RTR FI is a must-have for every motorcycle aficionado scouting for a performance bike in the vicinity of 150cc

The sporty Apache RTR showed us that TVS Motor Company isn’t just manufacturer of economy bikes such as the Victor and Star. And the exciting new fuel-injected RTR proves its brave new philosophy is here to stay.

Design and engineering

The RTR FI looks dashing in a sunny yellow shade and plenty of black colour – on its six-spoke rims, engine side panels and exhaust can. Pleasing styling touches that reflect the FI’s sporty focus are a daring Ford GT-style stripe that bisects the bike, belly pan, exposed chain as well as racy pin stripes running the circumference of its wheels.

The new RTR retains an excellent headlight, as well as an exquisitely detailed triple clamp section with smart clip-on handlebars. There’s smart digital instrumentation too with blue backlighting as well as an illuminated tachometer needle in place. Also, clever features designed to hold an enthusiast’s attention – a top speed and 0-60kph acceleration time recorder, along with the regular digital speedometer with twin trip facility, clock and even a due-for-service light.

The gremlins on our test bike were a poorly positioned side stand that fouled with the gearshift foot and surely the LED-equipped tail-light section could have been better styled.

The RTR uses the same willing and short-stroke, 159.7cc, single-cylinder and air-cooled motor as first found on the Apache RTR. The bike uses a twin-valve and single spark-plug head. It also contracts roller bearings for its rocker arms. While power (15.7bhp at 8500rpm) and torque (1.33kgm at 6500rpm) output as well as performance on the new bike stay near-identical to the carburetted cousin, power delivery feels clearly linear and smoother, thanks to the fuel injection. It retains the RTR’s exciting short-stroke, rev-happy nature. Riding feel has improved due to the peppy engine adding a dollop of refinement as also lightning throttle response that goes hand-in-hand with fuel injection.

There’s a new smoothness to keep vibe levels at acceptable limits throughout a wide power band that peaks at a true 10,500rpm.

A big disappointment on the new TVS is a heavy speedometer error we spotted on the test data.

The RTR FI enjoys a well-sorted five-speed transmission box as well as a precise, well-weighted clutch.

It’s effortless to select gears via the sporty toe-shift lever, while another FI delight is its distinct exhaust note.

Ride and handling

The FI uses a twin downtube frame with a rectangle-section swingarm, telescopic front fork suspension and top-spec gas-charged twin shocks at the rear. While rim sizes are 17 inches in front and 18 inches at the rear, the bike is shod with TVS’ home-grown rubber. There’s little doubt that riding enthusiasts will take to this bike’s weight-forward riding position, but six-footers and commuter-oriented buyers would be well advised to steer towards more conservative bikes.

Ride quality is slightly on the firmer side but handling is sharp and sporty – a wee bit heavy at low speeds due to the aggressive, radical riding stance but the bike is supremely stable and well planted in high-speed situations. Cornering manners are well sorted out as are the brilliant set of brakes — a top-notch 270mm petal-type disc in front that offers fierce bite, which is augmented by a 200mm petal disc at the rear.

While negotiating a gruelling city test route, this fuel-injected model returned 43 kpl and 47.7 kpl on the highway.

Verdict

Don’t consider the FI if you’re interested in a commuter bike, but there’s little doubt the RTR FI is a sporty thoroughbred and a must-have for every motorcycle aficionado scouting for a performance bike in the vicinity of 150cc.

Technical data

RTR FI

Price Rs 63,500 (ex-showroom Pune)

Type: Single-cylinder, air-cooled four-stroke

No. of cylinders: One

Engine displacement: 159.7cc

Maximum power: 15.7bhp at 8500rpm

Maximum torque: 1.33kgm at 6500rpm

Starting: Self-start

Transmission: 5-speed; 1 down, 4 up

Tyres: 90/90 x 17 – 100/80 x 18 inches

Fuel tank capacity: 16 litres

Fuel efficiency: 45.3kpl

Length: 1960mm

Width: 730mm

Height: 1105mm

Wheelbase: 1300mm

Ground clearance: 180mm

Vehicle kerb weight: 139kg

Max speed: 119kph

RISHAD COOPER

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