TVS Apache RTR 160 4V First Ride Review

09 May 2018, 03:35 PM Neil Nair

Introduction

Pros- A balanced suspension setup, sporty appeal, and long seat.

Cons- Hard seat cushioning, notchy gearbox.

TVS has been taking its racing heritage quite seriously in the past couple of years. One such result of this perspective is the Apache RTR 160 4V. While the manufacturer still produces the two-valve version, the Apache RTR 160 4V looks up to its bigger sibling for inspiration. You would even mistake it for the Apache RTR 200 4V. 

And like the latter, the RTR 160 4V makes its sporty motives clear. The aggressive glare of the eyebrow-like LED DRLs compliments its razor edge styling from front to end. While this design isn't new, it will help customers relate the Apache RTR 160 4V to its higher powered sibling. TVS offers the bike in three variants- carburetor with drum brake, carburetor with a rear disc and FI, which also gets a rear disc. The drum brake version rides on a 110/80 rear tyre while the other two variants sport a wider 130/70 rear tyre.

Quality

TVS has maintained a high standard of quality all through the Apache RTR 160 4V. The plastics on the switchgear is top notch and the fibre panels too have no signs of being ill-fitted. TVS offers the bike in three well finished paint schemes- red, blue and black. To keep up with its sporty intent, the colours also get a white racing stripe running across the tank. Minute attention to details like the two screws on the front of the tank and the orange-backlit instrument cluster that welcomes you with '3...2...1...Go!' add to the Apache RTR 160 4V's character. All-in-all, the bike is built to survive the exertion of daily commuting while not sacrificing on visual appeal.

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V

  • Displacement159.7 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)15.8 bhp
  • Kerb Weight143 kg
  • ;

Ex-showroom, Mumbai

 1,00,950

Rating: 3.5/5

Comfort

 

The Apache RTR 160 4V is a motorcycle that allows the rider a sporty feel even during daily commutes. The bike's riding position is slightly aggressive thanks to the higher set foot pegs. The fuel tank is also well sculpted and offers enough room even for tall riders to anchor their knees.

One of the key features of a good commuter is the suspension and TVS has hit the bull’s eye with the setup of the Apache RTR 160 4V. It provides good stability even at speeds of 120kmph and handles bumps with absolute ease. The new one-piece seat is long and the pillions will love the space it offers. The footrest and saree guard have been well designed and ensure that the pillion sits comfortably, even side-saddle. On the other hand, the seat feels hard and does not provide a lot of cushion to the rear, making it uneasy over long rides. The Apache is vibe-free up to its max power output at 8000rpm after which you do feel the vibes creeping up, although only through the foot pegs.

Rating: 4/5

Performance

When TVS built the Apache RTR 160 4V, they intended it to be the most sporty premium commuter in the market. And with the 159cc, single-cylinder, oil-cooled, four-valve engine, they got just that. Our test bike was the carb with rear disc version producing 16.1bhp (16.3bhp for the FI variant). This motor wants to pull hard but you can only feel that post the 5500rpm-6000rpm mark. It also picks up without any untowardly jitters even in the fourth gear at 25kmph. The five-speed gearbox doesn't feel very smooth shifting between first, neutral and second gears, as it is with other new TVS transmissions. This does get a bit annoying especially in a heavy traffic situation. However, shifting through the other gears feels smoother and more precise.  

As I mentioned earlier, TVS' seriousness about racing has reflected in the Apache RTR 160 4V's chassis. This chassis is very different to what the standard RTR 160 uses. This makes the 147kg bike a breeze leaning into corners and would feel so even for a beginner. The brakes have a good bite and progression and the grippy TVS Remora tyres add to the experience. While the Apache performs well in traffic, the premium commuter would not feel out of place on a track either. 

Rating: 4/5

Technology

The Apache RTR 160 4V comes equipped with an LCD instrument cluster, much like its rivals. However, unlike the competition, the unit displays a lot more features apart from basic information like a 0-60kmph time recorder, top speed recorder, a lap time recorder and two trip meters. The bike is not offered with ABS even as an option, although you get to choose from a rear drum or disc brake setup.

Rating: 4/5

Fuel Efficiency

The TVS Apache RTR 160 4V returned a figure of 44kmpl in our fuel efficiency test. With a 12-litre fuel tank capacity the bike is capable of covering around 528kms. However, the RTR 160 4V returned roughly 10kmpl lesser compared to its closest rival, the Honda X-Blade.

Rating: 3/5

Fitness of purpose

With sporty yet comfortable ergonomics and suspension setup, a potent engine and looks derived from the RTR 200 4V, the Apache RTR 160 4V makes for a complete package. It also offers a bit more features and power than its competition at a similar price.

Rating: 4.5/5

Our take

 

The bike is aimed at the urban youth who want something more upmarket than the standard RTR 160 with a budget of around Rs 85,000. Pricing for the Apache RTR 160 4V start at Rs 81,490 and goes up to Rs 90,490 for the fuel injected version. While some might argue that the Apache RTR 180 retails around the same price, the bike, now long in the tooth, would not handle as well as the Apache RTR 160 4V. However, compare it to its competition, the Suzuki Gixxer, Bajaj Pulsar NS160 and the Honda X-Blade, and the 160 4V is more powerful and lives up its tag of being the sportiest 150cc premium commuter in the market today.

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

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