TVS Ronin 225 road test review: A kaleidoscope of possibilities
The two-wheeler market in India is evolving continuously. In the past few years, many new brands, new electric two-wheelers and manufacturers have entered new segments and launched new motorcycles. A few years ago, no one would have thought that TVS would try to take Royal Enfield's market share. But then they showcased the Zeppelin R Concept at Auto Expo 2018 and after four years of waiting, TVS has finally launched its production version which is called Ronin 225. It is not a cruiser anymore. Instead, Ronin is a mix of several different motorcycle styles. So, does Ronin live up to the hype that was created by the Zeppelin R Concept? Read on to find out how the Ronin performs in real-world conditions.
How does Ronin 225 look?
Ronin's design is a mixed bag of several different motorcycles. It has elements of a cruiser, scrambler and a neo-retro roadster. Up-front, there is a circular LED headlamp with a T-shaped LED Daytime Running Lamp which looks nice. The turn indicators are also slim LED units.
The muscular stance of the Ronin comes from the chunky up-side down forks finished in golden colour and a muscular fuel tank. The riding triangle is of a cruiser with front-set foot pegs and a wide handlebar. And there is a huge chain cover on the side that is inspired by the heavy American cruisers. The off-set instrument cluster is a single-pod circular unit which is inspired by scramblers. Another thing that is inspired by the scrambler is the rear section where there is a block pattern tyre and a slim LED tail lamp strip tucked below the street nicely.
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How does Ronin 225's engine perform?
The engine on the Ronin is a new 225 cc, oil-cooled unit. It produces 20.4 bhp of max power and 19.93 Nm of peak torque. The engine is tuned for low-end and mid-range grunt. So, you do not need to rev the engine much. Just ride that meaty wave of torque and up-shift because then there is quite a bit of vibration once you reach the top-end of the rev range. The engine does produce some heat in bumper-to-bumper traffic but it is manageable.
The engine has a good burbling exhaust note at lower revs. The clutch is very light and the five-speed gearbox is slick for the most part. However, it can be a bit cumbersome to shift into neutral, because the gearbox straight up goes from 2nd to 1st.
Ronin is perfect motorcycle as a city cruiser - it has got loads of low-end grunt and it is easy to manoeuvre. However, on the highway, the situation is a bit different. The engine starts running out of steam in the higher revs. The bigger issue is the vibrations that creep in at higher speeds, so the ideal cruising speed for the Ronin 225 is between 80 kmph to 90 kmph which is quite low.
Is Ronin 225 comfortable?
The riding triangle on the Ronin 225 is of a cruiser. The handlebar is wide, there is a comfortable seat and the footpegs are forward set. The seat height of 795 mm is very accessible and the weight of the motorcycle is 160 kgs. Because, the weight is well distributed, for the most part, the rider does not feel it.
The suspension on the Ronin is well-damped. It does not get unsettled easily. The rear suspension might feel a bit jerky on sharper bumps because it is tuned for a slightly aggressive rebound. Despite using block-pattern type Scrambler tyres, they offer a good amount of grip. However, a road-biased tyre could have helped the motorcycle even more.
What are the features that Ronin 225 offers?
TVS is known to equip their motorcycles with a lot of features. The Ronin is no different. It gets all LED lighting, a digital instrument cluster with adjustable brightness that shows various different information.
The rider can cycle through the Urban and Rain mode and there are adjustable brake and clutch levers, and Bluetooth connectivity. The motorcycle also comes with a silent start system.
What are the drawbacks of the Ronin 225?
For starters, the low beam of the Ronin is not perfect for night rides. I have noticed on some parts, there are signs of rust as well. Also, there is fogging issue in the headlamp and the instrument cluster. I could not cycle through the information displayed on the instrument cluster using the “i" button. The Mode button got stuck every time I pressed it. These issues are quite surprising for a motorcycle that only has 625 km on its odometer. The Bluetooth connectivity is a bit finicky to use. Maybe, these issues are just on the earlier batches of the Ronin but while these may be easily fixable, ought not to be present at all in the first place.
Should you buy Ronin 225?
Well, if you will be using the Ronin for highway cruising a lot, then I would suggest looking for some other motorcycle. However, as a city motorcycle, the Ronin does make a lot of sense. It is light, manageable, feature-packed, torquey and a very light clutch just adds to the convenience. And for ₹1.5 lakh (ex-showroom), it does attract quite a bit of attraction on the road.