The TVS Motor Company has registered the name ‘Ronin’ as its new product trademark on the national trademark registry. TVS is due to launch a new motorcycle in 2021 and it is possible that the model will be called Ronin. While it is an interesting name, what we really want to know is what type of motorcycle will adorn that badge. Will it be a street naked, a cruiser or a small-capacity ADV?
There has been speculation that TVS is working on a street-naked version of the Apache RR310. When you consider that ‘Ronin’ is a Japanese word that describes a 'wandering Samurai who has no master', it could suit the description of a naked-street fighter. If that is truly the case, expect the motorcycle to feature all the goodies that you see on the Apache 310. This includes the brilliant chassis, the refined BS6 motor, new Michelin tyres and riding modes. Also, given the fact that the RR310 is a really good-looking motorcycle, it'll be interesting to see what the naked version would look like.
The Ronin could also turn out to be the production version of the TVS Zeppelin concept cruiser that was displayed at the 2018 Auto Show. The Zeppelin concept is TVS' take on a performance cruiser and features a 220cc single-cylinder engine (a first for the company) that puts out 20hp at 8,500rpm and 18.5Nm of torque at 7,000rpm, and is paired to a 5-speed gearbox. The TVS Zeppelin concept also has a patented integrated starter system, among other features, and you can read about it here.
The cruiser motorcycle space is an area where TVS has been absent, allowing Bajaj to reap the benefits of zero competition. The production-spec Zeppelin could be the first serious challenger to Bajaj's dominance with its popular Avenger series in the mini-cruiser segment.
There is also some speculation that TVS may launch an adventure tourer based on the G 310 GS. The last we heard from the brand regarding an ADV was at the 2017 launch of the Apache RR 310, when the company made it quite clear that it didn't believe the time was right for an ADV. Quite some time has passed since then and bikes like the KTM 390 Adventure may have got TVS reconsidering its stance. However, we believe an ADV is the least likely to be the Ronin, from the mentioned bike types.
Whichever type of motorcycle the Ronin may be, it is likely that its launch will be affected by the COVID-19 crisis that has impacted manufacturing and supply of components. Stay tuned as we will bring you more details about the Ronin.
2020 TVS Apache RR 310 review