Back in 2018, TVS showcased the Zeppelin R at Auto Expo. Now, there is a media report that claims that TVS will be finally launching the Zeppelin R in the coming weeks. Till now, there have been no test mules spotted but TVS has filed a trademark for the Zeppelin nameplate. If launched, the Zeppelin R will compete directly against the Bajaj Avenger 220.
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The concept at Auto Expo 2018 was showcased with a 220 cc, single-cylinder engine that had mild-hybrid technology. It produced a max power output of 20 hp and a peak torque output of 18.5 Nm. The power was transferred to the rear wheel using a belt drive.
However, it is likely to get the same engine as the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V. Apache’s 197.7 cc, air-cooled, fuel-injected, single-cylinder produces 20.82 PS of max power and 17.25 Nm of peak torque. However, Apache also comes with different riding modes. The power output mentioned above is in Sport mode. In Urban and Rain mode, the power is decreased to 17.32 PS and torque falls to 16.51 Nm. Having said that, TVS might go another route and use the 312 cc engine from the Apache RR310. This engine is also shared with the BMW G 310GS and G 310R.
Sharing the same engine would mean that TVS would be able to save a lot of money as they do not have to develop an all-new powertrain and then work in mild-hybrid tech also. This practice is fairly common in the automobile industry. Manufacturers would often use the same engine for their vehicles but they would retune it differently according to the vehicle’s requirement. We expect TVS to do the same and retune the engine to suit the characteristics of a cruiser. So, that means more grunt in low and mid-range.
The Zeppelin R was a really nice looking cruiser. It had a very low slung stance and seat height would be accessible for everyone. There was LED lighting everywhere and a LED Daytime Running Lamp also. The front forks were finished in gold colour while the motorcycle itself was finished in copper-brown colour. Up-front there was a 300 mm disc in the front and a 240 mm disc at the rear. There are high chances that TVS would offer two variants of the Zeppelin R. The lower variant would come with a single-channel ABS while the higher variant will come with a dual-channel ABS.
Suspension duties on the concept were done by up-side down forks in the front and a mono-shock at the rear. The mono-shock can make it to the production model but the it is unlikely that the up-side down front forks make it to the production version of the Zeppelin R. The up-side down forks might be better than telescopic forks but they also cost more because of which the price of Zeppelin R might increase more than the competitors.