TVS Apache RTR 200 4v BS 6: Road Test Review
- Sharp styling with a good mix of colours
- Superior handling compared to rivals, also one of the most entertaining motorcycles
- Strong engine remains a key highlight with good mid and top-end performance
- Compact proportions make it uncomfortable for tall riders
- Lack of the 6th gear is noticeable for long-distance cruising
- More power would help extract more performance from the chassis
Apache RTR 200 4v has already established itself as one of the most dependable offerings from TVS since its introduction in 2016. It is still the flagship product in the RTR series which comprises of a number of equally reputed bikes. It was updated to the newest BS 6 emission standards a few months back and the company also used this opportunity to introduce a slew of new updates which make its arsenal more complete.
What's new ?
Apart from a BS 6-compliant engine, the RTR 200 4v BS 6 receives a new Bluetooth-enabled instrument console, a new headlamp cluster with LED unit, minor styling tweaks here and there, and a new feature called GTT - Glide Through Technology. So, it’s not just an emission update, but the bike has received a number of additional changes which make the new flagship RTR a heavily updated model over its previous BS 4 version.
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On the outside, the main visual highlight of the new RTR is an all-new LED headlight unit with eyebrow-shaped DRLs. Once linked to the smartphone via a dedicated application, it shows all the fancy informatics such as call and message alerts, turn-by-turn navigation, race telemetry, among other highlights. This sure is something that’s still not found among its competing bikes. Also, not to forget, the rest of the basic information is also displayed in clear and legible format.
Among cosmetic update are new graphics as it gets outlines of red with carbon-fibre finish, while previously, it was found with solid red graphics. Save for these updates, there is no other styling change on the bike. While the overall general plastics and built quality on the Apache are nothing to complain of, the space below the speedometer - with an odd metal gap - looks unfinished.
How about the updated engine?
The bike's 197 cc single cylinder air-cooled engine fires up with a feather-touch ignition switch. The engine is now cleaner and complies with the latest BS 6 emission norms. One thing that's instantly noticeable is that its exhaust haven't lost its meaty note and it still sounds the same. Though with the new update it has lost about 1.3 Nm of torque at 16.8 Nm, but the overall power figure remains the same at 20.5 PS. To compensate for the new emission norms, TVS has also increased the peak rpm for power and torque figures which now arrive higher in the range at 8500 rpm and 7500 rpm.
Despite the change, there is no noticeable difference in its overall engine performance. It still has a punchy low-end and manages to accelerate from 0-60 kmph around 3.9 to 4 seconds. It still feels quick on its feet and there’s barely any noticeable difference when you compare it against the previous model. But one thing that’s still sorely missed is the 6th gear, especially on highways. The rpm band hits 7,000 when you are cruising at around 90-95 kmph, above which the engine starts to stress and minor vibrations start creeping in towards the foot pegs and other body parts.
Unlike some of its competition bikes however, the engine heating is managed well even when trundling in choked city traffic.
How is it to ride?
The KYB front fork and the rear monoshock on the flagship RTR continue to deliver a supple yet comfortable ride on the daily roads. The setup soaks up all the bumps and undulations without any drama, but the real fun begins around corners where it truly comes into its elements. It is all smiles when taking a dive around a corner and there it reflects how it has benefited from TVS' racing experience. Its confidence-inspiring chassis lets you take high-speed turns without breaking a sweat.
Braking, on the other hand, isn’t the strongest. The front 270 mm disc brake felt like it lacks the bite needed for its speeds, while the rear 240 mm disc does a decent job, which can also be credited to the new grippier Eurogrip rubber at the back. It now also receives Dual Channel ABS as standard which is a welcome addition keeping the overall safety in mind.
The last words:
In the new BS 6 avatar, the RTR 200 4v still continues to be one of the most well-rounded motorcycles in the 200 cc category. It commands a price tag of ₹1.28 lakh in Delhi which, after a couple of recent hikes, is now around 14K higher than the last BS 4 model. Well honestly, this is quite a lot especially in this segment, but placing it against its Austrian rivals, the Apache still makes sense if you are looking for a sorted everyday ride that ticks all the right boxes and still doesn’t charge a bomb.