15,500km report A year and a half into its tenure, our well-performing
Centra is now showing a few signs of ageing.
arriving at our Mumbai office in January 2004, our long-term
TVS Centra has switched numerous hands en route to racking
up 15,000 kilometres.
Mumbai is notorious for its vehicle-gnawing humidity, yet
the matter-of-fact styled Centra has coped fine with the
coastline city, not having lost much of its original sheen.
While the paint and build quality does not provide us reason
to complain, the elements have taken a slender toll on the
control switches and ignition key — these worked well
until recently, but now require a tad more force to operate.
The Centra’s smooth VT-i engine remains a focal point
to this bike, and still runs with a crisp exhaust tone.
It’s an engine that starts with a light kick each
morning and then goes on to delight through the day with
its precise and tidy all-up shifting pattern gearbox. Performance
is as respectable as any Indian bike that displaces similar
capacity, and other than its fair share of oil changes and
routine servicing, the Centra’s air-cooled engine
is performing respectably.
The Centra boasted excellent ride and handling from day
one, and this remains a solid point even today. Its riding
position is spot-on as well and makes for comfortable daily
commute to the office. We once changed the front fork oil
when they had begun to feel a tad limp, and since then the
damping is back to its well- mannered ways.
area where improvement is surely possible is the tyres —15,000km
down the road, they have begun to noticeably feel worn-down,
with frequent punctures a routine part of life. The rear
tube has needed a change, twice, and overall we do feel
the tyres should have lasted slightly longer considering
the Centra is strictly used as a commuter. Braking remains
as good, or bad, as the rest of its segment.
Fuel economy figures have remained nearly the same as the
day the bike arrived — an average 61.7kpl through
dense city traffic. In spite of its newfound grey areas,
one thing is certain — were we sifting through this
segment for a bike, the Centra would surely feature as a
very strong contender.
Distance covered 15,500km
Total fuel consumed 251 litres
Average fuel consumption 61.7kpl
No. of fillings (brimmed) 23
worst 50.3 kpl
Total maintenance cost
Routine services, engine oil changes, fork oil change, ignition
lock repair and rear tube changed Rs 700.
Running costs Rs 1.29 per km
Faults Horn and indicator bulb failure, sticky
Likes Reliable engine.
Dislikes Braking could be better.