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TVS's "Premium Lifestyle" Offering: The 225cc Ronin

TVS Ronin
TVS Ronin

It's been well over a decade that TVS began its performance-oriented journey, in the small-bike segment, with the launch of the RTR brand. It began with a 160cc motorcycle and grew to include a 180cc and a 200cc. Over the years, the engines changed from 2 to 4-valve units for better performance, designs changed too.

During this time, TVS also entered into a strategic partnership with BMW to enter into the beginner sportbike segment, and created the G310R platform; further enabling TVS to create its biggest, baddest, and the most powerful motorcycle till date, the RR310.

And now, halfway into 2022, TVS announced that it is entering the "premium lifestyle segment" with the launch of Ronin, an all-new modern-retro motorcycle featuring a 4-valve, SOHC, oil-cooled, 225.9cc single-cylinder engine. This is TVS's most powerful air/oil-cooled engine producing 20.4 PS of power at 7,750 RPM and 19.93 NM of torque at 3,750 RPM. It's a square engine having 66mm Bore & 66mm Stroke.

Technically, the engine is possibly the simplest thing about Ronin. And if you've been thinking that, so far, it doesn't really feel like a premium-lifestyle offering, wait a bit.

Much more than the engine, it's the set of features and the design that TVS is pushing to make it appear a premium-lifestyle offering.

Ronin is a modern-retro, or a neo-retro, motorcycle which is a first by an Indian bike-maker. It's a new category of motorcycles that are designed to give a modern twist to old-school styling, along with several contemporary electronic features, such as LED lights, digital/TFT display, riding modes, etc.

As such, Ronin gets a familiar standard-style fuel tank with the capacity of holding 14 liters of fuel. Rest of the bodywork has nothing specific to highlight until you shift your focus on the substantial round LED headlight with T-shaped position lamp.

However, the most prominent visual, as well as functional, part of this motorcycle is the front suspension. It is a pair of upside-down, 41mm, Showa Big-Piston Forks and in gold color, they virtually overshadow every other visual aspect of this motorcycle. The rear has a 7-step adjustable mono-shock. And yes, there's an asymmetric speedometer (an arrangement similar to the one on the Ducati Scrambler). But would it be unfair to say that it doesn't look as well-finished as on the Italian?

More than that though, TVS has sprinkled a plethora of features on Ronin in an effort to make it the most unique offering. While some of the features are already present in other small motorcycles, some are not. Ronin gets voice-assist, turn-by-turn navigation, incoming call alert/receive, customized window notification; riders can also connect to the TVS SmartXonnect app for rider analysis.

To improve the riding experience, Ronin gets a slip/assist clutch, 3-way adjustable lever, Glide Through Technology (the engine maintains slightly higher rpm allowing riders to easily start moving from the first gear without stalling the bike), and Integrated Starter Generator for low-noise starting. What's first in a small bike are the two ABS modes: Rain and Urban.

How Does the "Premium Lifestyle" Factor Fit In?

TVS Ronin
TVS Ronin has a 225cc air/oil-cooled engine, 4 valves, SOHC

To me, besides the excellent Showa Big-Piston Forks, there is nothing that stands out so far, on paper, not even the large set of features. Moreover, Ronin is a controversial name for a motorcycle. It has a deeper meaning than merely "a Samurai without a master...."I believe TVS is trying to cash in on the modern-retro styling which, essentially, adds a flair of class.

For now, though, I would continue to commend TVS for putting such a nice set of suspension on a rather simple motorcycle. It will surely make the ride quality and handling worth talking about. And yes, this reminds me, why did Honda ditch the Showa forks for Endurance when they decided to build the BS6 CB300R in India for the Indian market. If TVS can do it, why can't Honda?

Coming back to the Ronin, it is the first modern-retro motorcycle by an Indian motorcycle manufacturer in the 200cc segment. TVS is also heavily betting on developing a whole culture around Ronin, with dedicated merchandise and accessories already in line.

Ronin is launched in the three variants: Ronin DS, Ronin SS, and Ronin TD (TD being the most expensive).


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