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TVS Apache RTR 160 4V vs Hero Xtreme 160 R: Comparison Test Review

28 July 2021, 06:00 PM Suvil Susvirkar

Introduction

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Right Front Three Quarter

The sub-200cc Apache motorcycles have been providing budget-friendly thrills to motorcycling enthusiasts for years. And now, the competition in the segment is getting stiffer. The 4V or the four-valve variants of the Apache range stepped up the game to answer the ever-growing list of rivals, and we recently tested the 2021 iteration of the thoroughly impressive Apache RTR 160 4V. But how does it fare against one of our favourite 160cc motorcycles, the Hero Xtreme 160R?

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Right Side View

We rode both motorcycles in the city and out on the highway to rate them on our tried and tested pointing system to find out the answers. It was a close competition, and naming a clear winner wasn’t very easy. Before we get to the result of the pointing system, let’s take a close look at the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V and the Hero Xtreme 160R.

Looks and Styling

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Left Front Three Quarter

The Apache RTR 160 4V draws styling cues from its bigger sibling, the Apache RTR 200 4V that is based on the Draken concept. Thus, the front fascia features a bold and aggressive design for the LED headlight and the LED DRLs. The body-coloured headlight mask looks premium and appealing, however, the design of the front fascia never grew on me and I’m still not a big fan of its styling. In contrast, the BS4 model featured a far more proportional design and looked more appealing. Everything beyond the front fascia is identical to the BS4 Apache RTR 160 4V, and thus, the latest iteration of the motorcycle continues to feature a chequered flag decal, a 3D logo, an asymmetrically-mounted filler cap, and fin-style design on the tank. The contrasting silver finish for the side panel stops the motorcycle from looking monotonous, while the sporty grab rail further enhances the looks of the Apache RTR 160 4V.

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Right Front Three Quarter

The Hero Xtreme 160R takes a fresh approach in terms of design, and unlike the Apache RTR 160 4V, it does not borrow many styling cues from the Xtreme 200R. Instead, the Xtreme 160R is heavily inspired by the Xtreme 1R Concept motorcycle that was revealed at the EICMA motor show in November 2019. The front fascia on the Xtreme 160R features a futuristic and aggressive design for the LED headlight. The headlamp is flanked by a dual-tone mask that matches the two-tone paint scheme of the motorcycle. The sweeping side panel flows with the design of the Xtreme 160 R and gives a unique look to the Hero product. At the back, the Xtreme 160R features a blacked-out cover for the taillight and rear panel integrated pillion grab rails giving it a very modern look.

Ergonomics and Quality

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Left Front Three Quarter

Both motorcycles belong to the naked roadster category, and thus they feature minimalistic design. The Apache RTR 160 4V, unlike its bigger sibling, uses a flat handlebar that provides even more upright and comfortable ergonomics. The footpeg position is slightly rear-set and that adds a pinch of sportiness to the overall rider’s triangle. Moreover, the saddle on the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V is relatively flatter than the unit on the Hero Xtreme 160R, which gives more freedom to move around.

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V

  • Displacement159.7 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported45 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)17.39 bhp
  • Kerb Weight145 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,12,255

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Right Front Three Quarter

The Xtreme 160R, too, uses a flat handlebar and slightly rear-set footpegs that give the motorcycle a sporty yet comfortable rider’s triangle. The upward sweeping seat design, however, makes it difficult to move back, which can become an issue on several occasions. The seat height difference between the two motorcycles is just 10mm (790mm vs 800mm), and at 5’10” tall, I could easily place both my feet flat on the ground.

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Left Front Three Quarter

In terms of build quality, both motorcycles are at par with each other, and we did not hear any unpleasant squeaking or rattling noises during the test ride. The paint quality and the overall fit and finish are more than satisfactory. The switchgear on the Xtreme 160R is particularly likeable due to the addition of a three-in-one engine kill switch/starter button and the hazard light button.

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Left Side Multifunction Switchgear

That said, the instrument cluster on the Hero Xtreme 160R felt a bit wobbly, but it’s most likely a one-off case. The turn-indicator controls on the Apache RTR 160 4V, on the other hand, felt a little stiff to operate, but a splash of WD40 should address that issue.

Features and Technology

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Instrument Cluster

The Apache RTR 160 4V manages to score some additional points in this section thanks to its data-packed instrument cluster. Apart from the ride-related information, the console on the Apache RTR 160 4V also displays data about the 0-60kmph acceleration timer and a top-speed recorder. While these features may not offer any value in real-life riding conditions, they can come in handy on the racetrack. The data on the Xtreme 160R, on the other hand, is relatively basic, and the only information that the rider can toggle between is the odometer reading and the two trip meters. Moreover, the display on the Xtreme 160R is a bit difficult to read during daylight which can bother a few riders.

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Instrument Cluster

On the upside, the Hero Xtreme 160R features full LED lighting, which includes stylish LED turn indicators that deliver better performance than the traditional units on the Apache RTR 160 R. Features like an LED headlight and LED taillight are available on both motorcycles delivering satisfactory results. The electronic rider aids are basic and both motorcycles use a single-channel ABS.

Engine and Gearbox

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Left Side View

This is where the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V leaves most of its competition in the dust. TVS Motor Company made a few tweaks to the 159.7cc, single-cylinder, oil/air-cooled engine to produce 17.4bhp of power and 14.73Nm of peak torque as against 15.6bhp and 14.12Nm on the 2020 version. In comparison, the Hero Xtreme 160R uses a 163cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled motor that delivers 15bhp of power and 14Nm of peak torque. As it’s evident, the Apache RTR 160 4V carries a much higher power output than its rival and the difference is noticeably evident when riding the motorcycles.

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Left Rear Three Quarter

The Apache RTR 160 4V and the Hero Xtreme 160R use a five-speed gearbox and the transmissions on both motorcycles work perfectly well. However, the unit on the Apache RTR 160 4V is just slightly better and crisper than the Xtreme 160R, especially when doing clutchless shifts.

Performance

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Right Side View

The difference in performance is instantly evident and despite its slightly heavier weight, the Apache RTR 160 4V feels noticeably quicker than its rival in this comparison. The exhaust note on the Apache RTR 160 4V sounds aggressive while the motor is eager to climb the rev count. It feels sporty and yet refined for most of the ride. Some vibrations are only evident in the higher rev-range, although they don’t spoil the experience. The engine packs a meaty mid-range which is very useful while riding in the city.

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Left Front Three Quarter

The Hero Xtreme 160R, too, feels sporty, although the exhaust note is quieter than the Apache RTR 160 4V. Standalone, the engine on the Xtreme 160R is very enjoyable, but feels slightly dull while riding back-to-back with the Apache RTR 160 4V. Nevertheless, similar to the Apache RTR 160 4V, the Hero Xtreme 160R packs most of its power in the mid-range which means less frequent gear shifts during city rides. The refinement levels on the Hero Xtreme 160R are at par with the Apache RTR 160 4V and the vibrations are only evident in the higher rev-range. Both motorcycles feel comfortable between 80-100kmph speeds for cruising.

Ride Quality, Handling, and Braking

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Left Side View

The TVS Apache RTR 160 4V features a slightly sporty tuning to the suspension setup. However, it isn’t very stiff and the motorcycle glides over most undulations without much fuss. The spacious saddle and the upright ergonomics further enhance the riding comfort while the motorcycle easily veils its additional weight over the Xtreme 160R once in motion. This TVS motorcycle is also very comfortable at quick direction changes and is effortless to filter through traffic; the Glide Through Technology or GTT being ideal for slow-moving traffic conditions. The braking, however, would have felt better with some more initial bite.

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Left Side View

The Xtreme 160R carries a similar persona when tackling bad road surfaces although the setup feels plusher than the Apache RTR 160 4V. The seat design, however, leaves very little room to move around which becomes bothersome after a few hours. Similar to the Apache RTR 160 4V, the Xtreme 160R, too, benefits from Auto Sail (equivalent to TVS’s Glide Through Technology) that aids in making way through traffic easily. The lighter kerb weight further helps the cause. The braking department delivers satisfactory response, but can use some more power and bite.

Fuel Efficiency

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Right Rear Three Quarter

The Apache RTR 160 4V returned an overall fuel economy of 41.4kmpl which, along with the tank capacity of 12-litre, should deliver a range of 497km between fuel stops. The Xtreme 160R, on the other hand, delivered an economy of 49.65kmpl which gives it a range of about 600km on a full tank.

Price & Warranty

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Right Rear Three Quarter

The TVS Apache RTR 160 4V carries a marginal price premium of Rs 1,400 over the Hero Xtreme 160R (dual-disc ex-showroom, Delhi prices). The Xtreme 160R comes standard with a five-year/70,000km warranty. The Apache RTR 160 4V, too, comes with a five-year warranty as standard, although the number of kilometres covered is less than the Xtreme 160R at 60,000km.

Desirability

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Front View

While it is difficult to select a favourite as both these motorcycles look very appealing, the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V has an edge over the Xtreme 160 R. The naked roadster from TVS benefits from the company’s racing experience, packs more power, and has a feature packed instrument cluster that makes it more appealing. The Xtreme 160R does makes up for the lack of power – as compared to its rival in this comparison – with a lighter weight, a relatively lower price tag, and a slightly longer warranty coverage. 

Verdict

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Right Side View

The competition was close, and both motorcycles scored well on our 100-point rating system. Standalone, the Hero Xtreme 160R is without a doubt a phenomenal motorcycle, but it loses the battle against the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V by a small margin. There can be just one winner, and in this case, it’s the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V that scored 60 points on our scales as against 57 points that were secured by the Hero Xtreme 160R. The TVS motorcycle is sportier and just marginally feature-rich than its rival in this comparison, and it should keep novice riders entertained for a very long time before they move on to something more powerful.

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

Final Score

TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Points Table

Gallery

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