TVS Apache RR310 Race Spec First Ride Review

01 February 2019, 01:19 PM Vikrant Singh

Introduction

The Apache RR Cup will remain etched in my memory forever. No, it’s not the quickest, most awesome motorcycle I have ever ridden. But, it is the bike that I rode to pass my final set of challenges in order to become a motorcycle riding coach. Here’s how it unfolded…

The Tryout

Last year, out of the blue, I got a call regarding a tryout to become a motorcycle riding coach. As part of that, I had to spend a weekend riding at the MMRT where my technical and riding skills would be evaluated. And I needed a bike to do it on. TVS folks, being the great guys they are, arranged an Apache RR310 for me. 

Things went well. I didn’t crash. I gave the right answers. I displayed acceptable riding skills. And, at the end of the weekend, I was inducted as a trainee coach! And what’s more, I had a blast riding the RR over the three days I was there. You can read more about that on BikeWale.

The Next Step

Forward to a year later and it was time to head to the MMRT again. The challenge this time round was to shed the ‘trainee’ prefix. It wasn’t going to be easy. There was reams of material to be studied, exams, and on-track demonstrations, all of which were to be completed perfectly, if I had any hope of coaching students on my own. And again, I’d need a motorcycle.

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Naturally, I called TVS. And unsurprisingly they offered the RR310, again. However, this one was more special. It was the RR Cup bike. The very same one that professional motorcycle racers rode all of last year dicing with each other corner after corner, lap after lap, and race after race to take the chequered flag. 

The Bike

The Race Spec RR310 is based on the road bike. So, it has the same chassis, the same suspension, the same engine and gearbox, and the same wheels. But, it runs on grippier Metzeler tyres instead of the longer lasting Michelins. The preload on the rear suspension has been bumped up. And, the steering Tee now sits lower on the front forks. 

Additionally, it has an improved induction, a freer flowing and louder exhaust, and a race ECU. The latter essentially changes the map, which then alters the timing and the fuel flow.

The Race Spec bike also doesn’t get lights – no headlamps, no tail lamps, and no indicators. There’s no instrumentation or a pillion seat. And, the rider’s footpegs have been moved higher up and further back. There’s a new starter button, and none of those shark elements that dictates the design of the road bike.

The Ride

 

And, it rides differently than the road bike as well. Thanks to the loud exhaust, one can’t hear the RR engine’s clatter. The Race Spec also has crisper, more precise gearshifts. And courtesy of a quick throttle, not only is the throttle response more alert, it is less tiring to ride as well because one doesn’t need to twist the right wrist all that much. 

It’s quicker too, is the race RR310. TVS Racing claims that its horsepower figures have gone up by 4bhp. So, when one shifts from first to second under full bore acceleration, the bike actually pops its front wheel in the air. Okay, it’s a tiny little pop, but a pop nonetheless. The mid-range continues to be strong. And that meant, even when I found myself in a gear too high, I still had a handsome drive exiting the corner.

The Finals

I rode the Cup bike over two weekends. That’s six days, for five hours each day. Now, most of that was at a pace I like – fast enough to put a smile on my face, but not fast enough to scare me, or even help qualify for a race, forget winning one.

Having said that, I did some throttle-to-the-stops riding, even if it was between corners. And, not once did I find the bike lacking. It felt fast, agile, racy, and totally involving. Sure, having heel plates would have helped me hook up to the bike better, but that’s trivial. And, I know, apart from that loud exhaust, I’d love to see the road RR310 ride and feel this way.

As for the ‘trainee’ prefix, I did lose it. I was signed on as a full-fledged coach! And not just that – I also coached my own six students over three days. And I did it astride the race RR310. Like I said, the bike is now etched in my memory.

Photography by Aditya Bedre

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