The TVS Zepplin was showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo in its concept form and has been in the news ever since. TVS has already registered a trademark for the Zepplin R last year which could possibly mean that the Zeppelin could become a thing of reality in near future. The sales figures of the recently launched Royal Enfield bikes and the Honda H’ness have shown that a majority of motorcycle consumers are gravitating towards neo-classic motorcycles. Apart from these two, the Bajaj Avenger has been the go-to choice for consumers looking for a low-slung cruiser styled bike. The Zepplin can shape things up in the cruiser segment with its modern features and cruiser styling.
The motorcycle we saw at the 2018 Expo was a sleek metal-bodied cruiser in a striking shade of rustic brown. The golden USD forks in the front gave the bike a premium look. It also sported a smart-looking headlamp with LED lights all-around.
The midsection of the bike had a futuristic look, especially the housing for the 1200W motor. The radiator grille, the bash plate and the rear tyre hugger, completes the modern look of the bike. TVS has a habit of dressing their motorcycles with premium parts and the Zepplin is no exception. The bike is a looker and is certain to grab attention whenever it’s taken out for a spin.
It’s all speculations when it comes to the Zepplin’s powertrain. The Zepplin is most likely to borrow its power mill from the Apache RTR 200 4V. This 197.5cc oil-cooled engine churns out 20.5PS at 8500 rpm. The concept showcased a 220cc engine paired with a 1200W regenerative assist motor with a 48V Li-ion battery.
If TVS decides to launch the bike with this hybrid tech, it will be the most powerful and most fuel-efficient bike in this segment. TVS also has a successful 310cc engine developed in collaboration with BMW, we won’t be surprised to see the same motor power the Zepplin. We will have to wait and see until TVS makes an official announcement.
TVS leads the way when it comes to designing instrument clusters for their bikes and scooters. Their instrument clusters are feature-rich and are loaded with all the necessary information to assist the riders. This coupled with Bluetooth connected tech and turn by turn navigation and riding information add to the riding experience. TVS has already featured these clusters in their latest offering and we do not expect them to skip them on the Zepplin.
Ride and Comfort
The concept showed that the Zepplin is designed for the new-age long-distance rider. Its cruiser like dynamics will give the rider an upright riding position helping them to munch miles at a stretch. The saddle too looks nicely scooped, this would provide additional comfort to the shorter riders.
The pillion seat looks a bit uncomfortable, however, we expect TVS to change that for the production model and also add a grab rail/backrest on the rear. The chunky tyres promise excellent road grip and ride quality.
Looking at the stiff competition, TVS would price the bike aggressively. The question we would love answered is – which powertrain will make it to the Zepplin? If it’s the same 197.5cc mill from the RTR 200 4vm it could b priced close to ₹1.5L. However, if the 310cc engine ends up powering the motorcycle, we could see a price tag upwards of ₹2.2L. You never know, TVS might go the distance to offer the Zepplin in both engine options.
To conclude, the Zepplin promises to be an all-round power cruiser with modern styling and equipped with the latest technology. If priced right, it does make a compelling case for itself and will pull plenty of consumers towards itself.