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TVS Apache RR 310: Track test review

TVS Apache RR 310: Track test review

Snapshot: The wait is over as TVS unleashes the Apache 310 RR for Indian roads. We've just been to the Madras Motor Sports Club to get a taster of its capabilities.

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It has been a long time enthusiasts have been eagerly waiting for TVS to upgrade into a bigger displacement category. Everybody has known that RTRs have been good quality fun-to-ride motorcycles, and that the company can most definitely do a lot more. Come the previous Auto Expo and these admirers had teary eyes when then saw the Akula in flesh. Can you imagine the joy we got when TVS called us to ride the production ready version of the Apache RR 310 at Madras Motor Sports Club. This is primarily a track test and more a reflection of how it feels at full chat ripping through corners. It also is TVS’s celebration of 35 years of racing history, and there can be no better way for a brand to celebrate its first supersport motorcycle.

Design

First look and you immediately fall in love with this brand new supersport design by an Indian manufacturer. This will definitely go down in the all time great looking motorcycles for this decade. Sharp lines and bulk centralisation towards the front clearly defines its aggressive race worthy characteristics. Underneath it carries the basic DNA of the BMW G 310R as a single cylinder easy to handle sporty machine. But TVS has upped its ante very high for other domestic manufacturers to get competitive. All major parameters, bi-LED projector headlights, golden finished inverted front shocks, that peeping trellis frame, split pillion seat and even those 5-spoke alloy wheels have been integrated so well that you won’t be wrong in considering it a 600 class supersport. TVS’s brand horse logo sits on top of the tank, grey on the red bike and an even nicer black on the black variant looks epic. All in the name of performance the dimensions might look larger than they are, but they are actually very compact for nimble handling. In fact just the looks alone are enough to inch you towards buying it, what a bike!

Ergonomics

As I mentioned earlier, this bike has been designed to be an apex hunter on track but TVS has also made it comfortable for daily use. Its seating position is neither too committed, nor too relaxed, it is just right. Imagine the pressure on design team from engineering, design it with aerodynamics in mind, rider comfort, smashing looks and keep it tight for agility. And they did respond beautifully. Extensive wind tunnel testing has dictated its design for performance and rider comfort to go hand-in-hand. Switchgear and plastics are top notch and within excellent reach. The new vertical stacked meter console is a first we’ve seen on an Indian machine and it is an absolute charmer. All the information is stacked as need, with a vertical climbing rev-counter that is just at the lower tip of your visor, very neat! Foot-pegs are rear biased, but not so much that you feel uncomfortable negotiating daily commute, even after being perched on 810mm saddle height. Wrists will not carry weight on them avoiding fatigue and you can go long distances with ease. They may be clip-on handle bars, but are fairly wide and upright to aid you back, so go touring, it will be comfortable. Another big positive are the rear view mirrors that offer great rear visibility unlike its competition.

Engine and performance

You already know this 312.2cc single cylinder reverse inclined engine has its genes shared with the BMW G 310R. But this one is tuned and honed for Indian roads. It produces 33.5bhp at 9,700rpm backed by 27.3Nm peak torque at 7,700rpm, fuelled through a Bosch sourced injection system. Power delivery from the moment you let go off the clutch is very linear and predictable. Clutch action is smooth and easy, and you can attack the 6-speed gearbox aggressively. One niggle I felt was why does it have very average brake and clutch levers when even the RTR 200V has high quality ones. Engine power is delivered smoothly and you feel every rpm climb. Exhaust note is soft to not intrusive for regular everyday riding, but would like more noise on higher rpm.

Ride and handling

This is where the RR 310 wins almost every expert on track. It is a nimble handling motorcycle on full chat and is very agile when you change directions quickly. I’m not a very track focussed rider, especially with so many experts around, but the motorcycle is way more capable. Very fast sweepers on MMRT were dealt with confidence inspiring stability at really fast speeds indeed. The RTR 200V is a much focussed track tool, but the RR 310 takes it to another level. The ‘RaceSpec’ trellis chassis is not a mere novelty, but translates into impeccable communication while on mid-leans. Since power delivery is linear, going through a fast corner instils no fears of sudden bursts of torque, but a slipper clutch would help more stability while downshifting hot. Michelin Pilot Street radials, 110/70 up front and 150/60 rear, have loads of grip on medium to high speed corners. I understand the choice for these tyres by TVS as they are a good mix of everyday use, track performance and wet weather riding. But for the real performance hungry, slap on a Metzeler M7 RR for flawless track stability. Also I need to mention that these Michelins will provide great ride quality on most road surface India throws at them. Brakes too are strong and you are kept under the safety of a non-switchable dual channel ABS system.

Verdict

I stood in front of the Apache RR310 in complete amazement as it ticked cool. It handles beautifully feeling lightweight and agile, will be great to storm to office daily and will bring giggles on weekend rides. And above all else looks an absolute stunner, something which we have lacked in singles these recent years. This may be a premature judgement as we’ve just seen it on the track yet, but fingers crossed we wait for TVS to send it for a comprehensive test in the real world soon. But for now I can report that this is one cracking little machine which will win thousands of hearts. A machine for the people, by our people!

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