TVS traditionally shows off concepts that reveal its future direction and the new Zeppelin concept is the company’s take on a performance cruiser. It 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 five-speed gearbox.
No further specs have been shared, but the Zeppelin features a patented Integrated Starter Generator system. This is a similar concept to what’s seen on Maruti’s SHVS mild-hybrid system, but scaled down for a motorcycle. TVS takes it a step further with an e-boost function that brings in added performance from a 1,200W regenerative assist motor, powered by a 48V Li-ion battery, when required. The bike has a claimed top speed of 130kph.
The Zeppelin packs an aggressive, power-cruiser-style design, with a chunky, vertically oriented rectangular LED headlamp, a gold 41mm USD fork that appears borrowed from the RR 310 and a flat handlebar. Facing the rider is a compact dial with an analogue rev counter and digital readouts. Switchgear is borrowed from the RR 310.
TVS claims an aggressive, yet comfortable riding position with a feet-forward stance and a two-part seat. The cruiser has a wheelbase of 1,490mm, a kerb weight of 168kg, and gets a 300mm front disc and 240mm rear disc with dual-channel ABS. It rides on tubeless Pirelli tyres and gets a 110/70 R17 one at the front and a 140/70 R15 one at the rear.
The performance cruiser concept gets a unique belt drive function that promises silent and low-maintenance running, and if it makes it to production, the TVS Zeppelin will be the first domestically developed, affordable cruiser to have this feature.
In addition to this, TVS claims the bike has something called a ‘smart Bio-key’, which has online connectivity and an HD action camera.
So what do we think? The Zeppelin concept looks promising enough to become a production reality within the next year-and-a-half to two. Though we doubt it will offer some of the more advanced hybrid features, other offerings like the USD fork and belt drive could be included; it depends on how TVS aims to position this product against rivals like the Bajaj Avenger 220 and Suzuki Intruder.
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