2022 TVS Ronin First Ride: Will The Real Ronin Please Stand Up?

  • Jul 9, 2022
  • Views : 4786
  • 7 min read

  • bookmark

Looking at the Ronin and you’ll think it has a multiple personality disorder, but does the confusing design hint at a confused motorcycle?

At first glance, TVS’ Ronin can be a bit confusing. Although based on the Zeppelin R cruiser concept, the Ronin has morphed into something more complicated and convoluted. “Cruiser, roadster or scrambler?” your brain yells at you at first; “Diavel, Trident, or Scrambler?” it yells again. 

So will a very rainy day in Goa be enough to really get under its skin? In the available time we managed to strip away some of its layers and examine many of its promises. But first, what is it? 

Ronin Who?

Even a quick glance can tell you that the Ronin, unlike the Zeppelin, isn't just a cruiser. Although, some of its parts are. The forks are splayed out in a cruiser-ish fashion. But the muscular tank, and the slightly forward-set foot pegs will strike you as roadster-like. At the rear, the high mudguard and chunky tires make it look like a scrambler. But if you look at the long stance and the chain cover that mimics a belt drive, the Ronin gives off a cruiser vibe. 

While it looks muscular and cool, the Ronin never seems imposing. The reason are its roots, rather, its wheels. The Royal Enfield Classic 350 or the Honda CB350 use 19” and 18-inch rim combinations, which helps create a stronger stance. In contrast, the Ronin runs on 17-inch rims with the visible trade off being in its outright presence. 

  Ronin TD Ronin SS Ronin DS
Colour Tone Triple Tone Dual Tone Single Tone
Gold Finish Fork Yes Yes No
Span Adjustable levers Yes No No
ABS Dual-Channel Single-Channel Single-Channel

When you look at it in parts, the Ronin really does impress. For starters, that headlight is immediately recognisable thanks to that T-shaped DRL and it looks premium too. The layered front fender and the Showa USD forks finished in gold look lip smacking. The heavily contoured tank seems too large from some angles and perfectly acceptable from others. This top end variant gets pinstriping, although it is a sticker. The funky looking instrument cluster is packed with information and also connects to your mobile device via the TVS Smart Xonnect app. and allows you to use a voice assistant which can help you through navigation when you're on the go. The top spec model also gets span adjustable levers more connectivity features  for added substance.

Some things look awkward, like the overly large rear fender and the chain cover too.  The rudimentary tubular grab rail seems like an afterthought, but it is sturdy and well-finished. Similarly, the rest of the motorcycle is typically TVS in terms of build quality. So, hopefully you can make your peace with the design, because once you get onto the saadle, you realize the Ronin is a substantial and satisfying motorcycle. 

What's it like to ride? 

To answer that, I'm going to set some context. Its split cradle frame, Showa big piston forks and bespoke TVS Remora tyres the Ronin sounds solid and premium!  However, in terms of price the Ronin sits significantly below rivals like the Honda H’Ness 350 or the RE Classic 350, which makes it more accessible and that's exactly how it feels to ride.

  Ronin CB 350 Classic 350
Price Rs 1.5 - Rs 1.7 Lakh Rs1.98 - Rs 2.03 Lakh RS 1.90 - Rs 2.2 Lakh

For starters, the Ronins weight of 160 kilograms and is much lighter than similar motorcycles. Its seat height of 795 millimetres is low and  motorcycle that you can just get on to and get to terms with very, very quickly. Of course, because of the layout, you do have to put in a bit more thought if you want to adjust lines at high speeds. 

Get latest updates on
the automobile community
Login Now

But aside from that, everything about it feels basically friendly. The premium looking suspension feels premium to ride too; controlled and confident at high speeds and absorbent at low speeds. However,  we will need more time with it to say that with absolute confidence.  The brakes too have got good bite, however, you need to put in a lot of effort at the lever to really get hard braking done. The Ronin offer two ABS modes – Urban and Rrain – to calibrate the braking too. Despite that the Ronin promises to be very versatile - breezy for city use and confident for highway jaunts too. Newer or smaller riders wont be intimidated by it and at the same time six-footers wont feel cramped either.  

 

  Ronin CB 350 RS Classic 350
Wheelbase 1357mm 1441mm 1390mm
Kerb Weight 160kg 181kg 195kg
Seat Height 795mm 800mm 805mm

Well, what about the engine? 

The 225cc engine in the Ronin is derived from the Apache RTR 200, but changed to make it more torquey. While the bore is unchanged, the stroke is longer, the flywheel is heavier, the cams are different and there’s tech like a slip-and-assist clutch for absolutely light clutch feel. There’s also an integrated starter generator, which saves weight as it eliminates the need for a starter, and it also boosts efficiency as it makes for smoother starts.  

For starters, this engine doesn't have a starter motor, because it's got an ISG, which is an integrated starter generator, and that unlocks weight savings and efficiency because besides starting up softly, it needs fewer revs every time to start up, saving every drop of fuel. Along with that, it has basic cooling elements, which makes the engine more efficient while also adding to battery longevity. And the duct below the tank blows in air, cooling the engine and improving efficiency as well, making it more usable. 

Many and different cooling system, like the oil cooling for the head, and the plethora of ducts help improve efficiency and performance. One of the ducts supposedly even cools the battery, to improve its longevity, and the oil cooling system for the head apparently drops temperatures in that area by 10 degrees! 

 

The outcome? The engine delivers around 20PS and 20Nm which doesn't sound exciting. But, keep in mind that it is 20 kilograms lighter than the CB350, which is a lot. TVS claim that the Ronin will be faster to 60kmph, will overtake more easily, lug better at low speeds and climbs up mountain slopes better than its rivals. 

From the seat the performance seems in line with what is advertised. In terms of the rideability, this thing is fantastic. You can pull from 20kmph in fourth gear without a hiccup. In the city you can easily stick to third or fourth, even while crawling over speedbreakers. Aside from the torque boost, the light clutch and the slick gearbox make life peachy. So the Ronin is very much at home in the city, and very friendly for newer riders too.

At the same time, if you want to put on speed and get out of the city, the Ronin feels plenty confident. It gets up to 90 - 100kmph without too much of an effort. But, how quickly it gets to its claimed 120kmph top speed we will have to inspect later. 

However, the cruise experience is plenty enjoyable as the engine is smooth, but not too smooth as it has just the right kind of pulse to build a connection with the motorcycle. The exhaust note is loud and proud, albeit, you could say that it is just a touch too loud. 

 

Ready To Master The Ronin?

As a motorcycle, the Ronin is trying to cover a lot of ground. In our experience the way the suspension works, the way the engine behaves and the way it connects with the rider in the saddle, the Ronin is a very capable and admirable machine. Even in terms of its pricing, it's making a lot of sense. We feel, if TVS were to make a scrambler, cruiser and a roadster on this platform only then the ability and appeal of this platform would be truly unlocked! Right now, the one size fits all Ronin only seems to scratch the surface. So, when you look past the capability and the sensibility quotient, and compared the Ronin with more traditional rivals’ personality, you realize that the Ronin won’t tug at your heartstrings the same way that they do.

TVS Ronin Video Review

TVS Ronin
TVS Ronin
Rs. 1.49 Lakh
View April Offers

See what our community has to say! NEW

India's largest automotive community

Explore Now
comminity image
×
Recently Visited