The TVS Apache RTR 310 is the most advanced and powerful streetfighter from the Hosur-based two-wheeler giant.
The Apache series is a very important product line for TVS. With sales of over 5 million units, it's clearly their most popular motorcycle range on sale. The Apache RTR 200 4V was a game-changer product for TVS as the brand showed the world they could develop a fast and fun motorcycle. But if you wanted to upgrade from the RTR 200, there was no option, until now. With the new Apache RTR 310, TVS unlocks a new chapter in its product portfolio. So have they got another winner in their hands?
The engine on the Apache RTR 310 is the same 310 cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine as we have seen on the TVS Apache RR 310. But this new engine uses a larger airbox, a forged piston, and a larger rear sprocket. All these changes can be felt immediately, as the Apache RTR 310 has a very snappy throttle. The acceleration is brisk, and this engine's nature suits its streetfighter DNA. It feels properly quick off the line, as TVS claims a 0–60 kmph acceleration run in under 3 seconds.
There are five ride modes for the rider to choose from. I started off in Urban mode and even though the ECU tuning was soft, the RTR 310 felt peppy to ride. Aiding the city ride was the meaty low-end torque and the light clutch action. However, the quickshifter isn’t the best one out there. Once on the highway, Sport mode was selected, and I was able to clock a top speed of 160 kmph on the console. As you can see, the new Apache is a properly quick motorcycle, but it isn’t perfect.
While vibrations could be felt at city speeds, they amplified a lot once we hit the highway. Vibrations start at just 5,000 rpm, and when you want to cruise between 90-110 kmph, it can be felt on the handlebar, tank, and footpegs. The vibrations reminded me of the first generation Apache RR 310, and it’s a bit amusing as TVS engineers have been able to make the RR 310’s engine so much more refined over the years. Overall the engine is sporty in terms of performance and reminds me of the Gen 1, KTM 390 Duke. It’s a proper hooligan and feels great as a city bike, but it doesn’t offer the same versatility of a tourer, commuter and track bike like the Apache RR 310.
The first thing you notice about the new Apache RTR 310 is its striking design. TVS designers have taken a bold approach, as the RTR 310 bears no resemblance to any previous bike from TVS’s stable, and I must admit, I like the new styling. The boomerang-shaped DRLs and the LED headlight look very sharp. The fuel tank is muscular and goes well with the streetfighter DNA of the bike. The split seat looks cool, and so does the minimalist tail section.
The overall styling is very modern and butch, and although I can see a lot of design influence from the Ducati Streetfighter, I wouldn’t say it’s a clone. The only design element that I didn’t like is the large exhaust muffler that sticks out like a sore thumb. The fit and finish levels of the Apache RTR 310 are among the best in the segment, and I loved the quality and feel of the switchgear too.
The one department where the new Apache RTR 310 is not only head and shoulders above its competition, but even motorcycles that cost twice as much or more, is the features department! You get a crisp 5-inch TFT screen that’s loaded to the gills with details. It has five riding modes, and each mode changes the layout of the display. Then there is the adaptive headlight, the intensity of which changes according to the speed of the bike! There’s also a bi-directional quickshifter, although it isn't the best unit out there.
If you opt for the Dynamic Pro Kit, you also get IMU-controlled cornering ABS, cruise control, and traction control. These are electronic assists that we have only seen on premium motorcycles, and kudos to TVS for offering these goodies on a 300 cc motorcycle. Then there are heated and cooled seats. Yes, you can cool the saddle of this Apache, similar to ventilated seats on cars. However, the cooling effect wasn’t as intense as I had expected it to be. The new Apache also gets a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), but navigation is turn-by-turn. You also get wheelie control and stoppie control. You can access calls and messages via Bluetooth, and there is also an option to control your GoPro on the go.
The main chassis of the Apache RTR 310 is shared with the RR 310, but the rear subframe is a completely new unit to suit the characteristics of the new bike. TVS motorcycles are renowned for their handling prowess, and the same tale continues with the RTR 310. On the streets of Bangkok, direction changes were swift, and it was fun to ride it around the city roads.
However, it was on the track that it came into its element. It leans into corners with enthusiasm and holds its line with ease and I had a jolly good time on the track. Even on the sweeping corners, I was able to hold good speeds and the Michelin Road 5 rubber offered loads of grip. If you opt for the Dynamic kit, you also get full adjustable suspension.
I wouldn’t comment on the ride quality as the roads were butter-smooth, and I would prefer to test the bike on Indian roads for a definitive verdict. As for the brakes, the front disc brake offers great bite, but the rear brake could have been stronger. Dual-channel ABS comes standard, and cornering ABS is part of the dynamic pro kit.
With the TVS Apache RTR 310, TVS has made a statement of creating a well-engineered, fun and tech-loaded motorcycle. The starting price is good too when you look at the competition. But if you want to kit up the RTR 310 and want all the bells and whistles, you will have to pay a lot more (Rs. 3.04 lakh) and here things become tricky. With all the goodies, the sticker price crosses the Rs. 3 lakh mark, and that’s an uncomfortable space for the new RTR 310 as the 2023 KTM 390 Duke is coming soon.
Base variant without quickshifter
Dynamic kit - Adjustable suspension
Dynamic Pro Kit - IMU-controlled rider aids and temperature-controlled seats.
Having said that if you want a fun city bike that's sporty and engaging to ride, the RTR 310 does make sense. So if you are an existing TVS Apache RTR 200 4V owner and planning for an upgrade, the RTR 310 makes a very strong case for itself. But having said that, it's one-dimensional in its approach and execution, unlike its sibling, the TVS Apache RR 310 which is a better all-rounder.
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