TVS Ronin Review: Feature-loaded City Commuter With Hint Of Retro
Article by Drivio | 13th Apr 23
The TVS Ronin was built with one rival in mind: the Royal Enfield Hunter 350. But can it provide the authentic experience that the RE does? We investigate:
- The Ronin’s 225.9cc mill has 20.4PS and 19.93Nm on tap.
- Underpinnings include a premium inverted fork at the front along with a monoshock at the rear.
- A 159kg kerb weight means it’s a LOT lighter than the Hunter 350.
According to a quick Google search, Ronin is "a wandering samurai who had no lord or master." And TVS' latest offering is, in many ways, exactly that. It's the Hosur-based bikemaker's first attempt at creating something that not only deviates from the company's racing pedigree, but also lacks a distinct identity.
Instead, it combines elements from the cruiser, scrambler, and neo-retro motorcycle genres. We got to swing a leg over this motorbike in the real world to see if TVS made a good decision.
TVS Ronin: Design & Features
The TVS Ronin features retro scrambler styling as well as modern elements such as an all-LED circular headlight with a T-face DRL and LED indicators. It has nine-spoke alloy wheels, an offset instrument cluster, and a massive chain-cover that is both functional and opulent.
The TVS Ronin has dual-channel ABS and two braking modes (Urban & Rain). It also has SmartXonnect Bluetooth connectivity (on the premium model) with voice assistance, Call/SMS alerts, phone battery/signal status, and turn-by-turn navigation. The motorcycle has Glide-Through-Traffic (low-speed assistance) and a silent starter.
The motorcycle also has a silent starter, a slipper clutch, and adjustable brake and clutch levers (on the top variant). The motorcycle has a side-stand engine kill function for added security.
TVS Ronin: Engine & Specs
The TVS Ronin excels in this area. This samurai is aware of its surroundings and takes full advantage of them.
The engine's torquey nature allows you to hold higher gears at slower speeds, which improves tractability. In third gear, I was able to go over all kinds of speed bumps and even make slow U-turns. Put it in this gear and you can cruise around town with ease, at least until 52-53kmph, when it becomes a little vibey and begs you to shift up.
TVS Ronin: Chassis
|Front suspension||Inverted fork|
|Front brake||300mm disc|
|Rear brake||240mm disc|
|ABS||Dual-channel is optional|
The relaxed rake angle would seem to imply some inherent laziness, but this is magically absent. The wide handlebar with good leverage and the upright riding stance with a light 160kg kerb weight aid in effortlessly snaking through traffic. Because your body is upright and your legs are set forward, you'd expect a heel-toe shifter. Unfortunately, it has a toe-only unit, and moving your ankle below the lever is difficult.
While the stopping performance is adequate, we would have preferred more feel and progression from the anchors. If you want to brake extremely hard, you may need to really grab the levers, as there is a lot of mushy sensation in the system after the strong initial bite.
The block patterned TVS Remora rubber provides good grip and inspires confidence when taking corners at high speeds. This, combined with the engine's torque, should keep you happy in the ghats.
TVS Ronin: Dimensions
|Kerb weight||159kg / 160kg|
|Fuel tank capacity||14-litres|
The Ronin is agile and a lot of fun in the city, most of which is down to its peppy engine and lightweight structure. At 159kg, it’s a lot lighter than its direct rival, the Hunter 350, making it the more agile of the two.
TVS Ronin: Variants & Price
|TVS Ronin Variants||Price (ex-showroom Delhi)|
|TVS Ronin SS||Rs 1,49,000|
|TVS Ronin DS||Rs 1,56,500|
|TVS Ronin TD||Rs 1,68,750|
The entry-level TVS Ronin SS is available in two single-tone colours (Magma Red and Lightning Black) with no decals, while the mid-level Ronin DS is available in two dual-tone colourways (Stargaze Black & Delta Blue).
The top-tier Ronin TD is available in two triple-tone colours (Galactic Grey & Dawn Orange). The base SS model has a black KYB USD with single-channel ABS, whereas the two premium models have gold-finished Showa USD forks, a headlight ring, and dual-channel ABS. Rim stickers are also included with the mid-level DS variant.
If your commute is limited to the city, the TVS Ronin is an excellent, feature-rich motorcycle. But it does its job mechanically. If you're looking for a city bike, the Ronin is still a bit pricey at Rs 1,68,750 (ex-showroom Delhi).
The Ronin does not make you feel special in the same way that other TVS bikes do, such as the Apache RTR 160 4V, NTorq 125, or even the Radeon, and its identity crisis is quite obvious. Though TVS began with an intriguing concept with the Ronin, the execution could have been better. Other competitors exist in the segment, but that's a story for another time.