TVS's Sooty Pep is India's first four stroke scooterette
Distinctly feminine, no? Talk to TVS, and they’ll tell you that the oestrogen heavy design is exactly what the market ordered, for the majority of TVS Scootys are used by women – a trend not about to change. Also, the Kinetic Zing has done well without being really exceptional. Its sales peg on two simple things – it worked well, and there wasn’t anything new in the market, save for new metallic colours for the Bajaj Spirit.
The Scooty Pep is the first four-stroke scooterette in the market. Get on the bike though, and all the grandeur of that statement evaporates pretty quickly. Because, I don’t fit! I could not plant my legs as comfortably as I would have liked, since the footboard narrows at the precise spot my feet want to go. Then, my knees seemed to be a hurdle in everything I wanted to do with the bike. Then again, I am probably a bit large compared to the average physique the Pep is designed around. Is it comfortable? If you fit, yes. But despite my extra weight and even two-up, the Pep seems, well, peppy, and the 75 CC engine is a model of refined performance, providing decent clipping power. Some of the TVS men were blasting up and down the Chamundi hills and they were going pretty fast. But it is a scooterette, and obviously not made for Pulsar baiting. A quick look at the tech specs will tell you that the Pep actually makes more power than the Scooty, Spirit or the Zing.
We will confirm this at our road test, but my seat-of-the-pants impression is that the Pep should be the quickest and fastest of the scooterettes. And why not, like the Fiero F2 and the Victor, it also gets the dual-map digital ignition system.But there is more to the Pep. It is loaded with little details that make it a particularly useful scooterette. There is a neat pull-out hook right under the instrument binnacle and a huge cavity under the seat for what the hook cannot hang. The marketing presentations revolved around a model college going kid called Prachi, who could stuff everything she needed under the Pep’s seat. The ladies can pick the Pep up at around Rs 29,000 when it is launched in March 2003, and should add a creamy premium layer above the Scooty in TVS’ scooterette range.