TVS is likely to put one of the engines from their Apache series instead of the mild-hybrid engine found on the concept
Historically speaking, TVS has never launched a cruiser. The company has found massive success with mopeds, scooters, commuters, and street motorcycles. Unlike Bajaj which offered cruisers like Avenger series, TVS has no cruiser on offer. But that is likely to change soon.
TVS had showcased a cruiser concept at 2018 Auto Expo named Zeppelin. It was a stunning-looking cruiser motorcycle with a high-tech mild-hybrid powertrain. The modern cruiser concept created a lot of buzz in the Indian automotive industry. It was back in the news in 2020, when TVS trademarked the name Zepplin R in India. But TVS watered-down enthusiasts’ enthusiasm earlier this year when it stated that Zeppelin was not meant for production.
New TVS Zepplin R Cruiser
Interestingly, the name of the concept unveiled back in 2018, was Zeppelin while the nam registered by TVS in 2020 is Zepplin R. There is a minor difference in the spelling, as well as the suffix R has been added. Technically, TVS has said no to Zeppelin, but they never said anything about the Zepplin R.
A new report suggests that TVS is gearing up to launch Zepplin R soon! If these rumours are true, TVS has done a commendable job by staying under the radar. We say this because the motorcycle has never been caught testing on the road. With a population as big as India’s, no one has ever spied the Zepplin undergoing test on public road, yet. There was a TVS motorcycle test mule that was spied some time back. But that was more of a Yamaha FZX rival, and not a cruiser.
Zepplin R is named after a type of German airship that was used for strategic air raids under the German Second and Third Reich. TVS first showcased the motorcycle at 2018 Auto Expo and it was a captivating design. The motorcycle has the typical low-slung cruiser form factor with an accommodating single-piece stepped seat.
But unlike typical cruisers with handlebars at easy reach for the rider, Zepplin R has a flat and wide handlebar. This provides a slightly sporty riding posture. At the front, it has a hexagonal headlight assembly with integrated LED DRLs which lends a futuristic appeal. The front fascia is also amplified with chunky USD forks finished in gold colour.
Specs and Launch
Zepplin R gets wire-spoke wheels at both ends finished in black. It also gets a single disc at both ends and dual-channel ABS. We also admired the beefy oil-cooling system and a substantial bash plate protecting the engine. The concept was finished in brown shade and we can expect more colour options if TVS launches the motorcycle.
The concept was powered by a 220 cc single-cylinder petrol engine coupled with a mild-hybrid system assisting in energy recuperation with a 48V Li-ion battery. This engine connected the rear wheels via a belt drive aiding in reliability and low maintenance.
TVS hasn’t made any official announcements regarding the launch of Zepplin R. But if rumours are true, TVS is very likely to ditch the 220 cc mild-hybrid engine in favour of an engine from Apache series. TVS can couple it with a 200 cc engine from Apache RTR 200 4V and pit it against Bajaj Avenger series or Suzuki Intruder. Or, TVS might couple the upcoming motorcycle with a 312 cc engine from Apache RR310 and pit it against 350cc motorcycles from Royal Enfield stables, Honda H’ness CB350, Jawa motorcycles and Yezdi motorcycles.
Latter makes more sense than the former as retro-classic motorcycles with engine capacities around 300 cc are all the rage in India currently. If priced well, we can expect Zepplin R to be a very potent product in the Indian market.