The motorcycle that lets you do laid-back long-distance cruises in style…
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 kilometers.
Table of Contents
TVS Ronin: Story Behind The Name
There seems to be a legit 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 to its own, the name could thus hint at this standalone nature!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.'
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 wouldn’t recommend anything above 7500!
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, rakes 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.
Should You Buy One?
|Ronin SS||1.49 lakh|
|Ronin DS||1.57 lakh|
|Ronin TD||1.69 lakh|
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 its 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 TD: Quick Facts!
|Ground Clearance||181 mm|
|Seat height||795 mm|
|Fuel Tank capacity||14 liters|
|Front wheel rake angle||27 degrees|
|Tyre Size||110/70- 17 inch Tubeless(F)|
130/70- 17 inch tubeless (R)
|Tyres||TVS Rambler (block pattern)|
|Frame||Double cradle split synchro stiff frame|
|Suspension||41mm Showa USD (F)|
7 step preload adjustable Mono shock (R)
|Engine||225 cc, oil cooled, 4V, SOHC|
|Power||20.4 PS @ 7750 rpm|
|Torque||19.93 Nm @3750 rpm|
|Clutch Type||Assist and slipper clutch|
|Brakes||300 mm Disc (F)|
240 mm Disc (R)