2020 Apache RR 310 vs 2017 RR 310: Comparison

By Jared Solomon | on July 8, 2020

The 2020 Apache RR310 is the third update of the bike, and in a very short period of time too. We pitch it against the original to see if third time’s a charm. 

The Apache RR310 is a special bike for us, and that’s because two members of our team own the bike. When the bike was first launched in 2017, it joined our long-term fleet, and Shivank and I were so impressed by the bike that we both decided to buy one. Now, TVS was kind enough to offer us a great deal on them, but, still, we bought the bike because we simply loved it.

The Apache RR310 has always been a great touring motorcycle, and it’s also something you can ride in the city on a daily basis, and even use it on the track once in a while. While it didn’t offer blisteringly fast performance, it was still a fun and very good-looking motorcycle. The fact that it had an engine built in collaboration with BMW only helped its case.

2017 TVS Apache RR 310 Side View

And, yet, the bike was rife with shortcomings, and TVS had to acknowledge them. And they did so, to an extent, with a minor update in 2019, but even that version didn’t address the real problem – the engine refinement. With the 2020 model, though, TVS has finally fixed everything that we didn’t like about the bike. So, when Shivank rode it at the track in Chennai, he was blown away by the improved performance of the 2020 model. But I still had to ride the bike in the real world to see if his words were grounded in fact, or were simply the babble of a fanboy.

2017 TVS Apache RR 310 Fuel Tank Logo

Better refinement

Before I begin, I must say that I love the 312cc single-cylinder engine of the old Apache RR310. It offered near-perfect performance and power output in Indian conditions. However, it did feel stressed at times, and this caused the entire bike to vibrate. The new 2020 model has somehow managed to completely change the way the engine feels and affects the bike. There are no longer any vibrations felt through the footpegs, fuel tank, and bars. It feels like a new engine, but the only real difference is that it’s now BS-VI compliant. 

2017 TVS Apache RR 310 Front Motion Shot

Better performance 

The addition of the four riding modes and the ride-by-wire is a welcome update, and that’s surprising coming from me, for I usually prefer zero electronic aids and love the old-school feeling of riding a motorcycle. However, I must say that the ride-by-wire throttle of the 2020 model really makes a huge difference. Obviously, the response levels are even more instant, and you can especially feel it when overtaking vehicles in the city. 

The mid-range of this engine was always good, and, with the new throttle, the bike just feels different. You get Rain, Urban, Sport, and Track modes – in the first two, the power is limited to 25bhp, but, still, the instant throttle inputs are always on point, and the bike accelerates beautifully no matter what riding mode you choose. Looking at the whole picture, the new 2020 model does feel a whole lot more aggressive. 

Better handling 

In addition to being more refined and having improved throttle response, the new model also gets some new rubber in the form of a set of Michelin Road 5 tyres. They definitely feel a lot more grippy while taking corners at high speeds. The chassis, suspension, and brakes remain unchanged, but these new dancing shoes on the 2020 model really inspire more confidence and allow you to push and lean the bike harder around corners. 

2020 TVS Apache RR 310 Front Shot Motion

New look

The new Apache RR310 has the exact same design, which I love. However, I’m not really a fan of the new dual-tone paint job, or the new decals and badging for that matter. I prefer the old matte black finish my bike has. The new one looks a bit too flashy, and although Shivank thinks it makes the quality of the bike stand out, I still like the plain and muscular look of the older model. 

On the plus side, the new colour digital instrument screen does make the Apache RR310 seem like a proper big bike. 

2020 TVS Apache RR 310 Front Fuel Tank Logo

Definitely better  

The KTM RC390 is the only worthy competitor to the Apache RR310. The KTM gets a more powerful engine, which also feels smoother when compared to the older Apache RR310 model. But the Apache really had an edge over the KTM in terms of design, comfort, and even handling and overall build quality. Still, though, the KTM felt more premium and more focussed. 

With this new model though, all of this has changed and the 2020 Apache RR310 conclusively overcomes the shortcomings of its predecessors – especially when it comes to engine refinement. With new technology like the ride by wire, slipper clutch, different riding modes, as well as the new tyres for better handling, TVS has eliminated the faults that we were able to point to previously. Remember, this is also the flagship model from TVS and most of their other products have impeccable quality and refinement, so, it only seems right that the RR310 now follows the same pattern. 

2020 TVS Apache RR 310 Rear Quarter Static Shot

So, Shivank wasn’t just babbling when he told me that the 2020 model is significantly better than the older model. The new Apache RR310 is definitely a much better machine. In fact, it’s almost perfect. I will go so far as to say that it’s definitely the best bike in its segment right now because it is the most versatile. Not only can you ride it every day comfortably, but also take it on long road trips without breaking your back. It can also be a fun and accessible track day tool for many. Surprisingly, with all of the new kit that it gets, the new model still has a very attractive and competitive price tag. So, if I could, I would trade my 2017 model for the new one right away.  

  • 2017 TVS Apache RR310
  • 2020 TVS Apache RR310

Engine: 312cc / Single-Cylinder / 4 Valves / Liquid-Cooled

Transmission: 6-Speed

Power: 33.5bhp @ 9,700rpm

Torque: 27.3Nm @ 7,700rpm

Price: ₹2.27 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi)

X-factor: Despite many niggles, the original RR310 was the most advanced motorcycle by TVS at the time of its launch.

Pros           
• Ride & handling
• Punchy powertrain
Cons
• Needs better tyres
• High NVH

Engine: 312cc / Single-Cylinder / 4 Valves / Liquid-Cooled

Transmission: 6-Speed

Power: 33.5bhp @ 9,700rpm

Torque: 27.3Nm @ 7,700rpm

Price: ₹2.40 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi)

X-factor: The 2020 Apache RR310 is what the original bike should have been in the first place – it’s more complete than ever!

Pros           
• Perfect all-round sports bike
• Stunning design
Cons
• Too early to say

Read more:

2020 TVS Apache RR 310 Review

TVS Apache RR 310 Review

Riding a TVS Apache RR 310 from Delhi to Wagah border - Photos

Tags: Apache RR 310 TVS

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