For a while it seemed like TVS was sitting in the shadows, as other motorcycle manufacturers came out with a slew of product launches and created new segments. However, we had it all wrong – because the Indian manufacturer wasn’t just sitting around watching the two-wheeler market expand, they were in fact readying some very impressive products. First they struck a deal with BMW, which has led to some very exciting prospects – and then they launched the much-awaited Apache RTR 200.
When we first rode the bike at the TVS test track earlier this year, we were actually blown away with how much the Apache has improved. The overall quality of the bike has been enhanced tremendously. The design is fresh and modern, and, best of all, the engine is now smooth and the ride is very engaging. The Apache RTR 200 certainly picks up from its original racing DNA, and handles like a true race bike around the track. Never before have we enjoyed an Indian manufactured motorcycle on the track as much as we did with the Apache.
The new Apache 200 looks much the same as the older Apache models, but it’s slightly bigger and it’s got some very nice aesthetic upgrades. The bike looks even sportier and more aggressive thanks to the fuel tank design with its side extensions, the addition of a split seat, and a sharper headlight design with DRL’s. It looks like a proper street fighter, and the clip-on handlebars and disc brakes provide the finishing sporty touches.
On the road, as well as on track, the Apache performs extremely well. The new engine gets 20bhp, which is enough to have some fun. It has a throttle that responds all the time, and it’s got a fabulous mid-range – which means that the bike keeps pulling forward with ease as you move through the gears. The transmission is also crisp and clean. The suspension setup is on the stiff side, and the rear gets a race tuned KYB monoshock, which makes it handle extremely well. But it also glides gently over bumpy urban streets. The riding stance is on the aggressive side, while still not putting too much weight on your wrists. The Apache seems like a powerful urban motorcycle that can also be taken to the track on any given Sunday.
The Apache scores very highly, and this comes as no surprise. For an entry-level performance bike, it really fits the bill – and, best of all, it’s really affordable. With the new Apache RTR 200, it’s safe to say that TVS is back with a bang!