TVS is all set to launch its first cruiser, Zeppelin R, soon, the bike gets various segment first features
TVS is gearing up to launch its first cruiser, the Zeppelin R, in the next few weeks. This development comes as a surprise owing to the Hosur-based bike manufacturer being tight-lipped about the cruiser for a good 4 years now.
The biggest update is that the upcoming Zeppelin R is going to feature a mild hybrid engine with a belt final drive, a combination first time in India. In fact, the mild hybrid system would also be among the firsts in the world too for a 2 wheeler.
The mild hybrid tech is embedded on to an all-new 220 cc single cylinder engine that exerts 20 HP and 18.5 Nm. But, we don’t know if these figures are the combined output of the engine and motor or not. But still the numbers are pretty much satisfactory for an entry-level cruiser.
At the front, the flat LED headlight looks radical with brushed silver surrounds that hold the front LED indicators. The head lamp gets a split setup like the Bajaj Dominar. The triple T looks chunky and shows up a lot of muscle.
On top of the headlight sits the single pod instrument console that gets an analogue tachometer on a split digital cluster. The tachometer is marked only up to 10,000 RPM which could mean the engine isn’t a free-revving unit.
The speedometer and odometer get a digital readout housed separately on the right side. The bar clamps, which hold the flat handlebar, get a brushed silver finish and look cool on the cockpit. Like the Apache RTR 4V, the tank gets an offset fuel-filler cap.
The tank is split by a matte black element at the centre which also houses the key slot. The single piece seat gets a step up design while the rear cowls taper on to the small rectangular LED tail lamp. The cruiser also features a small plastic tail tidy that houses the indicators.
The upcoming Zeppelin R gets Ducati Diavel-like rear tyre hugger with large brushed silver clamps. The TVS lettering is also embossed on them which looks cool from the rear. The belt drive system is securely guarded by a full plastic cover.
The side panels get extensive detailing with brushed silver inserts on matte black finish. The chiseled tank sports TVS’ horse logo finished in black. The Zeppelin R gets spoke wheels with disc brakes, 300 mm at the front and 240 mm at the rear.
The front gets huge rake USD forks finished in gold while the rear gets a regular monoshock suspension. The engine is, most probably, air cooled although a radiator guard could be seen. The rear tyre looks fat and beautiful.
When launched the TVS Zeppelin R will compete against the likes of the Bajaj Avenger 220 Cruise. It’s likely to command a premium price tag of Rs. 2.5 lakhs (ex-showroom) owing to the segment first tech on offer.
The TVS Zeppelin was first showcased to the public at the 2018 Auto Expo. Though TVS was planning to launch the bike in 2020 itself, the pandemic, war crisis, and semi conductor shortage has greatly impact the bike’s launch timeline.
TVS took so long that a Chinese manufacturer, Xiangshuai Heavy Machinery, literally copied the design and unveiled its Xianglong JSX500i cruiser for the Chinese market.