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Old 11th February 2024, 20:24   #1
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My TVS NTorq XP - Frustrating buying & ownership experience

Hello! This is my very first report on TBHP, and I am excited to tell you more about what happens to be my first-ever self-earned vehicle.

Hereís the first part of my TVS NTorq review where I detail my experience of buying it, and a truly frustrating story of the initial few weeks of being with it. In the subsequent parts which I promise to post soon, I will talk about how it has fared over two months and 750+kms.

My TVS NTorq XP - Frustrating buying & ownership experience-untitled.jpg

I have taken inspiration from many amazingly detailed, and very well written ownership reviews on TBHP and I hope mine comes close to some of them.

Background

I am totally a car person, and two-wheelers have traditionally been a no-no for me. I live in Pune, and I am scared to ride a bike or a scooter here because traffic discipline of any kind is hard to find. I stay in Bavdhan, which is still slightly on the outskirts of the main city. To go in any major neighbourhood of this city, I have to go on the Pune-Bangalore highway or take one of the service roads. Both are incredibly dangerous. The highway consists of rash drivers and truckers who seem to have no control over their speed. Service roads are in an absolutely pathetic state with potholes that can potentially kill someone. Even the better of them have too many undulations and rough patches. Thus, if I have to go anywhere, my default choice is our trusted Alto K10.

I had almost made up my mind to never buy a scooter. For very short trips around my house, I used my mumís TVS Scooty Pep+ or my old Honda Navi. While I am dead scared of riding a two-wheeler, my mum is not. My efforts to convince her to use the car have been in vain. She still prefers the sheer convenience of using her Scooty Pep+. Since she uses it everyday, the only other option for running errands was the Honda Navi.

The Navi is not well-liked by my parents. My mum plain refuses to ride it or even sit on it. She finds it too uncomfortable. Same with my dad but his persistent complaint has been that it is very impractical. This is something I agree with. The ergonomics are off, and there simply isnít a storage space good enough to even get a weekís worth of groceries.

Plus, I recently got a job in Pune. Having shifted from Mumbai back home, I was saving a significant amount of money. The fact that we were looking for a two-wheeler, and I could afford one, meant I almost impulsively decided to make the purchase.

The search begins

I wanted my new scooter to be comfortable, reliable, efficient and reasonably good on performance. I had driven my 110-cc Navi for all these years, and the performance was adequate. But I wanted an upgrade, and hence, we started our search with 125-cc scooters.
I set a budget of Rs 1.2 lakh (on-road).

I was previously working as an automotive journalist at a magazine, and while I was covering the car section, I had a basic knowledge of what was going on in the two-wheeler market. But with so many options in the 125-cc segment, I couldnít decide. I called a colleague up who suggested I only look at two options:

Suzuki Access 125 and TVS NTorq.

I briefly considered Vespa but that thought was immediately put to rest when I received the quotation. Even the base variant was quite expensive. I also considered electric scooters like the TVS iQube and the Ather 450S, but again, they were out of my budget. So, it was back to the two options.

I seriously considered going for the Access 125. In fact, I had almost made up my mind. It ticked all the boxes, and was a practical purchase. It was also the kind of scooter that would keep my parents happy with its ease of riding, and plenty of storage space. The reviews I checked online spoke highly of the scooter too.

A few days later, I decided to call a Suzuki dealer to ask for a test ride. But before I made the call, I thought to myself, this was my first self-earned vehicle. Admitted, I am more of a car person, and owning my own set of four-wheels would take me to seventh heaven, but even a two-wheeler, when bought from my own money, is special.

My TVS NTorq XP - Frustrating buying & ownership experience-untitled1.jpg

And I wanted it to be special. I wanted it to have the sense-of-occasion. It had to be a scooter that really stood out from the crowd. Even I wasnít sure what I exactly meant by this but I knew it just couldnít be a regular commuter scooter. It had to be a little more exciting.

I remembered TVS had introduced a variant of the NTorq that was almost universally praised. A quick search told me that it is called the Race XP (Xtra(?) Power), and it was the most exciting variant in the NTorq-range.

I did not think twice, and decided to go ahead with the TVS NTorq XP. I booked the test drive at Century TVS, Bhandarkar Road, and danced a jig for having taken the first step towards owning my very first vehicle.

The average first-look experience


I had specifically asked the Century dealer at Bhandarkar road if they had the Race XP variant of the NTorq for test ride. This variant produces slightly more power and torque than the other NTorq variants, and I had read that it feels considerably different to the standard models. Thus, I wanted to have the test ride of the Race XP.

The dealer assured me that they have the Race XP for a test drive. Only thing, they didnít. I went to the dealership and found they had the non-XP variant for test drive. Upon enquiring, the sales person told me that all NTorqs behave the same. I tried arguing but it was too late in the day for a fight, and I decided to go ahead with what they had. If not the performance, I could at least see how the scooter felt for my weight and height.

The rest of the process of the sales person explaining to me the features and other details was too rushed. He did not give me the time to think. I do acknowledge that the day I went, the dealership was crowded but rushing potential customers creates a bad impression. I would have liked him to be more attentive towards my questions.

This experience did dampen my spirits. But I knew the product was too good, and I went ahead with the booking. I asked the dealer to deliver the scooter the next month from that date because I was likely to travel that month.

The travel plans changed, and I was there that month. I called the sales person and asked if we could get the scooter a few weeks early. He readily agreed and asked me to make the full payment which I did.


Within two-weeks, TVS Century had my scooter ready. I found it commendable that they made this delivery possible in a relatively short time, and with registration and number plate done. The first impression I had of them started to turn a bit positive.

Delivery, and the headaches that followed

During my pre-delivery inspection, I noticed the front red wheel had a few scratches on it. There were also a few really small scratches on the fuel-filler cap. While seemingly minor, such quality control lapses put me off instantly. I do not subscribe to the dealerís justification that such things happen while transporting the two-wheelers. It is not acceptable, and TVS should be very meticulous towards how their products reach the dealership. Rs 1.25 lakh is a lot of money for me, and when I am paying that sum, I cannot accept a 98% product. It has to be 100%.

My TVS NTorq XP - Frustrating buying & ownership experience-untitled2.jpg

This was nothing compared to what was in store for me. On the ride back home from the dealer, I noticed that my NTorq was shifting between Street Mode and Race Mode automatically. Soon, I noticed this problem was cropping up after every road imperfection. After reaching home, I called the sales person, and he told me to drop the scooter off the next morning.

Hoping this was just a case of loose connection, I went back to the showroom. I was flabbergasted at how blissfully unaware the service personnel were on that day with their own products. They denied it was a problem and tried explaining to me how it happens in ďall NTorqs.Ē I was not the one to get fooled, and I showed them the entire ownerís manual asking them to point me at the section where such a thing was mentioned. After I explained to the service team that it was a problem and not something the NTorq was designed to do, they decided to change the instrument cluster. I found little logic in it but they assured me it could most likely be a case of a faulty instrument cluster.

My TVS NTorq XP - Frustrating buying & ownership experience-whatsapp-image-20240211-7.36.42-pm.jpeg

They replaced the instrument cluster, and miraculously the problem disappeared for the 6km that I rode. Happy, I went back home, and even on the way back, the modes did not change. The problem returned the next day on my way to the office, and I called the dealer again. This time, they asked one of their more senior service members to inspect the scooter. He said it was a software update issue, and he did it in minutes. Again, I was sceptical with this approach, but this person seemed to at least know the functions of the NTorq XP. He did something and again, on my brief ride around the dealership the problem was nowhere to be seen.

On the third day, it returned. This time, I was thoroughly frustrated. I had already gone to the dealer twice, and spent hours, and returned home with the assurance that the modes wonít shift automatically again. The raging anger I felt that day even surprised me.

I dropped a few threatening emails to TVS, and told the dealer explicitly that I would approach higher authorities within the company if not file a lawsuit. It wasnít just the time wasted but the complete lack of knowledge and understanding of the service people put me off. I understand products can have problems but the inability of the service centre to solve them or even show a genuine willingness in solving them just does not sit well with me.

A more senior person spoke to me on phone, and told me that he has especially instructed the team to take a close look at the problem. Now, having zero hopes, I went to the dealer. But this time, the approach was far more sincere. I was given a job card and assured that they will open the scooter up and get to the bottom of the issue. Given my past experience, I wasnít expecting much.

That afternoon, after I dropped off the scooter, I received a message saying that my NTorq had been taken to the police station. It was parked in the no-parking zone by the dealer. Determined not to scream, bang or bring the house down, I exercised saint-like self-control and just sent the screen shot of the message to the service centre person I was in touch with. He replied saying he was looking into it, and within an hour, I received a picture of my NTorq XP returned at the dealership.

Later in the day, I went to collect my scooter. That afternoon, after I dropped off the scooter, I received a message saying that my NTorq had been taken to the police station. As I had predicted, there was a problem with the connection, and he replaced some components in it. I am sorry but I was so done at that point, I did not pay much attention to what he was explaining.

However, the third timeís a charm, as they say, and sure enough, the problem hasnít returned.

I have put about 500 odd kilometres on the scooter since then, and thereís nothing wrong with it. I also completed my first service at the same dealer, and my NTorq XP is doing admirably well.

Despite this ordeal, I am in love with the product, and glad I made that choice. It puts a wide grin on my face everytime I take it out. In fact, I go to the office via a longer route, just so I can spend more time with it. Itís an absolute hoot, and I will tell you all about it in the next part which I will publish soon.

TVS needs to radically improve its service

Great products can be nothing if they are not sold and looked after by great teams. My experience with Century TVS has been a mixed bag. While I truly appreciate the quick delivery, the final-round of problem solving, and the good first servicing, I think the dealership needs to do so much more in terms of training their staff and service people.

TVS needs a much better quality control in place. I repeat, one CANNOT accept a scooter with even minor scratches. Just in the same way, TVS wouldnít accept Rs 2,000 less than the selling price. Problems like the one I faced point to serious lapses in quality control, and no customer should ever have to go through the madness I went through.

Frankly, the buying experience has significantly dialled down my excitement for my NTorq. Hoping it returns as I spend more and more time with a very well-engineered scooter. As for the dealer, I hope they serve me well going forward.

For some of us, vehicles are more than just a way to go from one place to the other. For me, this was a sense of achievement, and I hope companies and dealers understand this and focus on serving their customers well.
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Old 12th February 2024, 06:48   #2
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Re: My TVS NTorq XP - Frustrating buying & ownership experience

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the 2-Wheels section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th February 2024, 12:00   #3
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Re: My TVS NTorq XP - Frustrating buying & ownership experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by pradyumnakalagi View Post
Frankly, the buying experience has significantly dialled down my excitement for my NTorq. Hoping it returns as I spend more and more time with a very well-engineered scooter. As for the dealer, I hope they serve me well going forward.
Congratulations on your purchase!

I also bought my NTorq from same showroom. I will have to be careful where they park my bike next time. I generally take my NTorq for servicing as first customer of the day, so as not to end up parking in no-parking zones.

My first day, when I took my delivery of NTorq, the odometer cable was disconnected. I rode home that day without speedometer. Next day very casually they attached the cable. The reason, they disconnect the cable during transit so as not to increase the KM. Their bikes are driven all the way from Dapodi to Bhandarkar road for delivery. In your case, could be a case of damage during this transit of ~10 KM.

Set aside the initial experience, its fleeting. These days the buying experience, initial experience is not that great for any vehicle purchase. You have to live with the bike, which should be a great experience and not with the initial experience. I bought a 25L Safari and had to live with a mis-aligned boot door for a month. During first service they casually fixed it, saying itís a QC issue from factory.

I use my NTorq a lot for office commute and can say that the NTorq will bring back the excitement.
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Old 12th February 2024, 12:20   #4
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Re: My TVS NTorq XP - Frustrating buying & ownership experience

The scratches shouldn't be there in the first place. As you rightly pointed out, TVS or even the dealer will not accept a lesser payment than was quoted. If the dealer is ready to paint or buff out, for free, that not-so-perfect part on the scooter, it makes sense. The NTorq is an enjoyable scooter and here is wishing you many happy miles on it.
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Old 12th February 2024, 13:20   #5
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Re: My TVS NTorq XP - Frustrating buying & ownership experience

hello,

Congratulations on your purchase. First vehicles are always special.

Would you mind sharing any reason for not including Yamaha Scooters in your shortlist like the RayZR or the AeroX ? They are pretty mean machines and fall in the 125 - 155 CC category.

I had bought my Ray ZR 3 years back and a back to back ride comparison with TVS and Suzuki bikes, felt the RayZR to be more stable with better dynamics.

On the service part, I would recommend finding a good local workshop for your scooter. Post the 1st 3 free service I have never been to the dealer's service center. These machines are pretty reliable and very easy to service with very minimum electronics involved and a good local mechanic would do a better job than the service center. I am not sure if TVS allows this, but Yamaha allows over the counter sale of parts like filters, etc.

Regards
Diesel
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Old 12th February 2024, 14:28   #6
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Re: My TVS NTorq XP - Frustrating buying & ownership experience

Congratulations on your new NTORQ race XP.

One of the most proportionate sporty scooters in India. I have the same model, now 2 year old and I'm very happy with the ride.
Love the planted ride, the throaty exhaust and the overall design.
Only low fuel efficiency is a downer. FE directly depends on your riding style and tyre air pressure.

I too faced issue with the scooter during first 2 months. Self starter not used to work during every morning/first start of the day, the service center initially wrote it off as they were unable to reproduce it. Then I kept the scooter in service center for one day and next day they were able to reproduce it. They returned scooter claiming it's fixed, but issue came up next day. This repeated 2-3 times, till I threatened with email to TVS.



They did something and claimed replaced battery, screen and purge valve. Issue never came back till last week, where it was solved by replacing the battery.

Last edited by Asish_VK : 12th February 2024 at 14:29.
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Old 13th February 2024, 13:21   #7
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Re: My TVS NTorq XP - Frustrating buying & ownership experience

Congratulations on your purchase. Sorry to learn about your initial trouble, otherwise it's an awesome machine.

I own a 2019 Ntorq Race edition which comes with a carburetor. Extremely happy with the performance, handling, and build quality. Initially used to do daily 50 km on it so plonked some extra cushion for the seat which turned out to be a good decision.

Yes, FE is on a bit lower side and more so for cold starts and short rides. But once the engine heats up and on open highways, FE does improve significantly.

The scooter still feels new even after 4.5 years and 26000 KMs!

Happy Riding!
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