TVS Apache RTR 200 long term review, first report
Apr 6, 2017 by Siddhant Ghalla
DETAILS IN BRIEF
Model Apache RTR
The RTR 200 manages to strike the perfect balance between comfort and sportiness.
Suspension absorbent on bad roads and stable on good ones.
Digital instrument cluster has a lap time mode and a top speed mode.
Headlamp not bright enough to illuminate dark streets.
Pillion seat could have been more comfortable.
I have a slight problem with my spine – it’s got a sort of fracture that makes me sensitive to jerks and bumps. Place that side by side with my desire to ride a motorcycle, and you’ll see that it’s a bit of a catch-22 situation. Especially when you factor in my city of residence: Mumbai, home to the world’s greatest collection of non-roads.
Roads here – and this is one of my favourite rants – are rubbish. Where there is tarmac, it’s either carelessly spewed or monstrously potholed and elsewhere, there are paver blocks. A smooth ride, no matter what the vehicle, is close to impossible, and a good ride is a tall order.
The TVS Apache RTR 200, however, is one motorcycle that meets it. When I first got this bike, I had my reservations. Its tagline ‘Ready to Race’ did not indicate much in the direction of a pliant ride. These reservations, it turns out, were unfounded. Over many days, I rode the bike over every imaginable road flaw – potholes, ditches, gravel, lumps, bumps, crests, speed breakers, rumblers, paver block, missing paver blocks – and the RTR 200’s suspension just took it all in its stride. The ride, obviously, was not smooth – that would require something on the lines of the latest BMW-Lego hoverbike – but it was so absorbent. Never once did I feel the jarring edge of a crust or the spine-rattling thump of a ditch.
The softness of the suspension at low speeds does not compromise stability at higher speeds or around corners either. Pushing beyond 100kph doesn’t lead to instability and nor does taking a sweeping corner with your knee an open-fist short of the ground.
And there is more. Refinement levels are superb, with the vibrations adequately dissipated by the dual-cradle chassis, the exhaust is most pleasingly raspy, the engine is fairly responsive, low-range response is good and seating position is comfortable. Oh, and our long-termer is the fuel-injection variant with sticky Pirellis.
There are some niggles, though. The power delivery is a bit too linear, the pillion seat (I was told) is not the last word in comfort, and the headlamp does a poor job of illuminating the road when the ambient light fades away.
These quibbles, however, barely dent the experience of riding the RTR 200. I particularly like how a balance between two extremes has been attained in every manner – the engine is powerful but refined, the bike’s comfortable but sporty, and the ride’s pliant but stable.
Copyright (c) Autocar India
|Price when new:
||Rs 95,925 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
. All rights reserved.