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Rating 8 8

TVS Apache RTR 180

29th Sep 2009 7:00 am

With the RTR 180, TVS brilliantly hits the basic sportsbike buttons spot-on -with scalding acceleration and a respectable top speed supported by light, neutral handling and fierce brakes

  • Make : TVS
  • Model : Apache RTR

A fresh set of racy decals and a rich gold finish for the brake callipers and the front and rear suspension, give the RTR 180 its new look. Smart stripes mark the circumference of the slim spoke alloy rims, petal-type brake disc rotors and exposed chain embellishing the bike’s dandy looks.

The RTR 180’s powerful headlight is flanked by twin city lights and is powerful enough to make night riding safe. Clip-on handlebars sit atop a matte-black steering head, emblazoned by the RTR 180 logo. The smart looking blue back-lit LCD instruments and the practicality of the illuminated key slot are appreciable. The tachometer reads up to 12,000rpm, with the redline starting at 9000rpm and read via an illuminated needle. The RTR 180 comes loaded with a digital speedometer, odometer, clock and fuel counter.

The RTR 180’s broad mirrors are well placed to offer a wide view. Smartly buffed alloy clutch and brake levers will fit all hands nicely. Switchgear is comprehensive, with an engine kill switch also at hand.

The familiar RTR fuel tank provides outstanding grip to a rider’s thighs. This motorcycle’s side panels, seat and tail regions are neatly sculpted, and sport a generous dose of alloy as noticeable around the footrests. There’s a split grab-handle at the rear, as well as a sharp brake warning lamp.

Fit, finish and paint lustre are first rate on the new TVS motorcycle; but, build quality is not on par with today’s new crop of Japanese motorcycles.

The four-stroke Apache RTR 180 engine has a cubic capacity of 177.4cc, with its single cylinder sporting sportsbike-typical short-stroke measurements. It’s an attractive air-cooled power plant with sharply chiselled crankcases. Despite having only two valves, a carburettor and only a single spark plug the latest TVS flagship makes a meaty 17.3bhp of maximum power, which works its way through the crank at 8500rpm. Its peak torque number of 1.58kgm comes into play at 6500rpm.

The top speed and 0-60kph acceleration recorder are bound to be an absolute hit with the youngsters. Our test bike had both, but calibrated to read out optimistic figures — 0-60kph was a second faster, reading 3.6 seconds for a true time of 4.49sec. The RTR 180’s five-speed gearbox with near-identical ratios to the RTR 160 shifts with smooth precision in a one-down-four-up pattern.

This sporty motorcycle revs like a banshee all the way up to an impressive 12,000rpm, its quick-revving nature making the RTR 180 an ever-ready tool for hard riding. The power band is wide, firms up at 6000rpm and remains beefy all the way to 9000rpm, after which it quickly tapers. An Apache RTR 180 in the right hands will crack the 60kph barrier in 4.49sec and zip past 100kph in 13.84sec en route to an impressive top speed of 125kph in top gear.

The Apache RTR 180 runs 17-inch rims at both ends with a telescopic fork front suspension and gas-charged dual shock absorbers assisted by a rectangle section swingarm at the rear. The difference is the wheels are now distanced by a wider wheelbase to add stability, extend the bike’s handling envelope as well as to provide more reassuring high-speed stability.

The new Apache is held together by a dual downtube frame, fine-tuned by TVS R&D to allow the machine to respond with light, taut cornering manners and crisp, neutral handling through almost every condition. The RTR 180 is able to hold its line when flicked into corners, retaining this good composure even when tilted at aggressive angles into high-speed bumpy corners. Ride quality and the seat are comfortable and well suited to most riding conditions.

The rear disc brake never finds the rear wheel dangerously grabbing the tarmac, with TVS having dialled just the correct amount of progression into its operation. Our shortest stop on the 180 saw the bike halt from 60kph in 17.65 metres.

ENGINE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Fuel Petrol - - - -
Installation Inclined from vertical - - - -
Bore/stroke 62.5/ 57.8mm - - - -
Compression ratio 9.5:1 - - - -
Valve gear 2 per cylinder, sohc - - - -
Power 17.3bhp at 8500rpm - - - -
Torque 1.58kgm at 6500rpm - - - -
Power to weight 126.3bhp per tonne - - - -
TRANSMISSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Type 5-speed - - - -
Gearbox 1-down-4-up - - - -
SUSPENSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front Telescopic forks - - - -
Rear Gas shocks, rectangular swingarm - - - -
TVS Apache RTR 180
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