Motoring

Ready for a new lap

The Apache RTR series features TVS’s top-of-the-line bikes, with sporty styling, quick performance and able handling all on the menu. On paper, it’s clear TVS has gone the whole hog with the new Apache RTR 200, providing several options to meet varying customer requirements; be it in terms of carburettion or fuel-injection, ABS assist for the brakes or the premium Pirelli or TVS soft compound Remora tyres.

Visually, the RTR 200 retains its Apache family identity, yet has improved on the earlier RTR. The first thing you notice is the compact dimensions. The 200 is more butch than earlier RTRs, the 160 and 180, that makes for a more hunkered down, meaner attitude. The front bears resemblance to the Ducati Streetfighter, and the 200's headlight is crested by a smartly turned out, fully digital instrument cluster. The console packs in plenty of features, including a cascading tachometer at the top, easily read speedometer, shift-light beacon, 0-60kph timer and fastest lap-time timer.

The Apache RTR 200 is a well-built motorcycle, and gives the impression TVS is already drawing on learning to improve its bikes, from famous German technology partner, BMW Motorrad. The RTR 200 holds a high-quality feel and attention-to-detail is apparent; in little things such as a neatly bisected fuel tank, carefully crafted filler-lid and a dust cover to protect the rear disc brake from road grime.

The Apache RTR 200 comes with clip-on bars, soft and comfy palm grips, and switches that work well. The mirrors are broad, and offer good rear view. Edgy tank extensions lean forward to the Apache RTR 200’s dinky oil-cooling radiator. The tank leads back into a split seat. A smartly designed belly cowl sits below the engine bay, and much of the motorcycle is black, including its flank panels, aluminium alloy-encased engine and elegant 10-spoke alloy wheels. Another visual high point is the purposeful, double barrel, under-over format exhaust.

There’s generous use of light alloy on the motorcycle, seen in the footrest and steering head region. The RTR 200 will be sold in matte finish yellow, red, white, grey or black, with a glossy black shade option.

The Apache RTR 200 is powered by a 197.8cc four-stroke, air and oil-cooled, single-cylinder unit which produces 20.2bhp, and 1.85kgm of maximum torque. TVS has worked hard to ensure the torque curve stays as robust as possible throughout its wide powerband.

The RTR series has from day one offered a gruff exhaust note. The 200 takes this a step further, with a louder, throatier note audible from the moment you fire up the engine. The fuel-injected variant we tested displayed a sporty, rev-happy character that encourages you to ride hard. You don’t need to pull the Apache RTR 200 all the way to the top of its powerband, thanks to the engine’s good low-end grunt and a strong mid-range.

The engine is mated to a smooth-shifting five-speed gearbox, with a 1-down, 4-up pattern. Power transfers to the rear wheel via an exposed drive chain. True to its sporty genes, the Apache RTR 200 tips the scales at a low 148kg. The riding position is sporty, some weight transferred to your wrists as weight bias stays forward, still sitting you upright enough for the new TVS to be called a commuting companion.

The Apache RTR 200 comes with telescopic front suspension, while at the rear there’s a KYB-developed monoshock, the first seen on a TVS bike sold in India. There are petal type, single rotor disc brakes offered front and rear. In addition, the RTR 200 comes with rear lift-off protection (RLP) that intervenes and releases front brake pressure the moment the system detects the dangerous rear wheel lift. A dual-channel ABS equipped model will be offered as an option later.

The Apache RTR 200 is a quick handling bike, with its 17-inch wheels, well-tuned chassis and suspension package coming together well on track, to allow nimble, easy directional changes and a welcome quick steering feel. There’s no doubt about it, TVS has a strong package in the Apache RTR 200, with fresh attractive styling, fast performance and able handling.

As expected, the Apache RTR 200 is certain to take the series to the next level, while also giving the company a presence in the fast-expanding 200cc space, where the Pulsars, the RS 200 and AS 200 reign supreme. What remains to be seen is how the bike stacks against these able rivals.


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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 9:43:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Motoring/Ready-for-a-new-lap/article14024648.ece

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