TVS Apache RTR 160 4V Review
- Published On: 20 March 2018
- 5 min read
The TVS Apache RTR 160 has been thoroughly updated for 2018
Bajaj has been the king of the entry-level performance-oriented bikes in India. However, one manufacturer that always gave it stiff competition was the Apache line-up from TVS. TVS has sold over 3 million units of the Apache worldwide. The RTR 160 has always been the entry-level model into the Apache range. And surprisingly, this model has only been updated once its 12 years on sale. However, this has changed; the bike has finally got a major update and made the model available in two trims – carb and fuel injection. Here are our impressions from our first ride at TVS’ test track.
On the outside
The south-Indian bike maker has taken a top-down method with the new RTR 160. The overall design is influenced from the 160’s elder sibling – the RTR 200. This isn’t a bad strategy since the RTR 200 is a good-looking bike in the first place. The two bikes are so similar looking that it is easy to list out the changes; this includes a new alloy design, handlebar and different cosmetics.
The LED DRLs that have made their way from the RTR 200 make the 160 look aggressive. The taillight on the bike also remains unchanged. More cycle-parts can be seen at the dash, the 160 uses the same instrument cluster. In terms of build quality, one can notice high levels throughout.
The Apache range has always been performance-oriented and the new RTR 160 now features the most powerful engine in the 160cc segment. As mentioned before, it can either be had with a carburettor or fuel-injection. The carb model pushes out 16.5hp while the fuel-injected variant makes 16.8hp. Torque figures remain unchanged at 14.8Nm on both models. The 160 also gets a 4-valve head and is surprisingly smooth. TVS motors haven’t been known to be smooth but this motor is about to change that outlook.
The engine likes to be revved and minor vibrations can be felt after 7500rpm, which becomes more prominent at around 9000rpm. We found the fuel-injected model to offer crisper throttle response and felt slightly more refined. The clutch action is easy, but we found it to be a bit jumpy. This is good for taking off the line quickly but can get annoying in traffic conditions.
How does it ride?
Once you hop on to the bike, you will instantly notice the riding position, this bike doesn’t come with the clip-ons seen on the RTR 200, in place of which, it uses a flat, wide conventional handlebar. The foot pegs are also mildly rear-set which results to a good mix of a comfortable and sporty riding position. Another nice feature on a motorcycle of this type is the single-piece seat, it is spacious. Another factor that significantly alters the way the 160 handles is that it now comes with the double-cradle frame from the RTR 200.
Thanks to this new frame, the Apache benefits from a monoshock for the first time. At the front, the bike uses a 33mm conventional fork. The differently-designed alloy wheels come shod in TVS Remora rubber that provides sufficient grip. Something surprising is that the drum brake variant gets a slimmer tyre while the disc brake model gets wider rubber. Also, keeping in mind that TVS was the first Indian manufacturer to ever offer optional ABS in 2011, it's sad to see that the RTR 160 doesn't offer it.
All the updates mentioned above have clearly affected the kerb weight, as the new Apache RTR 160 is 10kg heavier than its predecessor, while its tank capacity remains unchanged at 12 litres.
Should I buy one?
The extensive update list has made the Apache RTR 160 a much more appealing bike. Not only does it have nicer styling but also features a sportier engine and handling. TVS is offering the bike in three trim levels – carb with front disc (Rs 81,490), carb with front and rear disc (Rs 84,490) and fuel-injected with front and rear disc (Rs 89,990 all prices, ex-showroom, Delhi).