TVS Motor Company is on a roll. The automaker stepped into sportsbike territory with the Apache RR 310 in December 2017 followed by Ntorq 125cc tech-savvy scooter in February 2018. The company also shed light on what is in the pipeline with the Zeppelin cruiser and Creon e-scooter concepts at the Auto Expo 2018.
All these latest and upcoming products make the TVS Motor Company, one of the most vibrant two-wheeler maker in the country. Having said that, TVS is not resting on its laurels. The company has been revamping its existing product portfolio even as it continued to launch new machines. The newest candidate to get a major makeover is TVS' entry-level street fighter, the Apache RTR 160.
The Apache RTR 160 has been doing healthy sales for the TVS over a decade. It is one of the most sought-after race machines for the beginners. In its latest avatar, the motorcycle is called Apache RTR 160 4V and the motorcycle has just polished its racing pedigree which the RTR stands for.
We took the Apache RTR 160 4V for a spin at TVS' test track in Hosur to find out how the new version stacks up against the rivals.
True blue street fighter
You don't need to be a rocket scientist to realize that the Apache RTR 160 4V looks identical to its elder sibling, the Apache RTR 200 4V. The Apache RTR 160 4V, however, comes with new alloy design, fresh rear body panel, single piece seat and conventional handlebars. In addition, the Apache RTR 160 4V gets black colored front shock absorber while the Apache RTR 200 4V has it in the golden shade.
Is the identical design approach a smart move? We think TVS has done the right thing. The Apache RTR 200 4V is one of the aggressive looking streetfighter motorcycles and it has a huge fan following. The sleek headlamp with boomerang-styled DRLs, sculpted tank and LED taillights give the 200cc sibling a butch stance. With all these features, Apache RTR 160 4V looks stunning in its category. The all-digital instrument console and double-barrel exhaust are also carried over.
The overall design of the Apache RTR 160 4V is edgy and sporty. What else can you expect from a bike born of the six-time Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (INMRC) winning motorcycle, the Group B RTR 165.
The heart and numbers
TVS offers the Apache RTR 160 4V in both carburetor and electronic fuel injection (EFI) variants. The bike is powered by a 159.7cc, single-cylinder, four-stroke, four-valve, oil-cooled engine. The mill in the carburetor version develops 16.5bhp while EFI version's output is slightly better at 16.8bhp. In both variants, torque remains at 14.8Nm and the engine comes mated to a five-speed gearbox.
TVS claims the Apache RTR 160 4V's EFI variant has a top speed of 114kmph, while the carburetor variant can touch 113kmph. The former has a claimed 0-60kmph time of 4.8 seconds while the carburetor version is slightly quicker at 4.73 seconds.
The Apache RTR 160 4V is carved out of race-spec sibling but that doesn't mean that it's an outright race machine. The riding position is neither too aggressive nor too relaxed. The RTR 160 4V gets flat handlebar in place of its 200cc sibling's clip-ons. This gives an upright riding position. The footpegs are slightly rear-set. The single piece seat is wide and pillion will not crave for more space. Overall, the ergonomics of the Apache RTR 160 4V is spot on for both daily rides and track use.
How does it feel like to ride?
We took the carburetted variant for the spin first. The racing pedigree of RTR family is evident in straights itself. The motor is rev-happy and the bikes touch the three-figure speeds with ease. Once it is past 100kmph, the progression slows down a bit. The five-speed gearbox is clinical in shifts.
It's the same case with the EFI version as well. You will not complain about the performance of EFI version and also feel more refined. The EFI version is a slightly more powerful variant on paper, but we felt it took slightly longer to reach higher speeds.
The Apache RTR 160 4V is a motorcycle that begs for corners. The double-cradle split synchro stiff chassis with the monoshock suspension by Showa of Japan works brilliantly here. The motorcycle gives a lot of confidence to the rider to push hard while taking corners. Despite being not a pro rider, I have managed to take the right-hander in the track carrying 75kmph during my last lap.
The motorcycle feels light and that helps the rider to change the direction quickly. The ride quality and superior handling make the Apache RTR 160 4V a serious contender in its segment. In addition, the 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in TVS Remora tires and it offer adequate grip. Braking comes from disc brakes on both ends (top-spec carb and EFI) while we felt it should have a bit more bite for precision. Unfortunately, ABS is not offered even as an option.
TVS Motor Company has priced the Apache RTR 160 4V competitively at Rs 81,490 for Carb variant, Rs 84,490 for Carb with rear disc variant and Rs 89,990 for the EFI variant.
The bottom line
The Apache range of bikes along with the Bajaj Pulsar range introduced the premium sports biking to India about a decade back. With every facelift and new models, the TVS Apache series has been evolving. The new Apache family now competes against itself to be the best in the business.
The newest Apache RTR 160 4V got the unmistakable street fighter looks, it got the performance and comes with an affordable price range. The riding dynamics are suitable for daily use complemented with a top-notch build quality and fit-finish levels. This makes the Apache RTR 160 4V a complete package and a compelling case in the 150cc to 160cc bike range.