The manufacturer from India recently trademarked the name "Ronin."

TVS, the India-based company that recently bought Norton, may be bringing its high-tech Zeppelin concept to life. The Zeppelin was a small cruiser that TVS teased at the 2018 Auto Expo.

While the terms "cruiser" and "high-tech" don't normally go together, it's absolutely true in this case of the Zeppelin. It's a thoroughly modern motorcycle with the long frame, laid-back styling, and forward controls of a traditional cruiser. The looks were thoroughly modern, however, including full LED lighting. While its engine was a meager 220cc, it had the help of an electric motor. Yes, the Zeppelin was a hybrid cruiser.


In February, TVS trademarked the name "Ronin" for an upcoming model. Many suspect that it will be a production version of the Zeppelin concept. Some think it will have not the 220cc engine of the Zeppelin, but the 313cc engine TVS builds in conjunction with BMW for bikes under both brands. This would be the perfect competitor against the Royal Enfield Rumbler cruiser. It's the right size to go up against the Rumbler 350, and if some models get the Zeppelin's hybrid system it might be a match for the Rumbler 500. Its modern styling would compete against the Rumbler in the same way Victory's unique styling was quite different from classic Harley-Davidson lines.

While a production Zeppelin the most likely new model, it's certainly not the only one. Adventure bikes are booming in popularity in India, and the Ronin could be an entry into this growing arena. TVS could draw from the BMW G 310 GS parts bin since they already build it. It could also be a streetfighter, also using the BMW G 310 engine.

In the 1990s, TVS had a partnership with Suzuki that produced a motorcycle named the Samurai. In Japanese culture, a Ronin is a fallen Samurai who has allowed his master to be killed and wanders in dishonor. In this case, however, it may be a celebration of the company's freedom from its former masters. As its acquisition of Norton shows, TVS is now big enough to play on its own.


Sources: Gaadi Waadi, Bike Dekho, Rush Lane, MotorOctane / YouTube

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