report The VT-i-powered commuter bike with a frugal drinking
habit continues to thrill.
India staffers continue to do battle over who gets to ride
the diminutive Centra. This in spite of the bike getting
along in age. Though our long term stable sports a few larger
and more powerful motorcycles, few match the Centra in terms
of sheer practicality.
It's no eye-stunner, yet within its segment the Centra does
comfortably manage to pass off as a fair looker. Our test
bike looks mean in shining black paint, and drawing close
to the 13,000km mark has done little to take away much from
its fine gloss.
The fuel tank, which is larger than those on most other
100cc commuter bikes, helps it impart a nice meaty feel
to the rider. A fine headlight, adequate switchgear and
nice grips and levers are other rider-friendly qualities
that we have come to take for granted on the Centra.
We have always groaned about its clunky fuel-filler lid, and
another minor hassle is a recent audio rattle from the rear
tail-fairing bit, something that will need tending at the
bike's next visit to the TVS service
The Centra motor comes armed with in-built VT-i technology
and the engine has proven reliable in not giving us any untoward
reason for complaint to this day. This bike is no trailblazer
when talking performance, yet it's no slouch when paired with
any of its direct competitors.
Snapper Ashley Baxter has maintained the bike as carefully
as his own sibling. He resides in the back-of-beyond Thane
and has racked up extensive mileage while cruising in for
a day at office — an 80km run each day. His smooth and
experienced riding style ensures the Centra has managed to
maintain fair mileage figures and the bike returns a most
creditable 63.3kpl on this mix-and-match of a highway-city
Ashley gives the thumbs up to the Centra's ability to cruise
around the 60-70kph mark with comfort and minimal gearshifts.
The clutch is well weighted and serves to add to the bike's
plus points. Ergonomically too, the bike does not give cause
On one occasion, the bike started misfiring when accelerated
beyond the 60kph mark and had him scrambling it in for a fifth
routine service. Minor adjustments at service — to the
brakes, clutch and cleaning of all filters — were all
that were required to set the problem right in a jiffy. Engine lube was also duly replaced at the same service.
Handling on the Centra remains sparkling from the outset.
It is one of the early commuter bikes to sport a rectangle
section swingarm, and this always helped endow it with pleasant
cornering and stability manners.
All said and done, the Centra makes a hassle-free and reliable
companion. Not surprisingly, the bike is not short of admirers
and the Centra is all set to move on to another staffer who's
relishing the idea of a pleasant experience in riding a smooth
and friendly commuter bike.