Great news! OVERDRIVE has confirmation that the first motorcycle from the TVS-BMW cooperation on motorcycles will show itself in public for the first time on December 6, 2017. TVS Motors will host the commercial launch of the new motorcycle in Chennai. TVS showed the motorcycle's design intent in the form of the TVS Akula at the 2016 Auto Expo in Delhi and we have all been waiting ever since amidst an ever-growing stack of spy pictures - including these which appear to be the TVS Akula/Apache RR 310's clearest pictures of all. The actual name of the motorcycle is still not confirmed, but it is likely to be the TVS Apache RR 310 - an extension of the Apache brand that has done so well for TVS. The Apache RR 310 is expected to enter the same space as the likes of the KTM 250/390 Duke and the KTM RC390 but sit a bit below the KTMs in pricing terms. Bajaj's Dominar, though, is likely to be a close competitor on the price front - details will be confirmed here at OVERDRIVE on December 6.
The fairing on the Akula looks large but sculpted
The vertical dash is a unique detail spotted on the TVS Akula test vehicles spotted testing so far
What we know so far is that this is a BMW-developed engine and the international test rides for the motorcycles - the G 310 R and the G 310 GS - confirm a smooth, swift but not frantic engine. The BMW G 310 R is powered by an all-new 313cc motor that makes 34PS at 9,500 rpm and generates 28Nm at 7,500rpm. The motor is paired to a 6-speed transmission. We are not expecting TVS to make dramatic changes to the feel or tune of this engine. As you know, the engine is placed 'backwards' in the frame with the intake on the front and the exhaust port facing the back of the motorcycle.
The BMW-TVS motorcycle project in development terms has been led by BMW albeit the Akula is a TVS project from that same platform. The Apache RR 310 and the two BMW motorcycles are all made at the Hosur plant on a new assembly line created especially for these bikes and set to the BMW quality standard. BMW Motorrad had earlier told OVERDRIVE that it intends to have just the one production quality standard for the world and that India would receive exactly the same motorcycle that any market in the world gets - except for local regulations on number plates, saree guards and what have you. BMW Motorrad's versions of this platform have been a long time coming and BMW officials confirmed to OVERDRIVE that the two bikes, the naked G 310 R and the adv-style G 310 GS will be launched, most likely together, in the second half of 2018 and homologation is on right now.
As you know, TVS and BMW will not overlap with each other in terms of selling these motorcycles in India. TVS will retain the Apache RR 310 and any future variants and products off this platform from its own sales network and service them through the TVS service stations. BMW Motorrad, similarly, intends to add the G 310 R and GS to its fledgling but growing dealer network and will handle its own sales and service for these bikes. Inasmuch, the two brands will be free to pursue their own price and positioning strategies.