Shaolin is a monastery for Buddhists in China. In China it is considered as a temple for peace and meditation, meanwhile in India it was one of the best selling 140cc motorcycle. Suzuki launched their motorcycle line up by joining hands with the TVS Motor Company Limited. Yamaha was the first Japanese to set their foot on Indian soil and it was then followed by Suzuki.
The TVS Suzuki Shaolin was launched in 1988 on Indian roads. This was one those bike every teenager dreamed of owning one. Like Yamaha RX 100 and 135, this too was a hot star in two stroke category. Perhaps this was the most torquiest bike in its class. Supra, Supra SS, Shogun, Samurai and Shaolin were the India’s first 5-speed 140cc motorcycles. Strict emission laws for 2-stroke has lead to discontinue these bikes soon after their launch.
It was the introduction of Shaolin, which helped TVS-Suzuki to gain some momentum after the company lockout from 1990. Shaolin was a performance machine which had big bored 138.2cc square 2-stroke engine which delivers the best in class 12.3 Nm of torque which is mated to the Shaolin’s 5-speed gear box for maximum speed. This engine produce 16 Ps of power, which is also quiet magnificent in terms of the alternatives. But TVS Suzuki has also planned to bring out a new motorcycle based on this same platform with the engine from Shaolin with technology and performance parts from Shogun. Due to the country’s strict emission norms, this motorcycle was never launched in India. The main reason for the extinction of Shaolin and other two stroke bikes was due to the emission norms.
The Shaolin uses single cylinder air-cooled engine with a maximum power of 12 PS @ 6750 rpm and 12.3 Nm torque @ 5500 rpm. Like all other bikes of that time, it has a kick start for starting the engine. The 5-speed manual gearbox uses chain drive for transmitting the drive to the rear wheels. It has universal gear shifting pattern. The braking force of this bike is safe within 130 mm front and rear drum brakes. It has a telescopic oil damped front suspension and hydraulic spring loaded rear suspension to give a smooth and effortless rides. These were ideal for Indian road conditions. It can commute both village and city roads as well.
The bike doesn’t feature any appealing cosmetic elements. The graphics used in Shaolin was pretty simple and sticks to the basics. It resembles some Japanese kind of styling. The main attraction of the bike was the rear lamps, resembles a retro styling. Shaolin has an optimum wheelbase of 1208 mm and it stands to a 1053 mm of overall height. The overall length and width of the bike is 1865 X 725 mm. The kerb weight of this particular motorcycle is 114 kg.
Shaolin delivers 45 kmpl of mileage and the fuel tank can stores 12 litres of fuel which can be pretty useful for long distance riding. This 2-stroke little motorcycle can cruise to a top speed of 115 kmph.
It’s been more than 20 years this motorcycle is here and the produced units are small as compared to many 125-150 cc class motorcycles we have, but Shaolin is still a motorcycle with lot of fans around the country.
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