TVS Apache RR 310 First Ride Review: Mighty Impressive and Great Value for Money
We ride the all-new TVS Apache RR 310 on a racetrack to find out just how sporty it is and whether it manages to justify its Rs 2.05 lakh (ex-showroom) price tag,
TVS Apache RR 310 is a joy to ride on a race track. (Photo: Arjit Garg/News18.com)
The TVS Akula concept, first showcased at the 2016 Delhi Auto Expo, was sharp, sexy and looked the purpose it was built for – performance. Eventually, it went on to become one of the most sought-after motorcycles even towards the end of 2017. The thing that happens from waiting for a particular motorcycle to take shape in the form of a production motorcycle for so long, is that the expectations keep rising over time. The Akula did take a lot of time and to top it all, it was given the nametag of ‘Apache’ which is well-known name when it comes to performance motorcycles. That’s not it, the launch of the TVS Apache RR 310 is also said to be the culmination of TVS’ 35 years of racing history.
Now, these are sky-high expectations and above all, there’s legacy at stake here. The Apache RR 310 has a lot to live up to and TVS decided to hand us the motorcycle at the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) in Chennai – a track that is not only exciting to ride a bike of this size on but can also expose the flaws of any motorcycle.
Well, TVS certainly seems confident of their motorcycle and that’s a good start.
Here’s how the track experience went.
Let’s start with the performance of the new TVS right away. It is powered by a 312cc single cylinder engine that is capable of developing 34 PS of power and 27.3 NM of torque. Interestingly, this engine is co-developed in partnership with BMW Motorrad and it also powers the BMW G 310R which is yet to make its way to India. Commendably, TVS has managed to retain the power output despite the quality of fuel that’s sold in India and also managed to tune it in a different way through which the Apache RR 310 has a higher top speed than the BMW.
TVS Apache RR 310 has a claimed top speed of over 160 km/h. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
As per TVS, the Apache RR 310 can do a 0-60 km/h dash in just 2.93 seconds and can attain a claimed top speed of a tad over 160 km/h. The engine comes mated to a 6-speed gearbox and also comes with fuel injection and liquid cooling as well. That’s not it, there’s a race-spec Trellis frame which peeks out in bright red under all that bodywork and the suspension duties are handled by KYB upside down inverted forks at the front and a KYB mono shock setup at the back. The brake on offer is a 300mm disc being worked on by Bybre callipers on the front and there’s a 240mm disc brake at the back.
The TVS Apache RR 310 comes with a 300mm disc brake at the front. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
Well, these are the key mechanical highlights of the motorcycle but how all of this comes together when you are riding it is, in short, really good. First up, are the riding ergonomics. The handlebar is relatively higher up and the rider is only slightly inclined towards it. This gives a sporty feel but is still comfortable for everyday commute and those occasional long distance rides. The foot pegs are not very rear set and while that may be a good thing when it comes to regular commuting but when on the track, they did end up getting scraped on tight corners. The fuelling on the bike is impressive, the throttle response is smooth and direct, and, the brakes provide great feedback and feel progressive even under hard braking.
Of course, having the dual channel ABS gives you a lot of confidence and so does the suspension setup which is not only good but also makes the bike feel friendly and forgiving when you are pushing it hard. The tyres on board are Michelins and while some may wish they were a tad bigger when they look at the whole profile of the bike, we think it’s more than what you would need every day as they do their job well, that is unless you really want a purpose-built track bike. And let’s not forget, that gearbox is simply fantastic and makes for clean and crisp gearshifts no matter how hard you are grinding them.
The TVS Apache RR 310's Bi-LED headlamps give it a lot of character. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
Overall, the best part about the bike was its handling and riding capabilities which makes the Apache RR 310 a very, very fun motorcycle on a race track.
TVS Apache RR 310 from the back. (Photo: Arjit Garg/News18.com)
When you put performance aside and look at the bike just in terms of design, it definitely comes across as a looker and a head turner. The silhouette of the bike is sharp with a low nose high tail design and there are faux vents placed near the separation of the split seats which helps in making the otherwise bulky tail section seem alright. The design has a purpose too as the bike was designed in a wind tunnel (yes!) to have a low drag coefficient. To top it all, you have the Bi-Led projector headlamps which give the motorcycle a lot of character. The wind deflector might seem a bit too big but it does do the job really well. There’s some clever designing too as the gills in the fairing are designed to channel hot air away from the rider which should come in handy in city riding conditions.
The build quality and the quality of materials used are really good especially when you look at the badging all over the bike, the switch clusters and the finishing around the instrument cluster.
The TVS Apache RR 310 has a good build quality. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
The seats are wide, even for the pillion rider but the absence of a grab rail along with that high tail section, well, we are not too sure how well will that work out to be. From the back, the TVS has a very interesting tail lamp design and the same goes for the instrument cluster which has a vertical layout. While it showcases almost everything you would want to know with things like a gear shift indicator, gear position indicator, lap time recorder and a top speed recorder, getting used to reading the layout while riding the bike will take some time.
TVS Apache RR 310 instrument cluster has a vertical layout. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
The TVS Apache RR 310 is the company’s entry into a highly competitive segment. The bike goes up against the likes of the Ninja 300, the Yamaha YZF-R3, Benelli Tornado 302R and the KTM RC 390. Amongst all of these, depending on how hardcore you like your motorcycle to be, the Apache has managed to come across as one of the best value for money option as it offers equipment, features and an ability to do well in almost all riding scenarios.
There’s only so much you can understand while riding a newly launched motorcycle on a race track. And when we do get chances like these, well, we are supposed to give as thorough an analysis of the motorcycle as it can be. But, this was one of those rare instances where the moment you swing your leg over the motorcycle and exit the pits, you immediately start having fun. The motorcycle right away asks to be pushed harder and somehow manages to instil the confidence that it can do even more after every turn.
Yes, we are yet to know the mileage figures and all that, but when you have so much on a motorcycle on a track from the first time you had a go on it, that’s a job well done by TVS. And more importantly, the friendliness and forgiving nature of the motorcycle on the track makes it a perfect starting point for those looking to take up track riding and want a motorcycle that they can ride easily every day and a bike that doesn't bite them when they do minor mistakes on the track.
It is based on an extremely popular concept motorcycle, has a big name attached to it and also carries the responsibility to showcase the 35 years TVS’ racing history. And, at least on the race track, it passes through with flying colours.
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