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It was over a year ago that we first rode the TVS Apache RR 310 at the Madras Motor Race Track. Back then, the 300cc segment was new territory for TVS Motor Company — a segment it had just entered with the Apache RR 310.
The motorcycle was impressive, but TVS did not rest on its laurels. Soon, we found that TVS Racing had taken up several of the motorcycles and was using them on the racetrack in one-make championship.
The high-octane fueled world of racing brought several improvements to the motorcycle and these improvements ultimately get channeled to the road-going bikes. TVS Motor Company recently rolled out an ECU update to the Apache RR 310.
TVS has now launched the first major update to the motorcycle. The 2019 TVS Apache RR 310 with slipper clutch and a new paint scheme was launched on 28 May, 2019 at a price of Rs 2.27 lakh. We got back to the Madras Motor Race Track to get a feel of the updated TVS Apache RR 310 and its new race-tuned slipper clutch.
Design & Styling
The TVS Apache RR 310 has since the very beginning, been one of the most stylish motorcycles not just in the segment but in the segments above it too. The TVS Akula concept was an extremely stylish concept showcased at the 2016 Indian Auto Expo. The shark-inspired design of the TVS Apache RR 310 has been derived from the Akula concept.
The attention-drawing feature up front is the bi-LED headlamp unit with ram air-intakes right below them. The recent update that was launched in March 2019 also brought in a new visor that TVS claims is more aerodynamic.
The Apache RR 310 is the first fully faired motorcycle from the TVS stable and the side fairing features vents that enhance cooling. The rear-end of the motorcycle is sharply-raked and comes with a minimalistic design. The tail lamp is unique and stands out in a crowd. The motorcycle comes with racing stripes that further improves the aesthetics.
Engine & Performance
The TVS Apache RR 310 is powered by a liquid-cooled, 312cc, single-cylinder engine.It produces a maximum power output of 33.53bhp at 9,700rpm and a peak torque output of 27.3Nm at 7,700rpm.
The rear wheel is driven via a six-speed gearbox that is now assisted by a slipper clutch. 0-100km/h acceleration runs are done in a claimed 7.17 seconds and the motorcycle has a claimed top speed of 160km/h.
The reverse-inclined engine is one which has been praised for its performance and throttle response. The recent update given to the motorcycle in March 2019 further improved the engine's character thanks to the fine-tuned mapping in the new ECU. Now, TVS has gone ahead and equipped the motorcycle with a race-tuned slipper clutch.
This is the very update that we set out to test and the best place to do it was at the Madras Motor Race Track, in the sweltering summer heat. With track temperatures going above 40 degrees, we put on the leather suits and headed out onto the 3.7 kilometres-long track.
The eager throttle response was impressive as usual and so was the raw exhaust note. I am a firm believer that this engine sounds the best at full-throttle and so it proved, once again. The differences on the 2019 Apache RR 310 are felt right from the get go.
The slipper clutch on the 2019 model also comes with an assist function. As part of the assist system, the Apache RR 310 comes with additional cams in the clutch center and pressure plate. TVS' engineers have also reduced the number of clutch plates to seven (the previous model had eight).
These two, when combined together allow for a lighter feel on the clutch lever. TVS claims that the effort to operate the clutch has gone down by nearly 20 percent. This is a boon out on the track, where one would go through hundreds of gearshifts in a few laps. We believe this would also be a boon in traffic-filled riding conditions.
The slipper clutch functions flawlessly and allows for a cleaner entry into corners. It has also made the motorcycle more fun-to-ride on a racetrack. Before its launch in 2017, the Apache RR 310 was developed and tested at MMRT. After the launch too, it was tested further at the same track to make the necessary improvements.
It helped that MMRT is home-ground for TVS Racing and it serves as the official test-track for TVS' Racing division. TVS claims that the new race-tuned slipper clutch was tested for over 200 hours at this very track and it shows when one rides the motorcycle here.
Usually, upon downshifting at high speeds during entry into a corner, motorcycles' tail gets wiggly and there could also be tail-hopping due to the mismatch between the wheel speed and engine speed. This has been negated with the addition of the slipper clutch system. It enters corners smoothly, and there is absolutely no tail-hop.
Ride & Handling
The TVS Apache RR 310 has received rave reviews for its handling prowess.The motorcycle was already so good and balanced with its handling that TVS didn't feel the need meddle with its suspension for the 2019 model update.
The 2019 TVS Apache RR 310 is built on a race-derived trellis frame. It also features a die-cast aluminium swingarm.
This is itself provides an agile platform. The motorcycle rides on an upside-down fork up front and a gas-assisted monoshock at the rear. The suspension is from KYB and those folks know their suspension well.
This makes for a sweet ride. As mentioned earlier, the Apache RR 310 was developed at the Madras Motor Race Track and hence it feels right at home in every single corner. The achilles heel of the motorcycle was the fact that it was light at the rear.
This, combined with the conventional clutch system that it had earlier, made it hop in the corners when taken at a high speed and this was sometimes dangerous.
This has been solved with the addition of the slipper clutch and the motorcycle now leans into corners perfectly. The pace at which it takes corners is almost astonishing when one considers the fact that this is a motorcycle that was set up for commuting, touring and racing.
The 2019 Apache RR 310 is braked by a 300mm petal disc up front and a 240mm petal disc at the rear. A dual-channel ABS comes as standard fitment. The brakes feel powerful and are very effective in doing their job.
With the addition of the slipper clutch, the 2019 Apache RR 310 feels complete in every possible manner and this gets everyone thinking about the stock tyres, especially after a ride on the track. The Michelin tyres are perfect all-rounders for use out in the world. On the track though, the tyres fall short when being ridden on the edge.
The TVS Apache RR 310 comes with several features of which, a few are first in its segment. The bi-LED projector headlamps were a segment-first feature when it first came out. It also features a vertically stacked instrument cluster that displays a whole lot of information.
It displays the speedometer, tachometer, gear position indicator, range and mileage read-outs along with two race timers that measure 0 - 60kph sprints and lap times.
The new Phantom Black colour makes the Apache RR 310 more attractive than ever before. The sleek paint job with the classy silver-coloured racing stripes make for excellent aesthetics and I am a fan.
The Apache RR 310 was already an excellent motorcycle. It had almost everything one could ask for in this price bracket. Now though, it has been made better.
The addition of the slipper race-tuned slipper clutch, new visor and windscreen has made the motorcycle almost irresistible. It is now a great overall package and for this reason, we think it is a winner!
The Apache RR 310 has been TVS Motor Company's flagship motorcycle for well over a year now. TVS' continued efforts to improve the motorcycle has made it excellent and has renewed buyers' trust in the brand. In-fact, it just might boost sales for the Apache RR 310.