The redesigned mirrors also work well.

Too many positives? Too good to be true, right? Well, there are a few flaws too. The pass beam for example – it won’t function when the headlight is turned on. You have to use the high/low beam switch to signal oncoming traffic. The fuel gauge too is not accurate. What’s missing on the new Star City Plus is the mobile charging point that was a standard fitment on the earlier model. Although it was rarely used accessory, it was, in our view a very handy add-on especially for long rides. Another flaw is the heat shield. The Ecothrust badged heat shield doesn’t perform its job well and heats up a fair bit.

Read ahead for performance and handling details>>>

Performance

The engine almost made me believe I was riding a honed-for-years Japanese motorcycle. It is really smooth and refined. Early morning start was not a problem as the engine came to life with the very first dab on the starter button. The 109cc Ecothrust DLI engine produces 8bhp of power and 8.7Nm of torque which is decent for city rides, though the motorcycle feels a little sluggish on the highway. It feels at home in the 50-70kph zone but starts feeling uneasy upwards of 80kph. With throttle fully opened, we were able to achieve a top speed of 97kph (should vary from rider to rider), although the motorcycle did take some time to reach there. Even after all this riding, we were not able to bring the fuel level below the halfway mark. TVS claims a fuel efficiency figure of 86 kmpl. However, in real world conditions, expect a figure above 60kmpl.

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The torque output figure on the new version is higher by 0.6 Nm as compared to the previous Star City, which stood at 8.1Nm. Engine delivers decent pulling power in mid and high range as torque comes throughout the 3500 rpm to 7000 rpm zone. Naught to sixty takes about 8.7 seconds (varies from rider to rider) which is pretty decent for a motorcycle in this category. The four-speed gearbox is crisp, and up and downshifts are butter smooth. TVS claim that the new 110cc Ecothrust series engine is equipped with an anti-friction (Moly) coated piston with the rocker arms featuring roller followers for smoother cycle movement. Carburetor has been resized and a high capacity air filter unit aid has been added for better fueling and breathing to the engine.

Handling

The rubber provided with the Star City Plus feels a little disconnected with the road surface sticks decently well once warmed up. TVS Dura Grip tyres offered with the Star City Plus are a combination of a softer compound with a block type pattern which provides better grip on tarmac than most other TVS tyres. The motorcycle remains fairly steady on straight roads And makes cornering fairly easy. The suspension took minor potholes and bad surfaces in its stride pretty well. The front suspension has decent travel while the rear setup provides good damping.

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On the braking front, the motorcycle left us a little disappointed. The 130mm front and 110mm rear drum brake setup felt somewhat weak. A disc up front would have made the brakes more effective. Sadly, TVS does not plan to introduce a disc brake to this motorcycle to keep the cost in check. But that’s something that one can live with.

Read ahead for features and observations>>>

Features and Observations

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Digital display adds to more modern and premium feel to the motorcycle. Service reminder is a unique feature for this segment.

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Bar-end weights on both sides would come handy in case the bike takes a tumble.

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Dotted pattern on the seat provides extra grip to the pillion, avoiding any slippages.

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The Ecothrust badged heat shield doesn’t perform its job well and heats up a fair bit.

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Manufacturer claims that TVS Dura Grip tyres provides better grip than any other TVS tyres.

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Pass beam does not work when the headlight is turned On and you end up using the high/low beam switch to signal oncoming traffic.

Read ahead for comfort details and overall view>>>

Comfort

Placement of footpegs and handlebar on the new bike provides an upright riding stance, making it a fairly comfortable bike, not only for city rides, but also for long highway runs. The seat accommodates rider and pillion with ease. The foam used is soft and provides good amount of comfort to the user. A nearly 30 km one-way ride in city was not at all uncomfortable.

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Overall view

The new TVS Star City Plus is a huge leap from the earlier product. It’s an ideal everyday motorcycle. The sporty look, robust build quality, partly digital instrument cluster and refined engine – all work in favor of the motorcycle’s appeal. Try keeping the economy mode light ‘ON’ while riding and you will be amazed by the resultant improvement in fuel efficiency.

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Sure, there is always scope for even more improvement, but with a price tag of Rs 44,000 (ex-showroom Delhi), we really feel TVS has packed in good features on the bike, including electric start and mag wheels. TVS has done its homework well and the Star City Plus is a perfect example of a well thought out, well executed product.

Click ahead for price, technical specifications and complete image gallery>>>

Price: Rs 44,000 (ex-showroom Delhi)

Tech-Specs:

Engine

  • Engine Capacity (CC) 109.7 cc
  • Maximum power 8.4 PS @ 7000 rpm
  • Maximum torque 8.7 NM @ 5000 rpm
  • Bore X Stroke 53.5 mm x 48.8 mm
  • Compression Ratio 9.2 : 1
  • Transmission 4 speed constant mesh
  • Clutch Wet – multi plate type
  • Chassis & Suspension
  • Chassis Type Single cradle tubular frame
  • Front Suspension Telescopic oil damped front suspension
  • Rear Suspension 5 step adjustable hydraulic shock absorber

Brakes & Tyres

  • Brake Front Hand operated, Internally expanding, 130 mm dia
  • Brake Rear Foot operated, Internally expanding, 110 mm dia
  • Tyre Size Front 2.75 x 17
  • Tyre Size Rear 3.00 x 17

Dimensions

  • Wheel Base 1260 mm
  • Height 1080 mm
  • Ground Clearance 172 mm
  • Length 1980 mm
  • Width 750 mm

Weight

  • Kerb weight 109 kg (ES MAG)
  • 105 kg (KS MAG)

Capacities

  • Fuel tank including reserve 10 liters
  • Reserve 2 liters
  • Fuel Economy (IDC) 86 Kmpl*

* Under standard test conditions

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