Yes, the wait is finally over. The Apache RTR 200 is finally here and what a glorious form it has taken up. The brand Apache has been the centre of affordable performance motorcycling in the country ever since it was first introduced in 2006. In the last decade the Indian motorcycle market has changed a lot. While it shows some signs of maturity, the majority still runs after figures.
Each manufacturer tries to outdo the other with a bigger number But that’s not how TVS works. With the Apache 200 the engineers at TVS have tried to give much more useable power to enjoy in the lower and mid-range. Yes, even in the press conference the management was eager to point out how the motorcycles in the segment spend 80 per cent of the time in cities. That’s why the Apache 200 does not get stellar output figures.
However, an outright comparison is bound to take place between all the 200s and the near 200s thanks to a similar price tag. A real world test will follow later but for now we will leave you with an on-paper comparo to give you an idea of how things stack up as of now against the Pulsar AS200 and the older Pulsar 220.
Apache 200 vs Pulsar 220 vs Pulsar AS200
- Engine & Cooling: The 197.75 cc mill in the Apache 200 is available in two versions, one getting a carburettor and the other sporting an electronic fuel injection system by Bosch. The Pulsars though are available only with the age old carbs. The AS200 is the only motorcycle which gets liquid cooling – the other two get oil-cooled based air-cooling systems.
- Power & Torque: The new Apache 200 is the least powerful of the lot, with the Pulsar AS200 beating it fair and square. The torque difference between the two bikes is not much, however, the moment you factor in the fact that the Apache 200 is 4.5 kg lighter and the torque peaks 1,000 rpm sooner than the AS200, things suddenly appear to equate or even better. But the Pulsar 220 is one Nm torquey and weighs only 1.5 kg more.
- Ground Clearance: The Apache gets a surprisingly high ground clearance of 180 mm which will be a boon in Indian riding conditions.
- Tyres: The front tyre size of the new TVS is thinner than Pulsar AS200 but the rear is the same spec. In terms of brands, While the AS200 gets MRF Nylogrips or TVS Eurogrips, the Apache 200 gets new TVS Remora tyres which are soft-compound and better than both the tyres offered on the Pulsars. The optional Pirellis are way ahead…
- ABS: TVS is also offering dual channel ABS as an option in the Apache 200 range which also comes with RLP (rear lift off prevention). ABS is not present in any of the Pulsars in this comparo. The faired Pulsar RS200 does get ABS but that’s just a single channel unit.
- Braking: In terms of on-road braking, however, despite sporting better tyres, Apache 200 disappoints a wee bit specially considering that the smaller Apaches are real good at it.
- Performance: In the on-road performance, Apache 200 will not be able to outrun the new-age Pulsar 200s but it has a more usable and concentrated (towards road usage) torque and power delivery and better mid-range.
- Lighting: Apache comes with a 60/55 watt H4 bulb whereas the Pulsar 220 and AS200 get 55 watts headlamps where the low beams are projectors.
- Top-speed: of Apache 200 is 127 kph (carb) and 129 kph (FI) whereas the Pulsar AS200 can do 135 kph and Pulsar 220 136 kph – all claimed by respective manufacturers.
- In terms of pricing, the aging Pulsar 220 is the cheapest of the lot. The entry level Apache 200 with carb and Remora tyres (sans ABS) is almost Rs 5,000 cheaper than the AS200. The top end Apache with Pirellis, ABS and fuel injection is expected to hit Rs 1.15 lakhs. At this point some may even argue that by adding 5,000 bucks to that one can get a fully faired bike with liquid cooling and fuel injection (yes, Pulsar RS 200) but we will talk more about that in our detailed first ride review which is coming up soon….
So, which showroom will you head to..?