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TVS’ exciting new offering, the fuel-injected Apache RTR FI, is the latest version of the company’s flagship. The FI stands for fuel injection and this tech promises easier starts, swift throttle responses, greener emissions and fuel economy that will send carburetted motorcycles to the scrapyard soon.
On the outside
This bike looks a lot like its predecessor, but those with an eye for detail won’t miss the new FI decal clinging to the tail. Deft touches that underline a sporty focus are its daring Ford GT-style stripe that bisects the bike, a belly pan and exposed chain. The excellent headlight, as well as an exquisitely detailed triple clamp section and a sweetly turned-out clip-on handlebar are other highlights. It sports blue backlit digital instrumentation as well as an illuminated tachometer needle. Enthusiasts will enjoy the top speed and 0-60kph acceleration time recorder, in addition to a digital speedometer, twin trip facility, clock and due-for-service light.
On the downside, the FI shares the old Apache’s big palm grips and ill-fitting mirror boots. However, its mirrors are nice and broad, clear and legible and it’s got really smart buffed alloy levers. The beautifully chiseled fuel-tank looks stunning from any angle. Its tasteful flank panels, alloy brake pedal and footrests are nice touches too. Its poorly-positioned side-stand tends to interfere with the gearshift foot however. TVS has displayed superb attention to detail, quality of paint is good and fit-finish is adequate.
Start the bike and it’ll hum to life and the tachometer stylishly rotates a cycle each time the bike is cold-started. The RTR FI uses the same willing and short-stroke, 159.7cc, single-cylinder and air-cooled motor first deployed by the Apache RTR. While power (15.7bhp at 8500rpm) and torque (1.33kgm at 6500rpm) output as well as performance on the new bike remain near-identical to the earlier carburettor-fed Apache, power delivery feels clearly smoother thanks to fuel injection tech. Riding feel has improved considerably thanks to this responsive engine. Lightning throttle response is at hand, as also a newfound smoothness keeping, while vibration levels are acceptable. It can hit 0-60kph in 5.02 seconds, while top speed is 119kph. This bike sports a well-sorted five-speed transmission, as well as a precise and well-weighted clutch. Selecting gears is via its sporty toe-shift lever.
From the saddle
The bike is a dream machine for bikers who crave the feel of a true sports motorcycle, with its low slung clip-on bars, rear-set riding pegs and compact feel. Taller riders and those used to commuter bikes may find it uncomfortable however.
Handling is sharp, but its slightly heavy at low speeds courtesy its aggressive and radical riding stance, but stable at high-speed. Cornering manners are good, and the brakes are show-stoppers. The FI comes to rest from 60kph in 17.76 metres. As far as fuel economy is concerned, the fuel injected RTR gave us 43kpl in the city and on its highway run, delivered a satisfactory 47.7kpl.
Is it wirth the money?
This flagship RTR proves that TVS can deliver a bike that combines the benefits of proven fuel injection technology with a zealously-tuned and rev-hungry engine. The RTR FI is a sporty thoroughbred that is must-have for every motorcycle enthusiast.
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