TVS Apache RTR 180 Review
Racing DNA Unleashed!!Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Design and Style
Apache RTR 180 is the most powerful bike of TVS ever launched in India. The bike has been recently upgraded as it has direct competition with the establisher of this segment, Bajaj Pulsar 180 and other premium 150cc bikes like Yamaha FZ-S, Suzuki GS150R and Hero Hunk. Can this challenger from TVS rule its segment? Let’s find out.
Design and Style
It is almost a carbon copy of its younger sibling, Apache RTR 160. It takes time to notice the little changes made to this bike. TVS has added new elements of style to this bike which includes revamped headlight and front cowl. The pilot lamps of the bike are now combined with day time running LEDs which turns on with ignition. Its clear lens indicators and black colored rear view mirrors are the same. Its front fender features racing graphics on it which looks sporty with racing strips on its black colored alloy wheels. To make it look aggressive and aerodynamic, TVS has added bigger tank shrouds on this bike. TVS has printed RTR in bold letters on its fuel tank which also features cool graphics. Front forks and rear shockers of this bike are given gold finish which complements the styling of this bike. The engine cowl is the sportiest thing that you can notice in this bike. Its black colored muffler is partly covered by a chrome shield. The racing style continues at the back also as you will notice sporty decals on its rear cowl. Its split grab rail, short rear fender and dual colored tail light adds macho character to this bike.
It has a very interesting instrument panel which will surely impress youngsters. The LCD of this bike features a digital speedometer, odometer, trip meter, clock and fuel gauge. Apart from this, there is also a feature in this bike which records its top speed and 0-60km/hr timings. There is an analogue tachometer in this bike with an illuminating needle. You will also notice other important indicators in this instrument console. The LCD uses blue color for illumination which looks really funky at night.
Engine and Gearbox
TVS has fitted a 4-stroke, single cylinder 177.4cc engine in this bike. This 2-valve, SOHC engine pumps out a peak power of 17.03 bhp at 8500 rpm. The maximum torque output of this engine is 15.5 Nm which is achievable at 6500rpm. It shares its 5-speed manual gearbox with its younger sibling, Apache RTR 160. It has one gear down and four gears up-shift pattern.
Acceleration and Performance
This is the department which makes the difference. In less than 4.15 seconds you will be able to complete 0-60km/hr with this bike. The gearbox has been slightly tuned for smoother gear transitions but its gear ratios are almost the same. Its instant throttle response in every gear is the best thing about this engine. The bike has the best power to weight ratio in its class. It performs terrific between 3000-7000rpm. The early torque building helps you while overtaking on highways. The bike is fun to drive at slow speeds where you get the best display of its power. It does 0-100km/hr within 14 seconds and goes all the way to a whacking top speed of 124km/hr. Sadly, TVS couldn’t get rid of the vibrations at high speeds. This engine is surely less refined and makes a lot of noise at high rpms. The high end performance of this engine is not as impressive as Pulsar 180.
This bike can give you a mileage of around 42-46km/ltr on highways while its fuel efficiency ranges from 38-40km/ltr in city conditions.
Comfort while Driving
Get on to this bike and it hardly feels different from its previous generation. This seat offers more comfort than its rivals. It’s well cushioned and can hold you for long time easily. The clip-on handle bar offers firm grip and give a nice hold of the bike. There is an engine kill switch also which is quite convenient to use. The plastic quality of the buttons used on its handlebar is not satisfactory and feels down-market when compared to its rivals. The rear set foot-pegs help you to get a sporty riding posture with knees folded around its fuel tank.
Storage Space and Safety Features
There is not much storage space in this bike. However, for your safety, Apache 180 comes with a rear saree guard and front leg guard.
Suspension and Brakes
TVS has made no changes in this department. Apache 180 features front telescopic forks of 105mm stroke while it has monotube gas filled shock absorbers at the back. TVS has incorporated disc brakes on its both wheels. Apache was the first bike in India to have Roto Petal Discs. It has a front disc brake of 270mm and a rear disc brake of 200mm.
Ride and Handling
The bike was often complained for its less stability especially around corners. In order to get rid of this problem, TVS has stretched its wheelbase by 40mm. Now this bike has a wheelbase of 1300mm and ground clearance of 165mm which gives it better stability than before. Handling has never been an issue with this bike. It turns and steers accurately even at high speeds. The bike finds it hard though to stay grounded at high speeds due to its light weight and soft suspension. High speed cornering has improved significantly but would have been much better with a wider rear tyre.
Tyre Size, Shades and Variants
It has R17 size of tyres. It’s available in three colors which are black, grey and white and frankly speaking, it looks magnificent in white color.
We feel the company has overpriced this bike. Yes, it offers an impressive performance and premium features like rear disc brake but there is nothing exclusive in terms of styling and it can easily be mistaken as its cheaper sibling. Moreover, its engine and ride quality is not better than its rivals which are cheaper than this bike by a good margin. It would have been a complete value for money bike if it had a cheaper price tag.