Monday, February 08, 2016

TVS Akula 310 concept provides a glimpse of BMW's first small sportsbike for Europe

The TVS Akula 310 is BMW's first small-bore superbike for Europe and Asia. And, boy, does it look good!

Remember the BMW G310R, which was unveiled in November last year? Developed in collaboration with the India-based TVS Motor, the G310R is BMW's first small-capacity single-cylinder machine in recent times. With this, BMW aim to take on companies like KTM, Benelli, Ducati and the Japanese Big Four, all of whom are aggressively pushing into fast-evolving Asian markets with their 250-400cc sportsbikes. With its 313cc, 34bhp single-cylinder engine, steel-tube chassis and modern braking and suspension components, the BMW G310R will be sold in Europe as well as various Asian markets, and is likely to find an enthusiastic audience among new riders everywhere.

Of course, the G310R isn't where the TVS-BMW partnership stops -- the two fully intend to continue developing new motorcycles together. Last week, at the Auto Expo in Delhi, India, TVS unveiled the Akula 310 concept, which has also been designed and developed in collaboration with BMW Motorrad. This bike is likely to go on sale in India, other parts of Asia and, we're sure, Europe, by the end of this year. Europe will get the BMW-branded version, though styling, engine, chassis and other bits will remain unchanged. As you can see, the TVS Akula 310 takes various styling cues from the BMW S1000RR superbike, while the name 'Akula' is a reference to the Akula-class nuclear-powered submarines made in Russia.

TVS-BMW haven't really made any technical details available, but if you look closely, the Akula seems to have a different steel-tube trellis-type chassis (with an aluminium sub-frame at the rear), which is not the same as the one used on the G310R. The wheels, rear monoshock and the USD front fork seem to have been borrowed from the G310R, and the bodywork is quite clearly inspired by the S1000RR. The Akula 310 is just a concept for now, hence there's extensive use of carbonfibre here, which may not be the case on the actual production bike. There's also a fully digital instrument panel, on-board gyro cameras and we're sure the production-spec machine will have the latest Bosch ABS.

When this first fully-faired TVS-BMW 310 sportsbike goes on sale towards the end of this year, it could definitely prove to be a nightmare for machines like the KTM RC390, Yamaha R3, Honda CBR300R, Kawasaki Ninja 300 and Suzuki's upcoming GSX-R250. Looks like things are going to get pretty exciting in this segment very soon. Stay tuned for more information!

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