The new tvs apache rtr 200 4v looks distinguished but not dramatically different from the previous generation models. The bike maker has chosen to stay close to the draken x-21 concept showcased at the 2014 auto expo, which is a good thing and this has helped push the aggressive quotient to a maximum lending a true street-fighter styling. The trademark bikini fairing has been given a miss on the rtr 200 and is now replaced by a leaner and meaner single headlamp cluster that is equipped with daytime running leds.
The single piece fuel tank looks sharp and accommodates the extended fenders with ease, whereas the differently positioned fuel tank lid looks rather good. Adding a sporty touch is the black stripe in the middle of the fuel tank that also manages to break the mono colour scheme on the bike. You get split seats that are comfortable and accommodating for both the rider and pillion, whereas the rear gets an led tail lamp and clear lens turn indicators. What also work for us are the w-shaped grab handle and the wavy alloy wheels that complete the aesthetic elements on the flagship apache.
The apache rtr 200 4v holds many firsts for tvs and one of them is its all-digital instrument console. We were impressed when the ktm duke 200 first came with a heavily loaded console setting the benchmark in the segment and tvs has a done a splendid job matching up to it. You get a speedometer, odometer, two trip meters, gear indicator gear shift light and service reminder. But here's the fun part, the console also comes with a lap timer, high speed recorder, shortest distance recorder and a humble message that says 'race on' every time you turn the ignition on.
While the styling is one aspect of grabbing attention, tvs has managed to tune the exhaust rather well on the apache rtr 200 4v. Dubbed as the 'double barrel' exhaust, the rtr 200 gets a stronger bass exhaust note, which makes it an attention seeking motorcycle, should you choose to rev past the onlookers. Our test bike was finished in matte white and the calm colour certainly looks brilliant and matches the superior fit and finish that tvs has to offer. That said, the other shades inclusive of matte yellow, grey and red are something to watch out for.
Power delivery feels smooth throughout the rev range and there is ample grunt even at lower rpms to get you going. The throttle response is crisp thanks to the efi unit and the counter balancer shaft has helped keep engine vibrations to a minimum. In fact, vibes are negligible even on top of the power band and the motor is extremely refined in every sense. The engine feels the happiest in the mid-range at just above 6000rpm and power is always available at the twist of your wrist. While riding in the city will hardly be an issue on the apache rtr 200, the top-end is lacking and that's when an extra 2-3bhp would've helped.
Tvs claims a top speed of 129 kmph on the apache with 0-110 kmph coming up easily. The remainder though needs the rider to crouch a bit to get the numbers going. The bike maker has also restrained itself to a 5-speed gearbox, while the competition has moved to a 6-speed unit. Nevertheless, gear shifts are smooth and changes sans any hassle, but that extra could've helped in achieving a slightly higher top speed. In the next update maybe?
One of the stronger points that the apache series always boasted off was a strong handling character and with the rtr 200 4v, tvs has spiced things up further. While the frame is completely new, it remains extremely responsive and quick turns are hardly ever an issue. In fact, one could compare it to a point and shoot camera, so to say. It feels that effortless at times when changing directions. That said, it isn't flawless and the trait can be blamed on the slightly softer suspension setup.
The apache rtr 200 4v uses 37mm kayaba front forks and a pre-load adjustable monoshock suspension at the rear. The setup works well in terms of everyday performance and is intended to offer a balance between good ride quality and handling. Tvs scores brownie points in this regard and has certainly done a good job. Hence, it is only when you turn the throttle a bit too hard, the softer setup becomes apparent. Nevertheless, it isn't something that spoils the riding experience and clearly does not affect the dynamics of the motorcycle in everyday riding conditions. What stays true to the apache name is the effortless performance that the bike has managed to offer for over a decade now.