As a manufacturer, TVS clearly wants to make a difference to two-wheeler riders, giving them something special and also delivering a better experience. So here comes the Jive, a modern commuter bike which is also a clutch-less motorcycle. How handy is it in the real world?
The Jive is a modern-looking commuter bike that follows a black theme for its front forks, smart alloy wheels, engine, silencer, rear suspension and matt-finish grab rail. A sleek, bright headlight and small bikini fairing give the motorcycle a purposeful look. Its twin-pod instruments are clearly legible, even on the move, and include a speedometer, fuel gauge as well as gear indicator. The handlebar-mounted mirrors are TVS-typical, firmly mounted on tall stalks and offer good rear view vision. While the Jive's palm grips are adequate, its comprehensive switchgear also includes a pass-light.
The muscular fuel tank provides sufficient support to a rider's thighs but a staid chrome filler cap looks dated and out of place on this bike. The white stitching on the seat lends a smart touch. TVS has managed to fit in the utility of a storage bay under the Jive's seat. The Jive silencer's upswept design seems sporty, but is marred by an unsightly chrome heat shield. The motorcycle gets neatly sculpted side and tail-fairing bits with trendy graphics and also a handsome tail light. Paint sheen, fit and finish and overall quality are all satisfactory on the Jive.
The Jive comes with a 109.7cc, single-cylinder, four-stroke and air-cooled engine. Operating two valves, this carburetted unit develops peak power of 8.4bhp at 7500rpm, with the max torque of 0.8kgm made at 5500rpm.
Engine bore and stroke measure 53.5mm x 48.8mm. While the Jive's engine is otherwise similar to those used by most Indian bikes, its piece de resistance is TVS's T-Matic twin-clutch system. Designed around a wet multi-plate clutch and new centrifugal clutch, this transmission does away with the chore of a manual clutch.
The Jive engine starts without hesitation and quickly settles into a smooth idle. With no clutch to depress, all the rider needs to do is tap the foot-operated gear lever into first and open the throttle to get going. While the Jive can start in any gear, it's advisable to always pull away in first if you want good fuel efficiency and long clutch life.
The future's here, for that missing clutch may have seasoned bikers grabbing an imaginary lever on the Jive initially, but they will soon find themselves nodding in agreement after they adapt to the system.
The clutch-less Jive and its T-Matic gearbox take some teething time to get in synch with. Still, it's clearly a brilliant move forward. The tip to extracting the best from this system are thinking of the foot gearshift lever as a clutch-cum-gearshift lever. And, always ride with the bike in the right gear.
Performance from the Jive engine was adequate and we managed to hustle this clutch-less bike to 60kph in 8.27 seconds, with top speed a true 94kph.
The Jive, which has a single downtube frame, uses telescopic forks at the front and twin shock absorbers at the rear. Its swingarm is made of rectangle section steel. The bike's relaxed seating position is upright, with a high-set handlebar easy to reach up to.
The latest TVS's suspension is good enough to soak up the rough stuff, while its plush seat does a great job of cushioning the rider from large bumps.
Handling is lively for a small and light motorcycle like this, with 17-inch wheels aiding flickability. But push hard and fast around long corners and the TVS tyres start to play spoilsport, squealing as they run out of grip and let down the rest of the bike's good behaviour.
The Jive's 130mm front and 110mm drum rear brakes offer good feel, and allow hauling the bike from 60kph to rest in 20.49 metres.
We weren't expecting path-breaking mileage from the Jive, as we thought T-Matic technology was likely to sacrifice some efficiency for convenience. Still, our fuel runs show the Jive capable of 53.4kpl in city and 55.2kpl on a highway, both figures pretty much within the efficient zone for this segment of motorcycle.
With its reasonable price tag of Rs. 41,000 (ex-showroom, India), TVS Motor has done what it needs to make this one tantalising commuter motorcycle.