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TVS Apache RTR 200 4V First Ride Review

22 January 2016, 09:35 AM Pratheek Kunder

What is it?

You remember the famous Draken Concept from TVS at the 2014 Auto Expo? The new Apache RTR 200 is that. Well, almost 60 per cent of it is. It is TVS’ first attempt to break into the fun 200cc segment, where there aren’t many contenders. Actually, there is just one manufacturer and you know who. This bike is here to please the market with its head-turning style, good performance and brilliant handling. 

How does it ride?

The Apaches have always been good handlers and this new 200cc one is no different. In fact, this bike goes a level up and that makes things very interesting. The double cradle frame is very responsive and communicative. On straight lines, the bike is very stable and this is true for speeds like 120kmph. All you need to do is command the bike, and the bike does it for you. Talking about the corners, the Apache doesn’t disappoint there. It’s so much fun (not KTM fun) to tip this bike on the corners, and you don’t have to worry about your tyres giving out. The bike gets the TVS Remora tyres, which offers good grip and the Pirellis are fantastic. 

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V

  • Displacement197.75 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported38 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)20.54 bhp
  • Kerb Weight152 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,28,288

And obviously, this wouldn’t have been possible without the new 200cc single cylinder oil-cooled engine. Surprisingly, this engine is vibe free (most of the time) and refined; things that were missing in the smaller Apaches. But once you start approaching the redline, minute vibrations are encountered but as per TVS, 80 per cent of the consumers will be riding this bike in the city, where there isn’t a need of redlining. 

We rode the fuel injected version, which has a crisp throttle response. The fueling was sorted too. When it comes to the overall performance, the Apache satisfies your need. The power delivery is linear and there is more than enough torque in the low end. This engine has excellent mid-range for better rideability. This engine is mated to a five-speed gearbox, which performs flawlessly. But there is a lack of proper engagement sound when you change gears, and that makes you think, whether you've hit the right gear or not.

The suspension setup is on the firmer side, and we didn’t really get to test out the ride quality as we were limited to TVS’ Hosur test track. But we expect the 37mm beefy front forks and the monoshock (a first on TVS), to take care of bad city roads. What disappointed me the most was the front brake, which wasn’t sharp as expected. Try to engage the front brake at high speed and you might have to press the lever harder if you want to stop on time. On the other hand, the rear brake worked perfectly and doesn’t lock up, till you intend to. And do note that, you can opt for the ABS version as well, which is a dual-channel unit from Bosch. 

Anything else should I know?

The first thing you should know is that the Apache RTR 200 4V comes in seven brilliant colours. Why did I mention this in the beginning? That’s because these colour options are matte in nature and look dazzling in person. My personal favourite is the matte yellow, which you see in this review (I had to cut short my lunch time to get it). 

Now that we’re talking about the cosmetic front, let’s get little deeper into it. The new Apache 200 4V looks stunning; credit the sharp design approach taken by TVS (and/or maybe by their German counterpart). The fascia looks absolutely amazing and the credit here goes to the V-shaped headlamp unit. To complement it, the bike sports twin pilot LED lamps. Come to the side, and you’re bound to fall in love with the bike again. The side profile resembles the Draken concept and we like it that way. The sharp fuel tank, double barrel exhaust, new alloy wheels  and engine cowl are some of the examples of clever thinking. The folks at Hosur have gone little sober with the tail design and it doesn’t really come across as aggressive.

Once you look at the instrument cluster, you’ll see how TVS was committed towards making this one thing perfect. The design is good and the choice of backlight and fonts are perfect. And other than displaying the regular information like the odometer, speed, the cluster shows the lap timing, top speed recorder and gear shift indicator, service reminders and a low battery indicator. 

Why should I buy one?

The Apache RTR 200 4V is easily the best looking bike under Rs 1 lakh and you’ll buy this bike for the same reason. It has got the appeal, performance and handling, all under Rs 1 lakh. Sounds like a good deal right?  Definitely! But if you’re one of those who is crazy about performance and hit the race track quite often, you might want to see the fuel injected version with Pirelli tyres and anti-lock-braking system (which will go on sale soon). But to get this version, you’ll have to shell more money, which we think you should.

Where does it fit in?

The TVS Apache RTR200 4V has the Bajaj Pulsar AS200 as its main competitor. While the RTR 200 is almost Rs 4,562 cheaper, the Pulsar gets liquid-cooling. But again, both bikes are of different genres. While the Pulsar AS200 will take care of your touring and city needs, the Apache RTR 200 4V is more focused towards race track madness along with daily commuting. 

Now that you’re done reading the first ride review of the new TVS Apache RTR 200V, you might be interested in knowing the on-road price right? Well, click here and you’ll have it in a few seconds.

Photography by Kapil Angane

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