TVS Motor Company has made a mark in the scooter segment in India with the Jupiter and NTorq making headlines and attracting customers to their innovative, value-driven models.
While Jupiter noticed 5 million units marked the beginning of this year in Junenine years after its launch in September 2013, the NTorq player also broke the law. 1-million-unit sales milestone within 51 months of its introduction to the market.
The Chennai-based big-wheeler sets high standards when it comes to innovations in these two products, such as the introduction of an external fuel-filler outlet which has become a norm in the scooter sector in India. This feature was first introduced to Jupiter in 2013.
On the motorcycle front, the company has been at the forefront of innovation with its Apache series, which over the years has evolved into a strong brand and today is available in its flagship form – the RR310 – a TVS motorcycle developed with a partner. BMW Motorrad.
Appearances take time to please
Keeping its spirit of innovation growing, the company has recently entered the new motorcycle segment – the entry level of the fleet market – with its latest product, the TVS Ronin aimed at young riders.
The launch of the TVS Ronin also marks a change in leadership for the company, now led by Sudarshan Venu, who has been promoted as the new director of TVS Motor Company in May 2022. The Ronin is his first motorcycle launch and clearly focuses on young India.
The 225cc motorcycle takes a new approach to urban commuters, with its unique style that resembles a mix between a scrambler and a cruiser, and lends the Ronin a confident look that may, however, take time to get used to. Two-tone paint, neo-retro top-end trim paint, gold-plated USD front fork, muscular headlamp, asymmetrically positioned instrument cluster, LED tail lamp and wide tires, the Ronin is complete. up top it looks more modern than the rear fender tells you at first glance.
The motorcycle is very well built with minimal rough edges, fine finishing on all parts of the bike and a solid feel on the ergonomically placed keys. There are disc brakes at either end of the diamond-cut alloy wheels with dual-channel ABS on the range-topping ‘TD’, while the fully digital, Bluetooth-enabled instrument cluster is highly readable under sunlight and provides information a lot of riding. . There are two riding modes to choose from – Rain and City – that change the sensitivity of the Ronin’s ABS.
With its Scrambler features, the Ronin’s seat is placed at a comfortable height to reach even shorter riders and once on board, the rider has a good view in front of the monopod instrument cluster, knees holding the large tank to get astride. encapsulating and feeling safe. However, the pillion area is a little short in width and long distance riding causes discomfort.
Brand new engine
The Ronin is powered by a new 20.4hp, 225.9cc, single cylinder, oil-cooled engine tuned to deliver high torque at low engine revolutions, thus elevating the riding experience within the city. The mill is very smooth and provides impressive performance from the word go when it comes to life in zero noise fashion thanks to the use of an integrated silent generator start system.
The rider triangle is designed for a cruiser-like seating position with forward-set footpegs that instantly give the Ronin a long touring character. However, the gear ratio in the sliding gearbox, with five speeds is short, giving the motorcycle a very high flexibility to be in high gear in the city, but at the same time, it robs it of performance in the high range of revolution. .
Riding the Ronin within city limits is a breezy affair with low-end torque and power that makes moving through traffic a breeze and draws attention with its subtle, but growing, exhaust note. However, at 160kg, the Ronin throws a hiccup or two when it comes to navigating heavy traffic and congestion. It doesn’t help that the bike has a large turning radius due to the front fork.
The suspension setup is generally tuned for dynamic handling but tends to absorb shocks from sharp bumps and potholes into the rider and pillion, making it important to slow down over rough patches. The motorcycle, however, is confident in its stance and offers excellent ride, handling and comfort characteristics.
The Ronin comes across as a very fun motorcycle to ride every day. However, at prices between Rs 149,000 and Rs 169,000, it is aimed squarely at products like the recently launched Hunter 350 from Royal Enfield.
While it would be a tall order for TVS to dethrone the segment king, the Ronin benefits from good fuel efficiency of up to 30kpl from a compression-ignition engine that produces less heat, decent levels of comfort and last but not least, TVS’ extensive network of facilities efficient services and historically better product reliability than its competitors can claim success in this urban motorcycle that comes as a breeze and is attractive as a package with a good value for what it offers.