If there is one motorcycle that has consistently impressed me over time, it has to be the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V. I am saying this, not because it’s the first motorcycle on which I raced at a track or because I bagged my first podium finish on it or because I bought the first one that was in our long-term media fleet a few years ago. I say it because this motorcycle is one of the few that has improved with every iteration. I don’t even remember the last time a manufacturer upgraded a motorcycle in its lineup with adjustable suspension and riding modes. It’s always something like Bluetooth connectivity and LED lighting to keep up with trends, so I was genuinely surprised with the list of the upgrades that have gone into the latest Apache RTR 200 4V.
Coming straight to what’s new, TVS has equipped the RTR 200 with riding modes, a feature that has been lifted from the flagship RR 310. What you get are three modes — Urban, Rain and Sport. In the first two modes, max power is restricted to 17 bhp and the ABS is more intrusive, even more so in Rain mode. Sport mode unleashes the full potential of the oil-cooled four-valve fuel-injected motor pumping out 20.2 bhp with least intrusion from the ABS. While I rode it for the longest time in Sport, every time I changed modes, the drop in power and increase in ABS intervention were easily noticeable.
TVS has equipped the RTR 200 4V with a Showa fork since its launch. For the 2021 edition, it gets an all-new race-tuned setup wherein the front gets preload adjustment allowing the rider to adjust the damping depending on the requirement and a newly tuned monoshock for better track performance. While we couldn’t test the effectiveness of the adjustable suspension due to lack of access to a circuit, the setup is slightly stiffer than before. To complete the package, the company has dropped in adjustable clutch and brake levers with three-step adjustment for better feel and reach. Other improvements include a weight reduction of 1 kg and refinements in the braking system providing a stronger bite with improved feedback.
With the mechanical bits covered, the Apache RTR 200 4V was also upgraded with Bluetooth-enabled instrumentation during its BS6 update. Besides providing turn-by-turn navigation, notifications and call alerts, the dedicated SmartXConnect app also provides the rider with race telemetry logs and crash alerts. As far as the user interface is concerned, it is swift in establishing a connection and is easy to operate as well.
To sum it up, with the new upgrades and tech, the Apache RTR 200 4V has raised the bar yet again in terms of equipment, features and performance. Interestingly, TVS has also managed to keep the price competitive, something that the company could have easily bumped up for all that is on offer. And on that note, I think it is time I should start negotiations with TVS to exchange my RTR 200 4V for the 2021 model. TVS, you guys are listening, right?
TVS Apache RTR 200 4V
Displacement: 197.75cc, single
Max power: 20.2 bhp@9000 rpm
Max torque: 1.75 kgm@7250 rpm
Type: Double cradle
(F/R): 270-mm disc / 240-mm disc
(F/R): 90/90 R17 / 130/70 R17
L/W/H (mm): 2050/790/1050
Wheelbase: 1353 mm
Ground clearance: 180 mm
Seat height: 800 mm
Kerb weight: 152 kg
Fuel capacity: 12 litres
PRICE: Rs 1.33 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)