The wait is over! The TVS Apache RR 310 is here and we've been pounding it around the Chennai racetrack to see what it's capable of. Here's the ride report...
It felt that time came to a standstill after TVS showcased the Akula at the 2016 Auto Expo as there was no mention of this fully-faired beauty for almost two years. With a lot of chatter over TVS’ partnership with BMW and with numerous spy photos posted on the internet, we are happy to say that the wait’s finally over as we ride the all-new Apache RR 310 at the MMRT circuit in Chennai. So let’s hit the track and find out if TVS will change the entry-level performance segment with the RR 310.
On the pit lane, the RR 310 was patiently waiting for us. It’s available in two colours – red and matte finish black – and both were there at the track, but I opted for the red one as it looked edgy and more dynamic. As gorgeous as the bike looks, I will talk about its design later as the devil’s in the details, so let’s get to the riding stance, engine and of course, it's handling capabilites.
As radically sporty as the RR 310 appears, it deceptively has a comfortable riding stance as you’re not forced to crouch down. This is a good thing as you’re not weighing down on your arms, and the footpegs aren’t aggressively positioned like the KTM RCs. The seat squab is wide and the raised rear seat provides the much needed back support, which is commendable on TVS’ part as this ensures that the Apache can be ridden on a daily basis easily. Like most sports bikes, it’s a bit of an effort for the pillion to climb on top of the seat, but, personally, I don’t like ferrying pile on(s) so no harm, no foul in my book.
We fired up the 33.5bhp 312cc liquid-cooled, four-valve single cylinder engine and it responded in a linear fashion and offered sufficient low-end power. Once the rev needle passed the 4,000rpm mark that’s when all the ponies start galloping and it felt more free-revving. The 6-speed transmission’s smooth and precise. We never had any problems in finding neutral. The clutch too felt light.
Once we were on the track and took the first turn, we could easily feel how responsive the chassis was as it cut through corners with a lot of confidence. What surprised us was how effortlessly the RR 310 stuck to its lines and refused to meander off. Being the first Indian motorcycle to have undergone wind tunnel testing, we could feel that each and every surface and component was designed based on the input from this test. With razor-sharp handling, the rear monoshock did feel slightly soft, but then we were riding on the track, so the set up would be ideal for real-world road conditions. After negotiating the twist and turns, we finally entered the straight where I decided to take some liberties and opened the throttle. The mid-range power between 4,000 - 6000rpm is where the RR 310 excels in, but once it crosses the 8,500rpm, a surge in power could be felt even though the rev needle continued climbing till 10,000rpm. As it is a single-cylinder engine, after crossing the 8,000rpm, mild vibrations could be felt from the foot pegs and seat, but again nothing too stressful. We will only get to know how it actually behaves when we get to take it for a long distance ride.
Now coming to how it looks, well, I think from the photos it's quite obvious the RR 310 is a showstopper. The first thing that catches attention is the twin LED projector lamps with a white racing line running in between the headlamps. The design is edgy thanks to the sporty fairing and due to wind tunnel testing, it provides the lowest drag coefficient in the segment. Keeping aerodynamics in mind, the instrument cluster’s been designed in a unique vertical shape. This also makes it easier for the rider to glance down at the digital cluster without losing sight of the road. The Apache RR 310 is available in one variant, therefore, it comes fully loaded with safety features like ABS and is equipped with 300mm front disc brake and 240mm rear.
So is the Apache RR 310 a game changer? Well, in many ways yes. When you look at the fit-and-finish, the paint quality and the components used, you know TVS have made no compromise. The engine offers a linear output, which makes it apt for a daily commute, but as mentioned earlier once it crosses the 4,000rpm mark, it transforms into an eager beast. But if we are honest, it could have shown a bit more urgency when it comes to the initial acceleration. The hero is the chassis and the aerodynamics of the bike as it offers class-leading handling. Not to forget, it comes with dual LED projector lamps, which is a first in the segment, along with ABS. So all this for Rs 2.05 lakh, ex-showroom, is a steal and we truly believe that it’s not only a game changer, but TVS truly have a winner in their hands.
- TVS Apache RR 310
Engine: 312cc/ Single-Cylinder/ 4 valves/ Liquid-cooled
Power: 33.5bhp @ 9,700rpm
Torque: 27.3Nm @ 7,700rpm
Price: Rs 2.05 lakh (ex-showroom)
Watch the full video review of the TVS Apache RR 310: