The likes of Royal Enfield and Jawa brought motorcycles into India as mainstream two-wheelers. Hero, Bajaj and TVS began their motorcycle journey much-much later. While Vespa and Lambretta brought scooters into our market before Bajaj got inspired.
Think about it. Moped, even though a global concept, was brought as one of the mainstream vehicles in the country by TVS, an Indian two-wheeler manufacturer.
In fact, TVS started their two-wheeled journey through a 50cc 2-stroke Moped which they first made in 1980. In 1983, TVS became the first Indian company to enter professional motorcycle racing at the domestic level with none other than the TVS XL 50 moped which was tuned to deliver a top speed of 105 kilometres per hour!
Since then, TVS hasnâ€™t stopped doing two things â€“ doing races and making mopeds.
A word derived from â€˜motorcycleâ€™ and â€˜pedalâ€™, moped is the name usually given to a small motorcycle which is also run through pedals â€“ just like a bicycle. Many or most earlier mopeds came with pedals as well. We remember that, donâ€™t we! And it was fun riding them that way.
Common manâ€™s Workhorse
You canâ€™t say much about its physical presence, can you? Thereâ€™s no brawn, itâ€™s hardly intimidating in any imaginable way and, not to sound too rude, it looks quite weak!
But what might seem like ripping the TVS moped apart, is actually just the beginning of some rightfully earned admiration. TVS XL is one of the best examples of a reliable vehicle ever made by an automobile manufacturer in India, whether domestic or international. It is in continuous production since 1980, of course, improved regularly as per advances in technology. But this tells us what a huge success this small motorcycle has been. It has been accepted by people through the country.
Its load carrying capacity is probably the biggest surprise about it. Every now and then we see wholesale guys carrying the stuff all over the TVS moped and deliver it in different parts of the city. Whatâ€™s even more surprising is, the moped doesnâ€™t look like itâ€™s struggling at all! It appears to just go on and on and on. The constant rasp from that small 2-stroke engine doesnâ€™t give any signs of dying out.
It is, quite apparently, a small-super-bike.
TVS XL Super Heavy Duty
The XL Super Heavy Duty is one of the latest mopeds made by TVS and powered by a 69.9cc 2-stroke single cylinder horizontal layout engine. It produces 3.5 BHP at 5,000 RPM and 5 NM of torque at 3,750 RPM. And it weighs at only 75 kg ready-to-ride and comes with just one-speed gearbox. The clutch is centrifugal (basically, it means it doesnâ€™t have manual operated gear).
It is natural that it attracts a specific section of the buyers and not the mainstream audience who buys normal motorcycles and scooters for their purpose.
Companies have actually tried to promote them for regular buyers and even target the youth. Remember the time when Aamir Khan was the brand ambassador for Hero Puch and the advertisement showed him riding a Hero Puch moped with other young college going guys and girls! But the moped just didnâ€™t cut it with the youth. No doubt, the biggest reason is its design and the small engine, no matter how useful, praiseworthy and reliable it is otherwise.
Yet, that hasnâ€™t stopped TVS from making it and turning it into one of the most successful two-wheelers ever made in the country. Since its debut in 1980, the Chennai-based bike maker has sold over 1 crore XL mopeds in India. What an achievement. This thing just works when and where it matters. For many people, it is ignorable, but it is an engineering marvel and everything to be proud of.
And if you at all think that it is meant for you, you can get one really cheap on OLX.