I check out the new 110 cc TVS Jive, India's first clutch less motorcycle..
If every shop around your house sell the same kind of stuff then from which shop would you buy? From any shop, after all what difference does it make?
after riding motorcycles with clutch for 18 years it actually is a bit awkward not to find one..
TVS understands this and instead of putting another 100-110 cc bike in the market, they have innovated and have launched India's first "clutch-less" motorcycle the Jive and have positioned it as "the no tension bike".
Looks: Nothing to excite, nothing to disappoint.
In the times of 100 cc bikes like the Honda CB Twister, the TVS Jive can be at best described as safe and conservative.
The Jive might not be a head turner, but there is nothing out of proportion on the Jive either, plus the bike is roomy enough even for tall guys.
The orange bike that you see here is a special color that TVS has provided for the demo bikes.
The Jive actually appeared cool and eye catching in this orange shade. According to me TVS should definitely think of providing this color as an option.
+ Comfortable ergonomics
+ Easy and light handling
+ Punchy 110 cc engine
- Slight vibrations at higher speeds
Before I describe my test ride experience, let me explain a few special aspects of this bike.
What's so special about the TVS Jive?
- Change gears without a clutch
- Rotary gears: Go to neutral directly from top gear (4'th)
- Anti knocking mechanism: Can move even from standstill in any gear without "snatching"* the enigne.
* It actually should have been "anti snatching mechanism", but I guess TVS decided to go by what the common biker understands and uses terms to describe.
The clutch-less gear shift feature is not totally new to India. Such a feature had earlier appeared on a step thru from Hero Honda called the Hero Honda "Street". Introduced in 1997 the Street slowly died a quiet death, possibly due to its step thru form which most Indians associate with mopeds/utility two wheeler.
This mechanism is also found on many step thru models sold in South East Asian markets like Indonesia, Vietnam
How does one change gears without using a clutch?
Its simple, every time you have to change a gear just close the accelerator, a mechanism called the centrifugal clutch (its got a clutch after all) disengages the engine from the gears. Change the gears and then twist the accelerator, on doing so the centrifugal clutch will engage the engine.
Isn't going to neutral directly from top (4'th) gear sometimes dangerous?
Going to neutral directly from 4'th is not possible if the bike is in motion. Only when stationary, one can directly go to neutral from 4'th.
Does the "anti knocking mechanism" work? Actually it does work. Closing the accelerator disengages the engine from the gears, therefore one can stop at a traffic stop just by closing the accelerator, one does not need to be in neutral to keep the engine running.
Say you are in 4'th gear and come to a halt by closing the accelerator, now if the traffic light turns green just twist the accelerator and like an automatic scooter, the bike will start moving again without "snatching".
But it's advisable to come to a lower gear when moving from standstill as in higher gears it takes a lot of time to gather speed from standstill.
Test Ride Experience of the TVS Jive:
Even if I was totally aware that the Jive doesn't have a clutch, once you start the bike you instinctively try to hunt for the clutch to engage the gear.. after riding motorcycles with clutch for 18 years it actually is a bit awkward not to find one on a motorcycle.
But after a few minutes on the bike one does get the hang if it. But even though I learnt to change gears without using the clutch, I wasn't able to use the "engine braking" (which I always do on geared motorcycles) to slow down smoothly.
The ride quality is comfortable on the Jive and the handling is light. The front in fact felt a little bit light but for city use, it should be ideal.
The 110 cc engine has a nice punch and pick up from slow speeds is brisk enough to keep pace with our Indian traffic. But post the 60 kmph mark (in top gear) vibrations do creep in. I have observed that the recent 100-110 cc TVS models like the Star City and the Sport now come with a rear grab rail fabricated out of tough plastic. Even the Jive comes with a similar black rear grab rail.
Verdict: The Jive tries to make riding simple and stress free and features a mechanism which is similar to automatic scooters, i.e. "twist and go". There is a slight difference though that one has to change gears too.
I remember that while learning to ride my dad's geared scooter, it took sometime for me to learn to synchronize the accelerator and clutch. I therefore think that for beginners the Jive could be an easier motorcycle to learn, but for someone whom using the clutch has become a second nature, not finding one becomes a bit weird. Moreover modern motorcycles in India have quite lightly weighted clutch (with the exception of Royal Enfield models).
So is the "clutch-less" Jive an enticing enough proposition for the commuter? I don't know.. What do you guys think?
Price: Around Rs. 41,000 (ex-showroom), which puts it in the same league of the Hero Honda Splendor and Bajaj Discover DTS-Si.
The TVS Jive TV Commercial
TVS Jive: Technical Specifications
Type: 4 stroke, Single Cylinder Air cooled
Max. Power: 8.4 BHP @ 7500RPM
Max. Torque: 8.3Nm @ 5500RPM
Bore X Stroke: 53.5 X 48.8 (mm)
Compression Ratio: 9.2:1
Starting: Self and Kick
Ignition System: Digital-IDI
Type: Single Cradle
Front: Inline Telescopic
Rear: Hydraulic Twin Shock Absorber with Coil spring
Front: 130 Drum Brake
Rear: 110 Drum Brake
Front: 2.75 X 17
Rear: 3.00 X 17
Battery Pack: 12V, 5.0Ah (ES)
Headlamp: 12V, 35/35W Halogen
Brake Lamp / Tail Lamp: 12V, 21W/5W
L X W X H: 1975 X 700 X 1060 (mm)
Wheel Base: 1260mm
Saddle Height: 780mm
Ground Clearance: 165mm
Dry Mass: 105Kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 15lit (including 2.7 lit. reserve)
Colors: Red, Black with Yellow strip, Black with Red strip and Black with Red
- 2010 TVS Star City details, TVS Star Sport becomes TVS Sport, TVS Star stopped (?)
- Auto Expo 2010 Coverage: TVS Motors
- What is Engine Knocking? Do you really know?
This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.