In case you’ve forgotten, the new BMW G310 platform is built in India, in conjunction with TVS. Here’s a look at the Apache RTR 310, the bike TVS is building around the same single-cylinder engine, said to be coming to market in early summer.
When shown in concept form last year, this bike had carbon-fibre bodywork and was known as the Akula. However, that level of high-spec componentry is just plain silly on a budget bike like this (despite its cachet in the Indian market), and the bike about to be released in India is much more sensible.
For now, we haven’t seen any specs for the bike. There’s no definite prediction of horsepower, weight or any other number. It’s hard to tell for sure, but it seems the TVS Apache RTR 310 has a different frame from the BMWs using this engine (BMW G310R and G310 GS). It’s also possible the engine is tuned differently, although if TVS hopes to sell this in western markets, it’s likely to make sure the emissions system is Euro4-compliant.
But, TVS doesn’t need European or North American sales to build an empire. For now, it’s selling bikes in South America and Asia and seems to be doing just fine. And with a business arrangement with BMW resulting in machines like this, it seems likely the picture will just continue to improve for TVS in coming years, as the developing world continues to build an appetite for affordable motorcycles, just as western markets increasingly move away from two-wheeled transportation.
We’d love to know if BMW has its own plans for a similar sporty G310 model. With a naked bike and an adventure bike already on the market, will BMW build a sportbike, or even a budget sport tourer, built around the single-cylinder motor? It’s unlikely, but then again—10 years ago, who could have predicted the G310 GS?
Why don’t the manufactures round these engines up to 400cc in development? The owners won’t grow out them a quickly if they have 40 or so horsepower and in so many countries have a inexpensive 400cc and under insurance group. If the country has power restrictions than the owner will have to activate a chip to restrict the bike to that specific HP. When they pass to the next stage it becomes unrestricted.
Because they usually started life as 250s, and were stretched out from there. Making them 400s would be tough.
Just develop 400’s as the entry/mid level bikes. Put the 250cc out to pasture and use throttle by wire settings or restrict the bike through it’s mapping chip if there are HP limitations like in the UK.
Because the world does not revolve around us, and the centre of the motorcycle universe is Asia, that’s why. 250cc is a big motorcycle out there. And besides, a modern 300cc – 350cc single is more than capable of smile-inducing performance, even on the highway, for 90% of North American motorcyclists. You simply cannot compare them to a 250 or even 400 from ten years ago.