TVS XL 100 Heavy Duty Review 22
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TVS XL 100 Heavy Duty Review

Bike tested: TVS XL 100 Heavy Duty BS6; Road Test No. 1232; Test Location: Mumbai

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 55,000/-

While the TVS XL 100 looks exactly the same as before, it now gets FI in order to meet the BS6 norms

With more tech-savvy products dropping in the two-wheeler market every day, TVS has retained one of its oldest two-wheelers, the XL 100 Heavy Duty. The XL 100 is the only moped in the Indian two-wheeler market today. Moreover, it is also one of the highest-selling two-wheelers in the market today. For 2020, the XL 100 has gotten even more practical and more considerate towards the environment as it now meets the BS6 norms, thanks to the FI. Hang tight as we review TVS’s smallest offering – the XL 100, to find out how well it has aged!

MotorQuest: The TVS XL was first launched way back in 1980 and believe it or not, but TVS actually entered the racing world with it. However, back then the XL was a 50cc offering and was widely accepted as it won many many trophies for the Indian manufacturer. Over the years, the basic idea of the XL has remained unchanged, as it still remains one of the cheapest and most efficient offerings in the two-wheeler world.

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This is how an extremely purpose-built two-wheeler looks!

Styling: As we stated earlier, the basic idea of the XL 100 hasn’t changed a lot. It resembles the XL 50 from almost all angles. It shows, though, as the design looks dated, thanks to the halogen lighting and spoke wheels. However, TVS has tried to jazz it up a bit as the XL 100 has an LED DRL upfront. Further, there is a long footboard in between which helps with luggage. For further practicality, the moped also gets a split-seat in which one can remove the rear seat to accommodate more luggage. All in all, it’s safe to say that the XL 100 looks exactly like you’d expect a moped to, but a few modern touches like alloys or a new headlamp would’ve made it even better! Oh, and you also get 4 colour options to choose from.

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No digital bits make the instrument cluster seem pretty dated in today’s market

Instrument Cluster and Switchgear: Like the rest of the bike, the instrument cluster is as basic as it gets. You get just a speedometer, an odometer, and a set of tell-tale lights. There’s no fuel gauge but you do get a low-fuel indicator light which lights up when the moped hits reserve. Surprisingly though, you also get a USB charging socket under the instrument cluster in the comfort variant, which is a super practical feature. Moving to the switchgear, the quality is decent and but not up to TVS standards and feels a little cheap. The most standout feature about the XL 100’s switchgear is the ON-OFF switch with TVS’ iTouch silent starter system, though. To sum up, the bare basic design of the instrument cluster and the switchgear makes it somewhat acceptable largely because there is no competition.

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The seat is a little hard but still feels comfortable

Ergonomics: Being a moped, one would expect the TVS XL 100 to be comfortable, and that’s exactly what it is. The tall handlebar and front-set footpegs result in an upright riding posture. Moreover, the moped is accommodating for short as well as tall riders, which adds to the practicality. However, the seat could have been better. The split seat setup is not the most comfortable as the seats use hard cushioning. Further, the mirrors are also useful as they give a decent view of what’s behind, but if you load wide luggage on it, the field of view seems insufficient.

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While the motor is puny, it can handle a lot of load

Performance: After the BS6 update, TVS XL 100 is one of the smallest and cheapest FI offerings in the market. The moped gets a 99.7cc single-cylinder motor with EcoThrust FI makes 4.3 BHP at 4000 RPM and 6.5 Nm of torque at 3500 RPM. Further, as it gets a single-speed gearbox, the moped is super easy to ride. The claimed top-speed is around 60 km/hr, while the claimed fuel efficiency is around 65 km/l. However, the actual numbers are somewhere between 55-62 km/l and considering the tiny 4-litre tank, the total range is around 230 kms.

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The XL 100 feels stressed only if you push it upwards of 50 km/hr

We put a lot of load on the TVS XL 100, but the engine took everything with a happy face

But the power is sufficient for the little moped. Even with more than 130 kg of luggage, which happens to be the load limit of the XL, the engine performed well and didn’t feel underpowered at any point. Further, the pickup might not be punchy, but considering the purpose of the vehicle, it feels adequate as well. We were able to tow a full-size sedan which weighed over a ton without breaking a sweat! To conclude, for a 100cc moped, the TVS XL performs well and the motor can withstand almost anything you throw at it.

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The rear tyre and suspension setup on the Heavy Duty are made for “Heavy Duty”.

Riding Dynamics: As for the riding dynamics, the XL 100 weighs just 89 kgs, which plays a lot in its favour. Consequently, the XL 100 has agile riding dynamics, which makes the moped suitable for filtering through traffic with ease. The telescopic forks at the front and twin shocks at the back result in plush ride quality as they absorb bumps well. We rode the XL 100 through pretty rough patches and it didn’t hesitate at all. However, the ground clearance at 155 mm is a tad low and if you hit big potholes with luggage, it might result in a dent on the exhaust pipe.

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The moped definitely needs better brakes as the current setup fails to impress

The low weight of the XL 100 results in easy maneuverability through traffic

Further for braking duties, the TVS XL 100 comes with 110 mm drum brakes at both ends. Additionally, the moped also gets SBT (Synchronized Braking Technology). The braking is not up to the mark, though. The lever feel is spongy and even though the moped is light, the brakes fail to perform adequately even with SBT. Moreover, if you plan to load the bike with luggage, the brakes will further disappoint, thanks to the added momentum. All in all, the XL 100 is easy and fun to ride but the braking setup is disappointing.

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The XL 100 may not be fault-less, but it solves its purpose very well

Verdict: The TVS XL 100 is a typical goods carrier which targets the practical audience. For Rs. 55,000/-, you get a good package with superb practicality, decent performance and some good features. Is this for you? Maybe not. A large audience, like you and me, probably won’t consider this as an option even if we had the money, but someone who wants a two-wheeler just for ‘heavy duty’ work, this is by far the best choice for them.

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The bare basic design is carried on towards the back of the XL 100 as well

What’s Cool

* Riding dynamics are superb and very practical
* Engine performs really well and efficiency is really good
* Engine kill switch and optional USB are good features with FI as standard

What’s Not So Cool

* Design seems old now for the Heavy Duty
* Seat is on the stiffer side for the pillion as well
* Even though SBT is present, the brakes feel inadequate

Alternatives – None

Who needs panniers when you can just remove the seat and mount the luggage on it?

TVS XL 100 Heavy Duty Specifications

* Engine: 99.7cc, single-cylinder, EcoThrust FI
* Power: 4.4 PS @ 4000 RPM
* Torque: 6.5 Nm @ 3500 RPM
* Transmission: Single-Speed Gearbox
* Top Speed: 60 km/hr
* Fuel Consumption: 55-62 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Chassis: Tubular Frame
* Suspension: Telescopic forks (Front), Dual Shocks (Rear)
* Tyres: 2.5 X 16
* Brakes: 110 mm Drum (Front), 110 mm Drum (Rear)

TVS XL 100 Heavy Duty Dimensions

* Length x Width x Height (mm): 1870 x 670 x 1060
* Wheelbase: 1228 mm
* Ground Clearance: 155 mm
* Seat Height: 780 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 4-litres
* Kerb weight: 89 kg

The XL 100 is full of sneaky storage compartments like this one