2021 TVS Apache RR310 gets fully adjustable suspension and ergonomic revisions courtesy of the custom kits. But, do they improve performance? Find out below!
TVS Motor Company is no stranger to innovations and ever since the debut of the Apache series back in 2005, we have seen some major breakthroughs – the fuel-injected RTR 160 in 2008, the ABS-equipped RTR 180 in 2011, and more recently 200 4V with ride modes, adjustable suspension and levers, GTT creep function and the most powerful 160 cc motorcycle yet, the Apache RTR 160 4V.
Riding along the same lines and boasting its track heritage, TVS has introduced the 2021 Apache RR310 and is rather unique. Compared to the previous model, the base price has increased by around Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 2.60 lakh (ex-showroom) and you get a better sounding exhaust, instrument cluster updates and other subtle revisions, and that’s about it.
However, you should not presume that this is just another MY update. The flagship Apache RR310 has been around for more than three and a half years now and the Hosur-based manufacturer often brought in some new bits and pieces to enhance the riding experience. For instance, in January 2020, the supersport received ride-by-wire technology for improved precision, detachable visor, five-inch TFT screen with Bluetooth and turn-by-turn navigation, stickier Michelin Road5 tyres and rides modes namely Urban, Track, Sport and Rain.
For 2021 though, it just got better as TVS has announced the ‘Built-To-Order’ platform. Put it simply, you take the standard RR310 and stuff it with different elements and pay for the package you choose, and the online reservation amount is only the same as the cost of the particular kit. TVS has made the customisation platform more engaging as each configuration can be selected in the TVS Arive app or through the web configurator.
As you order it online, you have the privilege to live track the motorcycle from the assembly stage to reaching your dealership. Pretty cool? Let’s dive deeper into that and I will tell you the pros and cons. TVS offers a couple of custom packs known as performance kits – one is the dynamic kit and the other is the race kit. As their names suggest, they offer different options to essentially extract more out of the RR310.
In the Dynamic Kit, the Kayaba 41 mm upside-down front forks have been made fully adjustable along with adjustable 43 mm WP-sourced rear monoshock suspension while the drive chain gets an anti-rust coating for better durability. In the Race kit, the ergonomics tilts towards more committed and track-focused riding courtesy of tucked-down handlebar for aggressive rider’s posture along with grippy knurled footpegs and 30 mm higher set footpegs for higher lean angle.
To spice things up, TVS offers a new Race Replica Graphics derived from the Apache one-make series with a contrast combination of blue, red and white colours and it fits right at home. Moreover, personalised numbers and individually red alloy wheels can also be optioned out. The Dynamic kit costs Rs. 12,000 over the standard pricing, Race kit at Rs. 5,000, new paint scheme at Rs. 4,500 and Red alloy wheel at Rs. 1,500 – Rs. 23,000 in total.
If you were to pick all the custom options, would it justify? And quite frankly their prices are highly competitive but can they put a grin on your face? To find out I headed to the prestigious MMRT racetrack in Tamil Nadu and here are my observations:
TVS has reengineered the inner valve package of the front suspension to make it fully adjustable and it is not just for the track as every rider can tweak the settings for touring, everyday commuting and even add more comfort. The left fork is 20-step adjustable for rebound and the right fork is 20-step adjustable for compression with 15 mm preload adjustability.
The adjustable rear mono has 20-step rebound damping capability and 10-step for pre-load. We were sent out on the initial run in stock settings to observe the difference through the day and I was able to take the corners with ease while being wary of the impact a fully adjustable suspension system can provide to improve the lap times. After a few laps in, we pitted to change the settings with rebound set to eight clicks and compression to three clicks.
The most extreme settings would be preferred by racers to squeeze the maximum performance out of the supersport motorcycle. Right away, through the sweeping turn one, I could really feel the front end getting more responsive and immediate addressing my flicking inputs and I was able to push further through the racing lines and brake later to carry more speeds into the corners.
The versatile character of the Apache RR310 was tested and as I clocked more laps, my confidence level just grew up and it really got boiled over once in the tricky turn seven. The motorcycles we used on the track are the ones you are going to buy in showrooms and with that said, the presence of fully adjustable suspension is well worth the upgrade to understand the RR310 more and learn along the way to improve yourself as a rider.
The tucked-down, more angular handlebar has been incorporated to offer reduced wind resistance, better stability and control, and of course higher lean angle and with the suspension under your controlled settings, it does come in handy to give you a world of confidence – assisted by the more aggressive footpeg positioning and the revised exhaust system.
Besides offering a racier note, the exhaust muffler has a revised geometry that translates into the higher lean angle and it also helps in 4.5-degree higher banking angle (cornering angle) as spending Rs. 5,000 extra on the Race kit is justified. The wave bite key provides better safety and the in-hand adjuster helps in making the process of setting up the suspension far too easy for any rider.
For additional Rs. 17,000 over the base price (Rs. 2.77 lakh), the 2021 TVS Apache RR310 does greater corner carving with improved stability and I would not mess around not picking the Dynamic and Race kits if I were to buy one. The online reservations for the RR310 BTO are already underway and only 150 units over the next two months will be processed this way.
TVS has stated that after the festive season the BTO programme for the Apache RR310 will be limited to 100 units per month and another exciting part is the handlebar, footpegs and cluster updates can be availed from the accessories list for the existing BSVI RR310 customers. As for the updated cluster, it features a digital doc system aiding in transferring vehicle documents to display on the TFT for improved convenience.
In addition, the dynamic rev limit indicator shows the engine temperature and rpm indication to maintain the durability and offer a refined engine feel as it gives a clear idea of the different parameter changes depending on whether the engine is cold or hot. The day trip meter shows the information on the present day’s ride and an overspeed indication can also be set depending on your kmph preference.
The ability to customise your motorcycle right out of the factory is certainly encouraging and TVS is open to adding more models into the BTO platform in the near future and we do expect more brands to jump on the bandwagon. As for the Apache RR310, we may see new technologies and upgrades to further elevate the user experience and so far, it is the right step moving forward.
We do wish TVS to offer a hands-on look at the dealerships so that the buyers can choose whether they require the custom kits or not. If you are an enthusiastic rider and does not get tired of learning more out of your motorcycle and relishes squeezing more out of it, the Dynamic and Race kit should be factored in for good!