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TVS K03 (with BMW Motorrad) bike Review

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TVS-BMW K03

TVS motor company of Chennai & BMW Motorrad of Germany had announced a tie up quite some time ago. After more than a year the tie up is bearing fruit. The above two companies jointly announced the impending launch of a ~~310 cc bike code named K03. This bike is also called G 310 R. Expect to see it at the Auto Expo in Delhi in early February 2016.

At least three versions will be launched using the same platform: An off-roader, a street bike, and an Adventure version – whatever that means. The bike designed in Germany will be produced in India in TVS factory, which will keep costs down. BMW is the most innovative bike maker in the world. <1>It is the first company to make the Boxer twin engine. A boxer twin is a two cylinder engine in which the two cylinders are HORiZONTALLY OPPOSED. Thus this engine is the MOST BALANCED engine in the world.

 

Note the cylinder head with fins jutting out of the crank-case with the exhaust pipe.

<2>It uses SHAFT DRiVE to drive the rear wheel – as in cars. Most (over 90%) Indian bikes use chain drive. Some bikes use belt drive. <3>All bikes have a rear swing-arm (on both sides), but in some BMW boxer twins which use shaft drive, the casing of the shaft drive does the job of

 

This is the casing which houses the shaft drive. It also serves as the swing-arm—one sided!

the swing-arm, on one side only. <4> Till 1968, BMW used Earles type front suspension. Earles type front suspension does not have twin forks in front, but has sealed shock absorbers as are fitted in the rear. The original Indian bike Rajdoot with a 175 cc engine (made by Escorts Ltd. in the sixties & seventies), also used Earles front suspension. With these kinds of exclusive innovative technologies, BMW is definitely the top bike maker in the world.

Information on the 310 cc bike / K03 / G 310 R bike is as yet sketchy, but the engine is smaller than the Royal Enfield Bullet 350. Yet this TVS/BMW 310 cc bike makes more power than 350 cc Bullet. It has 4-valves and the engine is liquid cooled. While Bullet 350 makes 19.8 bhp at 5250 rpm, the K03 makes more than 30 bhp at 9500 rpm. In fact the K03 makes more power than Bullet 500 and even more than the 535 cc Bullet Continental GT which makes 29.1 bhp. As far as torque goes, the 350 cc Bullets make 28 Nm torque which is exactly the same as the TVS K03, but the Bullets make this torque at 4000 rpm while the K03 makes it at 7500 rpm. The 500 cc Bullets make 41.3 Nm of torque which is much more than K03 and Bullets produce this torque at 4000 rpm. Thus city traffic ability of Bullets will be much better than the K03. The mileage given by the TVS K03 is @ 36 kmpl which is almost the same as Bullet.

This is what the K03 will probably look like

Other details: The TVS K03 has USD twin fork suspension front and mono-shock rear and kerb weight of @ 160 kg, while all Bullets weigh @ 190 kg. The TVS K03 has both alloy wheels of 17-inch diameter and Michelin tires of size 110/70 at front and 150/60 at rear. All Bullets have tires 19-inch diameter at front while the rear tire is 19 inch in some models and 18-inch in some others. While Bullet has 5-gears, the K03 has six gears. Braking in the TVS K03 is by single disc both front and rear with ABS. Headlight in the K03 bike is single projector.

Price of TVS K03 would be three to four lakhs while all bullets cost less than two lakhs. My reason for comparing this bike with Bullet350 is that the K03 single cylinder engine is nearest in size to Bullet. 36 kmpl mileage is pretty close to Bullet. The success of this bike would be less than Bullet which today has a six month waiting period. Price is another issue since the K03 will cost at least one lakh more than the highest Bullet and more than double of low end Bullets. Due to K03 lower torque, traffic ability would not be as much as Bullet and would need more frequent gear changing.

Most important is that the TVS K03 will not be able to produce the legendary THUMP sound of the Bullet exhaust because the K03 uses Over-Head-Camshaft with timing chain to operate the valves while Bullet uses push rods, and only pushrod engine can produce thump!

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