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TVS Apache RR310 Review - Racing DNA comes through strong and fast

Priya sundarajan | Updated on: Dec 06, 2017

The Apache RR310 takes to the track like a shark to the ocean; will it bite into the competition like Jaws, too?

TVS launched the Apache RR310 bike today at a starting price of Rs 2.05 lakh (ex-showroom).

Ever since TVS unveiled the Akula concept at the 2016 Auto Expo, the buzz around it began for various reasons — TVS’ partnership with BMW Motorrad, the engine that was said to be shared with BMW’s own G310R, and of course, a fully-faired offering from the Indian auto-maker. When the company recently teased the motorcycle, albeit with a different name, the buzz became palpable and today, the covers finally came off.

That TVS decided to go with the ‘Apache’ nomenclature makes sense. After all, the brand, in its various iterations and models, has been a successful product and is at the centre of TVS racing. But make no mistake, there’s little apart from the name that the Apache RR310 shares with its smaller displacement siblings — this is a motorcycle with a very different appeal and aesthetic — as we discovered at the media ride TVS organised just before the launch. Here are the first impressions after a few laps on the MMRC track.

Looks and design

‘Akula’ means shark in Russian, and we didn’t have to google it because TVS started the briefing with this titbit of linguistic information. The Akula concept was called so because of the design inspired by the deep sea predator, and while the shark later took on the name of the Indian warriors, you can still spot the resemblance.

The RR310’s silhouette is streamlined, with the headlamp and cowl modelled on a shark’s head. The twin tail profile of the motorcycle is a takeaway from a shark’s V-shaped tail and even the hot air deflectors are inspired by the fish’s pectoral fin. The headlamp assembly, side cowl, and tank cover assembly, though being different modules, fit together and look like one seamless unit.

The tank cover stands out with its curvaceous looks and TVS’ sprinting horse mascot on either side with an RR310-emblazoned badge on the top. The windshield looks like a no nonsense unit — short and functional. Thin, arrowhead-shaped indicators flank the front and rear. The split headlamp is a Bi-LED projector with automatic headlamp ON. Gold-finish telescopic front forks add some bling to the looks.

The RR310 sports a vertical speedometer, which TVS said was for better visibility — something that became evident during the ride. Its shape resembles a hexagon and it’s an all-digital display, with all the usual readers such as speed, rev, ODOmeter, gear indicator, etc. In addition, it also has a side-stand warning, lap information display, and launch timing (0-60 kmph) for those stints on a track. There is a set button on the right and a hazard lights activation button on the left. The aluminium-forged clamp-on handlebars with the right-biased key fob look unmistakably made for racing.

The motorcycle is built on a trellis frame with a reverse-inclined engine (mounted at 180 degrees facing backward). This ensures a longer swingarm and shorter wheelbase. The reverse-inclined engine is said to make the bike more agile and it did feel so. Seating position is very sporty, with the footpegs set with a rear-bias.

The ride

The 312 cc engine is a single-cylinder four-stroke liquid cooled unit, making 34 PS of power at 9,700 rpm and a maximum torque of 27.3 Nm at 7,700 rpm. On a related note, it is good to see a capable single-cylinder unit that churns out power close to what twin-cylinder 300 cc engines make. It is definitely fast off the blocks. Some very useful torque makes itself available even at the mid-rev range, reflecting in the launch time (which TVS claims is 2.93 seconds). The claimed top speed is 160 kmph. It is mated to a six-speed transmission that is slick shifting with easy downshifts — something that is useful on the track. We mostly stayed on the fifth and sixth gears and the fifth gear is quite comfortable at speeds even around 40 kmph, which we discovered when taking right-angled corners.

It felt assured on turns and corners and maintaining balance was not a problem. Lean-ins felt effortless and the bike responds with an easy, smooth flow to a rider’s movements. The R17 tubeless tyres offer good grip. Braking (300 mm and 240 mm petal discs- front and rear respectively) comes with ABS and on a couple of instances when sudden slowdowns were needed, did the job well with minimal skid and swerve.

The rear suspension is a mono-shock with the front 140 mm front inverted forks, but we cannot comment on their on-road feel and performance as we rode only on the track.

Bottomline

At its price, the Apache RR310 offers some great specs and premium features — something that is sure to allure those looking at adding some zing and rush to their daily commute as well as those who would like to experience it on the track. The timing of its launch — well ahead of the G310 R, expected in the latter half of 2018 — could give it a headstart. We also see it giving good competition to the likes of the Kawasaki Ninja, Benelli 302R , (both of which are priced higher) and the KTM RC 390.

Published on January 09, 2018

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