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TVS’s Apaches now BS-VI compliant and better equipped

Debabrata Sarkar | Updated on December 12, 2019

Sometime last year when TVS sent out the four-valve 160 for a ride, it was immediately impressive. From the time you push on the starter switch, the Apache 160 felt like it is the smoothest Apache that ever rolled out off the line. The 2020 version, which is now BS VI compliant, has managed to retain all of that finesse. The bright red paint job with a steady helping of stripes doesn’t make it half bad to look at either.

TVS Apache RTR 4V 160 BS VI

Speaking of which, there is little that has been altered in this department. In fact, the headlamp with its hefty plastic cladding and LED elements are about the only visual difference. For the keen eyed observer there is also the large chamber that has been added to the bend pipe in the exhaust. This is where the carbon and nitrogen emissions are captured to make for cleaner emissions out of the tailpipe.

With just over 16 horsepower on offer, there is no appreciable difference in output from the BS IV version. It is unlikely that you will tell the difference out on the road as well. The clutch continues to be light and the gear lever action is even lighter. It is superbly refined and stays that way as you pile on the revs. It is only at the absolute top end of the rev range that a bit of a buzz creeps in. To cater to the urban lifestyle, the boffins at TVS have designed something they refer to as ‘Glide Through Technology’ or GTT. Now, thanks to fuel injection, you can crawl along in traffic using only the clutch. No throttle needed to do speeds up to 7kmph in first and 12 kmph in second gear.

And, to answer the question more directly, no it isn’t one bit slower. An indicated speed of 115kmph was achieved on the test track, which is pretty nifty for a 160. Moreover, for the times that you need to shed that speed in a hurry, a 270mm disc up front scrubs speed effectively and has been equipped with ABS too.

TVS Apache RTR 4V 200 BS VI

This was the motorcycle that pushed the Apache series to the next level of performance back in 2016. Through its many options lists and subsequent upgrade to a four-valve motor, the Apache 200 remains the flagship of the RTR series. Till a street-sport version of the 310 comes along anyway. Like the 160, there isn’t a whole lot of visual differentiation beyond the new headlamp cluster and LED elements and the redesigned side covers. There is, like the 160, a larger chamber on the exhaust to deliver BS VI compliant emissions. However, there are some added extras to the 200.

Is it still as quick?

With 20 horsepower available at the twist of your wrist, the Apache 200 is every bit as quick as earlier. There has been a steady progression in refinement as well and quality of plastics seems better now. This has addressed a typical boom that would resonate at higher revs. The double barrel exhaust has a throaty note even at idle to set it apart from the 160 quite easily. At the TVS test track it clocked an indicated 120kmph comfortably with the numbers tumbling eagerly for more. Like the 160, this one also gets the GTT functionality to deal with the urban crawl better. In case you were wondering, yes, it works on an incline as well.

What is ‘smartxconnect’?

TVS has implemented a full suite of features along with this app that connects to the Apache 200 via Bluetooth. Similar to some of the other apps that we have come across, this one uses data from the motorcycle and the phone that is paired to provide a range of functions. There is a dedicated ‘I’ or info button on the left grip to scroll through/ cancel various notifications. Apart from showing you call alerts and service reminders, you can also use the app for turn-by-turn navigation. Most importantly, the app logs your trips, with detailed information. Moreover, when you run low on fuel, the app will navigate you to the closest petrol pump if you choose to. You can also configure emergency contact numbers to be notified automatically in the event of a crash – the program waits for 180 seconds before sending out your location. There is a bit of race-inspiration here as well with the app dishing out 0-60kph times, top speed achieved and lean angle readings (which isn’t accurate though, as it reads it off the position of the phone in your pocket.)

Other extras on the 200?

TVS has gone ahead and used their extensive race program to develop a tyre called the Protorq SR. The 130 section tyre at the rear is the same size as the one on the 160, but stickier rubber and better construction is promised with the Protorq. Moreover, you get dual-channel ABS with the Apache 200 to ensure better straight line braking. It would’ve been nice to have a more crisp feel to the front brakes and possibly a less aggressive ABS set up for the rear. Also, the monoshock at the rear is a KYB spring as opposed to the Showa one on the 160. At stock settings, on the test track, I can’t say there was any apparent difference.

With the new update, TVS is ready for BS VI norms that kick in on April 1, 2020. The updated headlamp design makes the motorcycles appear larger, which isn’t a bad thing at all. After all the revisions to the motor and exhaust and the added features, the Apache 160 4V (disc) now costs ₹1.03 lakh (ex-showroom) and the Apache 200 4V retails at ₹1.24 lakh (ex-showroom).

Published on December 12, 2019

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