TVS Apache RR 310 Review
The TVS Apache RR 310, which was known as the Akula 310 in its pre-production/ concept avatar, was the most awaited motorcycle of the year and boy did it live up to the expectations when it was finally launched by TVS in Chennai? Gauging by the people’s response on the internet, you can definitely say that TVS seems to have hit the nail on its head with the Apache RR 310. We received hundreds of comments on our live video from the launch and not even a single one of them seemed to dislike the bike. Take a bow TVS!
The Apache RR 310 is probably one of the best motorcycle designs by an Indian manufacturer. The design is sharp and edgy, not too sharp like the RC390 though. This design has been finalized after extensive wind tunnel testing of various prototypes and offers lowest coefficient of drag in its segment. They’ve also incorporated vents in the side fairing to deflect the hot air coming from the engine and the radiator away from the rider. And it does look and feel big, much bigger than you would expect an entry level sports bike to be. The Bi-LED twin projector headlamp, minimalistic sticker work, and a sharp tail give this bike a very distinctive and pronounced road presence that is hard to miss.
The Apache 310 RR is available in two color variants – Racing Red and Sinister Black. The glossy red paint with white race stripes keeps reminding you of Ducati; and the matte black variant, although subtle, holds its ground well. The paint and fit and finish on this bike is top notch and it reeks of the kind of premiumness you’d expect from much more expensive European bikes.
The vertically stacked, fully digital console is a completely new concept to the Indian market and it takes a little while to get used to it; however, it stops feeling odd after spending a few minutes sitting on the bike. And it gives you 18 different tell-tale signs, including but not limited to lap timing, gear shift indicator, trip meter, fuel gauge, engine temperature, etc.
The Apache RR 310 is the first motorcycle from the BMW-TVS partnership to hit the Indian market and at the heart of it sits the 312.2 cc single cylinder, liquid cooled, reverse inclined engine jointly developed by both these manufacturers. The same engine is used by BMW on their G 310 R and the G 310 GS motorcycles. But the similarity between the TVS and BMW products ends right there. TVS has developed its own ECU to control the engine and says it is tweaked to provide better fueling and acceleration. This engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox and produces 34 PS at 9700 RPM and a peak torque of 27.5 Nm at 7700 RPM. The reverse inclined orientation of the engine aids in better mass centralization of the bike as well as gives the engineers the liberty to increase the length of the swing arm with a shorter wheelbase.
Riding stance on this bike is neither too aggressive nor too commuterish. TVS engineers have managed to find a perfect balance between these two extremes and the rider sits pretty comfortably. And then there’s enough room even for taller riders to go for a full tuck to minimize the effect of wind while attempting top speed runs. The seat height of 810 mm makes it pretty approachable even for not-too-tall riders like me. I am 5 feet 5 inches tall and had both my feet comfortably touching the ground while sitting on the bike. The seat is also quite roomy and comfortable and I don’t think people with a generous posterior would find it cramped either.
Now comes the question how does it ride? The engine comes to life rather effortlessly with a slight press of the thumb starter and the engine settles to idling rpm. The throttle response is crisp but the exhaust note leaves a lot to be desired. The 6-speed gearbox is smooth and the gearshifts are reassuring without any false neutrals or clunkiness. The clutch lever is also smooth. Shift into first gear and the bike responds with the slightest movement of the right wrist. The engine is smooth and the power delivery is linear without any apparent troughs or peaks and the 310 pulls all the way until it reaches the very end of the rev range where it also develops mild but noticeable vibrations. TVS claims that they managed to achieve a top speed of 163 kmph on this bike, which we couldn’t verify ourselves but on the straights of the MMRT, we managed to get it well past 130 kmph mark with a lot of juice left in the engine. This bike should be able to do 120s-130s comfortably all day long without any signs of stress. The trellis frame chassis and the 41 mm USD suspension upfront and the rear monoshock (both developed by KYB in close association with TVS) work perfectly in tandem to keep the RR planted even when pushed hard and thrown around. The bike behaves like an obedient kid and does exactly what you want it to do. It is easily flickable and maneuverable and forgiving to quite an extent. Michelin Street Sport tyres (150/60 rear and 110/70 front) are a value addition and complement this overall package, helping you push your boundaries safely. The job of braking is well taken care of by dual channel ABS, 300 mm petal disk at the front and 240 mm petal disk at the rear. The bite by the brakes felt progressive and confidence inspiring.
Here’s how it performs against competition
TVS Apache RR 310 tech spec
To summarize, the TVS Apache RR 310 is one stunning motorcycle that ticks all the right boxes no matter how you judge it. The design and overall styling looks fresh and it has got tons of oomph factor in it. It is a very capable daily commute motorcycle that will be attracting a lot of eyeballs on your Sunday rides and would be fun to ride on a race track as well. It is not an out-and-out racing tool per se but it has just the right mix of everything. All the goodies like dual channel ABS, FI, bi-LED twin projector headlamps, Michelin tyres, USD forks at a price tag of INR 2.05 lakh makes it an even more irresistible motorcycle to own and a complete value for money product. TVS has put their 35 years of racing experience in making this motorcycle and developed this product working closely with professional racers from their racing team. And it shows in the product that they’ve finally launched in the market. It comes as a perfect option for someone looking to buy an entry level sports motorcycle without having to sell their kidney and it looks destined to lead the Indian sports bike market for some time to come. It is such a proud feeling to see a world class product coming from an Indian manufacturer. We had a smile on our face for whatever little time we spent with it, though we would definitely want to take it a for a longer ride to see how it performs in real world riding conditions.