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My Two-Wheeler Story

Discussion in 'Non FIAT Cars and two wheelers' started by prakhar_lfc, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. prakhar_lfc

    prakhar_lfc Superiore

    Messages:
    607
    Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
    Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
    Linea T-Jet
    It’s a universal phenomena that a person first starts off with a bicycle and then progresses to two-wheelers and then to four-wheelers. I find myself in the transition phase from bicycles to two-wheelers. So here’s what I have gone through till now before getting my scooter.

    • The Bicycle Days

    I have been riding bicycles since I was about five years old. Learned to cycle on two wheels a bit late (when I was in the third standard). Cycling used to be my favorite pastime. Every evening, along with friends, I used to head out to the places I was allowed to visit (mostly the areas in vicinity of our home, as my parents did not allow crossing main roads). As I grew up, the boundaries became smaller and smaller, and I grew confident of taking my bicycle wherever I wanted. This continued till I was in the seventh standard. After that, the bicycle was used to go to school, tuition and to the weekly football match. The first time I went to school on my bicycle was on the last day of fourth standard. Being the only student in the entire class to come to school on a bicycle, I proudly showed off the keys of the cycle lock to my classmates. Started going to school on cycle regularly from fifth standard onwards. Have posted a short review of my rides here:

    http://www.teamfiat.co.in/non-fiat-...ficial-2-wheeler-thread-cool-2.html#post58785

    Apart from the occasional fall now and then, I have been involved in two accidents. The first one was a head on collision with a Martui Zen at parking speed in 2004, IIRC. The driver was looking back and talking on a mobile phone and drove straight into me. The driver came out, lifted me up, said, “Koi baat nahi, kuch nahi hua” and fled. I was lucky to escape with a bent handle and a bruised forehead.

    The second one was because of my fault. It was February 2006, on a dark evening, was cycling with friends. I have the habit of getting up from the seat while pedaling when I need to cycle fast. Doing the same thing, my left foot slipped, and my throat hit the handlebar as I fell down. My voice was coarse for two weeks, and I thought it would stay that way for the rest of my life. Luckily, it was back to normal. I still have a mark on my throat that reminds me of this incident.
    I stopped cycling in June 2012.

    • The First Ride: 2004 TVS Scooty Pep

    We bought the Scooty Pep for my brother in February 2004. My brother chose it over the Honda Activa simply because it was lighter and hence easier to ride. I rode her for the first time in 2008, when I was in the seventh standard. Encouraged by my mother, I first used to ride her inside my home, and then gradually took her to nearby streets. I found her very easy to ride, both as rider and pillion, because of its light handling and fantastic suspension.

    After my brother got his Pulsar 135 in June 2010, her usage decreased. Then she started giving gearbox and oil leak troubles, because of which, in 2011, she was parked into the garage and forgotten for more than a year. In May 2012, I urged my dad to get her repaired so that I can start riding her to tuitions. After repeated persuasion, my dad finally obliged, and got her repaired from a local garage on 26th May, 2012.

    I was very, very happy when I rode her again after many years. It instilled a sense of independence in me. Now I was not dependent on my dad to drop and pick me to and from tuitions. Now I did not need lift from friends to far away football fields. I could do all this stuff on my own. It was an amazing feeling!

    • Things Go Wrong With The Pep

    Less than a month enjoying my new found freedom, disaster stuck. On 19th June, on my way to Maths tuition, while cruising at 40 kmph, the Pep suddenly lost power. Surprised, I fully engaged the throttle, which shut off the engine. Somehow managed to pull up safely on the road side, and called RSA (my dad :p). My dad advised to start her up and let the engine idle for some time. I tried it, but in vain. Somehow managed to reach the tuition crawling at 15 kmph, 20 minutes late. On my way back, the same thing happened. My dad suggested putting her on the main stand and revving her hard (in fact, he meant the same thing earlier, but since I was confused and surprised that time, I misinterpreted it). It worked for 100 meters, but she lost power again. I called dad again, saying I’ve had enough, am parking the scooter there and walking home. Dad told me to calm down and stay where I am. After 15 minutes, he came to the spot with my bother on the Pulsar. My brother took me home, with my dad crawling home on the Pep. It was a very frustrating day indeed!

    After a few days, my dad took her to the same mechanic who repaired her. He said there’s something wrong with the carburetor, and it would take time to repair. Since he was short on time that day, he came back home.

    My brother started dropping me to tuitions thereafter for about four months. Those were very frustrating days, as many times he was late, and hence made me wait. In August, I told dad that I wanted a new scooter. He said that he’ll get the Pep repaired again, but I was having none of it. I said the Pep’s too old now and I deserve a new one.

    Luckily, I was not involved in any accident on the Pep. She has done about 14,200 km, out of which, I have covered only 250. She's now lying in our garage.

    • Pros and Cons of the Pep

    What I liked:

    o Lightweight and easy to maneuver.
    o Fantastic ride quality thanks to telescopic front forks.
    o Perfect for newbies.

    What I didn’t like:

    o Underpowered: Struggled to go beyond 50 kmph.
    o High speed stability.
    o Looks.
    o Cold starting is a nightmare.
    o Under seat storage

    • What I Wanted From A Scooter

    My requirements were simple. The scooter should look great, should not be very common, should have decent power, good features and the most important thing, ride and handling should be fantastic.

    I admit that the above requirements were influenced by Fiat cars.

    • The Selection Process

    While the Pep was in the garage again, I started test riding my friends’ scooters, usually on our way to the football fields. Here’s what I learned about various scooters.

    o Hero Honda Pleasure

    Condition: Not so good. Had scratches on the body and my friend said that it wasn’t serviced for a long time.
    Distance travelled: >35 km (both as rider and pillion).
    Likes: Powerful engine, stable at high speeds, brakes.
    Dislikes: Poor ride, plastic body.
    Verdict: A decent scooter, but not for me. Has got poor ride quality.

    o Honda Activa (Previous Generation)

    Condition: Good. Had just been serviced.
    Distance travelled: ~8 km.
    Likes: Refined engine, metal body, stability, under seat storage, comfortable seat.
    Dislikes: Not so good ride, way too common.

    o Honda Activa (New Generation)

    Condition: Good. Had only 1000 km on the odo.
    Distance travelled: ~10 km.
    Likes & Dislikes: Almost the same as the old Activa.
    Verdict: A tried and tested product, but is too common.

    o Mahindra Duro

    Condition: Oh my god! This thing felt like its gonna fall apart if I hit a bump too fast.
    Distance travelled: ~2 km
    Likes: Under seat storage (its huge!), sound of the starter motor (sounds like a torque wrench), brakes.
    Dislikes: Seating position, squeaky rear suspension, looks, other quality niggles.
    Verdict: Stay away!

    o Suzuki Access

    Condition: Good.
    Distance travelled: ~3 km.
    Likes: 125cc engine has got serious punch, under seat storage, telescopic suspension.
    Dislikes: The kick start can’t be accessed without putting the scooter on centre stand, looks.
    Verdict: Has got great power, but looks like an old man’s scooter.

    o Honda Aviator

    Condition: Good.
    Distance travelled: ~8 km.
    Likes: Refined engine, ride quality, front disc brake.
    Dislikes: Looks like a giraffe (!), common sight on roads, electric start hard to operate.
    Verdict: A good scooter certainly worth considering.

    The ones I couldn’t ride:

    oVespa: Read various reports on the internet. Its Italian (perfect companion for the two Fiats at home), looks great, has got a good engine. But poor brakes (as reported by Autocar India) is concerning. And then comes the price. Close to Rs 75,000 it was well above our budget.
    Verdict: Out of budget.

    oTVS Wego: TVS’s flagship scooter, which won the scooter of the year award in 2011. It looks great, has got fantastic ride and handling (the much publicized “Body Balance Tech”) and comes with decent features (for e.g. the LED tail lamps and parking lamps).
    Verdict: A serious contender.

    oHero Maestro: “It’s such a boy thing”, said the tagline. Perfect! But after reading a few reviews, I found that it is similar to the Activa. Liked its instrument cluster though.
    Verdict: Again a decent scooter, but I didn't like it.

    In the end, it was a face-off between the Wego and the Aviator. After my half-yearly exams were over, in early October 2012, just a few days before my birthday, dad and I visited the TVS and Honda showrooms. The salesman at the TVS showroom explained the features of the Wego in brief, while the salesgirl at the Honda showroom was more interested in getting our contact details, rather than explaining the features of the Aviator. Both the scooters were readily available. But we postponed the purchase because of the ongoing "no metal buying" period (forgot its name) :evil:.

    Which scooter did I go for? Was it the Wego or the Aviator? Find out in the next post.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2013
    2 people like this.
  2. prakhar_lfc

    prakhar_lfc Superiore

    Messages:
    607
    Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
    Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
    Linea T-Jet
    Well, let's let a pic do the talking.

    IMG_20121121_164236.jpg

    It was the Wego than won me over. It fulfilled all my requirements. The fact that it isn't very common on roads makes me unique. Call it brand loyalty, we were going to get home another TVS, like we got another Fiat.

    • The Buying Experience

    On 20th October, dad and I went to the TVS showroom (BM Auto) to test ride the Wego. Dad rode the Wego for ~5 km and was satisfied with its peformance. The salesman enquired about the colour we were interested in. We did not specify the exact colour, told him that we are interesed in Cappucino Brown and Volcano Red. My heart was set on Volcano Red.

    24th October, we went to the showroom to bring home the Wego. The fact that it was Dusshera on that day made the occasion somewhat auspicious. On reacheing the showroom, we were greeted by two Sporty White, three Volcano Red, two Cappucino Brown and one Electric Green Wegos. We told the salesman that we want the Volcano Red colour. Two of them had accessories on, while the third one was without them. I chose the latter as I hate the look of stupid chrome bars on any scooter. Even the salesman agreed. He took us to a corner and quitely said that you can get better and cheaper accessories from outside.

    Then came the time of a quick inspection. I checked all body panels for scratches or misalignment. Came to know that the scooter was manufactured in early September from a sticker on the rear number plate. The rear view mirriors were missing. on enquring, the salesman said that the mirriors they received were broken (got them a week after delivery). Then dad tried to start the scooter via the electric start button. But nothing happened. The battery was dead. The salesman promised to replace it. After completing all the paper work, we headed out to take the delivery. The odo read 2.9 km.

    The battery was replaced, but the scooter was not even cleaned, the reason being that the washing guy was on leave :)evil:). The guy who changed the battery said, "Saab, chalo mai hi saaf kar deta hu." :)mad:) Dad told him to leave the cleaning bit. After the saleman explained the features, we took the delivery and headed home.

    Overall, I would rate the delivery experience 6.75/10.

    I now became a proud "Wegoer"! :cool:

    A couple of pics.

    IMG_20121121_164247.jpg

    IMG_20121209_171948.jpg

    P.S. These pics were clicked nearly a month after delivery. Will post the pics taken on the day of delivery later.

    A detailed review of the Wego coming up in the next post.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
    3 people like this.
  3. punto_emotion

    punto_emotion Esperto

    Messages:
    1,245
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    @ prakhar, Congrats for your Wego. Even I own one but when I purchased, red color wasnt available ! :A Else it would have been a good combo with my Red hotty Punto!
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
    2 people like this.
  4. prakhar_lfc

    prakhar_lfc Superiore

    Messages:
    607
    Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
    Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
    Linea T-Jet
    Thanks punto_emotion!

    Do tell more about your Wego and post plenty of pics! Red is my favourite colour, and it matches with my brother's red Pulsar! :redcar
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  5. Congrats Prakhar. How is the ride handling characteristics of Wego? Does it inherit poor handling from Pep+?
    2 people like this.
  6. prakhar_lfc

    prakhar_lfc Superiore

    Messages:
    607
    Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
    Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
    Linea T-Jet
    Thanks Soundar!

    TVS has spent a lot of resources in the publicity of the Body Balance Technology. And it works. The handling is very impressive. The Pep's stability at speeds >40 kmph is nothing to write home about. But the Wego feels planted even at 80 kmph (the fastest I've been, on an empty road). It corners very well too and is easy to handle even with two onboard.

    The ride is very impressive too. Equipped with front telescopic forks and a gas charged rear shock absorber, it tackles bad roads with ease.
    1 person likes this.
  7. prakhar_lfc

    prakhar_lfc Superiore

    Messages:
    607
    Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
    Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
    Linea T-Jet
    TVS Wego: The Review Part I

    First of all, let’s start with the pictures I clicked after I got her home. I forgot to click pictures while taking the delivery at the dealership. :(

    241020122146.jpg

    241020122145.jpg

    Now comes the turn of the review. First of all, let’s see whether she fulfills my requirements or not. Since the Aviator was her chief competitor, I have added a small comparison of her with the Aviator at the end of each criterion.

    Looks

    According to me, the Wego is one of the best looking scooters on sale today. The beautifully crafted front perfectly gels with the upward rising rear. Every time I look at her, I can’t stop admiring her looks. I feel as if she’s saying, “What are you waiting for, come on, take me for a ride.” From the stylish headlamp to the wedge shaped parking light cum indicators to the nicely shaped front fender, her front is charming. The 12 inch alloys look cool and give her a purposeful stance, apart from aiding ride and handling.

    IMG_20121121_164236.jpg
    The front profile

    IMG_20121121_164320.jpg
    The parking lamp cum indicator

    IMG_20121121_164727.jpg
    The 12" front alloy

    Coming to the back, I didn’t like her rear profile at first, but now after looking at her for almost three months now, I must admit that the rear looks pretty neat. The triangular shaped LED tail lamp compliments the rising rear.

    IMG_20121217_150632.jpg
    The rear profile

    IMG_20121217_165152.jpg
    The LED tail lamp

    I simply love the “Volcano Red” shade. I believe it is the best shade of red available on any scooter today. I chose red because Liverpool FC’s kit and Ferrari’s trademark colour is red.

    Overall, my first requirement of good looks is fulfilled by the Wego.

    Comparison with the Aviator: As I have mentioned earlier, I believe that the Aviator looks like a giraffe with its tall front end. I don’t like its rear styling either. The Wego looks much better.

    Engine and Refinement

    The Wego comes with a 109.7 cc, air cooled engine producing 8 bhp of power and 0.82 kgm of torque. In the real world, her performance is satisfying. She has got sufficient power to keep up with traffic and is completely at home while overtaking. The engine pulls cleanly up to 70 km/h. After that, there’s a bit delay in picking up speed, which I think I should not comment on, as I have gone past that figure only four times, the maximum being 80 km/h.
    When it comes to engine noise, though some amount of noise is present while accelerating and at high speeds, it is not annoying.

    Comparison with the Aviator: The Wego is good, but I found the Aviator to be slightly more refined.

    “The scooter should have decent power”. Check.

    Features

    The Wego’s feature list is pretty impressive. Listing some of them:

    o Parking lamps

    IMG_20121124_213633.jpg
    The parking lamp when illuminated

    o LED rear tail lamp (it looks stunning when lit in the dark)

    IMG_20121124_213644.jpg
    The LED lamp when illuminated

    o Handlebar can be locked in the opposite direction too

    IMG_20121121_165202.jpg
    Handlebar locked in the opposite direction

    o 12" alloys

    o Halogen headlamp

    IMG_20121121_164801.jpg
    The headlamp

    o Gas filled rear shock

    o Glow ring around the ignition cum steering lock for better visibility in dark

    IMG_20121121_164555.jpg
    The glow ring

    Comparison with the Aviator: The Aviator lacks most of the features the Wego offers. The only thing is that it offers a disc brake.

    So she fulfills another requirement.

    Ride, Handling and Braking

    This is the most important of all my requirements. Here’s how the Wego fares.

    TVS has spent a lot of resources in the publicity of the Body Balance Technology. Here’s what the manual claims.

    And it is not a marketing gimmick. It actually works! All points mentioned above are true.

    The handling is very impressive. The Pep's stability at speeds >40 km/h is nothing to write home about. But the Wego feels planted even at 80 km/h. She corners very well too and is easy to handle even with two onboard.

    The ride is equally impressive. Equipped with front telescopic forks and a gas charged rear shock absorber, she tackles bad roads with ease. But there’s a sort of annoying “thud” from her front end while going over potholes fast.

    The brakes are good too. Under normal circumstances, the braking is adequate. I’ve not been involved in an emergency brake situation till now (touch wood!), so can’t comment on how the brakes feel in that situation.

    Comparison with the Aviator: The Aviator’s ride was good too, the most impressive thing being that there was no noise whatsoever when going over the same potholes. I can’t comment on the Aviator’s handling as the test ride was on straight roads. Stability was good (at least up to 60 km/h). The disc brake on the Aviator certainly aids braking. Overall, the Wego, definitely is better.

    And the Wego passes the final test with flying colours.

    This was part-I of the review. It will be continued in the next post.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  8. Akshay4384

    Akshay4384 Superiore

    Excellent write up prakhar.
    How i wish you had got the Vespa in Red.
    I just hope you stand on Wego's seat and dance;)
    1 person likes this.
  9. prakhar_lfc

    prakhar_lfc Superiore

    Messages:
    607
    Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
    Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
    Linea T-Jet
    Thank you very much Akshay!

    Yeah, I wanted the Vespa too, but it was way over budget.

    Though the Wego's balance is awesome, mine isn't. Don't want to risk a broken limb! :-D
  10. prakhar_lfc

    prakhar_lfc Superiore

    Messages:
    607
    Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
    Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
    Linea T-Jet
    Dad took the Wego to the service centre for her second service yesterday. Nothing much was done, will post the experience later. She also completed 1000 km on the way back. After she came back, dad and I polished her. She's now shining like new. :cool

    Some pictures I clicked yesterday.

    IMG_3602.JPG

    IMG_3603.JPG

    IMG_3604.JPG

    IMG_3606.JPG

    IMG_3607.JPG

    IMG_3611.JPG

    IMG_3615.JPG
    1 person likes this.

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