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BikeWale Track Day 2019: TVS Apache RTR 200 Race Bike

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Neil Nair

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Introduction

Three years ago, at the very first iteration of the BikeWale Track Day, we tested the Apache RTR 200 4V. And since then, the bike has evolved quite a bit mechanically. However, what we have for the 2019 BikeWale Track Day is its Race-spec version. Or as I like to call it, the athletic version of the Apache RTR 200 4V.

It has shed the extra weight, looks even better, is more powerful and has added features for credibility on a race track. But with all that, how does it perform, you ask?

Performance

To start off, TVS has equipped the Race-spec Apache RTR 200 with high-lift cams and a free-flow exhaust. Furthermore, it has also retuned the carburettor and the intake which has cumulatively pushed the 199cc, single-cylinder, four-valve engine to produce 24bhp; 4bhp more than the stock bike.

And the difference in power shows. The Apache RTR 200 Race Bike, which fits a Race-ECU has been tuned to pack the hardest punch in the mid-range. The lower end has good grunt too but that area is rarely where one will be lurking around on a race track. In terms of top speed, the Race bike isn't much different than the stock version, both maxing out near 137kmph.

Now to the most crucial bit, how does it feel before, mid-way and while exiting a corner? While entering a corner, let's say that braking isn't one of the Apache RTR 200's strongest points. The braking setup on both ends is spongy and lacks bite and feedback. Furthermore, the brakes also tend to show signs of fade after a couple of hot laps. Resultantly, early braking into a corner is the only way to go. Moreover, the motorcycle gets a suspension setup that is slightly stiffer than the standard Apache RTR 200 and a firm suspension always helps mid-corner. The Race-bike holds on to a line and also gives the rider room to correct mid-corner. Exiting the corner, the Apache RTR 200 Race Bike is quick but it doesn't feel as breath-taking as the sound of the free-flow exhaust makes it to be.

Handling

The seating ergonomics, which are a tad aggressive on the stock bike, have become a bit more forward set thanks to the lowered clip-on handlebars. Apart from that, the Race-bike feels exactly similar to the standard Apache RTR 200 in terms of ergonomics. And with that stance comes the nose-dive upon hard braking.

Now, the Apache RTR 200 Race Bike is 15kg lighter than the stock bike which weighs in at 148kgs. But it does feel taut and needs a wee bit of effort to tip in at corners. It also is evidently tougher to lean much on the motorcycle as the front tends to wash off, as we discovered, more than a couple of times. To complete the package, the Race Bike comes with Pirelli Angel CT tyres that offer a decent grip but also take a while to warm up and left me wishing it could do more.

Track Goodness

Well, the Apache RTR 200 Race Bike is what a stock Apache RTR 200 4V would be if it lived around a race-track for long. It gets all the basic essentials of a race machine and sans the headlight, number plate, turn signals and tail light sure does look like one. However, we wished that it would get an improved braking setup with a grippy set of tyres to boost confidence around a race-track.

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

Gallery

BikeWale Track Day 2019 TVS Apache RTR 200 Race Bike
BikeWale Track Day 2019 TVS Apache RTR 200 Race Bike
BikeWale Track Day 2019 TVS Apache RTR 200 Race Bike
BikeWale Track Day 2019 TVS Apache RTR 200 Race Bike
BikeWale Track Day 2019 TVS Apache RTR 200 Race Bike
BikeWale Track Day 2019 TVS Apache RTR 200 Race Bike
BikeWale Track Day 2019 TVS Apache RTR 200 Race Bike
BikeWale Track Day 2019 TVS Apache RTR 200 Race Bike
BikeWale Track Day 2019 TVS Apache RTR 200 Race Bike
BikeWale Track Day 2019 TVS Apache RTR 200 Race Bike

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