Small-Displacement BMW Spied Testing

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

The first products of BMW‘s collaboration with India’s TVS Motors are well into development, with spy photographers capturing images of a new small-displacement motorcycle undergoing testing.

BMW previously announced it was working with TVS to develop sub-500cc motorcycles in 2013. Stephan Schaller, head of BMW’s motorcycle operations, has confirmed a target date of 2015 for the small-displacement models, and the test mule suggests the company is hard at work to reach that goal, with the official introduction likely coming at EICMA in November.

At the time of the original announcement, the two companies said they each produce their own models from a common platform. The prototype in the photographs shares some styling elements with the S1000R roadster, with similar looking fairings guarding a radiator. There’s also a clearly visible circular mounting point just in front of the rider’s kneecap that’s perfectly sized and shaped for BMW’s roundel logo.

The shape of the plastics resembles the S1000R and the small circle in front of the rider’s knee is just waiting for the BMW roundel.

The photos don’t provide a good look at the powerplant, but we expect it will be a liquid-cooled single. We suspect the engine displacement will be in the 300cc range to compete against the likes of the Honda CBR300R and CB300F and Kawasaki Ninja 300, but the vague “sub-500cc” description leaves open the possibility of a larger engine to match up against the 390 Duke and RC390 from KTM and the Yamaha R3.

Strip away the testing equipment and you can make out some of the test bike’s features including a single headlight, upside-down fork, five-spoke alloy wheels and a single front brake disc. Expect the production version to add a chin fairing.

The naked roadster prototype may not be the only version in the works, with sportbike and dual-sport variants to follow. Schaller previously indicated that multiple vehicles may come from the partnership with TVS.

“Various types of motorcycle are conceivable,” Schaller said in 2013. “They will meet the expectations of a BMW motorcycle in terms of riding fun as well as setting a new benchmark when it comes to stability, agility and performance figures.”

Look forward to reading more details about BMW’s new family of small-displacement motorcycles in the months ahead leading up to the official announcement expected for the fall motorcycle show season.

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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  • Bmwclay Bmwclay on Jan 29, 2015

    I'm thinking 300cc V-12 74 hp at 22,000 rpm. 12 fbs. torque. Around $40,000. I want one!

  • Uncomfortably Numb Uncomfortably Numb on Mar 29, 2015

    Hey Chris, go pound salt! No one on this planet loves to ride motorcycles more than I do; however, I'm 5'5"! Do you have any idea how many motorcycles are being manufactured these days that have the ergonomics for me, let alone a seat height less than 27inches (which is what my 28 inch inseam can handle comfortably)? There are how many motorcycles being manufactured these days? If a manufacturer has one (and I do believe that BMW has NONE with a seat height of