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The race track or the spirit of racing is a familiar circuit for TVS Motors. Celebrating 35-years of TVS racing, the racing DNA began in 1983 with the TVS 50 conquering most races at the time. Simply put, TVS Motors is an old hat when it comes to motorcycle racing in India.
And 35-years in and advances in race-engineering along with a technical collaboration with BMW Motorrad has given birth to the Apache RR 310 aka Akula, first showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo in Delhi.
Rolling back the years, there is no taking away the fact that TVS Motors produced some noteworthy motorcycles such as the Supra SS, Shogun (on which I've personally raced), Shaolin, Fiero, and nowadays, the Apache series.
The Apache RR 310 is a big-league motorcycle for TVS Motors. The RR 310 will lock horns with the agile KTM RC 390, the intuitive Ninja 300 and the hotshot Benelli 302R.
We ride the all-new TVS Apache RR 310 on the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) in Irungattukottai, Chennai. That said, is the latest from the TVS stable a #PureRacecraft worthy 300cc motorcycle and a design dynamo? Read on.
The TVS Apache RR 310 is the first fully faired motorcycle from the Indian two-wheeler giant. The shark-inspired design draws heavily from the Akula concept seen at the 2016 Auto Expo. The aggressive design of the Apache RR 310 is honed for the track and the most potent road-going TVS draws attention to itself wherever it goes.
The pointed front end of the TVS Apache RR 310 is dominated by first-in-class bi-LED twin projector headlamps that sit above ram-air intakes. The intakes force more air into the engine enhancing performance and cooling. The windscreen sits flush and features the Indian tricolour as a decal.
The side fairing of the Apache RR 310 dominates the sides of the newest TVS. The fairing features a patented deflector cowl along with gill vents that channel hot air away from the engine enhancing rider comfort on the go.
The minimalist, but highly raked tail section of the TVS Apache RR 310 is dominated by the snake-fang taillights, which look unique compared to the vertical bars and lines found on rivals. The slightly upward pointing exhaust will let the crowds know what is passing through in a hurry as the rider allows the revs to rise.
The vertically stacked instrument is as comprehensive as it gets with the speedometer joined by a tachometer, gear position indicator, range and mileage read-outs along with two racy timers that measure 0 - 60kph sprints and lap times.
So, what's it like to ride?
The Apache RR 310 represents a motorcycle with a great deal of research and development and track time. Blazing through MMRT curves, it is fast and involving. Yet above all, the non-threatening power mixed generously with racy handling and cornering grip makes it easy to ride; one can spend the entire track day pulling on the throttle.
Get hard on the throttle, and the 313cc single-cylinder, reverse inclined engine's 28Nm of torque and the broad powerband of the RR 310 comes to life beneath you. TVS has done a fair job with the mapping, so picking up the power from a closed throttle at full lean is well-behaved. The 34bhp, Apache RR 310 will match the KTM RC 390 on all of MMRT but the longest straights; estimated top speed and mileage are 160kph and 25 to 30kpl respectively.
The racier riding position is natural and has a race-replica feel to it. The rear set pegs are positioned aptly and offer a friendly ride in the city as well. There is enough ground clearance for tackling the race track and those breakneck speed breakers.
The 170kg, Apache RR 310 gets Kayaba 41mm diameter upside-down forks and preload adjustable rear mono-shock. Braking duties are carried out by a dual-channel ABS with 300mm single disc up front and 240mm disc at the rear with rear-wheel lift-off protection, too. I'm sure this will be a lifesaver one day.
But it is not all roses. The steering is not pin-sharp, and a tad bit of effort is required on the handlebars to get the Apache RR 310 pointing exactly where you want it. And from closed throttle, it is not as snatchy compared to the KTMs' and on the straights ran out of puff. But a quick remap and an Akrapovic slip-on and a few simple-but-effective mods should sweeten this out.
Those quirks aside, the Apache RR 310 is still spectacular. TVS Motors might have arrived late to the 300cc party with the Apache RR 310, but they have done it in style and with a machine that looks the part and goes around the racing circuit with agility, feel and poise.
Jobo Kuruvilla Thinks!
Two of my tests for any motorcycle is, one, do I desire riding it again after having ridden it the first time and two, it brings refinement and freshness within its segment? By both tests, the TVS Apache RR 310 wins points and is a #PureRacecraft worthy 300cc motorcycle in my eyes.
DriveSpark Fact Check
The Apache RR 310 is developed from the BMW-TVS alliance platform, and the RR 310 is to some degree a similar package compared to the BMW G 310R. The chassis, engine, gearbox, braking, suspension and electricals are almost identical; however, the Engine Control Unit (ECU) is from TVS Motors and is tuned to satisfy Indian conditions.
Pricing & Technical Details
The Apache RR 310 prices start at Rs 2.05 lakh ex-showroom, which looks like value for money.
Stay tuned for an in-depth review of the Apache RR 310.
|Design||1-cylinder, 4-stroke, reverse inclined engine|
|Max. Power Output||34bhp at 9,700rpm|
|Max. Torque||28Nm at 7,700rpm|
|Top Speed (est.)||160kph|
|Mileage (est.)||25 - 30kpl|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||11 litres|
|Clutch||Wet Multiple Disc |
|Suspension (Front) ||Kayaba 41mm Upside-Down Forks|
|Suspension (Rear) ||Kayaba 41mm Mono-shock|
|Brakes Front (Disc) ||300mm Petal Type|
|Brakes Rear (Disc) ||240mm Petal Type|
|ABS ||Dual-Channel ABS|
|Tyre (Front) ||Michelin 110/70-R17 54H Tubeless |
|Tyre (Rear) ||Michelin 150/60-R17 66H Tubeless |
|Chassis||Trellis frame, split chassis|
|Dimensions (L×W×H)||2,001 x 786 x 1,135mm|