TVS Star City Plus Review
From its stylish looks to respectable performance, the TVS Star City Plus makes a strong case for itself. Here’s what we think about this motorcycle.
Why to buy it?
- Plush ride quality
- Styling and build quality
- Front disc brake
Why to avoid it?
- Could be more refined at higher revs
- Needs a stiffer seat for long ride comfort
The TVS Star City Plus has received several upgrades during the BS6 transition, and this stylish commuter motorcycle from the Hosur-based two-wheeler maker aims to grab a chunk of the Hero Splendor-dominated segment. To do so, the Star City Plus gets several premium components such as LED lighting and a petal-type rotor at the front – the latter was added to the 2021 model.
We rode the Star City Plus for a comprehensive road test in Mumbai, and the motorcycle impressed us with its capabilities. From its stylish looks to respectable performance, the TVS Star City Plus makes a strong case for itself. Here’s what we think about this motorcycle.
Styling and Quality
The first thing you would notice about the 2021 Star City Plus is its styling. It has remained mostly unchanged from the BS4 model. Thus, the motorcycle features a typical commuter styling that includes a single-pod headlight at the front with a matte finish bezel, a body-coloured headlamp cowl, a black visor, 3D logos, a step-up seat, and a chrome shield for the exhaust. The modern graphics look appealing and should attract young, first-time buyers.
The build quality, too, looks solid. The aforementioned 3D logos, dual-tone finish, and chrome elements add to the premium styling of the motorcycle. The paint, plastic, and sticker quality, too, is commendable. Another thing we like is the dual-tone finish to the seat and to the rear-view mirror housing. The rear-view mirrors feel sturdy; however, you would be staring at your elbows on the inner corners, which gets worse if you are wearing a riding jacket. On the upside, we did not notice any unpleasant rattling noises from the motorcycle as we rode it across a variety of road conditions over the last few days.
Ergonomics and Comfort
Being a commuter motorcycle, the rider’s triangle is upright. This has been achieved through a tall-set handlebar and forward-set footpegs. The saddle is spacious and well-padded, which works well for short distances. This should be ideal for most buyers who would use the motorcycle in the city for short commutes, say about an hour and a half long rides. However, the soft padding is not that comfortable during longer rides.
The seat height is sufficiently short to accommodate an average buyer in the country. At 5’10” tall, I could easily place my feet on the ground with a comfortable bend on my knee. The motorcycle tips the scales at 116kg (kerb weight for disc brake version), making it easily manageable in tight parking spaces or bumper-to-bumper traffic. The low seat height and short turning radius further add to the convenience of moving the motorcycle around.
The suspension is tuned for comfort and the setup works well at city speeds, anywhere between 40-60kmph. Most undulations are ironed out efficiently by the softer setting. However, you would feel sharp bumps on the tarmac.
Performance and Handling
The BS6-compliant 109.7cc, fuel-injected motor has been retained from the 2020 model. Linked to a four-speed gearbox, the engine is tuned to deliver 8.08bhp at 7,350rpm and 8.7Nm of peak torque at 4,500rpm. The four-speed gearbox feels crisp while the clutch feels light, making it very convenient to ride in traffic. The motor packs a nice low- and mid-range. Due to the lack of a tachometer, we would use speed as an indicator here.
The motorcycle keeps marching forward at 30kmph and above in fourth gear, but starts to pull away cleanly post 40kmph in the top cog. The acceleration is strong until 70kmph and it can stay there with very little strain on the engine. Past that, however, you can feel the stress on the engine as things get louder and buzzier. The refinement levels are decent until 60kmph before a noticeable buzz starts coming from the footpegs, which only gets more evident as the speedometer climbs higher.
A big change on the 2021 model is the addition of a disc type brake at the front. The rotor at the front has a strong initial bite. The combined braking system puts some pressure on the front disc when the rear brakes are used. The overall setup is ideal for the commuter segment and we were impressed with the feedback.
Features and Tech
The tech on the Star City Plus is pretty basic. However, the addition of an LED headlight gives it an edge over its rivals. The headlight performance is decent and the unit on the Star City Plus offers fair illumination and spread. The high-beam works well, too, but I would have liked a little longer throw.
The cockpit on the motorcycle comprises a semi-digital instrument cluster that is bare basic. The analogue speedometer is accompanied by a digital display that shows the fuel gauge and odometer. There’s a ‘Power’ indicator on the dashboard that lights up when you are going hard on the throttle. There’s no ‘Eco’ indicator, although the company has made green marks on the speedometer to indicate ideal speeds for better fuel efficiency.
The safety net, similar to its competition, includes a combined braking system. The system puts some pressure on the front disc when the rear brake is applied. There’s also a side-stand engine cut-off feature that ensures that the motor does not start/auto-stopped when the side-stand is engaged.
The motorcycle delivered a fuel economy of 62.71kmpl in Bikewale’s test. With its 10-litre capacity, the Star City Plus can travel over 600km on a full tank.
Should you buy it?
The TVS Star City Plus is a premium offering in the company’s commuter (110cc) range, and it packs styling and hardware to match the same. The dual-tone graphics, dual-tone seat, and chrome elements enhance the styling quotient, making the motorcycle so desirable. The refinement levels are commendable, too, and the Star City Plus works perfectly well at city speeds. The lighter weight, easy clutch action, crisp gearbox, low seat height, and smaller turning radius add to the convenience.
The negatives are rare, but the Star City Plus can get a better headlight performance in the high-beam. Furthermore, the seat padding could be slightly firm and the vibrations at higher speeds should be ironed out for improved comfort during longer rides. But these issues only surface at higher speeds and really shouldn’t bother the average buyer who will mostly ride at a relatively slower pace. Thus, if you’re looking to purchase a stylish commuter as your first motorcycle, the TVS Star City Plus should be among the top contenders.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi
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