First Rides

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V BS6: First Ride Review     

The Apache RTR 200 4V in BS6 disguise now gets Bluetooth-enabled console as standard along with minor aesthetical changes

Manaal Mahatme

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V BS6: First Ride Review      

The TVS Apache RTR 200 4V had won our 200-250cc naked comparo last year (Fast Bikes India issue#25) which included stalwarts such as the KTM 250 Duke and 200 Duke. It also won the 2017 IMOTY which already says a lot about its ability but now TVS has lent it a new set of features, including a Bluetooth-enabled cluster (debuted a couple of months ago on the BS4 edition) as standard, a new headlamp cluster, new decals, redesigned chain and much-needed, larger rearview mirrors. All this in addition to the BS6 trickery. We had a chance to test it at TVS’ Hosur test track and as expected, we were quite impressed.

What exactly is new?

For your eyes, to begin with, the most noticeable change is the headlamp. The cluster reminisces of the Pulsar 135 to a certain extent along with the 250 Duke’s bezel. At the first ride, none of the fellow journos was impressed but looks are subjective so I’ll leave that for you to opine about. Thankfully the carbonfibre decals lend it a fresh look and so do the mirrors. The brass-coated chain adds to the overall sporty character of the bike as well. Then there’s the updated console which offers a plethora of information and even connects with your phone to give a comprehensive analysis of the ride.

The console now offers navigation assist, lean angle mode, lap timer, crash alert, top speed and even phone-related information like signal strength, mobile battery charge, number of messages and incoming call alert. That’s not all. The console also displays the nearest fuel station once the fuel tank hits reserve with an option to navigate to the location. As if this wasn’t enough, the app also gives you an in-depth analysis of the ride, displaying the GPS data of the route, the max speed achieved, the best 0-60kmph timing, the G force experience, the maximum lean angle achieved. You can also check the lean angle, RPM and speed at a specific point of the recorded trip. Then there’s also a graph that depicts the average shift pattern based on the speed as well as RPM. That’s quite a bit from a sub 1.5 lakh bike, right? Well, there’s a catch though. There’s no IMU sensor to record the lean angle and the figure is dependant on the motion detected your smartphone’s gyroscope. The feature is gimmicky for sure and displays crazy angles which would put even Marc Marquez to shame but that’d float the boat for the youngsters for sure.

Underneath the skin, updated BS6 engine that employs Bosch’s new generation electronic fuel injection unit which is optimized for better fuel delivery. It continues to use the same 197.75cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, 4-valve engine producing 20.2bhp at 8,500rpm and 16.8Nm at 7,500rpm. While the power remains the same, the torque has gone down by 1.3Nm when compared to the BSIV model.

How is it to ride?

Swing a leg over and you won’t feel any difference from the predecessor…that is until you thumb the starter. The new feather-touch starter works seamlessly and switches the bike on with the slightest input. The next thing that floored me was the refinement level of the bike. In the BS6 avatar, the bike feels ultra-smooth and rest assured, it retains that gruff exhaust note, though it’s minutely mellow now.

The 5-speed gearbox on the Apache is slick and very reliable. The third cog is extremely tall and the engine’s tractability allows you to hit speeds as low as 17kmph in the third cog and then go on to hit the limiter at 97kmph, without breaking a sweat. Then there’s the Glide Through Traffic wizardry, which is going to a boon for the everyday hustle through the traffic. All you need to do is let go of the clutch gradually and leave the throttle. The bike continues to roll smoothly with no inputs at 9kmph in 1st gear, 13kmph in the second cog and 17kmph in the third cog. That’s enough to keep you filtering through the traffic.

We tested the bike only on the track and the suspension was just about right to push the bike through the corner without worrying if it would wallow. Some of the credit also goes to the Eurogrip radial tyre which is now offered as standard on the RTR 200 4V. The Pirelli Angel City rubber will not be offered as an option anymore.

The brakes on the RTR 200 4V provided enough stopping power but I would have preferred a bit more progression at the front. During our session on the track, the fade was noticeable too by the end of the session. Thankfully, the dual-channel ABS is not intrusive at all.

So worth the extra cash then?

At Rs 1.24 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Apache RTR 200 4V has become quite a pricey proposition. But then again, that’s the price we pay to keep the environment clean. And we expect the prices of its competition to be in the same range when the BS6 norms kick in on April 1. It’s the only bike after the Hero Xtreme 200 S to offer Bluetooth connectivity yet but with the addition of new features. The addition of Glide Through Traffic only sweetens the deal, making the bike super-friendly for the everyday hustle. What more can you ask for? A clear winner for sure.

Fast Bikes India