Shining to Victory

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Do not get bemused by the title of the article, there is no race report being penned down here. After riding the 125cc TVS Victor Edge for over a month when I got chance to switch to 125cc Honda Shine in the middle of a ride, I could not stop myself from grabbing this chance to compare Shine with Edge.

The moment I got myself seated on Shine for the first time, immediately I notice the difference in sitting posture. Where the handle of Edge is comparatively smaller and lower, Shine got handlebar placed slightly higher. Though both bikes got different handle position but both of them are comfortable to ride with.

Gear shifting on Shine and Edge are smooth and got the same shift pattern. Though both bikes got brakes with same specifications, front disc of Edge is more powerful than Shine. Not that brakes on Shine are inadequate but after riding Edge it takes some time to get used to the slightly lesser powerful disc brake of Shine, if you have never ridden Edge you will find no problems with the brakes of Shine.

Since the roads are wet I never got chance to explore either of bikes in twisty on wet but both bikes are comparable to take turns at speeds up to 60km/hr depending on the road surface and curve.

Suspension on Edge is slightly on the stiffer side as compared to Shine. Ride over broken or non-existing roads on Edge after the speed of 50km/hr gets a little bit bumpy, not bumpy enough to rattle your bones, whereas the same stretch on Shine can easily be done at speeds up to 60km/hr without any problems but then the people who are the target buyers for these bikes will never go at such speeds over broken roads. A point to note here is that Edge got gas charged shocks whereas Shine got the conventional hydraulic shocks. Reminding me of the comparison I did between CBZ’s hydraulic shocks and gas shocks of Pulsar both used on the same CBZ, where the 6 years old CBZ shocks were as good as brand new gas shocks of Pulsar. I rode the CBZ over incomplete road (just layer of stones no layer of tar present) up to the speed of 80km/hr and there was hardly any difference between the shocks.

With Shine just 500 odd kilometers old, I did not push the bike to check its top end or revved the bike hard to check the pickup but still bike felt peppy.

Both Edge and Shine got little bit of vibrations. On Shine there are vibrations which can be felt on foot brake level and gear lever at speeds as low as 40km/hr and as the speed approaches 60km/hr the vibration are also felt on the foot pegs, as the speed increases vibrations start to appear on handle bar also. I took the bike up to 80km/hr just once for a very small time and the vibrations on foot levers, foot pegs and handle bar were present with very little bit of them coming from tank also which can be felt as you grab the tank with your knees. On Edge there are no vibrations up to the speed of 50km/hr. As the speed approaches 60km/hr vibrations start to appear on tank, which can be felt when you grab the tank with your knees. As speed is increased further, vibration starts to appear on foot brake lever and little bit on handle bar but nothing on foot pegs. Neither of these bikes come with bar end weights, which might have helped in reducing the vibrations. These vibrations on either bike are not of the intensity that one can not ride the bike but just that they are present making you reminding that the engine is running. Even with vibrations there, I feel one can easily cruise at 80km/hr comfortably on either bikes.

Where Edge is easier to maneuver due to 17?-18? setup Shine is not that easy to dodge potholes etc due to its 18?-18? wheel setup. Seat of Edge is slightly on harder side as compared to Shine, none of them are uncomfortable to sit on. Having astride Edge for over an hour non-stop and 3 hours with breaks and on Shine for close to an hour without breaks, both seats are comfortable to sit on. Exceptionally wide seat of Shine reminds me of my bullet seat.

None of the engines are right candidates for the most silent engine competition but neither of them makes noise which can be disturbing to the rider. As the speed increased engine noise on Shine increases slightly more than Edge.

Riders buying 100cc-125cc economizers prefer to shift gears as less as possible and that is one place I think not many bikes will be able to beat Shine. On Edge I (weighing 90kg plus weight of helmet and rain coat) am able to go as low as 25km/hr in 4th gear and still able to pull but the pace is slow no chain snatch or knocking. On Shine I was able to go as low as 15km/hr (below that I did not try) in 4th gear and the bike still pulls easily (much easier than Edge). The surprise came while climbing up Pirangut Ghat. The bike was pulling up the Ghat nicely in 4th right along with few other bikes and Edge then we all have to slow down due to a slow climbing truck, could see all the bikes shifting at least 1-2 gears down to keep up with the slow pace of truck and then pass it when we got the space but me on Shine did not require to shift any gear, yes the get away was slower (no chain snatch or knocking) than the other bikes but they all were either in 2nd or 3rd gear whereas I was in 4th gear. One day I would love to climb up Khandala and Khambatki Ghats on Shine.

No idea about the mileage of Shine, have only being able to put Edge through rounds of mileage testing. Also having not ridden Shine in night can not compare the head light beam quality of the two bikes.

Another good thing about Edge is its front mudguard design. When riding in rain or over wet surface, front mudguard of other bikes (including Shine) will start to throw a spray onto the legs and pants of the rider. No such signs on the Edge. Rode the bike for over a month in rains and many times over wet roads (with no rains) and not once my legs or pants got dirty by the spray.

Engine
Victor Edge: 4 Stroke, Single cylinder, 2 Valve per Cylinder, Air Cooled, Single Over Head Cam. 124.86cc, 54.5×53.5, 9.3:1, 9.3PS @ 7000rpm, 9.9Nm @ 4000rpm.
Honda Shine: 4 Stroke, Single cylinder, 2 Valve per Cylinder, Air Cooled, Single Over Head Cam. 124.60cc, 52.4×57.9, 9.2+/-0.2:1, 10.4PS @ 7500rpm, 10.9Nm @ 5500rpm.

Dimensions
TVS Edge
: 1993×710×1107(L x W x H), 185 (GC), 1240 (WB), 117kg (Kerb Weight), 11.5lt Fuel Tank.
Honda Shine: 2015×730×1070(L x W x H), 175 (GC), 1265 (WB), 118kg (Kerb Weight), 11lt Fuel Tank.

Suspension
TVS Edge
: Telescopic forks (Front), Double Sided rectangular swingarm, twin-gas charged shock absorbers (Rear).
Honda Shine: Telescopic forks (Front), Tabular swingarm, Hydraulic shocks (Rear).

Wheels
TVS Edge
: 1.6×17 Front & 1.85×18 Rear (5 Spoke Al Alloy) OR 1.6×18 Front & 1.85×18 Rear (Wire Spoke) rims, 90×90/17 Front & 3.00×18 Rear (5 Spoke Al Alloy) OR 2.75/18 Front & 3.00×18 Rear (Wire spoke) tyres.

Honda Shine: 1.6×18 Front & 1.6×18 Rear (Wire Spoke) rims, 2.75/18 Front & 3.00×18 Rear (Wire spoke) tyres.

Brakes
TVS Edge
: 240mm Disc OR 130mm Drum (Front), 130mm Drum (Rear).
Honda Shine: 240mm Disc OR 130mm Drum (Front), 130mm Drum (Rear).

So in the end, which bike do I recommend? Well none of the bike is exceptionally good than the other in any category. Both of them has some areas which can be improved upon. So ride both the bikes and pick up the one that suites your taste.

Riding on the ‘Edge’

Sun, 18 June 2006. Gave the CBZ for servicing, since I got late giving the bike, I will not get it back the same day. So was doing some thinking while walking down towards the main road, to pick an auto-rickshaw for my office, so that I can ride my Fiero from there.

Suddenly it strike me that house of Dilip Bam is just a km or so away, so called him up (hoping he is in town, normally its difficult to catch him in town on a weekend). To my luck he was at home. Cancelled my original plan and walked to his house. After chatting for over couple of hours, I asked him if I can get a bike to ride for couple of days. He agreed upon and handed me key of TVS Victor Edge.

Took a glance at the bike and swing my leg over it. First feel was the seat is nicely padded and the riding posture reminded me of the ideal sitting position when working on a computer. The handlebar is positioned nicely low down giving a very relaxed riding posture. The bike got central locking, no need to bend front to look for handle lock. After getting some info from Dilip about the different position of fuel tap (pointing down is main, pointing up is reserve and middle is the off position) and gear shift pattern (4speed, shift patter all up) etc. I was off towards the gas station as the bike was almost running on fumes. Filled in ~1.8lt and decided to do some city riding before going to office.

Performance is quite decent. Can’t expect more out of a 124.8cc 4st single cylinder, air cooled, mill that is churning out 9.2bhp of power at 7000rpm and 1kgm of torque at a very low 4000rpm. With the bike weighing slight over my Suzuki Fiero at 117kg, it is neither too heavy nor too light to ride. Thankfully the bike boasts front disc (240mm), stopping the machine in time was not too much of a problem for me. Not that I don’t think drum would be insufficient, having spend over 6yrs riding two wheelers to their limit having only drum brakes to do the stopping, I like disc for their overall efficiency over drums. The rear is a normal 130mm drum doing well to stop the bike.

The bike I’m using got alloy wheels which looks nice, riding a bike with alloys for the first time. The front wheel size is 1.6×17 spotting a 90/90×17 size tyre, something unusual in this class of bikes. The rear is more conventional one with the wheel size of 1.85×18 with a tyre of 3.00×18 doing the duty.

The bike got a rectangular swing arm along with gas-charged shocks without any external bottles (whats seen on the gas-shocks of bullet/pulsar).

The complete switch gear having turn-push-cancel indicator switch, head light on/off and low/high beam selector, horn which is louder enough, day light flasher, choke, is on the left hand side leaving the right hand to just play with the throttle.

The console is twin pod with the left one used as speedometer and odometer and the right one a fuel gauge also featuring twing lights for economy and power mode (I think which works based on the throttle position). Above these twin round pods are the lights to show the indicator status.

About the ride impression. I guess it needs better rubber at rear (may be I’m spoiled by Michelin M45’s) didn’t find any problems in taking turns on dry tarmac. The turns are taken at the similar ease as I have done on my other bikes.

The most impressing part about the bike is its rollon capabilities. Slot the bike in 4th and you can ride all the way at speeds as low as 25km/hr without any problem and when needed you can easily accelerate to speeds upto 90km/hr. Above that you need more road space and probably some downwards slope.

After my office took the highway route to home and managed to touch 100km/hr without much problem (sitting upright). The thing which surprised me was that the bike was very stable at that speed even with some amount of cross wind and turbulence while passing trucks.

There are hardly any vibrations but the bike feels comfortable enough for a 80km/hr all day long cruising. Riding above that for too long and I got a very little bit of sensation in my right hand.

So far, having covered close to 50km over all sort of roads. Smooth surface, bumpy roads, broken roads with many potholes big and deep enough to shake your body, roads in incomplete state. So far the bike has stood upto the challange.

Will be getting the CBZ back today eve but I’m tempted and gonna request Dilip, if I can keep this bike for few more days. Even if that means parking the CBZ at his house, is not a bad deal. After all the fuel price has gone up in the wrong direction.

Yet to ride the bike in rains/wet roads and in night. Not yet able to check the mileage either. Hope Dilip agrees and I’m able to put some more miles and collect some more data about the bike to share with all of you.

PS: All speeds were as shown on the speedo.