I had to check the date on when we last talked about BMW and TVS partnering up to build small-displacement motorcycles together, and it looks like it was almost exactly a year ago. In that timeframe, the two companies have been quietly working, but rumors have started to heat-up as to when we could see a sub-500cc BMW motorcycle.

A cynic’s response might be that BMW doesn’t want to be perceived as late to the small-displacement party, especially since its sub-500cc machines won’t be ready until Q3/Q4 of 2015.

With Honda, Kawasaki, and KTM already debuting their 250cc & 300cc  models, and Yamaha & Triumph set to debut 250cc machines shortly, it seems the only manufacturer without a small-displacement offering either available or in the works is Ducati.

Focusing our attention back on BMW though, it seems the first BMW machine could be a rebadged TVS, with the Indian company recently showing its Draken concept (shown above), which features a 250cc single-cylinder engine that makes just under 40hp.

“I know we have been silent on the TVS (Motor Company) and BMW since we had the tie-up. (the first product) It is going to be ready by the second half of next calendar year. All the work is under progress,” said TVS Motor Company Chairman Venu Srinivasan.

BMW and TVS are expected to brand their co-built machines separately, and for different markets. The BMW-branded machines will come to Europe and North America, while the TVS machines will go to India, Asia, and other emerging markets.

With KTM’s partnership with Bajaj helping the Austrian company surpass BMW Motorrad as the largest European motorcycle manufacturer, the German company’s new line with TVS should reverse that trend.

Increasingly the future of the motorcycle industry is happening in India and Southeast Asia, and it seems like just about every manufacturer has some sort of strategy in place for that reality.

Source: Economic Times

  • Sean

    That’s easy! Just take their F700, which actually displaces 798cc, and rebadge it as the F500! Wallah!

  • crshnbrn

    ^How you say “Gee Mr. Obvious” in German?

  • Neil

    Does that mean they may start making bikes again! I wish!

  • Neil

    Gee does that mean they may start making bikes again? I wish!

  • AHA

    Be difficult for Ducati to offer a smaller displacement bike that also retains their ‘premium’ positioning & commands the corresponding elevated price. Difficult but not impossible. Perhaps a Scrambler or F650CS Carver type with appropriate sub-branding?

  • Will

    40hp from a 250cc? On what planet. Did they drop a moto3 engine in there ? probably not because even those don’t have 40hp.

  • BBQdog

    It is not only Ducati. Although Aprilia has the RS4 125, for a company which started with small displacement bikes, the current range is rather disappointing. I would love to see an Aprilia 500cc sports bike based on their compact twin but with a 6 speeds gearbox.

  • BBQdog

    @Will: Moto3 engines have 53 to 56 bhp.

  • Damn

    Realy BMW???? whats this? a multi combination of other bikes from other factorys? And that combo is realy bad…. almost chinese!

  • Spamtasticus

    I already race a BMW “Sub 500 cc motorcycle”. The G450X

  • D. Paul League

    The market is moving too fast with entry sport bikes to 373 cc (KTM RC390). Twin cylinder bikes are making a come back for many reason, so smaller cc success will lead to mid size sportbikes to replace the 650 range which never seem to make it. Honda had a chance to devour the competition with the 500, but the engine is enemic. I look for Kawasaki to make the next move and I fully expect a 400+cc bike, with twin cylinder and it will be light and fast. Remember it was the industry that has so many riding on the large displacement bikes, so it will be the industry which will return us to a sane size.