TVS RockZ 125

Published by insideracingadmin Date posted on July 25, 2019

The new TVS brand from India sure knows how to attract attention by giving us something different and delightful – an edgy-styled underbone with its own integrated audio system, a semi-manual clutch for added sporty performance and many other unique features. Underbones are cool again!

TVS Motor Company, the third largest in India and the sixth largest motorcycle producer in the world, has another model for the Philippine market, the impressive and unique TVS RockZ 125 underbone. After trying out the Apache RTR 150, we had high expectations from the RockZ 125 if it will have the same unexpected value-for-money proposition and modern appeal. We are glad to report that it did not disappoint and in fact impressed us even more with its new and unique features.

Let’s get the aesthetics comments out of the way first. The TVS RockZ 125 is one sleek-looking motorcycle. It has its own unique design and identity that cannot be confused with oriental and Chinese origins. The edgy and at the same time curvaceous  and dynamic  styling is adorned with sophisticated graphics and rich two-tone colors that give the bike a more expensive look.

It has black five-spoke alloy wheels and sporty profiled tires, sporty muffler fitted with chrome-plated exhaust guards, and LED turn signal lamps that complete the sporty look. The LED turn signal lamp is a first in this segment; it is brighter and more reliable than ordinary bulbs and consumes less power.

Now let’s go to its unique features which I’m sure many of you will find interesting and useful and you’ll even ask why they don’t put all these features in all the bikes.

The most novel and most noticeable is the TVS Integrated Music System or, as the TVS manual describe, a “rocking music system that rocks you all the way”. It has a factory-fitted USB socket, FM radio, an automotive grade MP3 player, and two 10-W weather and dust-proof speakers mounted on the body and two sets of headphone sockets for the rider and passenger. The system’s control cluster is within easy reach and can be easily operated by the rider. Sound clarity is acceptable and you can actually hear the music even with a full face helmet on. It’s a good way to impress other riders on the road and keeps you entertained during long rides. The music system also has an auto-off when it senses that the battery is getting weak. The TVS RockZ 125 is probably the first underbone to be equipped with a factory-fitted sound system, in fact, we have only seen this feature in big-bore touring motorcycles!

The RockZ also has a mobile charger socket with cap located near the USB port that you can use to charge your cell phone or any other portable devices like a tire inflator or emergency light. There is also a very convenient LED underseat light that provides much needed assistance in the dark. The lamp will turn on automatically when the well padded and comfy seat is opened and turns off automatically when the seat is lowered. This is useful considering that the RockZ has almost 9 liters of underseat storage.

Aside from glow in the dark ignition and ignition lock, other safety features unique to the RockZ is the anti-theft center stand lock operated by the key, a feature not found in many bikes in this category and the anti-theft engine cut-off switch hidden inside the underseat compartment that secures the bike when parked.

The attractive instrument cluster behaves like those of an EFI engine bike when the ignition key is turned on, performing the impressive needle sweeping and LED blinking theatricals. The analog speedometer is combined with a digital odometer and fuel level. It also has a useful gear indicator. It has Warm Up Indicator to indicate when the bike is already warmed enough after starting. It also has an Econo Mode Indicator to tell the rider if he or she is riding in an economical way. It really is one of the most advanced and complete instrument gauges on an underbone we have ever seen.

On the chassis features, the TVS RockZ is fitted with triple rated, 3-steps manually adjustable, monotube inverted gas-filled canister rear shock absorbers that give better riding comfort on different road and load conditions. The special tools needed to do the adjustments are included in the extensive tool kit that comes with the bike so you can easily adjust it anytime and anywhere.

The TVS RockZ 125 is powered by a 124.5 cc single overhead cam,single cylinder, air-cooled engine producing 9.8 bhp of maximum power at 7500rpm and 9.8 Nm of maximum torque at 5500rpm. It is combined with 4-speed rotary transmission with manual clutch overdrive. The engine has TVS Duralife engine technology designed to increase engine life using advanced piston ring technology, guide tensioner and lubrication circuits.

The 4-speed manual transmission is one of the best non-Japanese gearboxes we have ever tested. The shift lever is at the right position and not in an awkward way like on some low-end bikes. The shifting effort is so light and precise and the engagement of the gears is almost seamless that we have to look at the gear indicator to make sure that we have shifted. It is that smooth and consistent! The gear ratios are good for this bike allowing for fast take-off and relaxed cruising as well. The transmission’s performance alone is one of the reasons why we enjoyed riding this bike on twisty roads.

There is also a very clever manual clutch override feature. It has a clutch lever and at the same time a centrifugal primary clutch. This allows the rider enough bite for the acceleration during spirited riding and the convenience and confidence when threading in heavy stop and go traffic. This is probably one of the best features incorporated into this basic underbone that really addresses the riding needs of its target users.

Overall the TVS RockZ 125 literally “rocked our world” when we tested it. We expected a bike with only a fancy name and a lot of “toys” or gimmicks that are superficial and useless. But we were surprised that this was not the case. What we found was really a bike with its own character and impressive performance with unique features that are actually useful and functional. Of course, these add-ons do have an impact on its selling price which is one of the highest in the underbone  125 class, but the additional features more than justify the costs.  In the showrooms,  many will focus on the novel integrated sound system, but buyers who will decide to purchase it will be surprised later on to know that there are still other good and useful features on the bike like the  anti-theft features, manual clutch override and adjustable rear  suspension. The TVS RockZ 125 will surely become a “rock star” in many Filipino homes.

AL CAMBA
“Wow! It’s been a while since a new underbone this daring and this innovative was launched since probably the releases of the first XRM, Mio, Raider and Fury. Although it is a regular underbone, the TVS RockZ 125 introduces a lot of features to the underbone that will surely revolutionize the segment and make it more fun and attractive again compared to the trendy scooters and sport bikes. First and probably the biggest novelty is the integrated sound system that lets you play music via MP3 player or FM radio thru weather proof speakers. And then there is the semi-manual clutch that lets you enjoy the bite of a manual clutch during sporty take-off and the ease of centrifugal clutch in stop and go traffic. There is also the anti-theft engine cut-off switch under the seat normally found in high-end scooters only, and anti-theft center stand lock ,underseat light, adjustable rear suspension, 12V auxiliary socket for charging your phone or emergency lights, and many other small things like the LED turn signal lamps. It also has one of the most extensive toolkits that include the special tools to adjust the rear shock, and even the key fob is shaped like a rock star’s guitar! Of course, aside from these additional features, the riding position is well thought of, the seat is comfortable,  the engine is very smooth and powerful, and the gearbox is massively smooth and easy to operate…like butter! Mechanically and aesthetically, this underbone rocks!!!”

Ricci Abrina
“India has been coming out with some serious motorcycles lately, as this new comer in the Philippine market has seriously poked my senses. The TVS RockZ 125 underbone has so many bells and whistles in the electronics department that a fancy smartphone could possibly have….. – exaggeration aside – first up is the ignition key which is fashioned like an electric rock guitar. Then there is the push button controls for the music machine right in front of the rider to manipulate with ease. Another functional feature is the input plugs for external MP3 players to amplify the music. The cluster of electronic connectors such as a USB socket, 3.5mm jack and a charger socket will make you electronically sufficient. For safety, there are 2 features that are very useful. One is the stand lock and the other is a kill switch under the seat. I really like the auxiliary light inside the under seat compartment. The under seat compartment is much larger than other Japanese brands in its class. The adjustable suspension (they supply the tools to adjust) is sufficient for its size and power of the engine. The tires that came with the test unit are just right for riding the twisties. I so much like the smoothness of the gear shifter, it’s just too easy and the comfort of the seat is divine. Watch out Japan!”

PHILIP BONZA
“From afar, my first impression of this bike is cool because of its looks. To my surprise it is not just cool, it rocks! This bike has many to offer to the buyer. There are more features that I liked especially the built-in sound system. May I say that it’s the first for me to see a small motorcycle equipped  with a sound system as OE (original equipment). This model got me excited to go for a ride to Caliraya to test the power because after sitting on it, it feels comfortable. Another feature I like is the anti-theft switch or the kill switch under the seat. I salute the designers of this model, they really know what the riders need and want for their ride. They even designed the key to have a guitar shape that suits its model name. Now on the engine department, this model really “rockz”! It gave me a smooth engine operation in all gears, a powerful ride in traffic or in twisty up and down hill runs. The suspension operates smoothly with the help of a very comfortable soft saddle. It was very relaxing to ride this bike. Ergonomics is also good as the position of the shifter pedal on the handlebars were perfect for me. The instrument panel looks sporty but elegant and the way the switch buttons look and feel make you think that this is not a cheap bike. The additional clutch lever gave me another point to compliment because the rider has an option to use it or not especially in traffic. The overall style is modern and sporty with the classy black paint and white stylish design for a rocker color. The front brake gave me a spongy feel and yet delivered average braking power both on the front and rear. With all the features this bike has to offer, from the style to the color, performance and price, my verdict is a perfect 5 stars!”

Ricci Abrina
“India has been coming out with some serious motorcycles lately, as this new comer in the Philippine market has seriously poked my senses. The TVS RockZ 125 underbone has so many bells and whistles in the electronics department that a fancy smartphone could possibly have….. – exaggeration aside – first up is the ignition key which is fashioned like an electric rock guitar. Then there is the push button controls for the music machine right in front of the rider to manipulate with ease. Another functional feature is the input plugs for external MP3 players to amplify the music. The cluster of electronic connectors such as a USB socket, 3.5mm jack and a charger socket will make you electronically sufficient. For safety, there are 2 features that are very useful. One is the stand lock and the other is a kill switch under the seat. I really like the auxiliary light inside the under seat compartment. The under seat compartment is much larger than other Japanese brands in its class. The adjustable suspension (they supply the tools to adjust) is sufficient for its size and power of the engine. The tires that came with the test unit are just right for riding the twisties. I so much like the smoothness of the gear shifter, it’s just too easy and the comfort of the seat is divine. Watch out Japan!”

*This article was published in InsideRACING’s  Volume 10 Number 9  2012 issue.

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