TVS Motors’ flagship offering is the Apache 180 RTR ABS equipped sports motorcycle. The competition though, has moved forward. Bajaj Auto has the Pulsar 200 NS, a motorcycle that comes with liquid cooling, a four valve head, triple spark plugs and a stunning form factor. Honda, for its part has the CBR250R, a hot selling premium motorcycle that is a world bike. TVS Motors, though a motorcycle maker with a full fledged racing effort, has fallen behind rivals in terms of offering aspirational products to the well heeled motorcycle buyer in India, disappointing many of its fans and prospective customers alike.
Finally, TVS Motors wants to get back into the game of high performance motorcycles and to do just that, is developing a motorcycle with an engine capacity of over 180cc. The new TVS motorcycle with an engine capacity of over 180cc is expected to see fruition by 2014. Expect an unveiling at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo. Until then, TVS will focus on automatic scooters and commuter motorcycles like the upcoming 125cc scooter and the Victor relaunch. In the past few months, TVS had clearly stated that its focus will on the big volume, commuter segment of the Indian two wheeler market, even as it grapples to protect its market share.
By 2014, one does hope that TVS comes out a high performance motorcycle that is quite dramatic, as say as a Yamaha R15 launched in 2008 or even say the Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS launched earlier this year. This is perhaps the only way that TVS can rekindle interest in its performance motorcycle range given that by 2014, many more high performance motorcycles would have been launched in India. For instance, KTM will launch the Duke 390 early next year with faired and touring versions of the Duke 390 to be launched in 2013-14.
Honda could launch a 500cc motorcycle in the form of the CBR500R sometime in 2013 or 2014. In the meanwhile, Bajaj is expected to slip in the Pulsar 375 by the end of next year. So, with such sweeping changes in the Indian motorcycle market. incremental increases of 20cc or so might not catch the fancy of buyers, who are coming to expect much more from their rides. TVS’ impending partnership with BMW Motorrad, which should see an announcement in the next couple of months might just throw some light on the path that the Indian two wheeler major could take in the coming years.