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No Apache refresh in the near future. TVS gears up to celebrate million Apaches

Rishaad Mody  | Updated: May 09, 2013, 04:12 PM IST

The web has been buzzing with rumours of TVS upgrading their Apache motorcycle line once again. These stories are fuelled by almost childish enthusiasm and based on, let us call them provocative, images of a silhouetted Apache with the plastic bits lying suggestively on the ground. The headlines scream upgrade/update and all other flavours of "TVS is about reignite the Apache motorcycle."

If you step back and eye the situation calmly, two things become clear. First, the Apache styling update, no matter how successful, has only been in the market for a matter of months and there is no way, a refresh can come so fast. A refresh this early can only come if the ultimate disaster was to happen. Which is that a terrible design somehow got approved and productionised. Then the night before production opened (as in with trucks full of new bits queuing up outside the factory) someone woke up and said, "What have we done! We have to fix this."

In that event, the design team would be required to put together a new design, send it off to the engineers for verification, to the market survey team for clinics and so forth. This takes time. And leads to iterations. Once all that is done, then the final production drawings are sent to suppliers who will then start the process of making these bits. This also takes time. A considered refresh would take months to materialise even with the midnight oil being burnt without qualm or pause.

The Apache refresh may not have produced the sales boost TVS hoped for but we have confirmed with the company that there is no Apache refresh and that the Facebook promo is a teaser for something else.

And if you think about it, TVS has always been very cautious in operation. They typically take their time to figure things out and then aim to get them right at the start so that minimum resources are used and maximum outputs are gained.

So the upshot is the stories are all bunkum. No Apache refresh is in the offing in the short term. TVS will launch a scooter shortly, this is known. The scooter is likely to be based on the Wego platform - we expect the same chassis and engine to power it - but it will styled to look more aggressive and masculine. TVS will also launch a second new scooter sometime later this year. The company has, of course, tied up BMW Motorrad for making a new premium model and there is talk of a new Victor motorcycle which we expect should launch at the festive season or later.

There have been persistent rumours of a bigger displacement Apache motorcycle with TVS constantly denying any knowledge of this product. Our guess is that there some internal thinking going on to resolve the fact that the Apache 250 if extant, would sit in the same space as the TVS-BMW co-developed motorcycle that arrives in 2015. Our estimate would be that having a product in the market for just two years may not be enough to garner a justifiable return on the investment.

Finally, what is the teaser image about then? Well, expect the official announcement later today or tomorrow. TVS is gearing up to celebrate a million Apache motorcycles with a contest. The contestants are to design what they think will be a brilliant new exterior for the motorcycle. TVS will also do a limited edition line of 160 and 180 RTR motorcycles that celebrate and mark the arrival of the millionth RTR motorcycle.

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