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TVS Apache RTR 165 RP: Road Test Review

01 April 2022, 08:55 AM Suvil Susvirkar


TVS Apache RTR 165RP Right Front Three Quarter

Why to buy it?

-Looks stylish

- Improved performance

- Better brakes 

Why to avoid it?

- Expensive

- Engine lacks low-end pull

- Sold out

The TVS Apache series has been constantly evolving with the Hosur-based manufacturer’s racing experience. The company is celebrating its racing heritage with limited-production versions of its existing models. And it’s hard to miss, given the TVS Racing Group C GP 165R race machine livery that is accompanied by the ‘15 Years Anniversary Edition’ sticker on the fuel tank. More on that later.

TVS Apache RTR 165RP Fuel Tank

However, this limited-edition model is more than just a sticker job, and TVS Motor Company has overhauled the mechanical bits too. This special-edition model packs better performance, an improved braking setup, and a brass coated drive chain and sprocket. Does all of it make it more appealing than the standard motorcycle? We tested the motorcycle in and around Mumbai for this comprehensive road test review.

Styling and Quality

TVS Apache RTR 165RP Left Side View

The first thing to catch your attention is the unique livery that the Apache RTR 165 RP gets. It probably would’ve been too bold, but the matte finish rescues the styling and makes it look quite appealing. The racing livery includes a white base paint along with red and blue graphics across the bodywork. The addition of red alloy wheels, a dual-tone seat, and red pillion grabrail further enhance the sporty looks of the motorcycle.

TVS Apache RTR 165RP

TVS Apache RTR 165RP

  • Displacement165 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)18.9 bhp
  • Kerb Weight148 kg
  • ;

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,45,000

TVS Apache RTR 165RP Right Front Three Quarter

The external changes, however, are limited to the styling revision in the form of new decals. Everything else is identical to the standardApache RTR 160 4V. Thus, the Race Performance edition retains a single-pod headlight with a moustache-style LED DRL, body-coloured headlight cowl, an asymmetrically-mounted fuel filler cap, a step-up seat, an engine cowl, single-piece pillion grabrail, and a dual-barrel exhaust.

TVS Apache RTR 165RP Left Side Multifunction Switchgear

The overall fit and finish are decent, although we did see an uneven panel gap near the front part of the fuel tank. The switchgear quality is good too, but the plastic around the buttons could have had a better and cleaner finish. The covers had also started showing signs of fading paint which felt a bit odd on an otherwise well put together motorcycle.

Ergonomics and Comfort

TVS Apache RTR 165RP Right Side View

The ergonomics are the same as the standard Apache RTR 160 4V, and thus you have an upright rider’s triangle. The footpegs, similar to the standard Apache RTR 16- 4V, are slightly rear-set, giving it that sportier ergonomics. This motorcycle comes standard with three-step adjustable brake and clutch levers, which can be set as per the rider’s choice. The clutch lever itself feels sufficiently soft and does not cause fatigue even in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

TVS Apache RTR 165RP Rear Suspension

The suspension setup is surprisingly plush without being too soft and the motorcycle glides over minor undulations fairly well. However, we expected to see a certain degree of adjustability to match its ‘Racing Performance’ tag. Nevertheless, the Showa-sourced setup worked well for my body weight and the ride felt comfortable. The seat is well padded without being too soft which makes it comfortable even after long hours in the saddle.

Performance and Handling

TVS Apache RTR 165RP Right Front Three Quarter

The engine is where TVS Motor Company has made the most upgrades. The Apache RTR 160 RP uses a 164.9cc, single-cylinder, oil-cooled engine. But it isn’t exactly like the standard Apache RTR 160 4V. The cylinder head on the Apache RTR 165 RP has been modified to accommodate the bigger valves. These valves are 15 per cent larger than the units on the standard Apache RTR 160 4V. The revised cams are claimed to create a 35 per cent increase in inflow that delivers higher performance than the standard model.

TVS Apache RTR 165RP Engine From Left

All these changes help the Race Performance edition churn out a higher power output than the standard model. Linked to a five-speed gearbox, the motor produces 18.9bhp of power at 10,000rpm and 14.2Nm of peak torque at 8,750rpm. In comparison, the standard model makes 17.4bhp at 9,250rpm and 14.73Nm at 7,250rpm. This, however, comes at the cost of fuel efficiency. More on that later.

TVS Apache RTR 165RP Left Rear Three Quarter

The motor likes to stay north of 3,000rpm but it feels sluggish under 6,000 revs. Things become exciting post the 6,000rpm mark and the Apache RTR 165 RP builds momentum at a commendable pace right until its redline. The motorcycle can comfortably cruise at highway speeds but quick overtakes require a downshift.

TVS Apache RTR 165RP Instrument Cluster

The third gear takes you just north of 90kmph while the fourth will cross 100kmph. The speedometer crossed 130kmph in the fifth cog. All the figures are with a 69kg rider (including riding gear) on board. The vibrations are well managed too, and they only make an appearance once you cross 8,000 revs on the dashboard. Things, however, don’t get too buzzy for comfort and one can live with it. Even the braking setup packs a good bite without being too strong for comfort.

Features and Tech

TVS Apache RTR 165RP Head Light

We expected the Race Performance badge to bring a few more features than the standard motorcycle. However, the Apache RTR 165 RP has the exact same feature list as the standard Apache RTR 160 4V. Thus, the motorcycle comes with an LED headlight, LED taillight, a single-channel ABS, and a fully-digital instrument cluster.

TVS Apache RTR 165RP TFT / Instrument Cluster

The console, similar to the standard model, misses a gear position indicator. The amount of information is limited too. Apart from the ride-related data such as speedometer, odometer, tachometer, and two trip meters, the console shows the top speed and 0-60kmph acceleration time. The tell-tale indicators occupy the space under the digital display while the Mode and Select buttons sit on either side of the screen. We would’ve liked to see riding modes but that’s not part of the package. And it is surprising, considering that TVS offers this feature on its NTORQ 125 Race XP scooter.

Fuel Efficiency

TVS Apache RTR 165RP Fuel Tank

The motorcycle returned a fuel economy of 36kmpl during our test runs. In comparison, the standardApache RTR 160 4V returned an economy of 41kmpl. With its 12-litre fuel tank, the Apache RTR 160 RP should cover a range of 430km between fuel stops.

Should you Buy it?

TVS Apache RTR 165RP Front View

The new Apache RTR 160 RP is definitely an appealing product but for a particular set of riders – those who like to keep the engine on the boil and ride hard. And then, the performance is complemented by its unique graphics. Does it deserve the hype around it? Unfortunately, not as much. The motorcycle looks stylish, feels fun to ride, and is desirable, but it isn’t a major step up over the standard Apache RTR 160 4V.

TVS Apache RTR 165RP Left Side View

What’s more? Even if you are ready to pay the premium price tag, you still cannot buy one, at least not a brand new unit. The Apache RTR 165 RP was limited to just 200 units and all motorcycles have already been sold out. But the standard Apache RTR 160 4V is still around and it is almost as much fun as the Apache RTR 165 RP. So if I were you, I wouldn’t keep my eyes peeled for another batch of the Apache RTR 165 RP, and would go buy the Apache RTR 160 4V right away.

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi