TVS Apache RTR 200 4V First Ride Review: No Time To Retire

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TVS made India's first two-seater moped back in the year 1980. Slowly, the company got into making (manufacturing or building) motorcycles with Suzuki and began commercial production of motorcycles in the year 1984. Suzuki made some good motorcycles like the Samurai, Shogun, and the Fiero.

The Fiero is of particular interest since that is the bike that has evolved into something what TVS offers as its flagship model in the Indian market today, the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V. The 'RTR', which stands for Racing Throttle Response, is familiar with motorcycle enthusiasts in India because of the way these motorcycles performed.

TVS has used performance as a base and created a spectacular 200cc motorcycle for the Indian market - or has it? Let's find out.

Model Tested: Apache RTR 200 4V Fuel Injection (FI)

Apache RTR 200 4V Pricing

RTR 200 4V (Carburetor) Rs. 88,990/-
RTR 200 4V (FI) Rs. 1,07,000/-

Note: Both Prices ex-showroom (Delhi)

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Design

The term 'Dressed To Kill' suits the Apache RTR 200 4V very well. One look and you would immediately notice the sharp, angular lines that run between the wheels of the Apache. The new RTR 200 uses the old Apache design, but has taken it to a new level. The split seats and the offset fuel cap add to the overall design language. TVS has relied heavily on the Draken Concept for the design of the new bike, that was showcased during the 2014 Auto Expo.

Two of the major design aspects that get a person to look twice at the RTR are the front headlight and the long fins on the side of the fuel tank. The fins on the tank were a noticeable feature on the previous models too, but with a larger tank, they really stand out. Another eye catching design element is the exhaust, which sports the catalytic converter on the side. The Apache RTR 200 also features a very unique Daytime Running Light (DRL) design that look like fangs.

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Engine Specification & Gearbox

Powering the Apache RTR 200 4V is a 197.9cc single cylinder four-stroke engine that is assisted by a RAM air intake. The specifications are as follows

Enginesingle-cylinder, four-stroke
Coolingoil and air-cooled
Gearbox5-speed manual
Acceleration (0 to 60km/h)3.9 seconds

Performance, Ride, And Handling Of The Apache RTR 200 4V

The first thing you would notice as soon as you swing your leg over the motorcycle is the riding position and the comfortable seat. The Apache is well suited to fit riders who are an average 5.5-foot to even the 6-foot plus riders. You get the sensation of sitting in the bike than on it, which gives the rider a lot of confidence.

Once you turn on the key, you're welcomed by a fully digital meter that reminds you to gear up. The engine start button fires up the engine to a very grunty exhaust tone, that hints at the motorcycle's performance.

The Apache RTR 200's suspension is on the softer side. The ride is very comfortable and offers the rider tons of confidence to attack a corner, thanks to the handlebar position as well. On the open roads, the Apache is comfortable cruising at 90 to 100km/h, post which the stress on the engine is felt. Vibrations too are minimum and the Apache has good mid-range acceleration.

Initial acceleration is quick and the gearbox is butter-smooth. One little thing we noticed is that TVS could have equipped the Apache RTR 200 with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The engine does feel the urge of going up another gear when cruising at high speeds.

Braking On The TVS Apache RTR 200 4V

The braking duties are taken care of by disc brakes at both ends. The TVS Apache features petal discs, which measure in at 270mm up front and 240mm at the rear. The braking is sharp and very efficient, but miss the important Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) feature that could prove to be essential on wet roads or while cornering hard.

TVS will soon bring an ABS variant of the Apache to India which will be priced slightly higher than the existing variants and also to keep up with the new government norms.

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Mileage

Mileage of the Apache is a crucial factor, as this segment needs a fine balance between performance and economy. The Apache RTR 200 returned a decent fuel efficiency of around 30km/l in mixed highway and city riding conditions.

Key details Of The Apache RTR 200 4V

Fuel Tank Capacity12-litres including reserve
Brakes(Front) 270mm disc
(Rear) 240mm disc
Tyres(Front) 90/90-17 inch
(Rear) 130/90-17 inch
(Rear) Monoshock
Saddle Height800mm
Ground Clearance180mm
Wheel base1353mm

The Apache RTR 200 4V is available in 7 colours: White, Black, Matte Red, Matte Yellow, Matte White, Matte Black, and Matte Grey.

Apache RTR 200 4V Instrumentation & Electricals

The Apache RTR 200 features a fully digital instrument cluster that offers loads of information. The speedo console gives the rider all the basics needed, like an odometer, two trip meters, clock, gear shift indicator, gear indicator, and service reminder.

The fun bits offered are the top speed recorder, lap timer, shortest distance recorder, and the very inspiring 'Race On' message that comes on everytime you turn the key on.

The electrical bits work brilliant and there were no glitches at all. Just to remind everybody, wait for a couple of seconds before starting the Apache after you've turned the key and the kill switch on for the fuel pump to work. Failing to do so could harm the FI system in the long run.

Fit And Finish Of The TVS Apache RTR 200 4V

TVS has done a lot in terms of design to make RTR 200 look good and stand out. However, they could have spent a little more time checking the quality of plastics. The plastics such as the side panels started squeaking on the very first day itself.

Another issue we faced was with the speedometer, which suddenly decides to make itself comfortable to settle at zero while the bike is running. These are minor glitches which can be rectified to make the product even better overall. Also, the side stand when up, sits between the gear lever and the foot peg. This could result in the rider accidentaly slipping the bike in gear while trying to put on the side stand. 

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Pros And Cons

+ Design
+ Attention to detail
+ Performance
+ Smooth engine
+ Gearbox
+ Handling

Quality of plastics
Lack of sixth gear
No side stand indicator
Side stand position

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Competition

The key competitor for the Apache RTR 200 4V in the Indian market is the KTM Duke 200. The Apache edges out the KTM in terms of price, but the KTM has an advantage when it comes to sheer performance.

Motorcycle ModelTVS Apache RTR 200 4VKTM Duke 200
Enginesingle-cylinder, four-strokesingle-cylinder, four-stroke
Coolingoil and air-cooledliquid-cooled
Gearbox5-speed manual6-speed manual
Acceleration (0 to 60km/h)3.9 seconds3.3 seconds


In the very competitive market of the 200cc segment which is dominated by the KTM Duke 200, the Apache has a lot to fulfill for customers. In the design front, the Apache is a head turner. In terms of performance, it does lack just a bit when compared to the Duke, but as an overall package, the Apache RTR 200 is a very good choice.

So answering the question as to has TVS really created a spectacular motorcycle in this segment, the answer is yes. The Apache may not be as quick or as light as its competition, but as a stand alone motorcycle, the RTR 200 is a very good choice in this segment. It looks good, performs great and flicks into corners like what every passionate rider would want it to.

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Story first published: Thursday, May 26, 2016, 11:15 [IST]
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