TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Review: Conquistador Conqueror!

197.7CC 20.2BHP 18NM

So the much awaited TVS Apache RTR 200 4V is finally out in the open. It’s been launched at Rs 88990/- Ex-Showroom Delhi.  Was the wait and anticipation worth it? Is the bike right up there amongst the exclusives? Does it disappoint or delight the modern Indian motorcyclist? Time to get up and close with the new Apache. We were given the opportunity to spend a couple of hours with the bike at TVS’ Hosur test track and even though so short a time is not all that much to thoroughly get to know the bike. But the fact that the track allowed a pretty free hand at riding (or thrashing – whatever you prefer) the bike and the ready availability of TVS’ entire technical team ready with answers to curious queries meant we could get a fair idea of the bike on the whole.

That the Apache RTR 200 looks smashing was the general consensus between a gaggle of auto-journos who, by default, don’t agree with each other often. Of the four colours displayed with élan right outside the R&D Study Center, the gold yellow won hands down as the universal favourite. It was followed closely by the white and the red. The black was left in the wake not because it is not a good looker but in a mercilessly comparative world, it lost vital marks to the chutzpah, glitz and glamour of the other colours. The bike is visually right there in proportion and stance. And even though bikes with engines making 20+ bhp (cause it eventually is all about power – ain’t it?) are considered ordinary these days, this one steps right beyond the reach of ordinariness just on its looks alone. The matt paint finish is great (though we wonder how will they cover the decals with a coat or hardener while avoiding the gloss that accompanies it), the instrument console more than comprehensive, the switchgear right up there in touch, feel and quality, the seat and the bike comes with all practical bits (main stand, grab rail, acceptable pillion seat, half chain cover et al) in place. The aggressive street fighter stance and the sharp yet flowing contours of the bike make it look fetching.

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The TVS design team led by their quietly capable New Product Development Head Mr. Vinay Harne worked to a theme unabashedly biased towards user-friendliness of a performance bike rather than chasing outright performance alone. Makes sense as a wider market base would find a bike like this acceptable – the target customer would include both those aspiring for performance as well as those who are more inclined to usability than dramatic power. The engine specs as well as the entire setup of the bike reflects this design philosophy and so has resulted in a pretty well-rounded package in the new RTR 200. The 200cc 4-valve SOHC oil-cooled engine puts out some 20.5 bhp @ 8500 and wrings out a peak torque of 18.4Nm @ 7000 rpm. Nothing dramatic here but not incapable of exciting performance either. A lot of work on the engine has been done in the areas of reducing NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness), improving thermal efficiency through better thermal stability in the engine (the oil cooler for example), improving mechanical efficiency through reducing friction and part inertia, tuning the engine for a wider fatter torque curve through (unusual for 4-strokes) a tuned exhaust, meeting emission standards of the future via a 2-stage catalytic converter (there’s a TVS patent pending on this cat con design), attention to the exhaust note via a thorough acoustic study and then some more.

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The silent timing chain

Wet multi plate clutch,  the primary drive pinion and the oil filter

Wet multi plate clutch, the primary drive pinion and the oil filter

Engine cut away

Engine cut away

Final drive sprocket

Final drive sprocket

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The FI system

The Apache RTR 200 comes 4V in two different fuel feed versions – the CV carburettor equipped and the Fuel Injected, the latter of course provides better perceived performance mainly due to the excellent control fuel injection allows over combustion. The FI is a closed-loop system with a Lambda sensor that makes the system independent of weather, fuel quality (to a limited extent) and altitude variations. The CV carb version of course will cost less but is no slouch with a quick right wrist. The Apache even comes with a tuned exhaust pipe and a dual catalytic converter that allows it to meet emission standards that shall come into force some 2 years from now. The engine internals come with a Nano particle coating that reduces harsh wear and tear especially during the running in period of the engine.

Over to the ride experience. That the bike is ergonomically spot on for a variety of riders was obvious by the way other reviewers straddled it with ease and rode away in the first instance as if they’d been riding the bike for quite some time. The handlebar (sorry – clipons actually) seat – footpeg relationship makes this one a natural for most of us. And TVS has again got the seat right, both in terms of placement and comfort. Even the pillion seat is a seat and not a perch as is sadly becoming the norm these days. The very comprehensive fully digital instrument console comes to life as you switch on the ignition, goes through a complete self test and cheekily displays ‘Race On’ for you! The self start button fires the engine and it thrums to life with a growl. This one sounds good – better than almost every other 200cc offering, of course with the exception of the Benellis who seem to have mastered bike engine acoustics!

The wet multi-plate clutch is light and gear shifts slick. The bike pulls well right from low rpms and accelerates well through the gears. The three lower gears seem a trifle short in ratios while the top two (4th and 5th) felt tall enough for being usable over a wide rpm range. The strong torque right from close to idling rpm seems to be the bike’s forte and it shows an eagerness to get moving and gather speed. Acceleration is good for its power and the difference lies in the exceptional smoothness of the engine right till its 10000 rpm redline. Pull through the gears and the bike accelerates well till about 90 kph whereon the briskness fades away and inertia begins to gradually take over. The carburetted version tops out at an indicated 117-118 kph as was the general consensus at the track while the FI one could go up to some 123 kph or so. Nothing dramatic here too but within the 50 – 90 kph band where most of these bikes will live, this one will thrive.

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A stiff chassis with the engine as a stressed member, conventional geometry and excellent rubber (our track bikes came shod with excellent Pirellis which will be offered as an option with the bike) made for a sweet handling bike that did not hold any remotely nasty surprise up its sleeve. It handled in a very consistent and predictable manner irrespective of the speed the rider was doing. Flickability was great and it came without an iota of compromise on the stability front. Brakes too were great, the front disc giving good feedback and progressiveness in response. Of course the excellent tyres were also partly responsible for this.

The switchgear felt good and functioned with definite clicks, the overall fit and finish was right up there with the best, the lights are bright and the headlamp beam intensity and spread has been worked on quite a bit and is claimed to be the best in class – of course it being a bright sunny day we couldn’t verify the claim but we will in a more comprehensive road test sometime later. All said and done the new Apache RTR 200 4V is a pretty balanced offering into a market that of late appears more inclined to excitement than utility. We do hope this becomes a trend setter in that context and gets utility back into the ambit of performance motorcycling once more. Disappointment or delight – take your pick. To those who were looking for some 10 more bhps from this 200cc engine – disappointment. To those who see a motorcycle as a tool – there’s loads of delight.

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TVS Apache RTR200 4V Review Technical Specifications

Apache spec
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TVS Apache RTR200 4V Review and Spec Comparison with the competition!

Apache 200 Vs Apache rtr180
Apache 200 Vs Benelli TNT 25
Apache 200 Vs KTM Duke 200
Apache 200 Vs Pulsar AS200
Apache 200 Vs Pulsar RS200
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Benelli TNT25 Review – The Italian Quarter

249CC 28.16BHP 21.6NM

Ever since the DSK Motowheels group brought the iconic brand Benelli to Indian shores a little over a year ago, the brand has seen considerable growth thanks to its competitive pricing and the value for money tag apart from other goodies that the DSK-Benelli bikes offer. Apart from these, it has also caught the fancy of the motorcycle aficionados in the country is the poser value (read radical design) and/or the aural pleasure that they get when they go for a Benelli. And there is one Benelli available for every pocket, starting from the TNT 300 to a litre class TNT-R, and in between you have the inline four 600s and an alien looking 899. Buoyed by the response they got, the folks at DSK-Benelli recently brought the TNT25, a single cylinder 250cc machine, to make further inroads in the Indian market. The pocket friendly Benelli TNT25 was launched evidently to reach out to a bigger pie of Indian audience and to give some volume to their sales. We were there at the launch of the baby Benelli in Pune and were really impressed with the overall package that was offered. What remained was a road test to actually see how the bike performs and we got to do that last weekend when we got the bike for a couple of days to ride in and around Delhi. Here’s what we could make out of our date with the Benelli TNT25.

Benelli TNT25

Styling

Overall, the Benelli TNT25 offers mean and muscular streetfighter looks that are minimalist in nature. The bike get a large portion of its muscular character from a tastefully designed tank with 17 Liter fuel capacity that has a black tank pad/ plastic tank lining running all the way from the beginning of the tank to the edge of the rider seat. The engine is held together by a trellis frame that also adds to the visual appeal of the bike. The headlight has a tiny wind screen on top and looks similar to its elder sibling, the Benelli TNT300.  Apart from the red, white, and green stripes on the underbelly hood and on the tail portion that add an Italian flavour to its styling,  the TNT25 sports minimal graphics on the tank and elsewhere on its body. The  digital + analogue console doesn’t offer anything fancy except for a gear indicator; however, it has all the necessary information that you’d need during your rides, like the speedometer, tachometer, 2 trip meters, digital fuel gauge, and a digital clock as well. The grips are comfy and plastic on the switchgear is of good quality as well. The rear view mirrors do their job without hiding too much from the rider’s field of vision. Other goodies on the bike include LED tail light and the turn indicators. The material on the seat has been given a carbon fiber type finish. The paint quality and the overall fit and finish is very upmarket.

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Benelli TNT25 switch
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Benelli TNT25 tank
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Benelli TNT25 pillion seat
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Click to see the enlarged images

Engine

The Benelli TNT25 has a 4-stroke, single-cylinder, 249cc, liquid-cooled engine that makes a healthy 28.16 bhp at 9800 rpm and a torque of 21.61 Nm at 8000 rpm. This engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox that was smooth and functioned flawlessly. The engine itself was rev-happy and quite responsive to throttle inputs. The bike moves effortlessly from standstill. There is truckloads of bottom and mid-range torque available, making the TNT25 super fun to ride in the city and for those highway sprints. The power delivery is smooth and linear. The engine holds itself effortless in the high revs too. Needless to say, with the TNT300, the DSK-Benelli folks have set a benchmark when it comes to the exhaust note, and the TNT25 does well to match up to that. There is a lot of grunt and volume to that exhaust note. It makes you feel like you are going much faster than you actually are. Such an aural pleasure it is.

Benelli TNT25 engine
Benelli TNT25 exhaust

Ride comfort and handling

The split seat on the Benelli TNT25 offers a generous saddle space for the riders, even for those with big bottoms. Though we could not say the same for the pillion seat. It is comfortable but not big enough. Otherwise, with the flatter handlebar and the rearset footpegs, the overall riding stance and ergonomics give it a big bike feel. Even the riders with large body build would find it comfortable with an upright sitting posture with perfectly placed footpegs that are neither too commuterish nor too awkward like the Duke 200. It handles well too. The meaty upside down forks at the front and a monoshock suspension at the rear are well sorted and keep the bike planted in all sorts of riding condition. The ride felt balanced and neutral to take on those quick turns and never-ending long curves quite effortlessly. Though it didn’t feel as sharp or as intuitive as a Duke 200 does.

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Benelli TNT25 left side view
Benelli TNT25 right side view

Braking

To tame the 28 horses of the TNT25, Benelli has fitted a 280 mm single petal disc upfront with 4-piston caliper and a 240 mm petal disc with twin-piston caliper at the rear, which felt enough on paper, but not in real world. The brakes on our test mule felt spongy and did lack the bite, and the same was the feedback from a couple of other riders from other cities who rode the bike. Clearly, this is one area where there is a scope of improvement. The good news is that Benelli is working on an in-house ABS system and will be fitting it on the TNT25 and the ABS version should be available in the market in around 8-9 months from now.

Benelli TNT25 front petal disk

Customization options

To make it stand apart from the crowd, DSK-Benelli has thrown in a set of sticky Metzeler rubber and a bunch of customization options for the buyers, which is available at a price of course. The standard variant of the TNT25 comes fitted with MRF tyres; however, those willing to pay an extra 8 grand, can get the premium version that has Metzeler rubber. Quite a deal we must say. Do go for it if you can because you can have much more fun on tyres that offer extra grip and that extra grip can be a lifesaver as well.

And like we said, DSK-Benelli is offering a bunch of other customization options in the form of decals and accessories like foldable brake and clutch levers, custom brake oil reservoir cap, and other CNC machined parts which would let the buyers customize their bikes according to their taste.

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Benelli TNT25 Review and Comparison with KTM Duke 200

Benelli TNT25 KTM duke 200

Let’s talk about the design and aesthetics first. Fundamentally, both the Duke 200 and the Benelli TNT25 follow a similar design philosophy of a minimalistic naked streetfighter. The Duke 200 adopts a bare-bone and sharp/edgy styling, while the TNT25 goes for more muscular looks. The Duke 200 evokes a sense of hooliganism, while the TNT25 settles for more sophisticated and a little subdued looks but overall a big bike feel. And since this is a very subjective matter, it will ultimately boil down to the individual choice of the buyer.

Performance

The Duke 200 is a versatile performer that has already proven itself over the years in a variety of roles, be it a rally bike, a street bike, or a tourer. Much credit goes to its ultra-responsive and torquey engine, a sorted chassis, and its ultra-light weight. While riding, it lets you do things which you probably didn’t even think that you could do.

The TNT25 has a herculean task ahead of itself if it wants to reach or breach the parameters set by the Duke in terms of performance. But the fact that it has all the ingredients to perform as well as the Duke gives us a lot of confidence. The rigid chassis, a responsive engine, linear power delivery, and power/ torque figures of the TNT25 all indicate a bright future for it. Of course it is approximately 30kg heavier than a Duke 200 and the handling and riding stance also seem to be tweaked towards comfort and ease of riding than pure performance.

Talking about ride quality and comfort, the TNT25 has plentiful of it. The feet rest perfectly on the rearset footpegs. The fuel tank provides enough space even for tall riders to grab it with their knees and move around. The seat space is generous as well. On the other hand, the word comfort and Duke 200 don’t even go together. And no, we don’t mean to say that the Duke is uncomfortable. It just has a very peculiar riding stance that literally keeps you on your toes, wanting you to push the performance envelope. Not to mention its tiny seat, particularly for the pillion. So the TNT clearly scores better than a Duke 200 when it comes to ride comfort.

Price/Value for money

The KTM Duke 200 is retailing at around 1.6 lakh on road in Delhi and the standard variant of the Benelli TNT25 can be bought for INR 1.96 lakh on-road Delhi. Considering the goodies Duke 200 offers in terms of performance and style, this price point seems hard to beat for anyone. Bajaj manufactures the KTM bikes locally, so it has much better control on the price. The TNT25 on the other hand comes as a CKD and is assembled at DSK plant in Maharashtra with very little to almost no localization. So the final retailing price of the TNT25 contains a big chunk of the tax component that DSK-Benelli pays to the government. But is the 2 lakh plus price tag justified for the TNT25? Well, almost! We’d say! For those extra cash, you are getting a marquee Italian brand and extra riding comfort without losing too much on the performance front.

So to conclude, we’d say that although KTM Duke 200 and the Benelli TNT25 have a lot of similarities that would confuse a prospective buyer, you just need to set your priorities right before deciding as to which one of these is for you. If you have budget constraints and are looking for an out and out performance machine, then you should look no further than a Duke 200. But if riding comfort tops your priority list and you want something sober and have 40k extra lying in your pocket, then the Benelli TNT25 is for you.

Benelli TNT25 split seat
Benelli TNT25 split seat
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Benelli TNT25 vs KTM duke 200

Technical Specification comparison of the Benelli TNT25 and its closest rivals

Benelli-tnt-25-Vs-Mahindra-Mojo

Benelli TNT25 Vs Mahindra Mojo

Benelli tnt 25 Vs Duke 200

Benelli TNT25 Vs KTM Duke 200

Benelli-tnt-25-Vs-Duke-390

Benelli TNT25 Vs KTM Duke 390

Benelli-tnt-25-Vs-kawasaki-z250

Benelli TNT25 Vs Kawasaki Z250

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Driver Vs Rider: Benelli TNT 899 vs BMW Z4

898 / 2,979CC 119.4 / 306BHP 85.6 / 400NM

In yet another iteration of our popular Driver vs Rider series, we take two razor-sharp machines – the Benelli TNT 899 and BMW Z4 for a spin and see how they stack up against each other!

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THE RIDER (Sundeep Gajjar/ MotoGrapher) – BENELLI TNT 899

The first Driver VS Rider was with a Mercedes CLS 63 AMG and a Ducati Diavel in 2011 for a good 8000 km in the US of A. Subsequently we have had cars like the SLS 63 AMG, Audi TT and the Mini Cooper to go along with equally great machines on two wheels.

This time we had the BMW Z4 and the Benelli TNT 899 pitted against each other. Both the machines are in a league of their own. While the Z4 has seen transformations into the current avatar today, the 899 is pretty much unchanged ever since it was launched in the early 2000s, especially the looks, but it still manages to stand out of the crowd today.

We have written much about the Benelli TNT 899 earlier as well, and it was the star bike for the India trip during the #thankYouRide. However, here is a recap from the review.

The 899 being Italian had to look radical. The first look will leave you intrigued. There is a lot going on to keep your eyes busy. From the unique side mounted radiators to the suave petal discs and the unique front static headlight arrangement that is complemented by the underseat exhaust flanked by interesting two piece taillights and a red swingarm and frame which stands out. The front 3/4th view looks the best and very meaty for the 899. The instrument console is pretty basic but again pretty functional too. The build quality and workmanship is excellent.

The 899 is an inline three setup. The sound of the engine is literally music to your ears, it is not as refined as an inline four, but it is not as raw as a V-twin either. It is loud enough to warrant some sort of modification while being homologated for sale in India. The throttle response is great and even though the bike sounds like a diesel engine while idling, add even a few more revs above idling and it metamorphoses into a 3 cylinder bike engine.

The bike feels solid once you sit on it. I was a little disconcerted when I realized that the front headlight is static, taking away a bit from the naked theme, but after a while I didn’t notice it. The gear shifts are precise and the first gives you a reassuring thud. Release the clutch and the 118 Bhp/ 88 Nm of torque do their bit to coax you into twisting that throttle until the bike gets into a frenzy, which it does at around 8000 rpm. Soon enough you want to be a hooligan. The upright stance coupled with slightly aggressive rear-set pegs encourages you to flick the bike in corners. In no time I was thrashing it like a superbike, the sound goading me on.

I took it off-road and over potholes too. The suspension, I felt, was a little too stiff but then I was riding it on not the best of roads a little too hard at that! Make no mistake, even though it is ‘just’ 118 odd bhp, it’s from a 900cc mill and it is Italian. The overall package is attractive, though I would have loved to have ABS and Traction Control to complete it. What is interesting though is that Kawasaki offers ABS as standard on the Z800 in India. But the 899 is a lot lighter than the Z800. What is more interesting is the Ducati Streetfighter is the only modern Ducati that doesn’t have ABS! Makes me wonder what might be the reason? However, I am used to riding a Yamaha FZ1000, which is 150Bhp without these aids; but all said and done they do make life easier and safer on the roads. The Brembo brakes have enough bite via 2 x 320 mm discs up front and one 240 mm disc at the rear, giving the motorcycle sufficient stopping power. The acceleration, handling and sweet braking giving the rider a feeling of being on the razor edge, let’s see how sharp did the driver feel in his BMW!

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THE DRIVER (Sandeep Goswami/ Old Fox) – BMW Z4 sDrive35is

The rider and the driver. The contrary twins. Poles apart and yet in synergy. Bound within by the common religion of power, speed and control. But different enough to stand apart and yet stand tall. Pushing the limits of man and machine. Exploring the boundaries of the physics governing motion. On two wheels and four.

Who is the better of the two? Who skirts the chasms of risk and danger more often and with lesser margins? Who is the greater adventurer of the two? The rider seems like an obvious pick but is it really so? Four wheels might mean the cushion of twice the rubber and little apparent need for balance but are these really such huge advantages. Think of six times greater momentum, the inertia induced reluctance to change direction and speed and think of the space those four rubber feet need and the equation tends to balance between the two.

But then does it really matter? They are not modern day gladiators for us. There’s no combat at the edge involved. In fact, there’s serenity in performance too. Even though both the rider and the driver shall be using high-performance vehicles, they are not at loggerheads by pitting the machines and their skills against each other. They travel in synergy as partners revelling in the beauty of precision machinery in motion. They move in such mutual admiration.

The driver this once had what is arguably one of the best looking convertible roadsters around. The BMW Z4. Ah! What a machine. More so because we drove the top of the line Z4 sDrive35is with its lusty 306 bhp twin-turbo 3 litre In-line 6, peak torque 400 Nm (flat between 1300-5000 rpm) and the 7- speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. It is a lovely car, no doubt about that. The classic long bonnet with that visually compact two seat cabin and the short boot. Takes you back almost to the 30’s when drivers sat almost on the rear axle of their roadracers! Fit and finish is top notch and the car seems poised for high speed action even when parked by the road. The LED DRL’s make for a distinctive profile in the RVM’s of cars ahead. The Z4’s body is a study in aerodynamics as much as it is about aesthetic beauty. The lip spoiler in the boot lid, a similar looking protrusion up front again adds to downforce and blends perfectly with the design. This is one rare convertible which manages to look equally stunning, with or without the hard top in place.

The inside is spacious, luxurious and functional. The Z4 is probably the roomiest of all two seat roadsters, comparing it to its contemporaries like the Porsche Boxster, the Mercedes SLK and even the Audi TT Coupe. The long bonnet does not obstruct forward vision, allowing even its far side to be seen by the driver. The A-pillar too, the usual suspect in giving nightmarish blind spots to these low-slung sports car drivers is not obstructive and sightlines from the pilot seat are pretty clean. The seats in the version we drove had good side support and was 10-way adjustable to boot. I guess my 5 decade old body has lesser scope for adjustment. Features are a long list with auto stop/ start, adjustable throttle and steering response, adaptive xenon headlamps, cruise control, rain sensors, ABS, front and side airbags for both driver and passenger, Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Traction Control, roll-over protection, run flat tyres etc.

Getting in and out needs a bit of body contortion not unlike other cars in this category. The Z4 in fact is the easiest of the lot in that sense. Drive selector in P, foot brake pressed, USB key into the slot, thumb the starter button and the six pistons come to life under the long bonnet as does the 8.8 inch touch panel in the dash swinging out into its face out position.  Blip that throttle and you just get a hint of what will happen when the drive selector is in Sport+ mode and the real deal is dealt. All right, let’s deal it and so we shift and press that throttle and wow! It doesn’t get more real than that. The raucous bunch of 300 odd ponies does pull strongly with no hesitation and the Z4 slingshots past a 100 kmph in well under 6 seconds. The Servotronic Electronic Power Steering is precise and sharp enough and the suspension talks to you incessantly. Of course we would have loved that dialogue to be softer as our native roads are not really a great place to have hard suspension set ups. The Z4 is stiff but then if that’s what’s needed to enable it to be swung through the curves, the tail sliding around mischievously; we are game for the trade-off discomfort of that stiffness.  The driver chased the rider as he banked knee down into a curve on his Benelli TNT 899. The car was sniffing the bike, magnanimity won the day and the driver hung back.

The Z4 redlines at some 7000 rpm but there’s the music of enrapture to be heard from 5000 rpm onwards, best with the top down of course. Hard top up to down is less than half a minute, the mechanical origami a treat to watch as the top folds into the boot. Of course boot space is compromised when the top is down but not as much as it is in the SLK. Wind noise is minimal with the top up (Drag Coefficient CD a commendable and slippery 0.35!) and surprisingly well controlled even when it is down. The audio system sounds great though methinks the music from the engine is a whole lot better than any MP3 player.

The sDrive35i has shift paddles on the steering wheel and the car is more than fun to drive in the manual mode. You pull in each gear right up to the red line before up shifting, the punch is addictive and for me as a stick shifter for the majority of my life, this is when I feel I am the complete driver of the car. No smarty pants electronics deciding for me when the revs have been enough. And they are never really enough.  You do have the option of 3 driving modes – Comfort, Sport and Sport+ and we did toggle through the three, the first two very briefly more as a needed ritual and showed undying loyalty to the third. Don’t blame us. 300 plus bhp, 18 inch low profile RFT’s, taut handling, sharp steering and race-car quick paddle shift all put together are much too persuasive, well capable of invoking the devil in the saintliest amongst us.

As for the accountant lurking within, the car retails at some 70,00,000 INR, returns about 12 kmpl on the highway and some 8 kmpl in city, has long service intervals and retains good value over the years like any nice BMW. The fuel tank brims up at 55 litres of 95 octane and should be good for at least 400 km within the city and around 600 km on the high road.

Of course as a motorcyclist I wouldn’t give up an exciting pair of two wheels for any 4 wheeler – unless it happens to be what I have gone gaga over the past thousand words or so. The BMW Z4 makes for a worthy barter between a bike and a cage. No, I even feel bad calling it a cage you know, so good is this performance sportster on 4 wheels. The rider may have left me in his dust because we hit some traffic. But give me the Z4 on an open road and the ‘pedal to metal’ shall write a very different story from the twisty right wrist!

Driver vs Rider Benelli TNT 899 vs BMW Z4 02
Driver vs Rider Benelli TNT 899 vs BMW Z4 11
Driver vs Rider Benelli TNT 899 vs BMW Z4 12
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xBhp First Ride: MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800

798CC 110BHP 80NM

xBhp rides the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 in Australia where we were present for the launch of the MV Agusta brand in Melbourne, Australia. We had also ridden and reviewed the MV Agusta Brutale 800 Dragster there.

The beautiful and organic looking Turismo Veloce 800, MV Agusta’s first foray into the adventure bike segment. It is also a beautiful machine but looks a bit too simple and empty from up front, otherwise by no means is it a bland machine! The colour TFT console which even has a visual indicator for side stand down is a delight to see and displays all the necessary information the tourer requires. The touring mode gives 90Hp, while the sport bumps it up to 110Hp, and rain produces 80Hp. The Veloce is a ‘bit different’ compared to the regulars from the stable. This was built for those who want to tuck their luggage in and go off for a long ride. The torque is bumped up by 20% coming at 2100rpm less. Along with that service intervals have been increased from 6000km to 15000km, perfect for someone wanting to get up and Go!

This is the first attempt by the Italian manufacturer into this segment, and it has given a fresh new perspective towards adventure bikes. It mates touring comfortably on a motorcycle with the sportiness you would expect from MV Agusta. The Turismo Veloce is fast, flickable and a hoot to ride. And can easily make you forget that it is built for munching miles sedately. That  is until you decide to munch miles sedately! The ergonomics are comfortable for getting the job done, and the saddle is plush with adequate cushioning. We didn’t ride the bike for a lot of kilometres, but enough to believe that it will make for a happy bum!

The 17 inch wheels itself tell you half the story. The Turismo is meant for tarmac use and not really meant for off-roading. Why then have MV Agusta fitted the bike out with Pirelli Scorpion Trail tyres, which are meant for light trails? It is also much lighter than the traditional Adventure Tourers at 191kg dry, compared to the Multistrada at 209kg dry and the R1200GS at 238kg wet. This results in ease of use and makes it an extremely practical motorcycle for most. And the power figures which are lower than the competition is not felt so much while riding.

The Veloce uses the same three-cylinder 798cc engine which is found on many other MV Agusta models and is tuned for more torque and usable power in the mid range. The engine is smooth, though at times one can notice a bit of vibrations. But that is generally put down as Italian character! The bike also comes with a bunch of electronics to keep you safe and does its job without being intrusive. The rider still feels connected to the engine through the right wrist! The bike does have a bit of fuelling issues at crack of the throttle, which even the electronics are unable to mask.

To sum up this MV, it cannot be compared with the likes of the Multistrada or BMW R1200GS, but by no means is it an incapable machine. And no matter which landscape it is photographed in, it will make everything look more beautiful! The bike has a few minor niggles, but is a fantastic first attempt by MV Agusta into the Adventure Motorcycle segment.

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MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 Review Technical Specifications

ENGINE

Type: Three cylinder, 4 stroke, 12 valve
Total displacement: 798 cc
Compression ratio: 12.2:1
Starting: Electric
Bore x stroke: 79 mm x 54.3 mm
Max. power- r.p.m. (at the crankshaft): 110 hp at 10000 r.p.m.
Max. torque – r.p.m.: 80 Nm at 8500 r.p.m.
Cooling system: Cooling with separated liquid and oil radiators
Clutch: Hydraulic clutch, wet multi-disc
Transmission: Cassette style; six speed, constant mesh | Electronic quick-shift MV EAS 2.0 (Electronically Assisted Shift)

GEAR RATIO

Primary drive: 19/36
First gear: 13/37
Second gear: 16/34
Third gear: 18/32
Fourth gear: 19/30
Fifth gear: 21/30
Sixth gear: 22/29
Final drive ratio: 16/41

ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT

Voltage: 12 V
Alternator: 450 W at 5000 r.p.m.
Battery: 12 V – 11 Ah

DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT

Wheelbase: 1424 mm
Overall length: 2084 mm
Overall width: 900 mm
Saddle height: 850 mm
Min. ground clearance: 140 mm
Trail: 108 mm
Dry weight: 191 kg
Fuel tank capacity: 20 l

PERFORMANCE

Maximum speed: 230 km/h

FRAME

Type: ALS Steel tubular trellis (MAG welded) Rear swing arm pivot plates material Aluminium alloy

FRONT SUSPENSION

Type: Marzocchi “UPSIDE DOWN” telescopic hydraulic fork with rebound-compression damping and spring preload external and separate adjustment
Fork dia.: 43 mm
Fork travel: 160 mm

REAR SUSPENSION

Type: Progressive Sachs, single shock absorber with rebound and compression damping and spring preload adjustment
Single-sided swingarm material Aluminium alloy
Wheel travel: 160 mm

BRAKES

Front brake: Double floating disc with 320 mm diameter, with steel braking disc and flange
Front brake caliper: Brembo radial-type, with 4 pistons 32 mm
Rear brake: Single steel disc with 220 mm dia.
Rear brake caliper: Brembo with 2 pistons – 34 mm
ABS System: Bosch 9 Plus with RLM (Rear wheel Lift-up Mitigation)

WHEELS

Front: Material/size Aluminium alloy 3.50” x 17”
Rear: Material/size Aluminium alloy 5.50” x 17”

TYRES

Front: 120/70 – ZR 17 M/C (58 W)
Rear: 190/55 – ZR 17 M/C (75 W)

FAIRING

Material: Thermoplastic

ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT

Included accessories: Immobilizer – Bluetooth – Adjustable windshield

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MV agusta
MV Agusta Turismo Veloce
MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800
Turismo Veloce
Turismo Veloce 800