I don't agree - the ultimate traffic cutter would be a free public transport system, with airconditioned compartments, plusher than business class interiors, swim-suited supermodel hostesses and tons of freebies as incentives for using it. But lets get off that scenic route and return to our commute.
The smart-looking new Victor Edge will form the lower of two offerings that TVS plans to enter the 125cc brawl with. The GLX is already out, but it's due for a makeover with its rather anonymous looks not making showroom staff's jobs any easier.
Be that as it may, the GLX will remain TVS' top dog, with the Edge bringing up the rear. To that end, TVS has smartly chosen to leverage the Victor's already familiar and trusted looks. Building from there, the Edge shares everything under the tank and seat with the GLX, more or less. The Edge gets a few upgrades - lighter, narrower but as stiff swingarm and alloy wheels. While the motor is almost identical mechanically, the lower state of tune, good for 9 bhp, ensures that the Edge will have the edge in stretching the ever-dearer litre. By about 5 kpl, I think.
The frame, swingarm apart, is identical, but the alloys make a marked difference, TVS have matchmade a smart 17-inch front with a 18-inch rear. This makes the bike (gyroscopically) stable but allows quicker direction changes (lower inertial resistance). In corners, the Edge is noticeably easier to get turned, and peels into corners quicker than I remember the GLX doing, or for that matter, the Victor GL. Despite the fat (and chunky looking) 90/90-17 front tyre, I suspect the Edge would get to an apex quicker.
But that discussion is academic. The Edge is supposed to slice through traffic. The manouverability will undoubtedly be a deadly weapon there. However, I cannot help but think that 9 bhp is not as good as 10. 10 is not as likeable as 11... and so forth. But then, it does stretch a litre like a sheet of lycra, no? The smartly-turned out package is tagged at Rs 40,900 ex-Mumbai for the drum/spoke variant. We recommend you shell out the extra XXXX and get the disc/alloy Edge. In the absence of a full-options public transport system - and it isn't likely to happen soon - you need all the help you can get. Besides, trains don't lean into corners.
The TVS Star family has a new member. Easily the best looking of the bunch, the newborn's already clean-shaven and gel-haired. The StarCity sports a pretty smart fairing, which is all curves and planes and easy on the eye. In the saddle, hugging the Star's wide tank has gone from 'oh?' to 'nice!' What a difference a fairing can make, eh?
The StarCity's mandate was to be feature-rich for the 'uncompromising entry-level buyer.' And this it does quite well. The City has all the curios - blue-lit meters, rather thin but still slinky upswept exhaust, smart halogen headlamp, neatly fitted tail lamp and even push-cancel indicators. Everything a urban entry-level biker may need to tide over his aspirational envy towards his better equipped brothers.
Market research indicated that the profile customer wanted it all, but within his budget. Shucks, we could have told you that. And we'll even let you in on a non-secret. That's true for everything. Yes, I'd like a four-cylinder 1000cc 180 bhp motorcycle for 80,000 bucks, I dearly do. And while someone sets about answering my demand, you can pick up the solid and rugged (and now even stylish) StarCity from your dealer for as little as Rs 33,900 (ex-Mumbai).