New TVS Zepplin R Cruiser Launched With Apache Engine?

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TVS will likely put one of their Apache series engines in place of the mild-hybrid engine found on the concept

New TVS Zepplin R Cruiser
New TVS Zepplin R Cruiser – Rendering of Production Specifications

Historically, TVS has never launched a cruiser. The company has had tremendous success with mopeds, scooters, commuters and street motorcycles. Unlike Bajaj who offered cruisers like the Avenger series, TVS does not have a cruiser on offer. But that will probably change soon.

TVS had presented a cruiser concept called Zeppelin at Auto Expo 2018. It was a stunning looking cruiser motorcycle with a high-tech mild-hybrid drivetrain. The modern cruiser concept caused a stir in the Indian car industry. It was back in the news in 2020 when TVS trademarked the Zepplin R name in India. But earlier this year, TVS watered down enthusiasts’ enthusiasm when it stated that Zeppelin was not intended for production.

New TVS Zepplin R Cruiser

Interestingly, the name of the concept unveiled in 2018 was Zeppelin, while the name registered by TVS in 2020 is Zepplin R. There is a slight difference in the spelling and the suffix R has been added. Technically, TVS 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 rumors are true, TVS has done a commendable job of staying under the radar. We say this because the bike has never been caught in road testing. With a population the size of India, no one has ever spied on the Zepplin being tested on public roads. There was a TVS motorcycle test mule that was spied on some time ago. But that was more of a Yamaha FZX rival, not a cruiser.

New TVS Zepplin R Cruiser
New TVS Zepplin R Cruiser

Zepplin R is named after a type of German airship used for strategic air raids under the German Second and Third Reich. TVS showed the motorcycle for the first time at Auto Expo 2018 and it was a captivating design. The bike has the typical low-slung cruiser form factor with an accommodating one-piece stepped seat.

But unlike typical cruisers with handlebars that the rider can easily reach, the Zepplin R has a flat, wide handlebar. This ensures a slightly sporty driving position. At the front, it has a hexagonal headlamp construction with integrated LED daytime running lights, giving it a futuristic appeal. The front end is also reinforced with sturdy USD forks that are finished in gold.

Specifications and launch

Zepplin R gets wire wheels finished in black on both ends. It also gets a single disc on both ends and dual channel ABS. We also admired the sturdy oil cooling system and a sturdy bass plate that protects the engine. The concept was finished in brown tone and we can expect more color options when TVS launches the bike.

New TVS Zepplin R Cruiser
New TVS Zepplin R Cruiser

The concept was powered by a 220cc single-cylinder petrol engine combined with a mild hybrid system that aids in energy recovery with a 48V Li-ion battery. This engine connected the rear wheels via a belt drive, contributing to reliability and low maintenance.

TVS has not made any official announcements regarding the Zepplin R launch. But if the rumors are true, it is highly likely that TVS will ditch the 220cc mild-hybrid engine in favor of an Apache series engine. TVS can pair it with a 200cc Apache RTR 200 4V engine and compete against the Bajaj Avenger series or Suzuki Intruder. Or TVS can mate the upcoming motorcycle to a 312cc Apache RR310 engine and compete against 350cc motorcycles from Royal Enfield stables, Honda H’ness CB350, Jawa motorcycles and Yezdi motorcycles.

The latter makes more sense than the former, as retro-classic motorcycles with displacements of around 300cc are currently all the rage in India. If the price is right, we can expect Zepplin R to be a very powerful product in the Indian market.

Biking Spirit