Conservative as it may seem, I really do prefer motorcycles with conventional handlebars. Clip-ons, even the best of them, are ultimately best left to the race track. My quest for such a motorcycle ended with TVS calling to say that it had yet another long-term test machine ready for us. This time, it was the Apache RTR 160 4V’s turn to join the fleet.
REFINED REVELATION: Refined motor makes for breezy commuting performance.
Ours came in a delectable red (TVS really does get its reds right) and almost straight off the production line, leaving me to complete the run-in. I had come away quite impressed in a previous encounter with the 160 4V, particularly owing to its refinement, agility and comfort. And so, this was something I was looking forward to over my commutes, especially since I clock roughly 80km a day.
SEAT YOURSELF: Single-piece seat is well-finished and comfy for two-up riding.
The RTR 160 4V blended into my weekdays effortlessly. Thanks to the borrowed 200 4V platform, it is now a larger, roomier motorcycle and decently accommodating of a pillion, too – these are aspects I hold quite dearly, of late. On another note, TVS seems to be taking its visual quality (paint, fit and finish) levels up a notch with every new product it launches; and the RTR 160 4V is quite a sight, especially right after a detailed wash.
RAISE THE BAR: Well, literally. A higher handlebar would suit its urban focus better.
So far, I’ve ridden the 160 4V purely in the city, although I do predict a few inter-city runs coming its way, soon enough. Confined to Mumbai’s torturous traffic conditions, the 160 4V has given me no reason to be disappointed. It is, in fact, a rather comfortable way of moving around town, with neither the dynamic limitations of a scooter nor the commitment-heavy nature of a faired/larger motorcycle. It may not be the fastest motorcycle in the Autocar India garage, but it is certainly most capable of jumping over speed-breakers, for one.
MIRROR FINISH: Rubber shroud for mirrors slides out of position easily and often.
To me, the highlight of living with the RTR 160 4V is its balance between being pliant, reasonably quick, efficient and comfortable. That’s a lot of roles to play and it performs each of these with appreciable finesse. The only thing I’d change is the handlebar – I’d like a taller one, for the sake of more leverage and a more stress-free riding position. If my virtual shopping cart is to be believed, a replacement bar (from a rival motorcycle – heh!) should be at my doorstep by the time you read this.