tvs apache rr 310
TVS Motor Company is the third largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India, and the Apache has been the company’s flagship brand since its launch in 2006. The nameplate, which started with the unveiling of a 150cc motorcycle, has spawned into a variety of streetfighters, which somewhat have managed to create new benchmarks when it comes to delivering raw power in a relatively affordable package.
Now, a brand new fully-faired 310 cc sports bike has arrived for the big party and will replace the flagship Apache RTR200 4V. It’s called the Apache RR 310 and has been co-developed with BMW Motorrad.
Based on the G310 platform, the Apache RR 310 carries over the powertrain, suspension unit, chassis, brakes, radials and the exhaust from the entry-level naked German. Wearing a full fairing silhouette, first ever at TVS, it might as well make it off as the next BMW G310 RR.
Expect BMW to get it to our shores since TVS has no plans to cater other than the huge Indian market for now.
The sculpted design is modern in both idea and execution right from the word ‘GO.’ The Shark inspired design is highlighted with the twin-pod projector eyes with DRL’s, a “dynamically modeled” fuel tank, classic sportsbike proportions with full fairings and a chiseled tail with bullhorn LED tail lights.
Polished embossing and use of high-end materials are evident throughout the bike and frankly speaking, this bike exudes a visual level of quality that is unexpected in such a low-cost production. The powerful surfaces of the fuel tank give it a clearly defined, muscular look from any angle.
The gold-anodized fork and brake calipers emphasize the workmanship of the machine. Except for the plastic switchgear looking cut-price, the rest of the RR 310 components look very BMW. An exceptionally lustrous paint job, high-quality alloy castings and forged triple clamps similar to bigger Beemers make this machine a visual treat.
TVS claims that it has a patent pending fairing design element that will direct hot air away from the rider, not that it would heat up as much as other mid-weight/liter-class sportsbike will, but is still good to have.
The Apache also gets its own, vertically-arranged stylish LCD instrument panel unlike the regular looking ones on the BMW. The RR 310 could as well be the best looker amongst its contenders who go by the names like Yamaha YZF-R3 or Benelli 302R.
It’s got an all-new 313cc backward-tilted, four-stroke, single cylinder, water and oil-cooled engine paired with a 6-speed gearbox. The same one running on the BMW G 310 R. (Both developed by TVS).
This engine will deliver 34 hp at 9,700 rpm (9,500 rpm on the BMW), with a 10,500 rpm limiter, and a stated maximum torque of 20 lb-ft at 7,700 rpm (7,500 on the BMW). A moderate compression ratio of 10.6:1 is aimed at running this in different markets across the globe.
What is special about this is that this new thumper reverses the cylinder head to put the intake at the front and the exhaust at the back benefitting weight distribution. Also, you get a rotating counterbalance shaft in front of the crankshaft. So expect a way calmer, non-vibrating underbelly.
Clutch action is light but misses out on a slipper clutch, probably the reason why the idling is at 1500rpm ruling out rear wheel chatter on the overrun. Euro 4-compliant catalyst whispers rather than booms. But that is of course only below 5000 rpm. The exhaust unit has a polished aluminum end caps just like the ones on the baby BMW.
As seen on the BMW, we know that this engine has a spontaneous throttle response, lively pulling power and full-blooded engine characteristics with a slightly tuned mapping for the Apache giving max performance figures at slightly higher RPMs’.
RIDE AND HANDLING
The wind tunnel tested bike gets a space frame chassis as the BMW G 310 gets, but has a different subframe. The power unit, as we know, is inclined towards the rear, and the cylinder head rotated to 180 degrees, thus giving way to a shorter wheelbase and longer swingarm. Yumm!
What that means is, that the bike will have excellent stability and agile controls making it a very friendly bike to twist, turn and dance around the town. It will offer you with a supple ride compared to its contenders as the longer swingarm allows the chassis to dampen the forward and backward pitching, and will also take care of softening the weight transfers. Hence the ride will remain precise, light-footed and stable whenever you feel like running around city beats or take that long weekend ride.
The suspension is well calibrated and uses the same ones as on the BMW. KYB 41 mm inverted forks and a mono shock. 5-spoke alloy wheels wearing 110/70R17 and 150/60R17 tire keeps un-sprung weight down at the axles. At 375 lbs, it is 24 lbs heavier than the naked G310R.
Stopping this is by ByBre (Brembo’s Indian subsidiary) 300mm single disc front brake with radially bolted 4-piston fixed caliper, and 240mm rear disc brake with a 2-piston floating caliper. In-house dual channel ABS is a standard feature. Again, same as the BMW.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
This is the real feature of the Apache RR 310 as it gets a sweet pricing of ₹ 2.05 lakh ($3,100). When compared to the R3’s ₹3.25 lakh ($5,000) or even the 302R’s ₹3.48 lakh ($5,400), the Apache is a steal.
Will it come to our shores? Highly unlikely. But BMW, on the other hand, will bring a new model under its 310 platform and this might just make the cut under the German branding as the G 310 RR.
At the launch event, TVS President and CEO KN Radhakrishnan said that the 310 RR is “positioned to fulfill the ever-growing aspirations of the new age customers globally.”
Back in 2013, BMW teamed up with TVS Motors in a Euro 20 million partnership to support them with the manufacturing and distribution of smaller capacity motorcycles, starting with the G 310R. TVS also benefitted from this venture by bringing in investments and expertise to further broaden their R&D capability to improve on existing projects and bring in innovations across their product lineup.
The Apache RR 310 is the first fruit of the venture, and it sure promises big to the Indian market. It was showcased as the Akula concept a year ago, and TVS has made justice with the transformation of the production-ready bike.
Pragmatic in the best sense of the word, it offers precisely what is needed - dynamic performance and comfort levels, both in town and out in the country. This could be your perfect companion for both your daily commute and to break away from that same routine. And thanks to its low level of fuel consumption and a relaxed, comfortable seating position, it offers the welcome capability of being able to cover a long distance at a time.
Build quality is top notch, and you get far more equipment than what you can bargain for the price. The Apache RR 310 can easily be the winner TVS was looking for after all.