I know it is very hard for you to read this review ignoring the damn sexy pic of the bike placed just above and the same situation was with me while writing this review. Last week I was in Chennai to attend the launch and the day after got the chance to ride this sporty looking bike on enthusiast’s heaven – Madras Motor Race Track well know as MMRT.
As it was the perfect place to test the core capabilities of the race-oriented 313 cc machine better known as Akula 310 … shh sorry, it is Apache RR310 now. So why TVS changed the powerful and a catchy name? The answer might be hidden in the sales numbers of Pulsar CS400 badged as Dominar 400. The Apache RR310 nomenclature, too, is just fine and the term RR denotes ‘Race Replica’.
So, how’s the production version of the BMW Motorrad-TVS Motors jointly developed first motorcycle behaves on tarmac? Do read this detailed review! Let us begin with the design of the bike which is the best part of the motorcycle. The Apache RR310 is more or less the fully-faired version of BMW G310R which is expected to be launched later next year in India.
While the bike shares engine, platform and some key components with the BMW G310R, it is the design which is the talk of the town these days – especially in the racing red colour. The Apache RR310 has been given an aggressive stance inspired by the shark. That was the reason why its concept was named ‘Akula’ (word for Shark in Russian).
At the front, the RR is equipped with segment first Bi-LED twin projector headlamps for better visibility while the racing stripes add to the sporty character and it helps the bike to differentiate itself from a very popular Italian sportsbike (you know what it is).
Tall windscreen is placed in such an angle that it provides advanced aerodynamics with best-in-class drag coefficient to the bike. Some aerodynamic design elements can be seen just under the headlamp and gold-finished upside down forks provide further appeal.
Now, let us talk about the best part of the design which is the side look of the motorcycle. The red-black paint duo played an important role as the alloys, lower part of fairing and engine are painted in black while red colour is seemingly everywhere on the rest of the bike. There is plenty of nice detailing all over and the Indian tri-coloured sticker on the windscreen is exemplary to the concentration put on finer details.
The raked high tail is equally as taller as the top of the windscreen while there is edgy and smartly designed rear mud guard along with white painted race-tuned KYB suspension and silver painted Akula gill vents keeping the side design very catchy and busy. The overall side profile design gives a superbike feel or we can say rich feel to a bike which costs just Rs. 2.05 lakh (ex-showroom).
As the front and side profiles, rear too adds the important role in making the RR a rich-looking machine. 150/60 Michelin rear tyre and chrome plated exhaust cap do their duties very well in the design department. The ‘Devil’s horns’ LED tail lamp too an eye-catcher specially when it glows during braking.
From the top, the RR looks premium as the aerodynamic design played a key part. Vertically-positioned instrument console is seen for the first time on an Indian-made bike and it shows lot of information such as real-time fuel economy, very accurate fuel level, lap time, 0 to 60 timing and much more and it is not difficult to read the instrument pod thankfully.
Wide clip-on handlebars make the ride comfortable and are set tall for comfortable daily ride and the switchgears shared with the BMW G310R have top-notch quality. Good detailing example can be seen on fuel tank too with Apache RR310 3D logo in the middle followed by racing decals towards fuel cap and the 3D TVS horse emblem painted in silver on Racing red shade and matt black in the black shade enhance its striking stance.
Just like the comfortable handle bar position, the seat design and positioning provide a similar experience. The Pillion seat is comfortable too but the bike lacks the grab rails that makes the overall pillion experience littile-bit uncomfortable for some people. Overall, the bike boasts best-in-class designing elements, features, fit and finish and the quality is truly a game-changer as we expect from a flagship product.
In terms of features, along with the bi-LED twin headlamp, race-spec KYB suspension and vertical speedo/tachometer, the Apache RR310 also offers class-leading features like Michelin street sports tyres, dual channel Anti-lock braking system and Electronic fuel injection as standard features.
Powering the Apache RR310 is the BMW-sourced 313 cc single-cylinder engine that generates 34 PS at 9,700 rpm and 27.3 Nm of peak torque at 7,700 rpm – same as the BMW G310R. This engine unit is reverse inclined DOHC unit which intakes air from front and exhausts out in the rear – a first for an Indian bike. This architecture helps in keeping the engine size compact with better mass centralisation.
It enables an extra tooth in sprocket for better initial acceleration and longer swingarm for agile handling. TVS Motors has shared some interesting specs with us as its claimed 0-60 kmph time is 2.93 seconds while the claimed top speed is 160 kmph. The engine peaks at 9,700 rpm and the lite KS cast piston with nanofricks coating reduces the friction as claimed.
So, how did the bike behave while riding? Well, it delivers a very linear power and some vibration can be felt on top of the rev range but its refinement level is certainly up to the mark. The throttle response is good and smooth as well. The 6-speed gearbox ensures smooth riding along with a good fuel economy for daily ride. TVS placing this bike as a race oriented but daily commuting or long touring won’t be a problem for the rider, thanks to its smart ergonomics.
The aerodynamic design of the bike along with mass centralised layout provides the uncompromised handling and the dual-channel ABS with 300 mm front and a 240 mm rear petal discs will make every ride safer. Michelin Pilot Street tyres’ presence makes the ride confident mainly while cornering on the track but the feedback could have been better. The KYB monoshock suspension setup is an all rounder as it supports the race character along with daily commuting and it handles the bumps very well.
This kind of perfection in every department with the 35 years of TVS’ racing experience makes the Apache RR310 a perfect flagship. Besides, it is India’s first entry-level sportsbike offering quality in every department at a price tag of just over Rs. 2 lakh (ex-showroom). This RR310 will surely take TVS miles ahead just like the Apache 150 did when introduced back then.
There are some cons we found in the RR310 though as the placement of foot pegs were such that it scrapes along the tarmac while cornering and the unavailability of grab rails is what we will include as part of nitpicking.
Rest assured, the TVS Apache RR310 is all glare and flare! A certain winner is already in the hands of TVS! The only inevitable thing is, it won’t bring the numbers to the TVS Motors as the segment isn’t that big but TVS is optimistic and hoping to sell at least 10,000 bike a year and also, the company has big export plans for 70 countries. With a big smile from the race track, we wish them a good luck!