I can’t just mention the 220 cc engine without including the 1200 W Electric motor. When I inquired about the origin of the air + oil cooled 220 cc engine, the company’s official told me that it’s a completely new engine and not just a bored out 199 cc engine found on the Apache RTR 2004V. Although I think even he didn’t know because Zeppelin produces same power and torque as the Apache RTR 200 4V. Even the bore difference between their engines is just 1 mm, with Zeppelin’s bore being 67 mm and Apache’s being 66mm. So there’s a very less chance that it’s a brand new engine.
The 1200W electric motor or as the TVS calls it E-boost, explains itself. It does not make the bike an electric motorcycle, my guess is that it’d assist the IC engine in all those places where it can’t perform according to the need. For example in supplying power and torque a lot early while still leaving room for a good climb. It’d be interesting to see how TVS pulls it off.
The Zeppelin uses a similar frame as its potential rival the Bajaj Avenger does. It is a single tube down cradle frame which sits on inverted cartridge suspension at the front and a monoshock at the rear. The final drive is through a toothed belt, which is a belt with several teeth in it essentially forming a chain made out of the belt. It provides maintenance-free nature of a belt drive coupled with less power loss of a chain. Another worthy feature is the spoked alloys which use tubeless tyres at both ends. The seating of the Zeppelin is along the lines of Harley Davidson Iron 883.
Cruising Capabilities :
Besides the comfortable seating, the bike also features a 20L fuel tank and the claimed fuel economy is 44km/l. On one full tank, the bike can give you a range of around 840 km, now that’s cruising. The handlebar is forward and raised to give the bike a Sportster look. The seat height is 725 mm which is great but the wheelbase is only 1490 which is kind of unimpressive. The rake, however, is a healthy 32 degrees and with the kind of seating position it offers, feedback from the front won’t be a problem. The dry weight is 168 kg which will be increased to 190 kg when wet. Both front and the back have disc brakes and Dual channel ABS. The headlamp and the taillight are LED’s and the handlebar levers are also adjustable.
Some more features :
TVS Zeppelin features a Bio-key start, I am not really sure what that is. My best guess is that it’d be kind of a fingerprint controlled ignition mechanism. The front headlamp houses an HD camera, so you can say that this bike is built for Moto-vlogging. The rear mudguard is held by a single arm and holds the number plate.
TVS Zeppelin, in its current prototype form, looks like the perfect motorcycle for cruising in India. Although I am a bit skeptical about the lack of power from 220 cc motor, I hope that E-boost proves me wrong. The company has already delivered the Apache RR310 in its original concept form and so naturally a cruiser lover like me, has his hopes really up in the sky right now.
By: Yetnesh Dubey