2022 TVS Ronin Review: ‘Unscripted But Interesting!’

The only ‘TVS Ronin review’ that you need…

The Ronin is a far cry from most of the things that TVS has mastered and perfected over the years. The manufacturer is known for making sporty motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds that excel with their characters and in performance. But this? Well, the Ronin is unlike any of them. This modern-retro kind of motorcycle is meant to go long, relaxed rides on, than to set lap times as you’d do with an RR310 maybe! This ‘debut’ nature in its niche, is exactly what made us test it extensively for over a week and 650-odd kilometres.

TVS Ronin: Story Behind The Name

There seems to be a legitimate reason for TVS to have named this motorcycle Ronin. ‘Ronin’ in Japanese, refers to a Samurai without a master. This motorcycle doesn’t have a strict market rival and rather creates a niche of its own, the name could thus hint at this standalone nature!

Design

What Bodystyle Is It?: The overall design of TVS Ronin incorporates several cues suggestive of multiple motorcycle body styles: from retro roadsters to scramblers and cruisers. However, it is the cruiser vibes that I get the most. The rather raked-out angle of the front forks, high and swept-back handlebar design and fair-sized chain cover that mimics the look of a belt drive, all add to this.

Ronin’s design can invoke mixed feelings in the beholders. It is fairly unconventional. The circular headlamp, with its efficient LED setup and T-shaped DRL, looks good and is very functional during night rides. The beam offers excellent illumination with its good intensity and throw. Blinkers are sleek and the tail lamp gets a Robocop-like styling, that quite frankly, doesn’t gel well with the rest of the rear, which has a rather classic feel to it.

2022 TVS Ronin Review: 'Unscripted But Interesting!' 1

The rear fender looks curvy and very old-school. The rear grab rail feels very basic and totally detached from the rest of the design. No matter how utilitarian you’d claim this to be, it fairly hurts the aesthetics.

ALSO READ: Honda Hness CB350 DLX Pro Review: More Refined Than All Its Competition!

Look at the Ronin from the sides and you’ll be greeted by a refreshing silhouette. The raked-out front wheel, premium seat design, and good-looking 14L fuel tank are all very eye-pleasing. There are multiple faux inserts and design elements that try to draw visual connections to the Zeppelin Concept- and these are customizable via accessories! Courtesy of all these, TVS Ronin looks fairly like a mature, balanced evolution of the Zeppelin!

Features

The instrument cluster gets an offset design (doesn’t it look like the one on the Ducati Scrambler?) and is an all-digital unit comprising a main digital real estate for speedo, fuel gauge, temperature gauge and other related information and a second, smaller MID. Readability in general, feels great. TVS has given the Ronin its SmartXConnect connectivity as well. The mirrors get smart, usable designs and the clutch and brake levers offer 3-step adjustments as well. The plastic and build qualities are literally the best for the price. Ronin also offers hazard lamps, a side-stand engine kill function, silent start, and selectable riding modes.

2022 TVS Ronin Review: 'Unscripted But Interesting!' 2
Offset digital instrument cluster

Specifications: Engine, Platform And Gearbox

TVS Ronin is underpinned by a newly developed chassis. A lot of effort has been put in to bring about a light, agile and planted riding experience. The front gets USD forks set at an angle of 27 degrees, something you would mostly associate with cruisers. This rake would give the motorcycle improved stability at high speeds, but would also curb the agility slightly. To overcome the same, the front wheel gets fork offsets here! Think of it this way: You often see fork offsets being used on dirt bikes to increase the trail, and this motorcycle reverses the process and uses these to bring the wheel back in, to compensate for the dynamics-compromises made by the rake! Fancy but logical…

TVS Ronin draws its juice from a newly developed 225cc engine. However, this is not the one that we had seen on the Zeppelin. Unlike the concept’s hybrid engine, this unit lacks any form of electrification even while having a similar bore and stroke. This 4-valve, oil-cooled engine churns out around 20 hp and 20 Nm and comes mated to the same 5-speed transmission from RTR 200.

While the on-paper figures might not be too interesting, the way these are delivered definitely is! You get access to the peak torque from around 3750 rpms- interesting for a motorcycle of this nature. The overall refinement is great and the presence of a silent start function- something we’ve grown up seeing on smaller scooters and commuters- only adds to this! The exhaust note sounds decently appealing as well.

ALSO READ: 2022 Royal Enfield Hunter 350 Metro Review: ‘Ain’t No RE Stereotype!’

2022 TVS Ronin Review: 'Unscripted But Interesting!' 3

Performance

Before diving deep into the performance and acceleration, let me shout this loud: “TVS Ronin is not the motorcycle you’d wanna own if you’re looking to achieve ridiculously high speeds or are after breath-taking acceleration! This is but a motorcycle that lets you access enough performance to cruise around in style all day and without an instant of cursing the powertrain!”

So, this motorcycle is a sloth? NO! The Ronin would give you loads of low-end juice. The meaty low end, together with short gearing, makes this sort of an all-rounder. You can do ridiculously low speeds in higher gears (maybe 15-16 kph in 3rd!) and enjoy a good tug from upwards of 3000 spins, with an open throttle!

This I would say, is just the perfect setting for the urbanscapes and less crowded non-highways alike! Out on the highways, however, the performance tapers slightly. 80-ish kph, I would say, would be Ronin’s comfort zone on highways. You can do 100s, but not so quickly. Though the engine doesn’t struggle till 100 kph, pushing it farther would be slow and draining. You can rev this motor to around 9000 rpms, but I recommend nothing above 7500!

tvs ronin seat
Comfortable seats!

Ride And Handling

TVS has done a lot to improve Ronin’s dynamics. The motorcycle gets 41 mm Showa USD forks at the front- the same that you get to see on the RR 310. The spring and damping rates of these, however, have been retuned to suit the overall character of this motorcycle. Riding comfort has been as much prioritised as agility. The rear gets a monoshock, and the overall setup has identical travels to the RR310. Ronin feels quite planted at speeds and decently agile. Direction changes are honestly, never painful! The swept-back handlebar, front fork offsets, raked steering, and the almost-neutral footpeg position would all feel very likeable on long rides!

The TVS Rambler tyres on this, offer good grip and liveability. The ride comfort offered is worth putting your money on. You can cruise all day and still be comfortable! The clutch feels light and never demands much strain from your left palm. The seat design and cushioning are also things that would add to the overall liveability.

Top-spec Ronin TD offers dual ABS, and gets disc brakes at both ends. The riding modes- Urban and Rain- tweak the sensitivity of ABS and has almost nothing to do with throttle maps. But these ensure better manoeuvrability, traction, and agility on wet roads.

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TVS Ronin Pros And Cons

Below are the merits and demerits of TVS Ronin. In other words, the things that we like about it and those that we don’t.

ProsCons
Bold, good-looking designSome might not be convinced by the design
Refined and responsive engineThe price disparity between single-tone and multi-tone variants is fairly large.
Good build and material qualitiesBase-spec and lower variants lack many features.
Comfortable seating and relaxed rider triangleSome rivals might have slightly higher top-speeds.
Stable at high speeds, Good overall dynamicsDedicated storage areas are minimal
Useful digital instrument cluster with good readability
Rich in features (Selectable riding modes, slipper clutch, USD forks, Bluetooth connectivity)
Table: TVS Ronin pros and cons

Should You Buy One?

VariantEx-showroom Price
Ronin SS1.49 lakh
Ronin DS1.57 lakh
Ronin TD1.69 lakh
TVS Ronin Price and variants

Speaking strictly, TVS Ronin almost sits on a blank canvas! It could be a neo-retro to some, a scrambler to others and a cruiser to people like me! The possible alternatives/rivals would vary according to what it is to you. However, going by the prices, I would suggest the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 as the closest alternative! Yes, there are many 250s, and even those like the Honda CB350 RS and RE Meteor, selling for comparable prices.

I would just say, if it’s a relaxed, peppy cruiser (with a rather polarising design), strong low-end performance, and great build is what you’re looking for, maybe the Ronin could fit in. Honestly, it could seem a bit expensive over the Hunter 350 for what’s being offered- but this I would say, is not because TVS has overquoted the Ronin, but rather RE has priced their newest 350 very very aggressively!

tvs ronin led headlight
LED headlamps, blinkers and golden USD forks

TVS Ronin vs Hunter 350

Royal Enfield Hunter 350, with its bigger engine and retro design, slots in as the core rival to the Ronin 225. Both motorcycles are priced closely as well.

While there is a lot to talk about both the motorcycles, and how they compare with each other, here are a few key points to consider.

tvs ronin

While the Ronin comes with a radical, youthful design, the same might not be appealing to everyone. The seating and rider triangle feel comfortable on the TVS motorcycle. The USD forks, dual-purpose tyres and raked front wheel contribute to the overall dynamics.

The Ronin’s engine excels on both long rides and short urban commutes- thanks to the flat torque curve. However, the lack of a 6th gear is felt at most times.

2022 royal enfield hunter 350 rebel

Royal Enfield Hunter 350, on the other hand, looks and feels ‘more retro’ than the Ronin 225. But, it doesn’t feel like the Royal Enfield stereotype either. With the new J Platform and refined J series engines, both the ‘Retro’ and ‘Metro’ avatars of Hunter 350 are capable rivals to the Ronin. The 350cc engine packs ample punch and is quite interesting to ride. However, there are similar-capacity motorcycles on sale, that offer better performance.

While the Ronin comes packed with quirky features, the Royal Enfield gets just the basics and a wide range of accessories. TVS Ronin too has a bunch of accessories on offer. But frankly, it is the Hunter that looks and feels better when accessorised.

TVS Ronin TD: Quick Facts!

Length2040 mm
Width805 mm
Height1170 mm
Wheelbase1357 mm
Ground Clearance181 mm
Seat height795 mm
Weight160 kg
Fuel Tank capacity14 liters
Front wheel rake angle27 degrees
Tyre Size110/70- 17 inch Tubeless(F)
130/70- 17 inch tubeless (R)
TyresTVS Rambler (block pattern)
FrameDouble cradle split synchro stiff frame
Suspension41mm Showa USD (F)
7 step preload adjustable Mono shock (R)
Engine225 cc, oil cooled, 4V, SOHC
Power20.4 PS @ 7750 rpm
Torque19.93 Nm @3750 rpm
Gearbox5 speed
Clutch TypeAssist and slipper clutch
Brakes300 mm Disc (F)
240 mm Disc (R)
ABSDual channel
Table: TVS Ronin 225 TD Highlights

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TVS Ronin FAQ

is TVS Ronin worth buying?

TVS Ronin 225 offers great value proposition. It is a good motorcycle a peppy, refined engin, smooth gear shifting, and USD front forks for better dynamics. it's lightweight compared to other cruisers, is comfortable to ride, and has a good exhaust. Very good for long rides and reasonably priced.

Is TVS Ronin good for long rides?

It is great to take TVS Ronin 225 on long rides. The motorcycle gets a well-padded seat and comfortable rider triangle. The steering rake and other factors also favour relaxed criuising. It's got a refined, peppy engine and good on-road dynamics, that further add flavour to long rides. The only complaint one might have on long rides would be of the missing 6th gear!

Is TVS Ronin heavy?

Weighing 159 kilograms, TVS Ronin is not a heavy motorcycle to live with. It feels easy to ride and is quite beginner friendly. However, the raked steering could give you the feeling of the bike being heavier than it actually is, especially when negotiating U-turns at extremely low speeds.

What is the downpayment for TVS Ronin 225?

Flexible financing is available on the Ronin. In most cases, you'd need to pay atleast 10-30% of the ex-showroom price- a little over 16,000 depending on the variant chosen. EMI would be Rs. 3117 for a loan amount of Rs.151965 for 60 months.

What are the top competitors of TVS Ronin 225?

Going by prices alone, the following could be the possible competitors of TVS Ronin:
Royal Enfield Hunter 350, Honda Hness CB350, Yamaha FZ-X, Royal Enfield Classic 350, Royal Enfield Meteor 350, JAWA Forty Two, Bajaj Dominar 250, and the new Royal Enfield Bullet 350.

Of these, the Hunter 350 should be considered the strongest rival due to the very obvious reasons. Also, we would many a time dismiss the Yamaha and Dominar for being genre-misfits!

How is the service of TVS Ronin 225?

TVS Motors offers a comprehensive service package for the TVS Ronin 225, including the first three services at no cost. Services include engine oil replacement, oil filter cleaning and replacement, front fork oil replacement, clutch and throttle adjustments, and more. For further details, contact the nearest TVS dealership.

What is TVS Ronin mileage?

TVS Ronin has an ARAI certified mileage of 42 kpl. However, most owners record around 40 kpl as real-world fuel efficiency.