There are some motorcycles that leave a lasting impression the first time you ride them. One such bike is the TVS Apache RTR 200. My first outing with the bike was at TVS’ testing facility in Hosur and, by the end of the ride, I was impressed by its all-round ability. No wonder then that it collected lots of awards and still remains one of the best buys in its class. TVS isn’t resting on their past laurels and has brought in the new Apache RTR 200 4V Race Edition 2.0. So, how’s it to ride?
TVS has updated the Apache RTR 200 4V cosmetically to distinguish it from its predecessor. The new motorcycle gets a small, smoked flyscreen above the headlight, covering the exposed instrument console as seen on the old bike. The flyscreen looks good and flows well with the overall lines of the motorcycle. The original RTR 200 was devoid of any graphics barring the ‘RTR’ on the fuel tank. The Race Edition 2.0 features subtle graphics on the tank, tail section and the belly pan. It continues to employ an all-digital instrument console as seen on the previous version. The cosmetic updates aren’t drastic, yet they are adequate enough to differentiate the old and the new bike.
On the road
Powering the bike is the same 198cc, oil-cooled motor as seen on the older bike. The ABS variant seen here is only available in carburettor form (to keep cost low) and power figure stands at 20.5hp and 18.1Nm of torque. The new Apache RTR 200 feels eager on the road with likable low- and mid-range performance. The short gear ratios endow the motorcycle with peppy acceleration, making your urban commute exciting. However, out on the highway, the bike feels a bit strained and the sixth gear is sorely missed. The five-speed gearbox offers precise shifts, while clutch action is a little lighter than before.
The new Apache RTR 200 4V Race Edition 2.0 receives a slipper clutch, which means you can downshift aggressively without the rear wheel hopping or sliding violently. To be honest, the need of a slipper clutch on a 200cc street bike is really high, and, thankfully, engine braking has only been affected mildly. What the slipper clutch does enable is a smoother riding experience because the need to match revs while downshifting is significantly reduced.
At the time of the launch, TVS had claimed that the ABS variant will be released by the end of 2016. However, that wasn’t to be, and ABS made its debut on the Race Edition 2.0 earlier this year. We were shooting on wet roads, and the safety net offered by the dual-channel ABS unit (only bike in the class to offer a dual-channel system) was more than welcome. The disc brake does a decent job of shedding speeds but, as before, a bit more bite would have been welcome. Given the rain-battered roads in Mumbai, the supple ride quality from the telescopic fork and the adjustable monoshock unit at the rear proved to be a boon. Since the frame remains unchanged, the bike feels quick on its feet and it’s a joy around corners. Our test bike was running on TVS Remora tyres which feel confident on dry surfaces; however, they were a bit jittery on wet roads.
The new Apache RTR 200 continues to be an impressive motorcycle. The addition of ABS and slipper clutch only makes the Apache RTR 200 4V Race Edition 2.0 an even more appealing purchase. Prices for the new RTR 200 start at Rs 96,230 for the base carburettor version and goes up to Rs 1.10 lakh for the ABS variant that we tested (all prices, ex-showroom, Delhi). The Rs 13,800 premium for the ABS variant might look steep, but given its advantages, we recommend buyers to opt for it. So if you’re a city slicker and in the hunt for an exciting, comfortable and visually appealing motorcycle, the Apache RTR 200 4V Race Edition 2.0 should definitely be considered.