I take the test ride of the TVS Apache RTR 160 and come back impressed..!!
Impressive..!! That’s how I would describe my Test Ride experience on the TVS Apache RTR 160. But before I rave more about the new Apache RTR, let me narrate my previous experience on an Apache 150.
TVS Apache RTR 160 and the TVS Apache 150
Previous Apache 150 Experience:
>> The first impression of the Apache RTR 160 after my test ride was, “It’s gonna beat the CBZ Xtreme and the Pulsar DTSi 150..!!”
>> I could hardly find anything on the Apache RTR 160 that I did not like
I once rode an Apache 150 for about three hours in the congested bowels of Bangalore. The bike belonged to a friend of mine. It was a relatively new bike with just 2,000 odd kms on the odometer.
Apache 150: Positives
Looks: The Apache 150 was always handsome looker.
Build Quality: The build quality of the bike was in fact among the best in the country.
Handling: Riding the Apache through the congested streets of Bangalore was a dream on the Apache 150. The bike was extremely flickable.
Apache 150: Negatives
>> If you are tired of watching too many Pulsars
>> Don't like the styling of the CBZ Xtreme
>> Want goodies like digital speedo
>> Need something more powerful than both the Pulsar 150 or the CBX Xtreme,
think no further and get yourself the TVS Apache RTR 160
Vibrations: The bike had decent power and got ahead of the traffic with ease. But in spite of being a relatively new bike, the engine was extremely unrefined. Vibrations crept in the Apache 150 at a very low rpm of around 2000-2500 and kept on increasing as the engine was revved more. The vibrations made me feel like I was driving an old and ill-maintained 2-stroke bike.
Stupid Riding Position: The riding position on the Apache 150 was quite uncomfortable for me. I had to shift every time to get myself in a comfortable position. The handlebar on the Apache 150 was positioned low, mimicking the handlebar of the Pulsar but the foot pegs were set forward instead of what should have been slightly rear set. So in the end the riding position on the 150 was “Neither Commuter Friendly, nor Sporty”.
My Friend Siva on the Apache 150
Bike looked/felt small: The Apache 150 had the smallest wheelbase among the 150 CC’s. This made the bike an ideal choice for heavy traffic commute but it also made the bike look and feel small. The front of the bike also felt light especially with a pillion.
Apache 150 Verdict: After riding three hours in the streets of Bangalore on the Apache 150, I felt a sharp pain on my butt due to its stupid riding position. Moreover the vibrations from its unrefined engine had left me extremely unsatisfied.
Now let us come back to the latest RTR experience of mine…
If I had to sum up my RTR Test Ride experience it would be, “Impressive”..!! Most of the flaws of the Apache 150 have been ironed out. The RTR felt like an entirely new bike. It is definitely much better and improved than the Apache 150 (which now has been discontinued).
But also be prepared for a probable 5 km/litre less mileage than the Apache 150
RTR Looks: The RTR looks almost similar to the 150. The bike still retains the tank and body panels of the 150. But a few new features have been incorporated in the RTR, which has made an already handsome bike look even more gorgeous now. The RTR features..
Stripes on the RTR tank
- A stripe on its body (a la Ford GT), which runs from the front mudguard to the tank and finally to the tailpiece
- A 270 mm petal shaped front disc
- The engine of the Apache has been also given an all black treatment along with the alloys and exhaust
- A small engine guard finished in body colors is nestled at the bottom of the engine
- The side panels have a matt black plastic finish instead of the earlier body colored ones
- The RTR also sports a Digital Speedo like the Pulsar
- The tail lamp now incorporates bright LEDs
- A split grab rail
- Clip on adjustable handlebars
- Aluminium finish brake levers
- Toe operated Gear Shifter
The wheelbase of the RTR has also been stretched to 1300 mm from its previous 1260 mm. The RTR now looks smashing and definitely is one of the best looking bikes in the country.
Riding Position: The RTR now has rear set foot pegs. Along with the low handle bars it translates into a very sporty riding position. After the Pulsar DTS-I 200, I would rate the riding position of the Apache RTR 160 as the sportiest. Compared to the “Stupid” riding position of the Apache 150, I found the riding position of the RTR very comfortable. I did not get the chance to adjust the handlebars of the RTR (it has two settings), but I just loved the sporty riding position of the RTR.
My friend Siva on the Apache RTR 160
The RTR has a Soul Soothing Bass to its exhaust note reminiscent of the first generation Pulsar
Engine/Performance: Smooth, powerful and definitely an improvement over the Apache 150. I did not get to rev the RTR much but the engine remained smooth with out any significant vibrations till 5000 rpm.
The engine of the RTR is now an oversquare 160 cc compared to the earlier 150 cc square engine. The spec sheets also claim an increase in max power from its earlier 13.5 Bhp to 15 Bhp ( the highest in the 150 cc segment in India). So does that makes the RTR the new king of Indian roads in the 150 cc class (or near about the 150 cc class)..??
The first impression of the Apache RTR 160 after my test ride was, “It’s gonna beat the CBZ Xtreme and the Pulsar DTSi 150..!!” I did not put the RTR on a drag strip, but the RTR did feel faster and a bit more powerful than the CBZ Xtreme or the Pulsar DTSi 150.
Exhaust Note: I have to make a special mention of the exhaust note of the Apache RTR 160 here. The matt black exhaust can of the RTR makes one of the most gorgeous two wheeler music in India. Unlike most of the present crop of bikes which sound slighty better than the "whirr" of the scooty pep, the RTR has a Soul Soothing "Bass" to its exhaust note reminiscent of the first generation Pulsar (but softer than the first gen Pulsar).
Gear Box: Slightly clunky, but ok.
Handling: The Apache RTR no longer feels or handles like a small bike anymore. The extra 40 mm on the wheelbase has done its trick. The bike now feels stable even with a pillion behind. Stability around corners was great.
Ride Quality: The ride quality of the RTR was a little bit hard. It was not exactly uncomfortable but wasn’t exactly plush either. But this actually aided in improving the handling of the bike.
Brakes: The front brakes did the job of bring the RTR to a stop pretty well. No complaints here.
Price: Rs. 66,250 (On Road Bangalore)
Apache RTR 160 Verdict:
- Previous flaws of the apache 150 have been ironed out
- Sporty riding position
- Smooth and Powerful engine
- Bike looks and feels and handles like a bigger bike now
- Stable and predictable handling
- The Ride quality is a bit hard
- Foot peg sub frame finished in black (Too much of black. A silver/aluminum finished sub frame would have given a nice contrast look)
- The RTR might still feel small for taller guys (Wheelbase is still 20 mm shorter than the Pulsar 150)
Negatives: I could hardly find anything on the Apache RTR 160 that I did not like. But then here are a few, which I think could have improved.
Conclusion: I liked the Apache RTR 160 very much. It looks handsome, has excellent build quality, a sporty riding position, smooth engine and good handling. It definitely is more powerful than the Pulsar 150 and the CBZ Xtreme and still is priced similar to the Pulsar.
In fact I see no reason why I should not go ahead and put my money on the RTR.
If you are tired of watching too many Pulsars, don't like the styling of the CBZ Xtreme, want goodies like digital speedo and need something more powerful than both the Pulsar 150 or the CBX Xtreme, think no further and get yourself the Apache RTR 160.
But also be prepared for a "probable" 5 km/litre less mileage than the Apache 150. After all you can't defy Laws of Physics.
- TVS Apache RTR 160 Launched..!! Apache 150 production Stopped..!! See the Promotion Video of the RTR..!!
- TVS introduces its 110 C.C Step Thru "Neo" for Indonesia
- 150 C.C TVS Apache "Owners" Review
- 150 C.C Test Ride Series: TVS Apache
- TVS launches new 100 C.C "Star Sport"
- TVS Motor launches "Star City", India's first 100 C.C with Electric Start
This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.