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TVS Raider Review: Smooth, Fast & A Lot Of Fun!

TVS Raider Review: Smooth, Fast & A Lot Of Fun!

Article by Drivio | 31st Mar 23

Can the TVS Raider beat the likes of the KTM 125 Duke? We find out the same thing here:

  • The TVS Raider’s 125cc engine makes 11.38PS & 11.2Nm. 
  • Underpinnings include a telescopic fork & a monoshock. 
  • Braking duties are handled by a disc brake & a drum one.

TVS Raider: Design & Features

The TVS Raider's LED face looks very familiar, almost Bumblebee-like. Its bikini fairing is consistent with TVS' sporty naked design language. The fuel tank is substantial, with sharp tank extensions. 

The edgy side panels and split seat add to the sporty appearance. The rear design, on the other hand, is a little underwhelming, with the tail looking out of place. Overall, the Raider appears to be a premium and sporty 125cc motorbike.

The TVS Raider has LED headlights and taillights, but the turn indicators are bulb-based. The Drum and Disc variant gets a negative LCD instrument cluster with the standard speedometer, tachometer, trip metre, and fuel gauge. It also has a low fuel, gear position, clock, fuel efficiency, and ride modes. 

The SmartXonnect variant has a 5-inch colour TFT screen, and the SmartXonnect Bluetooth module (when paired with a smartphone) provides features like turn-by-turn navigation, weather updates, music control, incoming/missed call alerts, voice assist, auto navigation to the nearest petrol pump in case of low fuel, cricket updates, social media updates, and SMS alerts.

TVS Raider: Engine & Specs

SpecificationsTVS Raider
Engine125cc 
Maximum power11.38PS
Maximum torque11.2Nm
Transmission5-speed

The main talking point here, however, has to be the engine. While it has the same cubic capacity (124.8cc) and bore and stroke figures as the NTorq (53.5mm x 55.5mm), as well as a 3-valve head as the NTorq, this engine is completely new. This fuel-injected mill produces a maximum power output of 11.38PS at 7500rpm and a maximum torque of 11.2Nm at 6000rpm. 

This means that, with the exception of the Pulsars (both the Pulsar 125 and the NS125), this is the most powerful motor among the mainstream 125cc bikes.

You might think that this thriftiness comes at the expense of performance, and you'd be right to some extent. However, the Raider 125 does not feel like a typical commuter. Yes, it takes some time to get going, but you can easily cruise at speeds ranging from 80kmph to 90kmph. In fact, you can maintain speeds between 90 and 95 kilometres per hour, but the engine vibrations become omnipresen. 

TVS Raider: Chassis

SpecificationsTVS Raider
Front suspensionTelescopic fork
Rear suspensionMonoshock
Front tyre80/100-17
Rear tyre100/90-17
Front brakeDisc brake
Rear brakeDrum brake
ABSNo

For a commuter, comfort is essential, and the TVS Raider 125 does not disappoint in this regard. Potholes and broken roads are your constant companions, given how epic our so-called highways are. 

The Raider 125 handles all the bumps and undulations with ease, and it doesn't require much braking to power through rough terrain. The monoshock tuning is nearly perfect, and the Raider 125's ride quality never disappoints, even on crater-sized potholes or ramp-like speed breakers.

Handling is always sacrificed for comfort on any conventional commuter, and the TVS Victor and Star City Plus were no exception. However, the Raider 125 does not carry on this legacy, and one can feel more of the TVS Apache DNA in terms of handling. Riding the Raider on the flowing mountain twisties is a joy, and it feels secure around fast bends as well. 

My only complaint is that the front end feels a little too eager and causes oversteer. A TVS Raider 125's focus will be agility rather than cornering, and it will be able to flick through the tightest of gaps with relative ease. Because of the weight distribution and inherent agility, commuting becomes a pleasurable experience.

TVS Raider: Dimensions

DimensionsTVS Raider
Length2070mm
Height1028mm
Width785mm
Wheelbase1326mm
Seat height780mm
Ground clearance180mm
Kerb weight123kg
Fuel tank capacity10-litres

The TVS Raider is not really a big bike and we can say the same on paper as well. The bike’s a hoot to ride in the city, and even if you do point some occasional highway duties, the Raider can do that as well! 

TVS Raider: Variants & Price

TVS Raider VariantPrice (ex-showroom Delhi)
DrumRs 86,803
DiscRs 94,319
SXRs 1,00,820

The TVS Raider is available in three trim levels: Drum, Disc, and SmartXonnect, with prices ranging from Rs 86,803 to Rs 93,489 to Rs 1,00,820. (all prices are ex-showroom Delhi).

Conclusion

While the Raider was not the mid-capacity adventure bike we were expecting, it is still a very likeable motorcycle. It's enjoyable to ride, has a plethora of features, and is generally attractive. We believe TVS has done an excellent job of distinguishing it from other 125cc bikes on the market. Furthermore, it is reasonably priced, with prices beginning at Rs 77,500 (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the drum variant and rising to Rs 85,469 for the disc variant.

So, at first glance, TVS appears to have returned to the 125cc segment with a bang. But whether the Raider will make a splash against its competition will be revealed very soon.