• TVS Motors unveiled a brand-new Hybrid motorcycle, the TVS Zeppelin concept

  • Classic cruiser styling
  • Elongated fuel tank with knee recess
  • Standard 220cc Single cylinder engine
  • 1200W Electric motor tethered to 48V battery
  • Silent toothed belt drive and single arm rear mudguard
  • Ducati Diavel inspired front
  • Bar-end mirrors, gold USD forks, digital dash
  • LED headlamp with HD camera
  • Low-slung seat,front set footpegs and long wheelbase

A 220 cc motor gets tethered to a 1200W electric motor

India’s third largest two-wheeler manufacturer, TVS Motors, is having a ball back home in India. It might not be a world player yet, but don’t fool yourself from having your doubts about it. It is the same firm that BMW Motorrad tied up with to make their G 310R, and those bikes are selling like hot cakes everywhere. Then came the Apache RR 310 fully-faired sportsbike that carries over the powertrain, suspension unit, chassis, brakes, radials and the exhaust from the entry-level naked German.

For a company whose strength lies in its goal of designing and development of new products that are a continuous source of inspiration, it showcased its future products at the recently concluded Indian Auto Expo. It was the TVS Zeppelin hybrid gas-electric cruiser concept that made all the noise at the TVS stalls. It not only sounds interesting (just like the band) but also looks like a proper well-made motorcycle.

TVS Motors unveiled a brand-new Hybrid motorcycle, the TVS Zeppelin concept Exterior
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Classic cruiser styling

TVS ended the year 2016 on a high note by getting themselves awarded an Indian patent for automatic hybrid transmission (AHT) system for two-wheelers. It is an amalgamation of fixed speed transmission mechanism (FSTM) and a continuously variable transmission mechanism (CVTM). This will enable smoother power delivery and better efficiency at all operating speeds and condition of the engine irrespective of constant acceleration. Thereby providing higher transmission efficiency at low, mid and high ranges of power bands.

Now, they have introduced a hybrid powertrain that has a 220cc single-cylinder motor which sits at its usual spot on the chassis, but that is not the exciting part. It is the 1200 watt electric drive system, drawing from a 48-volt battery that augments the gas powered engine. Although these specs don’t produce prodigious amounts of power, the tiny electric motor will sufficiently provide instant torque on demand from zero RPM. This will enable the bike get 20 percent more torque on demand.

TVS Motors unveiled a brand-new Hybrid motorcycle, the TVS Zeppelin concept Exterior
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1200W Electric motor tethered to 48V battery

The machine may even have the possibility of regenerative braking system that is sufficient enough to recharge the small 48V battery, and having no need of connecting to an external charger unit. All of this will add up to a useful performance and range booster. The 220cc motor can probably pump out a decent 22 hp of power while the electric motor is small enough to give two hp additionally that can make all the difference.

The “performance cruiser” sports a futuristic design and features and might have borrowed a few inspiration from the Ducati Diavels’, especially with the front LED headlight unit. If you notice carefully, the headlight casing also gets a small camera unit that acts like a dash-cam. Neat, but we probably won’t find it on the production model.

TVS Motors unveiled a brand-new Hybrid motorcycle, the TVS Zeppelin concept Exterior
- image 768597
Elongated fuel tank with knee recess
TVS Motors unveiled a brand-new Hybrid motorcycle, the TVS Zeppelin concept Exterior
- image 768595
Ducati Diavel inspired front
TVS Motors unveiled a brand-new Hybrid motorcycle, the TVS Zeppelin concept Exterior
- image 768592
Silent toothed belt drive and single arm rear mudguard
TVS Motors unveiled a brand-new Hybrid motorcycle, the TVS Zeppelin concept Exterior
- image 768596
Standard 220cc Single cylinder engine

The Zeppelin also gets classic cruiser styling like the low-slung seat, elongated fuel tank with knee recess, front set footpegs and long wheelbase. The gold USD forks and silver side panels keep it all looking fresh. The long belly pan, a chunky rear tire with the tire hugger, makes the Zeppelin look bulky and firm. Other details include spoke alloy wheels, and the bar-end mirrors, 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.

Disc brakes with dual channel ABS will come as standard. Pirelli rubber wrapped around spoked wheels keep the classic looks in check. TVS has not confirmed the production of the Zeppelin. If at all the Zeppelin is introduced in its production avatar (sans many of the features seen here), it will still be a game-changing product in the entry-level cruiser segment.

TVS Motors unveiled a brand-new Hybrid motorcycle, the TVS Zeppelin concept Exterior
- image 768590
LED headlamp with HD camera

Piaggio has been making hybrids for more than a decade now. First introduced in 2006, the three-wheeled MP3 scooter from the Italian manufacturer is powered by a combination of a petrol and electric motor. The plug-in hybrid comes with a 125cc petrol engine along with a 3.5 hp electric motor. The combined power output, from the gasoline and electric motor, stands at 17.5 hp.

Back in 2013, BMW teamed up with TVS Motors in a Euro 20 million ($25 million) partnership to support them with the manufacturing and distribution of smaller capacity motorcycles, starting with the G 310R. TVS also benefitted from this venture by bringing in investments and expertise to further broaden their R&D capability to improve on existing projects and bring in innovations across their product lineup.

TVS Motors unveiled a brand-new Hybrid motorcycle, the TVS Zeppelin concept Exterior
- image 768591
Bar-end mirrors, gold USD forks, digital dash

Fueling such visions, the Hosur based company is said to have also invested ₹ 500 crores ($78.5 million) into their future for launching new products and improving their technology. It looks like their efforts are getting paid off now. The TVS Zeppelin is a standing structure proof of that. Although it is a concept, it very much looks like it is production ready.

Reference

Piaggio MP3

2014 Piaggio MP3 500IE Sport ABS Exterior
- image 567515
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