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At the 2016 Indian Auto Expo, TVS Motor Company caused quite a stir with their new concept motorcycle. The Akula 310 concept was displayed and it was the first time that TVS was showcasing a proper faired motorcycle. It looked real good and promised to ride even better.
In 2017, the TVS Apache RR 310 was launched in the Indian market. When we rode it for the first time at the Madras Motor Race Track, the motorcycle turned out to be very impressive. It was already equipped with a long list of features. However, TVS it seems, is in pursuit of perfection and the brand updated the RR 310 in 2018, 2019 and even 2020.
Now, the brand has launched its new 2021 iteration and on this one, the list of features has increased manifold. It can now be customised through the TVS Built-To-Order platform and it receives two kits namely Dynamic Kit & Race Kit. The big addition to the features list comes in the form of fully adjustable suspension at the front and rear.
Also, you get lots of aesthetic customisation options that make the RR 310 look like it belongs out on the racetrack. We put the motorcycle through its paces at the Madras Motor Race Track once again to find out how big a difference the new kits make. Read on to find out.
TVS Built-To-Order Platform
The Built-To-Order platform from TVS is an industry-first initiative taken up by TVS to allow customisation at the factory level. This is achieved through a website-based configurator or through the TVS ARIVE smartphone app.
On the configurator, buyers can choose the graphics on the motorcycle, add a personalised race number, and opt for the Dynamic or Race kit as per their personal preferences. You can even choose the colour of the alloy wheels on the bike. So, you can now get a personalised motorcycle from the factory, and that is a something you can definitely brag about.
Design & Style
Before we went ahead and rode the motorcycle on the track, we spent a good few minutes just looking at the motorcycle and admiring what TVS has done with it. The Apache RR 310 motorcycles we got to ride at the Madras Motor Race Track were all decked in the Race Replica livery, which can be availed through the Built To Order platform.
The Race Replica livery is a celebration of TVS Racing and its achievements in the motorsport arena. It comes with the Red, White and Blue colours which are the official colours of TVS Racing. You also get attractive graphics and decals on almost all body parts of the motorcycle.
Some of the decals include TVS Racing, Apache, DOHC, RR 310, etc. On the headlamp fairing, there is this really cool decal that says ‘Racing SInce 1982'. All of this come together to give the motorcycle a proper race bike feel and it is certainly set to be one of the most attention-grabbing motorcycles on our roads especially in the Race Replica livery.
Look past the shouty decals and the colourful graphics, and you will see the same familiar design language that hasn't really changed much since its launch back in 2017. Up front, you still get the pretty Bi-LED projector headlamps with LED DRLs. The Ram air intake underneath the headlamp has also been retained.
Above the headlamp, you still get the large windscreen and all this is neatly integrated into the large fairing. The vents to channel out hot air from the engine are still intact and so is the sporty fuel tank with large knee recesses.
The exposed frame and subframe still do their job in making the motorcycle look better and so does the steeply-raked rear section of the motorcycle. You get the ever-so-familiar unique LED tail lamp that neatly sits in the sharp cowling.
An eye for detail though, would notice that the geometry of the exhaust end can has changed. This has been done to allow the rider to achieve a greater degree of lean in the corners. The sound of the exhaust system has also changed. More on this later.
The motorcycle we were riding was equipped with the Race Kit as well as the Dynamic Kit. So, it came with higher-set knurled footpegs, fully adjustable suspension, and it also gets a more aggressive handlebar. If you have an eye for detail, these additions also increase the aesthetic appeal of the TVS Apache RR 310.
Features & Specifications
The 2021 TVS Apache RR 310 is not just about the Race Kit, Dynamic Kit & Built To Order platform. The standard motorcycle too gets several feature additions. A large number of these feature additions are found in the TFT instrumentation. Since 2020, the Apache RR 310 comes with a 5.2-inch full-colour TFT screen.
Now, the engineers at TVS have added some really useful and practical features and incorporated them into the same screen. Some of the new features include:
- Dynamic Rev Limit Indicator
- Day Trip Meter
- Overspeed Indication
Digi Docs is a feature that allows you to store the vehicle's documents in the system so that you always have them handy while astride the motorcycle. The Insurance and registration papers along with the driving license can all be stored in the instrumentation.
When the engine is cold-started, the Dynamic Rev Limit Indicator increases the rev-limit displayed on the screen as the engine temperature rises. This will help in increasing the life of the engine. It doesn't really limit the engine directly but indicates to the rider on the screen not to cross a limit.
The Day Trip Meter allows the rider to measure the distance traveled in a day and the Overspeed indication alerts the rider if the set speed limit is crossed. This speed limit can be selected by the rider and it is a useful feature to have if one is riding in a speed-restricted zone.
Other than these new feature additions, TVS has introduced the aforementioned Dynamic & Race Kits.
- Fully Adjustable KYB Upside-Down Fork
(20-step rebound & compression damping; 15mm pre-load adjustment)
- Fully Adjustable KYB Monoshock
(20-step rebound damping; 15-step pre-load adjustment)
- Brass-Coated, Anti-Rust Chain
- Priced At Rs 12,000
- Race Ergonomic Handlebar
- Raised Footrest Assembly
- Knurled Footpegs
- Priced At Rs 5,000
Other than these new additions, the TVS Apache RR 310 continues to feature the ride modes that were introduced in 2020 — Rain, Urban, Sport & Race. The TFT screen features different themes for each of these modes and there is an increase/decrease in the power and torque depending on the mode you are riding in.
The TVS Apache RR 310 was always a brilliant motorcycle to ride. Be it the peppy engine or the dynamic riding posture, the RR 310 never failed to impress on the road and on the racetrack. It didn't offer as dedicated a riding position as some of its rivals, and this allowed it to be ridden over long distances in comfort.
Now though, you can have three different riding characteristics with one motorcycle, and this depends on the kit you choose. The Dynamic Kit brings with it, the fully adjustable suspension and when set up right, this should work wonders on the road. But we will leave that for when we actually test it out on the road.
The motorcycle we rode was equipped with both the Race Kit as well as the Dynamic Kit. This one was destined to work wonders on the racetrack, and boy did it impress us.
The ride organised at the Madras Motor Racetrack was simple and designed in a way that would make us experience the fully adjustable suspension and the other features of the new packages in an elaborate manner.
The difference that the race package makes is immediately felt the moment you swing your legs over the motorcycle and take your place on the saddle. Without even starting the engine you immediately know that this motorcycle and the components installed on it are built to help you take corners faster than you would have otherwise.
Thumb the starter and you are greeted by a refined sound from the exhaust. The motorcycle really has come a long way since the rough, unrefined sound it produced back in 2017. Now though, at lower revs it has a throaty rumble. As the revs climb, the motorcycle starts to sound more aggressive and it revs really quick too.
The Race Kit includes a lowered handlebar and knurled footpegs that are raised. The difference these two components make is immense. The handlebar is pulled back by around 5-degrees and lowered at the ends by around 8-degrees. This allows for a more tucked-in posture.
Then there are the raised footpegs which enable a more aggressive riding position, and more opportunities for those fancy knee-down pictures. With this race kit, the dedicated riding position required for the racetrack is sorted.
Adding to this is the fully adjustable suspension. We were taken led out on track by TVS Racing's championship-winning riders KY Ahamed & Jagan Kumar for two laps. On these two laps, the suspension on the new RR 310 was at its default setting. The RR 310 felt at ease taking corners at high speeds.
After completing two laps, we were brought back into the pits where the suspension was retuned. TVS Racing's skilled engineers dialed in some pre-determined settings for the rebound, compression, and pre-load, and we were sent out again.
Right from the moment we exited the pit lane, the difference was immediately felt. The increase in confidence you get while entering a corner is just mind-boggling. All of a sudden, you feel ballsy enough to enter the corner at a higher speed than before and then you get back on the throttle more aggressively too.
After completing four laps on the race suspension setting, we enter the pits once again to cool off, and that gave us time to contemplate how big a difference suspension adjustments make. Before we knew it, we had to head back out on the track.
This time, the TVS engineers asked each rider how they would like the suspension set up before dialing the settings in. Well, this time, the bike felt perfect. The handling was spot on and there was nothing left to complain of. Handling is further enhanced by the premium Michelin Road 5 tyres that grip the tarmac like there's no tomorrow.
The engine as usual was a gem out on the racetrack. The 34bhp that it produces makes the motorcycle accelerate quickly. The urgency with which the engine revs, makes it more enjoyable. The 6-speed gearbox shifts quickly and the slipper clutch is a lifesaver when entering a corner too hot.
Well, in terms of handling, the adjustable suspension, combined with the race-derived handlebars and footpegs certainly brings the new Apache RR 310 really close to a race motorcycle in terms of capabilities.
The TVS Apache RR 310 directly competes with the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the KTM RC390. However, the competition from Japan and Austria don't offer the kind of features that the motorcycle from Hosur does.
KTM India is expected to launch the updated RC390 in the coming months, but we're sure it will be priced at a higher point when compared to the TVS Apache RR310. The customisability of the Apache RR 310 is yet another factor that will bring in more buyers. TVS seems to have nailed it this time around.
Going back several years in time, we never could have imagined features like fully adjustable suspension being introduced on a 300cc motorcycle in India. But here we are with the 2021 Apache RR 310 — packed with features, and yet not very expensive. This will surely be the selling point for the new Apache RR 310, and of course, the motorcycle looks even better now.
The folks at TVS really listen to their customers and have introduced these features not just on the new bike, but it can also be retrofitted to older models of the RR 310. This is just brilliant. This motorcycle really impressed us out on the racetrack. Stay tuned for our full review as we will test it out in the real world very soon.