Following the successful model of other major manufacturers who teamed up with local Indian bike makers and have expanded both operations and line-up, BMW has inked a long-term deal with TVS.
There are two main goals for this move. First of all, BMW is looking forward to debut its first small-displacement bikes, which will be developed as a joint effort between the two. So far the Germans say they will not use any Indian plant to build any of their big-bore machines, but this may change in a few years’ time.
On the other hand, even if BMW wanted to launch affordable sub-500cc bikes, making them in Germany would have caused higher costs, and therefore reduce the lucrative potential of the whole “strategic realignment”. So a cheaper manufacturer was needed, and TVS was in the right place at the right time. BMW will share some engineering and technology with its Indian partner, not unlike Erik Buell Racing does with Hero.
In fact TVS has already showed their Draken concept, reportedly an all-TVS design and a bold step up in displacement for the Indians. The bike is apparently good for some 38 horsepower, with 23Nm (17 lb-ft) @ 9,500 rpm and is exceptionally light at only 134 kg (296 lbs). Despite some undeniable Kawasaki, KTM and new R1200GS cues, the Draken might hint upon the future of BMW’s small-displacement machines.
In fact, some voices in the Indian moto industry say that BMW is planning a new platform which could use a 300cc single and will build several models using the same basis. A small-scale GS, a naked all-rounder and a sporty one are most likely to be the choices, with the naked machine possibly unveiled this November at the EICMA.
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