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The Perfect City Bike - All New TVS Apache RTR 200 4V | Full Review

All New TVS Apache RTR 200 4V | Full Review

A Streetfighter To The Core

Since 2006, TVS is trying to infuse the Apache RTR DNA into many bike enthusiasts. It was the first time that India has received such a powerful bike in a lightweight package which topped the power to weight ratio charts and gave us such a sweet handling bike that India had never seen before. Ten years down the line TVS has a new generation flagship motorcycle called Apache RTR 200 4V, where 4V stands for 4 valves. We tested the new kid comprehensively to see what magic does this RTR makes and how it fares against the competition. 

Looks, Style, Design

All New TVS Apache RTR 200 4V | Full Review
Tank extensions and off-set fuel filler cap
When I first saw the bike in flesh, it instantly reminded me of the Ducati Streetfighter but it actually takes around 60% of its designing cues from the Draken concept which TVS had showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo. The headlight design, instrument console, alloys, engine cover and seat design are lifted from the concept and they look stunning on the Apache. I would love to see more tasty elements from the concept motorcycle such as cast alloy swingarm, fat upside down forks and that LED tail unit but they aren't added probably to keep the cost in check.

The headlight is surrounded by boomerang shaped LED daytime running lights and the tank is well sculpted to hug it while cornering hard with an off-set fuel filler cap that grabs attention every time you hit a petrol pump. Even the pillion grab rails have a boomerang look and the ducts between the seats look stunning and unique.
All New TVS Apache RTR 200 4V | Full Review
Foam-in-place racing seat and angular ducts
The instrument cluster is all digital that glows up brightly in the night and has one of the most comprehensive set of meters in the market. Apart from the usual stuff like speedometer, odometer, 2 trip meters and rev counter, it has a gear indicator, clock, programmable shift light, 0-60 timer, top speed indicator, service reminder, low battery indicator and even a lap timer. 

The only thing which looks a bit odd to me is the unconventional double barrel exhaust which is made from light stainless steel but it does sound throaty on the go which is carried upon from earlier Apaches.

All New TVS Apache RTR 200 4V | Full Review

A point worth mentioning is the finish and build quality of the bike. Very few times we see an Indian manufacturer works hard to give a quality product and this Apache is the perfect example. The paint gleams, panels fit tightly with no uneven gaps, the switches feel high quality and thus it creates a sensation that the bike will last longer than its Indian rivals.

How it performs?

All New TVS Apache RTR 200 4V | Full Review

It has a 197.75cc 4-valve motor which is good for a max power of 20.05/21 PS ( Carb/Fi ) at 8500 rpm and 18.1 Nm of torque at 7000 rpm.  TVS calls it an O3C tech engine that has oil-cooled combustion chamber technology with Ram air-assisted cooling that reduces the engine heat by 10°C. The pistons are coated with high combustion Nanofriks coating for better power and less friction.

Thumb the starter, release the clutch and you will notice that it has a strong low and midrange pull. In the city, it performs admirably as the gears are well spaced out and gear shifts are smooth but there isn't much need to use it often as it can pull from as low as 40 kmph in top gear. The only downside to it is when you pick up the pace, it starts to feel stressed after 90 kmph so the highway cruising is compromised by the omission of a 6th gear. Our test bike was the carb version so the throttle response wasn't very quick and it took a little while to respond to throttle inputs.

All New TVS Apache RTR 200 4V | Full Review

The good part however is the refinement it offers. It is undoubtedly the most refined RTR so far and at even 120 kmph, the vibes are well contained. Thrashing it further reveals some of them via tank and not footpegs and handlebars which makes it a very likable motor. As for numbers, 0-100 comes up in 12.1 seconds and top speed recorded was 131 kmhr on the speedo which aren't segment topping numbers as when flat out, it loses steam after 8,500 rpm and its best to up-shift at that point. This is also due to the fact that the new Apache is 12 kgs heavier than the previous 180 at 148 kgs which eats up some of the crucial seconds from performance numbers. The Apache is quite frugal for the class returning 41.2 kmpl in mixed riding conditions.

Ride and handling balance

All New TVS Apache RTR 200 4V | Full Review
Petal discs and Pirelli Sport demon front tyre
TVS claims that the track has been the genesis of their innovation but this is no track bike for sure. It comes with a newer and stiffer split double cradle chassis with fatter 37 mm telescopic KYB forks at front and a TVS-first 7-step adjustable KYB monoshock at the rear. It also has an option of Pirelli tyres which our test bike was fitted with, front being 90/90 Pirelli Sport Demon and rear 130/70 Pirelli Angel CT.
So when you flick the nimble Apache into a corner at high speed, you can feel both tyres have different grip levels. The front constantly finds it hard to hug the road but the rear remains super sticky mid-corner. This may be an issue with our test bike as the handle was loose and not in perfect shape. Furthermore, the front-end doesn't dive much under hard braking but the handling is not a problem unless you are taking the RTR tag too seriously.

All New TVS Apache RTR 200 4V | Full Review

Contrary to that is the ride quality. It feels that the rear KYB shock lives up-to its name (which you can also find in Yamaha R3) and provide very good damping over broken and patchy roads coupled with a soft foam-in-place racing seat, my back was quite happy even after continuous 3 hrs on the saddle. Despite having a step seat which is quite high, the pillion rider doesn't ask more in terms of comfort as the seat is flat and provides adequate comfort.

The non-ABS brakes of Apache are also setup on a friendly side. The front 270 mm disc has a good initial feel to it which helps in slow speeds but coming from a high speed stop requires some effort as the final bite is missing probably to make them friendly for newbies as they tend to lock up in panic. The rear 240 mm tends to lock up but the combination of both along with the grippy Pirelli rubber gives the Apache a shorter stopping distance as compared to rivals.

How's the bike overall?

All New TVS Apache RTR 200 4V | Full Review

Pulsar 200 AS Side-view

The space under the pillion seat is adequate for storing vehicle papers and there is a separate plastic tray provided too. The 55/60 W headlight provides good illumination at night especially in pitch dark areas and the rear view mirrors provide a wide view of the road behind. The pillion grab rails are stylish & practical and there is a nifty little feature like Apache 180 where one can remove the lower part of the rear fender to expose the chunky rear tyre more for aesthetic appeal and snap-it back on those rainy days.

As you have already guessed, the new Apache is a jack of all trades and doesn't really excel in a particular thing apart from looks and build. After testing it comprehensively, it is clear that TVS has pitched the Apache as a perfect streetfighter which not only is evident from its edgy naked looks but also from its punchy midrange, choice of 5 gears, absorbent suspension and friendly brakes.

It can do occasional highway work but it isn't made to do so as the engine feels stressed at highway speeds and there is 0 wind protection on offer where its direct rival Pulsar AS200, offers is a better deal with windscreen, projector headlamps and 6 gears that keep the engine away from being stressed. The best part of Apache is that it has such a wide variety of choices ( FI and ABS coming ) that it can compete from Gixxer SF rear disc variant ( INR 88,857 ex Delhi ) to the non-ABS model of RS200 ( INR 1,20,500 ex Delhi ) in price department but its immediate competition is Pulsar AS200 ( INR 94,000 ex Delhi ) which also has a 200cc engine.

TVS Apache 200 4V vs Pulsar AS200
Apache has a distinct fresh look, AS is larger

So as far as competition goes, the Bajaj Pulsar AS200 is definitely faster with a higher top speed and a more tour friendly package, Apache strikes back with a better build quality, stronger midrange, choice of ABS, FI and Pirelli tyres in a more agile street friendly package. Lastly, it boils down to the preference of the buyer but one thing is for sure, the new Apache RTR 200 4V will give a tough fight to a very wide range of motorcycles.

What is the price?

It is priced from INR 88,990 for the carburetor, Remora tyres variant to INR 1,15,000 (ex showroom-Delhi) for the fully loaded Fuel Injected, Pirelli tyres, Dual channel ABS variant.

All New TVS Apache RTR 200 4V | Full Review
Boomerang shaped LED, 10 spoke alloys and golden forks


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