TVS had, a while ago, revealed about its launch in Indonesia in the first half of 2017. Working on a somewhat similar frame as the KTM–Bajaj, TVS took the jump with BMW Motorrad. This joint venture will benefit TVS by bringing in investments and expertise to further broaden their R&D capability to improve on existing projects and bring in new innovations across their product lineup. In fact, TVS has already showcased a concept, touted to be the flagship motorcycle for the company.
Today, we see this partnership taking shape in the form these spy images surfacing the internet where the bike is undergoing dyno tests on the factory floor. This is after we found them sitting outside on the factory yard last week. TVS Akula 310 concept made global debut at the 2016 Auto Expo and now is slated to launch sometime in July, 2017. The Akula 310 will, however, be christened as the Apache RTR 310 in India.
TVS has gone big this time. Replacing the flagship Apache RTR200 is this Akula 310 developed with BMW Motorrad. Based on the G310 platform, the Akula carries over the suspension unit, chassis, brakes, radials and the exhaust. Wearing a full fairing silhouette, first ever at TVS, it’s got aggressive styling and stance that could make any contender sweat.
As seen on these spy images, the Akula / Apache RTR 310 will get a full production ready paint job that will include gloss and matte finishes in Blue and Black. They are also seen equipped with the vertical LCD digital instrument pod, similar to that seen on the concept seen during the 2016 Auto Expo. Unlike the concept model seen, the production unit will not see any carbon fibre components in its body panel.
The front adorns one of the largest windscreens seen in the segment and under it goes the dual pod Auto Headlamp projector unit that comes with a running strip of DRLs’ too. We are not sure if the projectors run on LED or not, but the beam looks white and strong. However, the side indicators and the rear bullhorn tail lights get LED treatment. It could as well be the best looker amongst its contenders when it comes to the front. It sees a tall and slender tank unit, which is quite unique in the way it carries its design.
We will leave that to contemplation until a clear production unit is spotted post launch. The exhaust unit is also replaced with a more conventional cannister that has a polished aluminium end caps to qualify with BS-IV compliance. As seen on the spy unit, this TVS makes use of USD gold anodised forks along with gold brake callipers. Overall, TVS is aiming at retaining about 75% of the parts of the concept on the production-ready Akula.
This Akula is powered by a 313cc single cylinder engine jointly developed by BMW, also used in the G310. This engine will deliver 34 bhp at 9,500 rpm, with a 10,500 rpm limiter, and a stated maximum torque of 28 NM at 7,500 rpm. Clutch action is light but misses out on a slipper clutch, probably the reason why the idling is at 1500rpm ruling out rear wheel chatter on the overrun. Euro 4-compliant catalyst whispers rather than booms. But that is of course only below 5000 rpm.TVS claims that the Akula will come with a high rev peak capability. The wind tunnel tested bike gets a space frame chassis and also supports closed loop 3-stage catalytic converter.
The expected price of this machine will be ?1.8 lakhs and upwards. It’s won the best concept bike award and the production units include features like the Dorsal fin and heat management gills, full digital speedometer, Clip-on handlebars, LED bull horntail lamp, Pirelli beefy tyres, 41mm KYB USD forks and ByBre (Brembo’s Indian subsidiary) 300mm radial callipers with dual channel ABS.
On the other side of the two-wheeler scene, Bajaj launched its new flagship, the Dominar 400 and is also in a heavy preparation to launch its Pulsar SS400. This will definitely make the TVS management rethink their strategy and pricing regarding the Akula and it will be interesting to see a fresh breed of machines vying for the top honours.