BSVI TVS Apache RTR 200 4V first ride review
Prior to the launch of the Apache RR 310, the Apache RTR 200 4V was TVS Motor's flagship motorcycle. And let's be honest, the RR 310 is a fantastic sportsbike, but the RTR 200 is a motorcycle we like even today for its performance, agility and engaging nature. And like me, if you like the RTR 200 too, the good news is that for 2020, apart from making it BSVI compliant, TVS Motor has also given the RTR 200 a midlife update. And the updates, may I add, are quite interesting.
The 2020 BSVI TVS 4V looks sharper and more aggressive thanks to the new headlight, as also the revised decals on its gloss black paint
The Apache RTR 200 4V was launched back in 2016, nearly four years ago and was certainly in need of an update. So for 2020, TVS Motor has given it a new headlight to begin with, which looks identical to the one on the updated, BSVI compliant Apache RTR 160 4V. And admittedly, the new, all-LED headlight, along with the revised decals, make the RTR 200 4V look a lot fresher and more appealing now. The RTR 200 also gets red highlighting all over, along with carbon fibre like stickers on the tank extensions which further help in making it look sportier than the outgoing, BSIV version.
The headlight also looks more aggressive than older one, as it is split horizontally and gets bigger, more prominent-looking boomerang-shaped pilot lamps. And in my opinion, the new headlamp suits the RTR 200 even better, given its more aggressive stance, which is courtesy the bike's two-piece split handlebars and split seats. The reshaped rear view mirrors are the same as the BSVI compliant RTR 160 too and look nice. Overall, the RTR 200 looks a lot fresher and more appealing now and clearly the design team at TVS has done a commendable job of giving it a midlife update.
What about the engine?
TVS Motor tells us the brief to the R&D team was to ensure the RTR 200 retains its sporty, aggressive nature, as also to ensure the bike's outputs do not go down in the interest of lower emissions. And the R&D team has done exactly that, as the BS VI-compliant Apache RTR 200's power and torque outputs are identical to the outgoing version at 20.5PS and 16.8Nm. There is no change to the transmission though and the engine is mated to the same, slick-shifting five-speed gearbox as before. More importantly, the engine has a sense of gruffness to it, which is actually likeable and is more like a part of the RTR 200's aggressive character.
The engine powering the 2020 TVS Apache RTR 200 is now BSVI compliant. Updates have been made to the engine's internals and there is a revised air intake system now.
In effect, the RTR 200's engine sounds and feels as good as before. TVS Motor tells us a host of updates to the engine's internals and a revised air intake system helped it ensure the outputs remains unchanged. At the same time, a new exhaust system with revised catalytic converters was employed to meet the more stringent BSVI emission norms, which has added weight, but TVS Motor has managed to reduce weight in a few other places to ensure the RTR 200's overall weight has not gone up.
TVS Motor has also equipped the RTR 200 4V with its Smart Connect technology which debuted on the TVS Ntorq 125 first. It allows you to connect your smartphone to the instrument cluster via Bluetooth using a dedicated application. And there's a plethora of information that can be accessed, via the instrument cluster and the smartphone app both. You can get turn by turn navigation on the instrument cluster, once you enter a destination onto the smartphone app. TVS Motor has tied up with Map My India for the navigation system. The instrument cluster also gives notifications for phone calls and messages.
The 2020 BS VI TVS Apache RTR 200 get TVS Motor's Smart Connect technology that lets you connect your smartphone to the bike's instrument cluster via Bluetooth and access lots of information
But more importantly, TVS has cleverly added a functionality that lets you turn the bike's tachometer into a display for the bike's lean angle. For the purpose, Smart Connect uses your smartphone's gyro, giving you an approximate indication of how much you have leaned on both sides, besides telling you the angle of lean on the smartphone app. The instrument cluster also tells you the top speed achieved, can guide you to the nearest fuel station if low on fuel by working in sync with the app's navigation feature and more importantly, send notifications to emergency numbers saved on the app in case of a crash. Clearly, TVS Motor has tried to up the game in the 200cc space by offering so much more than just ride statistics or navigation.
How is it to ride?
On track, the updated RTR 200 offered the same, familiar vibe with its quick acceleration and linear power delivery. The even torque spread from the engine ensures there's a consistent surge, almost all the way to the redline, which results in the RTR 200 building speeds rapidly and in fact, TVS Motor is claiming the same 0-60kmph time as before, 3.9 seconds. And as I mentioned, the gruff feel from the engine is actually likeable, as it gives you a sense of the motorcycle's aggressive nature. The bike also had no trouble getting to around 125kmph down the straight section of TVS Motor's test track, before I had to brake for the long, sweeping right corner there.
The 2020 BS VI TVS Apache RTR 200 feels as quick as before when it comes to acceleration in a straight line while also handling as impressively
The RTR 200's brakes have always been impressive and I like the fact that the bite from the front brake is sharp but progressive. What's more, the RTR 200 also gets dual channel ABS as standard, which adds to its stability when braking from high speeds. The suspension set-up on the RTR 200 also feels perfect, as it feels firm without any sense of harshness on undulated surfaces. The setup's firmness in fact adds to the bike's stability under braking, while also ensuring the bike stays planted even when leaning hard into corners. So expectedly, given its higher outputs and resultant performance levels the RTR 200 was more fun than the RTR 160 on track.
The TVS Apache RTR 200 has always been a likeable motorcycle in its segment and continues to feel as good in its latest, BSVI compliant avatar
The updated, BS VI-compliant Apache RTR 200 4V commands a premium of roughly Rs 8,000 over the outgoing version as the bike now retails at Rs 1.24 lakh ex-showroom. While the price hike was inevitable, given the changes made to the engine to ensure it meets BS VI emission norms, it is worth noting that you now get more motorcycle for the additional money you spend. And that's because the RTR 200 4V retains its likeable, sporty and aggressive nature while meeting the stricter BSVI norms that will come into force from April 01, 2020. And then there's the more appealing design and not to forget, the connected technology bundled in as well, making the 2020 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V a tempting option in the 200cc naked space.