Yamaha Alpha vs. TVS Jupiter
Road traffic is a big problem in India, especially in chaotic Indian cities. Whenever you think of going somewhere, you must prepare yourself for getting stuck in congested city roads with bumper to bumper traffic. Scooters look more convenient to pass through the traffic jams and thus, most daily commuters prefer to buy a scooter than a car. There's no stress of managing the clutch or changing gear and you can reach anywhere in less time & less money.
Though the two-wheeler industry as a whole is struggling at the moment, gearless scooter segment is witnessing a tremendous growth and to bank on it, Japanese manufacturer Yamaha has launched three scooters in the past 18 months. The company has recently introduced Yamaha Alpha which is expected to give a tough fight to the already popular TVS Jupiter. The name signifies the largest planet in our galaxy but it is a compact scooter that offers everything you need. Both the scooters have good demand in Indian market and it would be tough for buyers to choose one. So, in this article, I am drawing a comparison between these two new scooters in entry level 110cc segment. Let's get started.
Styling & Design
Since both these scooters are targeted at more mature or evolved buyers, the overall styling is intentionally kept sober. Yet, both look quite attractive.
With subtle lines and soft curves, the Yamaha Alpha which is the latest scooter to hit the 110cc segment has a more spunky & sharp design than its sibling Ray. Instead of the front fairing, the headlight is positioned on the handle-bar this time. The headlight looks quite different from that in the TVS Jupiter & Honda Activa but it looks very similar to that seen on the Suzuki Swish, which does not gel with the overall design. The swooping panels look pleasant.
While the tail-lamp is positioned much lower than usual, rear indicators are positioned much higher. As per Yamaha, these changes add to the sportiness and many people may even like such changes but many people argue that lower rear indicators would have been better for signaling and higher tail lamp would have given better visibility for vehicles approaching from behind. Companies must study the safety & utility factors well when designing a vehicle.
The muscular front mudguard on both the Jupiter and Yamaha Alpha look same as the design is inspired from the new Honda Activa. The mudguard & telescopic forks give the Alpha a bold macho-like look. To add more styling, a smart Yamaha 'tuning fork' badge and a pair of sharp tear-shaped turn indicators are provided. With the up swept exhaust, puffed out front fairing & sleek rear panels, I particularly liked the neat side profile of the Yamaha scooter. It is marginally shorter in length but taller than the TVS Jupiter.
The Jupiter has seen a great response in market and some credit for this goes to its pleasant clean & chiseled design. Its overall built quality is top notch and clearly outshines the Yamaha. Unlike the Alpha, the beautifully designed side indicators (which are borrowed from Wego) gel well with the overall design and with the oval side panels in particular.
When it comes to styling & design, TVS Jupiter is the clear winner.
The cycle parts on this TVS scooter are the best in the segment. It has got some fantastic features. What I liked the most is its smart headlight high-low-beam selector which doubles up as pass-switch. It has ECO and POWER modes which are segment first features. On the instrument cluster, you will find fuel reserve light & high beam indicator. There are dedicated turn indicators on each side. The switchgear, which is borrowed from Wego, comes with a red colored ignition switch and yellow horn, which make it look funky. The telescopic front forks seen on the Jupiter are similar to the Alpha but have a more vigorous gas-charged rear shock absorber. Also, while the TVS Jupiter features 5-spoke 12-inch alloy wheels, Alpha features only 10-inch ones.
If we talk of Alpha's over-sized analogue instrument cluster, only basic information such as speed, fuel-gauge and tell-tale lights is offered. Unlike the case in the TVS scooter, the basic layout of the instrument cluster is very basic. The scooter has an additional feature in the form of a rear tyre hugger. Overall, features are very less if compared with the Jupiter.
Both the scooters offer comfortable riding positions and wide seats. On TVS Jupiter, I noticed that the 800mm seat is too soft which is not appropriate for long rides but it has a perfect narrow front so that your feet can easily reach the ground. There is 21-inch under-seat storage, which is 4-litres more than that in the TVS. It is spacious enough for your feet and can even store an open-face helmet. The scooter has two hooks unlike Yamaha Alpha which has only one. Also, its EZ main stand feature reduces the load on the rider when putting the scooter on main stand.
The seat on the Yamaha scooter has the right balance of cushioning and is appropriate for long rides. Due to its taller stance, Alpha offers a more commanding riding position which gives better visibility on front. The flat board is also comfortably big.
Comparing both the scooters on comfort factor, the Jupiter clearly outsmarts the Yamaha Alpha.
Engine dynamics & ride quality
The TVS Jupiter comes with a smooth and refined 110cc engine which is borrowed from the Wego. It delivers maximum power of 8PS and a peak torque of 8Nm, which is enough for basic city use. The Alpha on the other hand is powered with 113cc engine seen in the Ray. It delivers slightly low power of 7.1PS and a peak torque of 8.1Nm.
While the former is an electrifying, energetic Indian motor, the latter is a traditional Japanese SOHC motor. Both come with CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission) for smooth power delivery. Both the engines deliver almost the same on paper as well as in the real world but for daily use, the Yamaha Alpha feels more alert & agile. Also, it is 4kg lighter than the 108kg TVS, which reflects in its ride quality. The Alpha has a firmer suspension setup which feels a bit uncomfortable when passing over big bumps. Both the scooters use similar 130mm drum brakes up front and at back, which offer impressive feel and feedback. The companies claim 62kmpl of fuel efficiency but none of the scooters match up to it. When engine dynamics & overall ride quality are concerned, choosing one is actually very difficult.
Price & verdict
The TVS Jupiter is priced at Rs 44204 which is way too cheaper than the new Yamaha Alpha which costs Rs 47735 (both ex-showroom Delhi). The higher price is not even justified as the cheaper Jupiter comes with better styling & design, more features, comfort and a smoother engine, making it the obvious pick in this comparison.