TVS Scooty Zest Test Ride Review
2014 TVS Scooty Zest – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

2014 TVS Scooty Zest Review

Scooter Tested: 2014 TVS Scooty Zest 110

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 48,150/-

The Scooty Zest has more performance, practicality and value than the competition

“Papa, I need a scooty. Why do you need it son? Everybody has it Dad. Ok pass this year with good numbers and I will get you a Jupiter”. So as you can see this is a conversation in every household these days. Boy asks for a scooty and gets a Jupiter (market leader name was avoided for a reason). Scooty in India means a scooter. This is the brand image which the domestic manufacturer has created since the past twenty years. Scooters were made for the females, then came manly versions of it, then came the unisex ones, then came lady versions yet again. But now, the company who is responsible for crafting this segment has realised that they need to gain even more market share with the bomb they have in their arsenal. TVS has refreshed the iconic brand (which they hold the keys to) with a bigger heart. With women gaining freedom, independence and much more, they don’t want a small and lazy scooter which just gets bullied around. They want something powerful, something which has more zest and hence TVS has made small efforts in every corner of the scooter to make it better. TVS has the legacy of making really good scooters which we have obviously seen with the Wego and Jupiter but it started with the Scooty itself and the learnings had to be applied here. We have ridden on the test track of TVS in Hosur to see how the new Scooty Zest fares in extreme conditions and we also found the practical bits and pieces that the scooter offers. Has the icon flourished in all its glory? Will it live for many more decades to come? We find out!

Motor Quest: The Scooty brand name dates back to 1994 when TVS developed it as a unisex scooter but with majority of women buying it, the company re-positioned it as a female scooter in 1996. TVS has launched many variants of the Scooty including ES (Electric Start), Pep, Pep+, Teenz and Streak. The Zest is the latest version in the Scooty lineup and will be on sale along with the Pep+ and Streak.

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Side profile is heavily redesigned and is in sync with new stablemates

Styling – In terms of looks, the TVS Scooty Zest is very compact and slim in profile. At first sight, it is undeniably a Scooty but it does look fresh and more youthful than before. The front is a flat panel which extends all the way down and houses turn indicators with twilight lamps. TVS say this helps them keep the conventional mudguard away, a Scooty tradition since the first generation. The front headlight has grown slightly in size and has Multi Focal Reflectors (MFR) for better illumination and the spread is biased towards the left (obviously after the centre part) because TVS says that there are more things to look out on the left and hence they have done it. Side profile is a youthful iteration of the Jupiter (same exhaust canister too) with cool graphics and even more rounded profile than before. The rear is dominated by a huge vertically aligned LED tail light which looks swell in conjunction with the flowing turn indicators.

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The cluster is simple in design with a back-lit, it comes with many essentials onboard

Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – The cluster seems to be a slight evolution of the Jupiter and it does look nice by pleasing at first sight with the well chosen fonts and all the tell-tale lights you will need. It also has the Power and Eco mode like its stablemates. Eco mode works under 60 km/hr and Power mode flickers every 20 seconds if the scooter is left idling. TVS was seen focusing on this feature which was already there in other scooters, seems strange or perhaps using the advantage of showing of an extra feature is always a good idea to lure everybody. We reported this every time we came across TVS’ recent scooters. The cluster has what TVS calls back-lit. Those small lines between the numbers light up in the night and in the pictures it looks splendid. Switchgear is good as always with any TVS scooter but now around them you get paint finished area to make your experience better and you won’t be touching the scratchy plastic at any point of time.

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Entry-level scooter houses a full size sporty helmet! Shocking fact

Practicality – The scooter despite being as compact as the competition, has the biggest under-seat storage capacity. 19-litres is already a lot but the width of the tub is so huge that it actually did accommodate our huge sporty helmet. Segment above scooters do not have this feature. The leaf shaped, body coloured rear view mirrors are well positioned and look good too. The foot board is textured to give good grip in any situation and does not feel slippery at all. None of the scooters have this problem as they use a mat. TVS has avoided it in a clever way which won’t be a problem to the customer and helps save costs too.

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Textured footboard looks good, feels good, performs good and costs less

The foot board is quite spacious considering the size in terms of length and breadth of the scooter is quite small. TVS says since women will be riding, it should accommodate the saree of the biggest possible size. Riding position is upright and seat height is short enough to suit people with a 5’10 height to under 5’5 height riders. The seat is comfortable and the widest in the segment which, overall gives you hours of riding comfort. TVS has also equipped the new Scooty Zest with a side stand buzzer which is active the moment you start the engine, so that you don’t ride off with the side stand deployed.

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The Scooty gets a new heart which pumps out more torque and is refined as ever

Performance – Powering the Scooty Zest is the same engine which is used in the Jupiter and the newly refreshed Wego. Despite the recent changes on the Jupiter’s engine, TVS has made changes to this new Scooty’s engine as well. Gear ratios of the CVT gearbox are different, the airbox and air filter is different and so is the ignition timing. All of this results into .7 Nm more torque at 500 RPM less than before which makes it a lot more peppier. The motor as any other TVS engine is smooth and refined throughout the rev range. The engine loves to be kept on the boil all the time, NVH levels are well controlled. The gearbox is now tuned to deliver most of its punch in the low and mid-end of the power band, so the moment you twist the wrist, the scooter picks up speed like any other scooter in this segment.

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Light kerb weight helps it perform better than stablemates in low and mid-range

The Scooty doesn’t feel small in any way, it performs, behaves and feels like a scooter from a segment above

Highway performance should be good as it reaches 60 km/hr in no time and 85 km/hr is also achieved quite quickly because of the low weight it lugs around compared to other scooters from the TVS family. The performance from this 109cc scooter is truly amazing as the figures it produces are quite close (torque is higher) to its elder siblings. But the other two stablemates are 7-8 kgs heavier than the Scooty Zest. The Scooty Zest is also one of the lightest scooters in the scooter segment because it just weighs 98.7 kgs (with accessories) and 97 kgs without them which is one of the core reasons why the performance is fantastic. Claimed fuel efficiency is 62 km/l. Expect it to give 57 km/l on the highway and to deliver almost 50 km/l in the city if ridden sanely.

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The Scooty Zest with the new chassis and peppy engine makes it very fun to ride

Riding Dynamics – Armed with telescopic suspension at the front and normal single-sided hydraulic double rated rear shock at the back with a brand new underbone chassis, the Scooty Zest has the usual scooter setup seen in the segment. However, the Scooty Zest has a suspension which is finely tuned for the light kerb weight it has. The suspension is on the stiffer side, it is not stiffer than the class leaders in stiffness, the Yamaha Ray or Suzuki Let’s. Ride quality is good due to higher profile tyres and 10-inch wheels. This stiffness had to be achieved because the extremely light kerb weight would hamper stability and dynamics but since it does not compromise on ride quality, it’s a win-win situation at both ends.

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Poised, pin point precise, eager to scrape at any give moment, the Zest is zesty indeed

Summing it up then, all of this makes the scooter handle extremely well. The fun to ride quotient is immense and it loves to be chucked around corners. There is good grip, the tyres are of good compound and now come with an anti-skid pattern. Leaning the Scooty Zest completely to the max is very easy but you end up scraping like every journalist did at the TVS test track. Front-end is extremely poised and direction changes are lightening quick thanks to fatter rubber at the front. Cornering clearance (at almost full lean) is low but there won’t be a problem with ground clearance in real world conditions. 110 mm brakes at the front and 130 mm at the rear (drums) may sound odd but TVS did it according to the weight distribution of the scooter as most of the load (with pillion or stuff) comes at the rear. We did high speed braking and low speed too and didn’t notice anything unusual about it.

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Attention to detail has paid off, icon is redefined in the right way

Verdict – The Scooty Zest does everything very well. It is the most fun to ride scooter with that already impressive engine and excellent dynamics. The Scooty Zest now has the best storage capacity in its class something which competition is unable to do. This is a package from TVS that will appeal to the ladies who look to commute in style and seek abundant practicality and power on-board. If the enthusiast also chose to ride this TVS, they will also have a lot of fun with this scooter. The Scooty Zest undercuts the competition, the cheapest Japanese rival is Rs. 4,000/- more expensive with the Scooty Zest offering more in return. In fact, we were living with its elder sibling, the Jupiter for months and the upkeep costs and service experience has been fantastic too. The TVS Scooty Zest has been thoroughly worked upon and it shows. The attention to detail is brilliant and so will be the customer satisfaction levels with the fantastic Scooty Zest.

The TVS Scooty Zest does everyday duties extremely well and does it in a sporty manner too. It also offers you more bang for your buck. This entry-level offering from Hosur will find many homes. Anyways, as it has everything you will ever need from one of the cheapest 110cc scooters, there is no other place to go for entry-level scooter buyers.

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The TVS Scooty Zest is a package that has something for every one in it

What’s Cool

* Performance & Dynamics
* Styling
* Value for money

What’s Not So Cool

* No alloy wheels

Alternatives: Suzuki Let’s, Yamaha Ray, Honda Activa-i, Hero Pleasure

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TVS aims to sell 10,000 units every month and will continue to do so for a long time

2014 TVS Scooty Zest Specifications

* Engine: 109.7cc, SOHC, 2-Valve
* Power: 8 HP @ 7500 RPM
* Torque: 8.7 Nm @ 5500 RPM
* Transmission: CVT
* 0 60 km/hr: 11.1 seconds
* Top Speed: 90 km/hr
* Fuel Consumption: 50-57 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Frame: Underbone Type
* Suspension: Telescopic Forks (Front), Monoshock (Rear)
* Tyres: 90/100/10 (Front), 90/90/10 (Rear)
* Brakes: 110 mm Drum (Front), 130 mm Drum (Rear)

2014 TVS Scooty Zest Dimensions

* Length x Width x Height: 1770 mm x 660 mm x 1139 mm
* Wheelbase: 1250 mm
* Ground Clearance: 150 mm
* Seat Height: 760 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 5-litres
* Kerb weight: 97 kgs