So here it is – as captured testing in Europe by Visor Down – what is to be the very first TVS-BMW, a naked streetbike that will shortly be manufactured and sold by TVS, built with BMW technology at its heart; a four-stroke, single-cylinder powerplant tipped to displace somewhere around 300cc, as reported first by us last year.
Given that KTM and Bajaj have moved the goalpost and how, with the brilliantly positioned 390 Duke, it’s safe to assume that this hugely anticipated Indo-German bike will match up and deliver in terms of similar, if not better performance. We’d like to see the power figure reach around the 40bhp-mark from this new bike, with the enthusiast in us hoping for a touch more from this exposed chain-driven bike. Expect healthy engine specifications including fuel-injection in addition to now-seen liquid cooling. Visor Down has it from the photographer who took these images that the TVS-BMW bike will lean its single-cylinder back a few degrees from the vertical. Although this is uncommon in India, it has been done before and works to position as much weight as possible close to the bike’s centre of gravity, improving handling. There’s little doubt that TVS and BMW will walk the extra mile to put their best feet forward with this bike, offering high quality construction.
Although it wasn't the final production guise that it was spied in, the upcoming TVS-BMW bike gives away a distinctive looking fascia, including a purposeful-looking projector headlight and compact instruments readout. The upcoming TVS-BMW looks like it’s going to come in with edgy and minimal, yet thoroughly contemporary body panels; tank bay leading down into a neat pair of radiator shrouds. The belly and tail fairing aren’t in place on the bike pictured, although a sharply extended tail and neat, probably LED-lit turn signal indicators are. TVS and BMW seem to be taking torrid Indian weather seriously (India is certain to be the single-biggest target market for this motorcycle), the new bike showing off a pretty sizeable radiator. Over this sits a voluminous, chunky looking and smartly crafted tank. There’s plenty of alloy to be seen on the new bike, as used for its sleek wheels, steering clamps, footrests along with their mounts, as also the rear swingarm. The rest of the motorcycle frame isn’t clearly visible.
A pair of sturdy, fat, upside-down telescopic front forks are seen in addition to a monoshock, placed in standard position close to the swingarm pivot section, and not in the horizontal layout as seen on TVS’ Draken concept bike at the Indian Auto Expo. The rider saddle is slim on this TVS-BMW bike, a curvy and stepped single unit. This brings us to an important take-home from these images, and the single largest differentiating factor the TVS-BMW bike has over path-breaking rivals with a KTM badge – comfort, which aggressive, ‘ready-to-race’ KTMs aren’t engineered to offer. The tallish test rider can be clearly seen seated in a not-so-aggressive, spine-upright posture, hands falling in relaxed angles to the wide, flat set handlebar. And his legs aren’t extended so far back or high, as to stress the knees either. This TVS-BMW streetbike includes meaty radial and tubeless tyres front and rear.
As visible in the photos, the new TVS-BMW will include potent disc brakes front and rear, with the front caliper being a radial mounted unit. ABS is certain to be standard, a given on every bike that has anything to do with BMW, and seen on this TVS bike as well.
The new TVS-BMW bike looks perfectly poised to meet its production deadline later in this calendar year, or latest by early-2016. And another bit of good news, again thanks to Visor Down sources, is that this could act as a platform for even more exciting bike projects; a mini GS adventure bike and perhaps even a faired-up sportsbike in times to come.
There’s plenty of industry wide anticipation regarding where the marriage of these two giants, TVS and BMW, will lead, considering how outrageously successful the first major Indo-European two-wheeled venture (Bajaj and KTM) has become in our times. KTM overtook BMW no more than two years ago, virtually riding on the back of what the Bajaj marriage achieved for the manufacturer. And with BMW opening its new Indian innings, the European theatre is clearly building up to a ferocious, no-holds-barred fight. Indian manufacturers have managed to book seats smack bang in the very midst of all the action, and consequently, our bike market stands to gain, in spades!