I am Sudharshan Devarajan from Chennai. I am a 26 years old techie and a great fan of Bikeadvice. I am here to review my new TVS Phoenix 125. India is one of the most important markets for automobile industry and many global automobile companies have started their manufacturing units at various cities. Transportation has become unavoidable these days and many are researching about having cost saving transport.

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Whether its is a two wheeler industry or four wheeler industry, everyone is seeking to attain the numero one position by giving their best. By the way, I am here to share my ownership experience of the new TVS Phoenix 125. Before buying Phoenix, I targetted towards 125 cc’s and 150 cc’s and actively looked out for various options. Finally, shortlisted these machines,

  • Honda Unicorn: Same old 150 cc engine with analog instrumentation.
  • Yamaha SS: Good bike, but what I don’t like is open chain. Also, doubt whether it can give a decent mileage.
  • Suzuki GS150R: Wow! What a machine. I was actually stunned by looking at this machine, its looks are very good, engine is also quite capable of giving good performance. But what stopped me from choosing this bike is that availability of spare parts and tall pillion seat. And, of course, this bike is tall for me as well.
  • TVS Phoenix 125: Excellent 125 cc machine! that is what I can say. A different machine from other normal TVS motorcycles with premium styling and comfort.
  • Honda Shine: Normal looking bike and priced high.
  • Suzuki Sligshot Plus: Good bike… but again its Suzuki and had to think twice about spare parts issue.
  • Bajaj Discover 125 ST: Looks similar to Suzuki GS150R and generally I don’t the like the monoshock suspension system.

What made me to go for TVS Phoenix?

Always, I have high respect towards TVS Motors and admired about their innovations towards technologies. I still remember the TVS Victor, its performance is still in my mind. Once I had a test ride of my friend’s Victor GLX and got impressed with its performance.

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Engine beat (sound) is fabulous, handling is also excellent and heard that it delivers 62+ kmpl in Chennai city. Also, I have seen Star City ES has the same dynamics and handling. Sport ES delivers a mileage of 75 kmpl. Last year, when I came to know that TVS has gone to 4th position leaving its place to Honda, I felt so bad.

However, in the month of September 2012, a news was leaked stating a new 125 cc is supposed to be released. From then on, I started researching about the details of the bike and got many diversified opinions. Finally, I could notice few technical specifications and got convinced with them.

Also, I view a spied picture of a black Phoenix in Bikeadvice and decided to get it. Unfortunately, the bike’s availability status was also not known in any of the showrooms (in Chennai). Finally, in the last week of November, a bike came for test ride, rode it and felt that its engineered really well. Then, I paid the full amount and bike was delivered on 1st week of December 2012.

Technical Specifications

Let me first display some of the key technical specifications of this bike:

  • 125 cc engine(124.5 cc – engine displacement)
  • Ecothrust technology
  • Power – 11 PS
  • Front disc / Rear drum brakes
  • Ground clearance – 165 mm (for comfortable riding)
  • Series spring suspension for better comfort (Really very comfortable like the Hero Honda’s)

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Engine

125 cc Ecothrust engine is what TVS has fitted in this bike. According to TVS, this technology helps in optimum fuel combustion backed with excellent pick-up and mileage. Most of my riding are only in city and from my observations, the engine sound is peppy, neither too silent like Honda Shine nor loud like the TVS Flame.

Till date, I have gone only around 1,340 kms and the maximum speed in which I have ridden is 60 kmph. I believe, the bike will be stable even when pushed to 80 kmph mark. The gear shifting is as smooth as butter (like the Japenese rivals) and never faced any issues.

Mileage

TVS has officially quoted that the ecothrust engine fitted in Phoenix 125 can deliver upto 67 kmpl (under standard test conditions). In my opinion, it really lives upto this statement. I am extremely satisfied with its fuel efficiency and it consistently delivers a mileage somewhere around 62 to 64 kmpl in pure city riding. In a combination of city and highway riding, it has delivered 66 kmpl. Therefore, no need to tune my bike for mileage.

Braking

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Phoenix has petal disc brakes in the front and normal drum brakes at the back. According to me, I feel safe even when I am applying the front disc brakes even at extreme conditions.

Comfort

The stitched cushion seat is long, very comfortable while riding for long durations. Till date, I never felt tired after riding long distance.

Speedo Console

This is the most attractive feature of this 125 cc mill. Completely digital speedo console with many features makes the rider to feel the premium class comfort. Some of the salient features include:

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  • Low battery remainder
  • Low fuel indicator
  • Service remainder
  • Mode button – in order to select either ODO meter or TRIP meter
  • Fuel level indicator (of course, its present these days in many bikes)

Whenever I travel to new locations, I will switch to trip meter and find and distance travelled. Really helpful.

Other Features and Benefits

  • Hazard lamps (Usually, we have this feature only in cars)
  • Disc oil level indicator
  • Pass switch

Whenever I travel on highways, I use the hazard lamps to indicate my presence which provides me absolute safety.

Trip in TVS Phoenix to my hometown

In January 2013, I went to my hometown which is nearly 80 kms south of Chennai to spend my weekends. After attending a meeting, I rode my bike in Rajiv Gandhi Salai (OMR) and it was a pleasant experience. Most of my journey covered (around 95%) was in highways and came back to Chennai after 2 days. When I calculated the mileage this time, it was really surprising as it delivered 73 kmpl. Its a wonderful mileage that too from a 125 C.C bike.

Issues

There aren’t any major issues with this bike apart from few things.

  • Vibrations: Its like an inborn issues with many TVS bikes and even I am experiencing it. However, no bikes are manufactured for long term usage irrespective of the manufacturers and reliability is therefore questionable. In case of vibrations in this bike, I am facing some inconsistencies.

Example

(a) Engine vibration is felt while riding in heavily damaged roads.
(b) Also, I feel the engine vibrations when riding down in the flyovers.

However, its not only TVS, many bikes suffer from the same issue (if I am not wrong).

  • Tall seat: I feel that the seat could have been kept a little shorter for short riders like me.
  • Indicator: When we switch on the left or right indicator, we will see indicator light is glowing as if in both sides in the console. Bit confusing, however we will get used to it.

Comparing the new TVS Phoenix 125 with my Hero Honda CD Deluxe

In my point of view, it is unfair to compare 125 cc bike with the 100 cc’s. However, there is no other way. I have a Hero Honda CD Deluxe (2010 make). It was bought in Feb 2010 for my dad as he faced trouble in kick starting his old Bajaj BYK 100 (not manufactured now). He has severe knee problem even now and thats why I suggested him to go for CD Deluxe Power Start.

Then, the old Bajaj BYK was given to me to ride in Chennai. We all are familiar about the bullet proof engines that honda manufactures and even I experienced it. But, it disappointed me in terms of mileage as I got only around 62 to 64 kmpl and when my dad rides it gives only 60 – 62 kmpl. I feel this is very less for a 100 cc bike.

My Phoenix gives much better numbers inspite of being an 125 cc bike and in terms of fuel efficiency TVS scores better. However, vibration issues and other external factors are a serious let down in TVS bikes. In my opinion, vibrations are not too bad in this bike and is under acceptable limits.

Price

TVS Phoenix 125 come in 2 variants,

  • Disc brake version: INR 62,000 (on road price)
  • Drum brake version: INR 59,000 (however, I dont have the exact picture regarding price)

Verdict

TVS Phoenix 125 is a strong contender in the 125 cc segment. Looks are very good, simple, stylish as well as efficient. Its not suitable for speed lovers and is mainly for normal commuters who wants excellent fuel efficiency combined with decent pick up and performance. If someone is looking for speedy 125 cc’s go for Yamaha SS125.

Regards,
Sudharshan Devarajan

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