TVS Apache RTR 200 Road Test Review

First things first, Congratulations Team TVS Sherco for successfully finishing the DAKAR rally 2017. We at www.motorworldindia.com followed the whole event religiously and are more than happy to know that team TVS sherco performed stupendously, having Pedrero and Metge finishing on 13th and 22nd position respectively. We wish Arvind KP a speedy recovery and shall see him rocking out in the next season.

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Thirukkurungudi Vengaram Sundaram … That’s what TVS is! How many of us knew it? I feel extremely proud when I see TVS products excelling and climbing the ladder upwards with confident steps. With a variety of products available in the market, TVS is one of the most successful Automobile manufacturers in India. The company is mainly focusing on the commuter segment, be it the Auto Rickshaw, a Scooter or a Motorcycle. Being an Indian manufacturer TVS knows what the country needs the most. Easy to ride, low on maintenance, high on mileage and with no compromise on the look, is the kind of genre TVS excels at. Hence we have more smiling faces and satisfied customers who have complete trust in this company and don’t have to look any further when it comes to buying a Scooter or a motorcycle that fits a common man’s budget.

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But that’s not all, in fact, that’s not even half the story. Looking at what the company is focusing at, can be a bit misleading when it comes to building an image of the company in our minds. With the commuter range of products available in the market, one might think TVS is not a manufacturer who would ever show up in the wish list of an adventure lover or a speed maniac, because for that you need a lot of expensive hardware which is nowhere to be seen in TVS products out in market today. But that’s not the case. Racing is in TVS’s DNA since a few decades now. In 1984, TVS introduced a 50cc moped which could do speeds over 105kmph! Now that is something that had impressed me. Warming the tarmac with these 50cc pocket rockets back in the 1980s is another level of madness. But the company evolved from that, and in 1987 TVS launched their own Racing module which is called TVS Racing. TVS Racing is more of a Research and Development module which grabs information from its events like Motocross, Supercross, Road racing, and Rallys. These events give the company immense amount of feedback from their specially designed motorcycles for each category. These feedbacks help the company to constantly keep upgrading their products with newer hardware, sophisticated software and a safer future for their riders.

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I was amazed to learn about TVS’s contribution in motor sports with its very own TVS Racing. I really like the idea behind the TVS racing module. But the fact that really blew my mind is TVS stepping into the Dakar Rally in 2015. This was a big break for the Indian manufacturer, as until now no company from India had done so. Making TVS the 1st Indian company to enter the world’s most feared and challenging rally race, the DAKAR! From 2015, TVS never looked back; they did it again in 2016 and on 2nd January 2017 TVS Sherco entered the Dakar rally for the 3rd time with their RTR 450. The RTR 450 is a 450cc motorcycle built specially to take on the punishing terrain a Dakar rider faces during the rally. The RTR 450 is well equipped with all the top spec techtronics to assist the rider and enhance the safety all throughout the rally.

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Speaking of the RTR, it is surely a product of TVS’s racing module, developed and evolved right out of the race tracks. The RTR or Racing Throttle Response is a mind-blowing piece of engineering from TVS. In 2006 TVS came up with a motorcycle in the sports segment which had its roots in circa 1999. The Suzuki Fiero, which TVS manufactured in India back then, gave birth to an idea and the result was nothing short of brilliant. Thus, TVS Apache RTR was born. The Apache lineup of motorcycles then took pace and is going strong till date. The TVS Apache RTR is the 1st motorcycle from TVS to get a RTR spec. From 2006 the Apache RTR has evolved in many ways. The engine stepped up from 160cc to 180cc, and in 2011 the Apache also got its 1st ABS on the 180cc model. The Apache RTR gradually secured its place in the market and has always been one of the most-liked motorcycles amongst racing enthusiasts. Growing stronger from 2006, the Apache RTR has had many upgrades in terms of design, power and safety. It’s been a long time in the market and the Brand Apache RTR is now almost a decade old.

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2016, and we finally get to see the all new Apache RTR 200 4V. We can see a lot of Draken concept just by looking at the all new Apache RTR 200 4V. The new RTR 200 now looks nothing like the older generations of RTRs. This one is a lot more mature, more aggressive, yet with a well-finished design. The overall look of this motorcycle was seen long back in 2014 at the Auto Expo, when TVS had showcased their Draken concept motorcycle. The RTR 200 looks and feels a lot like the Draken Concept and definitely does justice to the grown-up muscular design. With a muscular presence in terms of design, the RTR 200 also sports a 200cc (197.75cc) powerplant which churns out pretty impressive figures for its league. Lets get a bit into the details.

Build and Design:

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The all new Apache RTR 200 4V looks very fresh and dominant. The look of this motorcycle is beefy, muscular and edgy. Having a big-bike kind of a look and also keeping the cost in check, this motorcycle makes a hell of an affordable naked street fighter here in India. Some of the key features of the motorcycle, which are standard across all models, make it standout. The chiseled fuel tank is nice and wide, and provides a good grip on both sides of the tank. The off-centre fuel lid on the tank does make it look more sporty. The split seats are plush and comfortable, the head light with an all day on position LED lamps and LED tail light on this motorcycle are sharp and look very impressive. “With great looks should come great sound” and that’s where the exhaust on this motorcycle flaunts its wickedly smart presence. The exhaust on this motorcycle is probably taken straight out of some Sci-fi flick. The double barrel look of the upswept exhaust makes a very neat low frequency sound, which definitely adds to the head-turning capability of this motorcycle.

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The under belly engine cowl also adds to the sharp and sporty look of the motorcycle. But what we personally liked is its fabulously designed instrument cluster, which displays a lot of data on a smart and brightly backlit black on white LCD display. The instrument cluster on this motorcycle shows Gear position in real time, houses a digital clock, Fuel indicator, battery indicator, lap time, Trip meter, records last top speed, service alert and traditional information such as the Odometer, Speedometer and Tachometer. The Screen is well-lit and even in bright daylight its very easily readable, which comes off as a plus when it comes to rating the motorcycle.

Engine and Performance:

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The Apache RTR 200 4V has a mean, dressed in black engine, that gives out some really impressive figures for its league, also adding to the aggressive look of the motorcycle with its witch-like dark presence. The 197.75cc, 4 stroke, oil-cooled, single cylinder power plant on this motorcycle comes with two different type of fuel systems as a choice. The one with a Keihin CV carburettor gets 20.05 PS at 8500 RPM. And the second variant which comes with a Bosch closed loop electronic fuel injection system produces 21 PS at 8500 RPM. The engine is mated with an electronic start system across all variants. The engine here is perfectly amalgamated with a 5-speed gearbox that comes with a 6 plate wet clutch system. The engine is simply smooth; we did more than 100 kilometres in and around the city on this motorcycle in one day and the engine was cool and very refined throughout no matter how we rode. Hard revving, sudden downshifts, dead slow speeds, cutting the city traffic, constant gear shifts, cold starting it… we almost tortured the engine on this one, but the result was damn surprising. The engine remained cool and composed in all the conditions. Very happy with the engine on the Apache RTR 200 4V.

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We tested the carburetor variant and are happy to report that the motorcycle is very quick with this engine. The Carb variant flaunts a top speed of 132 kmph (in my case) and went from 0-100 in a jiffy. It barely took around 12 seconds to touch 100 kmph which, for that small engine is an impressive timing. We are heavily impressed with the slightly naughty and torquey engine on this motorcycle. The acceleration on the RTR 200 is something we absolutely fell in love with. A lot of engineering can be felt with just a twist of the throttle. We have never seen such a smooth rate of acceleration on any of the motorcycles in this range. The Racing Throttle Response system is definitely a fine piece of engineering from TVS. Just loved it.

Chassis, Suspension and Electricals:

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The manly, masculine, beefed-up look and the powerful engine that completes the hunk-like look and feel of the RTR 200, is mounted on an equally impressive piece of engineering that’s the split cradle chassis. The racing origin split cradle chassis is light-weight and tough at the same time. The well-balanced chassis on the RTR 200 ensures the rider’s safety in all given conditions. It keeps the motorcycle stable on high speeds and tight corners. All the hardware on this chassis is smartly placed and well-locked down to its position which helps in almost zero vibrations through the body even at high speeds. The balance of this motorcycle is almost perfect, making it super-nimble through the tight city traffic.

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The suspension setup on the RTR 200 4V is a job well done too. The RTR 200 gets neatly dampened, slightly stiff telescopic forks in the front, which work fairly in potholes giving good amount of feedback on the handle bar, but come to life when redlining the tachometer. At high speeds, the front end of this motorcycle is stable and looking exactly where you want it to look. Even on corners, it is extremely impressive and very confident. On the rear, it’s got a race-tuned KYB monoshock, that also adds to the handling of the motorcycle, especially on corners. The monoshock on the RTR is a lot limber compared to the front forks, which helps in keeping the rear of the motorcycle composed and in perfect harmony with the front. The overall suspension setup on the RTR 200 is designed to take on the most mundane conditions.

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All the electric components on this motorcycle run on a 12V 9Ah battery which powers the electric starter motor, 60/55W H4 bulb in the head light, dual LED position lamps, and the full LED tail lamp.

Wheel, Tyre and Brake:

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The Apache RTR 200 4V comes in two different variants, when it comes to Brakes and Tyres. Speaking of the tyres, the RTR 200 gets the home-brewed TVS Remora tyres or the optional racing-spec Pirelli tyres. The rubber on this motorcycle is up to the mark, be it the Remoras or the Pirellis. We had our hands on both the variants of the motorcycle, and felt the Remoras are more pocket-friendly, but on the contrary it loses on the road grip a little in comparison with the Pirellis. The Pirellis are just perfect for a racing enthusiast who is looking forward to put this motorcycle on a race track and have some fun on the corners. Be it Pirelli or the TVS Remora, the rim size of the motorcycle remains the same throughout all variants. It has machine-cut alloys, that add up to the strength and look of the motorcycle.

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We think the motorcycle can improve a bit in terms of braking. We found the brakes on this motorcycle to be a bit sluggish and not very prompt. The hardware that we get on this motorcycle is 270mm petal type disc in front and 240mm petal type disc in the rear. The brake bite is a bit slow on high speeds, and somewhere because of that the rider loses the confidence on the corners. Although the engine braking helps, but without the slipper clutch, it’s a game of risk. When riding in day-to-day city traffic, the brakes are upto the mark. It only comes as a negative point when the motorcycle is doing speeds above 100kmph.

Dimensions, Weight and Fuel tank capacity:

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Height: 1105 mm
Length: 2050 mm
Width: 790 mm
Wheelbase: 1353 mm
Ground Clearance: 180 mm
Saddle Height: 800 mm
Kerb Weight: 148 kg (CARB), 148.5 kg (EFI)
Dry Weight: 140 kg
Fuel Tank: 12 Litres, 2.5 L (Reserve)

Verdict:

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We rode two variants of carburetted engine, one with the TVS Remora Tyres and the other with the Pirelli tyres. Both the variants act and behave the same, except on high speed corners. Of course the Pirelli takes a brownie point for better handling at high speeds. The engine on this motorcycle is something to fall in love with, especially when mated with a mind-boggling RTR acceleration system which is just beyond words. The motorcycle does need a critical upgrade in terms of braking which we’re sure TVS will work out soon. Although we must say that the current braking system on the motorcycle isn’t bad for general city riding. The seats on this motorcycle are comfortable, rider and pillion both. The upright riding posture doesn’t tire down the rider soon, making the ride a lot more comfortable on long stretches. The Apache RTR 200 4V comes in a wide range of colour options too – Matte red, Matte yellow, White, Matte white, Matte gray, Matte black and Black. Overall the Apache RTR 200 4V is a fabulous motorcycle to own. At least, we would like to have one in our garage!

Prices (ex-showroom):

Delhi: Rs. 89,457/- (Remora tyres); Rs. 93,725/- (Pirelli)
Mumbai: Rs. 90,210/- (Remora tyres); Rs. 95,260/- (Pirelli)
Bangalore: Rs. 92,885/- (Remora tyres); Rs. 97,885/- (Pirelli)
Kolkata: Rs. 97,525/- (Remora tyres); Rs. 102,525/- (Pirelli)

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Specs Chart

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Photo Gallery:

4.00 Out of 5
Looks
Equipment
Engine & Gearbox
Ride & Handling

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