There was a time when mopeds used to be the particular mean of transport which was used the most for riding from point A to point B. Before the advent and expansion of scooters and motorcycles in the Indian two wheeler market, it was the market of mopeds which was in the existence, credits for which goes to local manufacturers such as Bajaj, TVS and Kinetic.
But in today’s fast moving world, the concept of mopeds is slowly dying. The reasons are many – the mopeds are now not used particularly due to the status symbol, whereas they are also not used due to paltry amount of power, performance and features they have on tap. Which is why, the market of mopeds has now been confined to only tier-III towns and villages, and now has only one player in the form of TVS XL HD.
Till now, the TVS XK HD was sold only with a two stroke engine, but TVS believed that the product has still more potential to go on, a testimony to which is the fact that in 2015, the XL HD breached the mark of 1 crore units sold. To commemorate the strong sales of XL HD, TVS has now introduced its four stroke version in the form of XL 100.
This time around, the XL 100 tries to revive the fortunes of moped market in India with a refined engine and slight improvements cosmetically as well as mechanically. Here’s our quick take on the new TVS XL 100.
The TVS XL HD has been a familiar sight on Indian roads, as it was the only moped available in the country. The simple, no-frills design was not a head turner, but it was functional by every means for all those people who intended to buy it. Keeping this same philosophy alive, the XL 100 promises only to bring a little amount of freshness to this product.
Starting from the front, the XL 100 retains the round headlamp, which comes with chrome surround around it. Same goes for the orange colored turn indicators as well as the lean and slim front fender. Moving towards the side profile, the XL 100 now comes with a revised fuel tank, which unlike the previous unit, comes with character lines and cuts to make it look a bit more contemporary.
The floorboard, this time around, is wide and larger, so that it may accommodate a bit more luggage than before. The side panels, the one below the floorboard and the one below the rider seat, are also all new, which livens up the almost three decade old design of the XL platform. The rear styling, though, is still, as bland as before, with the rear fender as well as absence of rear side body panels continuing to show that it is a no-nonsense design. However, the tail lamp is all new, whereas the rear pillion seat is detachable, so that the flat space below it can be used as a luggage mounting bay.
The instrument console is the same basic unit as before – an analogue meter unit which has displays only for speedometer and odometer, along with basic tell tale lamps. Overall, the TVS XL 100 is the same old wine, but in a new bottle, with the minuscule cosmetic treatment bringing a bit of novelty factor in the aging design.
Till date, the TVS XL, or for the matter of the previous generation model – XL HD, was powered only with a two stroke engine, which was extremely puny and underpowered. This time around, in the XL 100, TVS has tried to make this moped as best as possible, in terms of mechanical finesse.
For the first time in its history, the TVS XL has been blessed with a four stroke engine, with the XL 100 being fitted with a four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, 99.7cc engine. The mill has been sourced from TVS’s entry level 100cc commuter, Sport, but for the XL 100, it has been heavily retuned to make it suitable for the moped platform. The engine is equipped with a single speed gearbox, the operation of which is the same as that of CVT-equipped scooters in the Indian market.
The engine on the XL 100 makes a power output of 4.2 PS and a torque output of 6.3 Nm, which makes it almost twice as powerful as the XL HD which it replaces. According to TVS, the shift to a four stroke engine was necessary, as in the Indian market, the two stroke engines have been phased out due to change and upgrade in emission norms. Being a four stroke engine, the XL 100 claims a healthy fuel efficiency of 67 kmpl, which is quite commendable for a moped.
RIDE AND HANDLING
The XL platform was designed by TVS so as to take the bruises and torments of the roads of small towns and villages, where the tarmacs usually are not as supple as those in cities. The XL was always praised for its ruggedness, which TVS intends to up with the new XL 100.
The new generation moped has been equipped with telescopic hydraulic forks at the front and hydraulic coil springs along with tubular swingarm at the rear. The suspension is tuned on the slightly softer side to take on the bumps with equal composure. The XL 100 tips the weighing scales at just 75 kgs, which makes it super light and very easy to ride. The dynamics are quite easy to grasp, as due to being light weighted, the XL 100 is very easy to maneuver on.
The new XL 100 has been equipped with drum brakes at both the ends – 80 mm at the front and 110 mm at the rear. At 1215 mm, the wheelbase is also a bit longer than before, which makes the XL 100 more composed and stable than the XL HD which it replaces.
Till date, the TVS XL HD was the most affordable two wheeler not only in TVS’s product portfolio, but in the entire Indian two wheeler market as well. With the enhancements in powertrain and design, it is natural to expect the hike in its pricing, which it actually has received, but still, the XL 100 continues to be the most affordable two wheeler in the Indian market.
TVS has priced the XL 100 at a starting price of Rs. 29,128, whereas the moped is now available in four different colors – Blue, Red, Green, Grey and Black.
It’s very evident that the moped market in India has already diminished, and the XL HD was the only moped available in the Indian two wheeler market. Same goes for the new XL 100 as well, as the moped will not be facing any competition. The Kinetic Luna could have been a direct rival to this new product, but then the product as well as its manufacturer are now things of past.
Over the past three decades, the TVS XL has been one of the most preferred means of transport, especially in smaller towns and rural areas, and has been receiving accolades due to its simplicity in design and mechanicals. But with the changing times, it was necessary for TVS to bring in some crucial changes like a four stroke engine and refreshed design, which it has managed with the new XL 100.
With the new XL 100, TVS has managed to maintain to revive the product, without tempering with the classic essence of it. The product still has that unmistakable stance of being the goold old TVS moped, but now comes with subtle changes in design. The inclusion of a new four stroke engine proves to be a path breaking change in the XL platform, which has made the moped more refined, powerful and fuel efficient at the same time. Yes, it’s pricier than before, but overall, the XL 100 is a much better product than all the previous iterations of the XL.