TVS Zeppelin cruiser

TVS Zeppelin cruiser

TVS Motor Company surprised everyone by unveiling the Zeppelin cruiser concept at the Auto Expo 2018. The Zeppelin is the first cruiser from the Indian company. The Zeppelin sports a futuristic design and features and TVS call it as a performance cruiser. The cruiser also gets advanced technology in the form of electric propulsion. We bring you the first look review of the TVS Zeppelin.
TVS Zeppelin Design
The TVS Zeppelin cruiser concept looks like a motorcycle from the future with its futuristic design. But the Zeppelin retains the classic cruiser design elements such as low-slung seat, elongated fuel tank, front set footpegs and long wheelbase. But all these design elements have been given a modern touch.
Up front, the Zeppelin concept sports full-LED headlamp and golden USD forks. The fuel tank design is simple yet modern with knee recesses. The side panels are finished in silver and engine also gets a long belly pan. The rear of the Zeppelin features stepped up seat, chunky tyre and a tyre hugger with integrated number plate holder.
The TVS Zeppelin cruiser concept also features a large faux radiator, which is too big for an oil-cooled engine. But this is just a concept and TVS might have done it to enhance the looks of the motorcycle. The spoke alloy wheels, and the bar-end mirrors give s a classic touch to the rather futuristic TVS Zeppelin cruiser concept.
Modern cruiser styling
The Zeppelin features an aggressive, power cruiser-like deign, with a chunky, vertically-oriented LED headlamp, a gold 41mm USD fork that appears to be 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. The rear of the motorcycle is reminiscent of the Bajaj Dominar 400 – slightly raked and blacked-out; however the pillion seat on the TVS appears to be lower and more accessible.
Powertrain
TVS regularly shows off concepts that reveal its future direction and the new Zeppelin concept is the company’s take on a performance cruiser. It is powered by an all-new 220cc single-cylinder engine that puts out 20hp at 8,500rpm and 18.5Nm of torque at 7,000rpm, and is paired to a five-speed gearbox. Additionally, the Zeppelin concept uses a patented Integrated Starter Generator system. This is a similar concept to what is seen on Maruti’s SHVS mild hybrid system, but sized down for a two-wheeler. 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 needed. The Zeppelin concept has a claimed top speed of 130kph.
Underpinnings
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 sized 110/70 R17 at the front and 140/70 R15 at the rear. The wheels the concept uses are tubeless spoked alloys, which are an expensive feature usually on seen on top-spec adventure bikes. The concept bike also has a huge 20-litre fuel tank.
Technology
The performance cruiser concept gets a unique belt drive function that promises silent and low-maintenance running. If this makes it to production, the TVS Zeppelin will be the first domestically developed, affordable cruiser to have it. Other interesting features include a smart access key that TVS calls the ‘Bio-key’, an HD action camera and an infotainment unit with cloud connectivity. The Zeppelin also has all-LED lighting.
Can we expect a production bike?
So what do we think? The Zeppelin concept looks promising enough to become a production reality within the next two years. However, we believe it could be quite different from the bike you see here, depending on how TVS aims to position the bike. To us, it makes sense to offer the production version as a premium player in the space currently occupied by the Bajaj Avenger 220. If so, the production bike may not offer some of the more advanced hybrid features from the concept, or the USD fork, tubeless-tyre supporting spoked wheels, the RR 310 switchgear or the belt drive for that matter. What we may see is the new fully-digital, Bluetooth-enabled display from the Ntorq 125 to add to the premium feel. Further, we are given to believe that TVS is working hard to keep the ISG technology on the production bike. Now, this could quite possibly happen as such systems run off the main battery and are relatively easy and cost effective to incorporate compared to more complex hybrid systems.  If that’s the case, this could be the first mild hybrid bike to go on sale in our market.

TVS Zeppelin Engine Details
Powering the TVS Zeppelin cruiser concept is a 220cc single-cylinder, oil-cooled, fuel injected engine producing 19.7bhp and 18.5Nm of peak torque. The engine is assisted by TVS patented Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) with e-boost to start the motorcycle faster. The Zeppelin also gets a 1,200W regenerative assist motor with a 48V Li-iON battery which adds to the powerful performance of the cruiser by delivering 20 percent more torque when required.
TVS Zeppelin Features
The TVS Zeppelin cruiser concept comes loaded with advanced features such as full-LED headlamp with integrated HD camera to record your ride, online connectivity, first-in-segment smart Bio-key, LED tail lamp, adjustable brake and clutch levers, silent toothed belt drive and single arm rear mudguard with number plate.
The Zeppelin is equipped with 41mm upside down front forks and monoshock suspension at the rear. Braking duties are handled by 300mm disc up front and 240mm disc at the rear. Both the discs are radially mounted and come with dual-channel ABS. The lowered handlebar and low-slung seat aids in comfortable riding posture.
TVS Zeppelin Rivals
The TVS Zeppelin cruiser concept is a futuristic machine with several advanced features as compared to the current products on the market. The TVS Zeppelin will be a fitting rival to the Bajaj Avenger 220 Cruise and Street. Apart from that, the Zeppelin will also rival the 150cc Avenger Street and the recently launched Suzuki Intruder 150.
The TVS Zeppelin Cruiser Concept
The TVS Zeppelin concept is a performance cruiser or a pro cruiser as the company calls it. The overall design of the Zeppelin is futuristic and classic at the same time. The addition of modern technology is icing on the cake. TVS has not confirmed the production of the Zeppelin. If at all the Zeppelin is introduced in its production avatar, it will be a game-changing product in the entry-level cruiser segment.
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