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TVS APACHE RTR 2004V: STRONG AMBITIONS

Since its introduction in 2006 TVS (the third largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India) has sold nearly 2 million examples of the Apache series, proof that – it is one of the prime players in the 150-180cc motorcycle segment. Bred on the genes of TVS Racing, the Racing Throttle Response (RTR) tagline was a good example of racing heritage introduced to the mainstream. The Apache moniker smashed the performance threshold with deceptively fast machines in the small capacity sports segment in the subsequent years. Although the RTR series brought spirited performance to the masses, it fell short in front of competition as rivals moved to the 200-250cc segement. Undeterred by the competition, TVS took their own sweet time to introduce a remarkably able and modern machine in the RTR series – the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V.

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The Apache RTR2004V is big brother to RTR160 and RTR180 but unlike those, the RTR200 is the first bike from the company to get an 4-valve engine, oil-cooling, balancer shaft, all-digital dash, KYB mono-shock suspension, Pirelli tyres (yet to be introduced in the Nepalese market) and split seats. However, the RTR 200 now sits in a segment that’s currently dominated by established rivals. So, can the RTR200 push the thrill to a whole new level? We find out

STYLING

The RTR 200 is a certified head-turner! The bodywork has been derived from Draken concept which was showcased at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo. The street-fighter inspired styling immediately grabs your attention. The front features a muscular fuel tank with sharp tank shrouds and a meaner headlamp cluster with boomerang shaped LED DRLs. The highlight of the tank is the unique off-centered fuel filter fuel cap.

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Clean edges best describe the bike and the street-fighter styling is not misleading. The rear gets an LED tail lamp, clear lens turn indicators and a chunky tyre. The aesthetic appeal is further accentuated by a unique looking exhaust.

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Termed as the ‘double barrel’ exhaust, this shotgun style exhaust produces a grunty note seeking undue attention. The 12-litre fuel tank capacity is adequate. Other visual highlights include split seats, W shaped grab-rails and a 10-spoke alloy wheels.

(Scroll below for more styling highlights)

INSTRUMENTATION PANEL

The all-digital instrumentation console is first for a TVS bike. The feature loaded easy-to-read console provides a host of diagnostics you’d expect from a bike.

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There is a speedometer on the centre, fuel gauge, tachometer on the top, gear position indicator, clock and service reminder on the left and twin trip-meters, lap time recorder and acceleration time recorder on the right. The full function LED crystal display has a generous white backlight for high visibility and shift timing light for precise gear shifting.

ERGONOMICS:

The RTR 200 has an upright riding position with an aggressive stance. The clip-on handlebar provides you enough confidence while cornering at high speeds and help you establish a connection with the bike instantly. The bike’s wheelbase (1353mm) easily compliments its ergonomically designed seat profile making it comfortable for both the rider and the pillion.

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The double cradle split synchro stiff frame keeps up with the RTR 200’s sporty character, complimented by capable TVS Remora tyres, (Front: 90/90 R17, Rear: 130/70 R17) and a generous ground clearance of 180mm. Suspension duty is carried out by 37mm telescopic front forks and race tuned KYB monoshock at the rear in a fairly soft yet well-tuned setup. The split-seats also come with decent under-seat storage (by motorcycle standards).

ENGINE & PERFORMANCE:

The bike we tested was a carbureted one as the fuel-injected version is yet to arrive in the Nepalese market. The naked roadster is powered by a 197.8cc, four-stroke, air and oil-cooled, single-cylinder unit which make a peak power of 20.2 bhp at 8500 RPM and a torque of at 7000 RPM. The company has opted for oil-cooling with RAM air assist instead of liquid-cooling to keep heating issues at bay.

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The Apache series have always been powerful, as well as agile, and that remains true with the RTR200. When it comes to ride and handling, the RTR200 is a treat. The bike boosts a strong handling character with extremely responsive character. We’re impressed with how effortlessly the transmission moves between each of its five cogs. Though the 200cc oil-cooled engine only produces 20 bhp on paper, the performance on real riding conditions is much more. The throaty exhaust note is better than other bikes in this segment.

Hit the throttle hard and the RTR 200 gallops like a wild stallion. Throttle response is sweet and the power band is enjoyable especially in the lower rev range. The rev-happy engine delivers a respectable and lively performance throughout the rev range. Around street and on the highway is where the RTR 200 stands out. Here it is both maneuverable and confident, which lends itself well to everyday riding. The only downside is the bike’s peak horsepower is 4 ponies down the competition. TVS claims the RTR 200 can achieve 0-60kph in 3.9 seconds.

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The 270mm front and 240mm rear petal disc brakes offer incredible stopping power even under harshest braking conditions. The 12-litre (including 2.5-litre reserve) fuel tank capacity is adequate. Unlike other Apaches, the engine of the 200 feels much more refined and vibration free. The RTR 200 combines impressive acceleration with agile handling making it an excellent all-rounder.

VERDICT:

TVS might have ticked all the right boxes with the RTR 200. It is by far the best motorcycle in the RTR range, and it looks like TVS are heading in the right direction in the entry level performance segment. The RTR200 satisfied us with its aesthetics and versatility to our roads while not compromising on the ride quality. It fits well in the proposition of someone looking for a reasonably priced but stylish machine. At Rs 2,83,900, the Apache RTR 200 4v is impressively priced for a machine of such distinctive character. The Apache moniker just got better with the RTR 200.

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For full specifications, click here

STYLING HIGHLIGHTS:

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