When TVS Racing’s Harry Sylvester was giving me the low-down on how different it’s from the road bike, I couldn’t fathom the difference it can make out on the track. As much as I was looking forward to riding it, all the excitement turned into uneasiness and astonishment after just one lap on it. It’s intimidating, it’s scary, and it’s impatient. Everything about it is extremely sensitive and responsive.
The throttle response is so crisp and notchy that maintaining constant acceleration is a task around corners. The brakes shed speed at an astounding pace. The steering response and handling are so sharp that it turns in to your slightest inputs. And then there’s the ergonomics. It demands such a level of commitment that even someone with reasonable fitness levels would find it way too uncomfortable and wearing.
But, about four laps later, I started getting along well with the RR. I felt it transform into an agile horse from a frantic rabbit. I started braking quite late into corners and tipped it in with confidence. The great balance of chassis and suspension setup felt absolutely stable and rock-solid, no matter how aggressively I entered corners. Holding on to the throttle with a gentle screw-driver grip made modulating it easy. Thanks to the brisk acceleration and spot-on fuelling, corner exits were tremendously quick.
All of this was also courtesy of the TVS Eurogrip tyres developed especially for racing. Once warmed up, they deliver amazing grip, great feedback, and instil loads of confidence. As a result, I was having a great time around tighter bends like C3 and C10 where I could carry more lean angle than on any other bike.
I could neatly tuck in behind the windscreen on straights, feeling no wind blast whatsoever. However, every time I had to go hard on brakes, the lack of rough area around the fuel tank meant I was sliding ahead, putting too much pressure on the handlebar. This problem was more pronounced at C4 and C8 where you come in hot from a straight patch. Then I started holding on to the tank tighter than I was before, which helped to some extent.