TVS Apache RR310 Review
We had a chance to ride it on the track a few months ago, but now it was time to find out what’s good, bad, and ugly about the 2020 Apache RR 310 in real-world conditions.
Pros: Lesser vibes, good build quality, loaded with features
Cons: Brakes lack feel, engine doesn’t sound refined
We have come to like the TVSApache RR 310 ever since its introduction in 2017. We have liked its characteristics on the track, the highway, and even in city riding. However, the flagship TVS motorcycle did come with a few setbacks.
So, in its 2020 iteration TVS claims to have sorted out most of the glitches that came with the previous versions while adding some fancy and functional equipment. We had a chance to ride this model on the track a few months ago, but now it was time to find out what’s good, bad, and ugly about the 2020 Apache RR 310 in real-world conditions.
While the rising cost of production would have been a good excuse, TVS has made sure that the quality of components remains top-notch on the RR 310. The plastic bits look durable and are well put together. In addition to that, the buttons on the switchgear also have a premium feel to them.
The dual-tone matte grey and gloss black combination complimented by the red frame and grahics have added flair to the race-bike inspired package. There is nearly nothing to complain about when it comes to the quality of the 2020 Apache RR 310; the fit and finish is what you’d expect from a motorcycle that demands a price of Rs 2.40 lakh.
The Apache RR 310 has always been acclaimed for its versatile ergonomics, and the 2020 model is no different. The motorcycle retains the raised clip-on handlebars and rear set footpegs that offer a mildly aggressive yet comfortable riding position which is not as demanding as its rival, the KTM RC 390 while riding in city traffic. And if you chance on an open stretch of road, the roomy seat also allows the rider to push back and crouch down on the tank. In this position too, the Apache RR 310 feels comfortable.
The chassis or suspension hardware hasn’t changed and neither has the ride quality. The motorcycle continues to offer precise handling and a ride that is comfortable and seldom unsettled over minor bumps and patches on the road. Although, slightly larger heel plates at least in this update would have completed the near-perfect riding ergonomics.
Nevertheless, the 2020 update has addressed one of the major issues of the previous versions- vibrations. Yes, the engine still sounds mechanical and there are vibes above the 120kmph mark, but these are not at all bothersome. The motorcycle also gets minor alterations like four bolts on the windscreen that help in reducing chattering at the front end.
Now, the 2020 Apache RR 310 continues with the 312cc, single-cylinder, four-valve engine as the previous models. While TVS has revised the engine, the six-speed transmission continues to be as clunky as the earlier variants especially in the lower gears.
However, the real game-changer is the inclusion of ride-by-wire throttle. This has enabled TVS to equip the motorcycle with ride modes- Urban, Rain, Sport, and Track that can be changed on-the-fly with a touch of the arrow up button on the switchgear. These modes give the motorcycle different personalities by altering throttle response, ABS intervention, as well as power output.
In the Urban mode, the engine produces 25.8bhp and 25Nm of torque. The torque is concentrated lower down in the rev range for easier riding in slow-moving traffic. The motorcycle becomes much more tractable and is completely unfazed even at 30kmph in the fifth gear. While the Urban mode restricts the top speed to around 134kmph, it also allows for economical fuel consumption. The Rain mode also offers the same power and torque output although with restrictive throttle response and additionally sensitive ABS. The rpm limiter light also flashes post 60kmph to keep speeds in check.
The Sport mode is true to its name and delivers a quicker throttle response. However, the Apache RR 310’s full potential is unlocked in the Track mode. While the engine delivers 34bhp and peak torque of 27.3Nm in both these modes, the ABS intervention is dialed down even further in Track mode. And here, the RR 310 feels like an unleashed animal. The revs surge faster, the engine feels livelier, and the throttle is even more precise and responsive. With nothing holding it back, the Apache RR 310 is capable of achieving a top speed of around 168kmph.
Slowing things down from those speeds isn’t as daunting as the brakes seem to be improved. Although, increased feedback from the lever would be much appreciated. Nevertheless, the new and grippier Michelin Road 5 tyres also contribute to the improved braking on the 2020 model. These tyres, which cost around Rs 11,600 a pair are a major upgrade over the previous Michelin Pilot Sport rubber in terms of wet grip and handling.
The 2020 TVS Apache RR 310 boasts of an exhaustive list of features that puts it at the top of the food chain in this category. It is equipped with a slipper clutch and full-LED lighting for the headlamp, tail lamp, and turn signal. While the rider modes are undoubtedly the highlight of the motorcycle, the new five-inch, colour TFT screen is the cherry on the cake. This Bluetooth-enabled unit can be connected to a smartphone via the TVS SmartXonnect app that provides access to features like turn-by-turn navigation and call function.
Moreover, the instrument console also allows the user to customise brightness, day or night setting, and even the widgets displayed on the screen. In addition to this, it also displays a service reminder and performance records. Most importantly, all of these features are well laid out and can be accessed easily with none of it seeming like a gimmick.
We rode the Apache RR 310 only in Urban mode during our test run and it returned an average of 34.7kmpl. With an 11-litre fuel tank capacity, it translates to a range of around 380kms on a full tank which is quite frugal for a motorcycle of this capacity.
Fitness of Purpose
Competitively priced at Rs 2.40 lakh (ex-showroom), the 2020 TVS Apache RR 310 undercuts the KTM RC 390 by Rs 12,660. While it may not have the power figures as the latter, the Apache RR 310’s versatile nature makes it suitable to a wider band of consumers. It is friendly enough for newer riders and at the same time enthralling enough to keep the experienced lot interested. And in that sense, the Apache RR 310 fits the bill perfectly.
For a premium of just Rs 12,000 over the previous model, the 2020 Apache RR 310 offers a package that would put most higher-priced motorcycles to shame. While it continues to be the all-round product it used to be, the updates have made it much more likeable. For starters, there are lesser vibes, a better set of tyres, a host of usable technology, and a new paint scheme that is sure to draw stares and the appreciative “Kitna deti hai?” question at traffic lights. Well, the Apache RR 310 has inched close to perfection in its 2020 avatar but falls short on a few areas like the small heel plates, and lack of brake feel.
Photography by Kapil Angane
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