TVS Apache RTR 160 RD Ownership Review by Saran

I’m 21 and this is the average age when most middle classes would own a bike. Belonging to the same segment, I’ve been looking out for getting myself a ride. I wanted to own a bike that looks classy and strong enough to face the day to day rush.

I wanted my bike to be classy because I didn’t want to create a bad impression of my family’s status. Also, a classy and stylish bike is always the one that doesn’t let you down in front of your friends.

I then stumbled upon that classic bike that literally stole my heart away.

I was so fantasized by the bike that I thought the bike was talking to me. I heard the classy demon say;

  • I’m not a foreigner and I’m one amongst the few FASTEST INDIAN bikes till date (Sorry NRIs)!
  • I may not have any siblings (upgraded versions), yet I have an exclusive design not borrowed from any other bike.
  • Even though I am not a show stopper, I can make few heads turn!
  • My mom (TVS) may not be No.1 but she is the world’s only two wheeler manufacturer to receive the prestigious “Deming award”!
  • You may not derive any extreme pleasures from me, yet I assure you a long lasting comfortable ride.
  • You will never regret the money you are spending to get me in your garage.
  • I’m not made of ‘The Best’ available materials on the planet, yet I can serve my purpose!
  • I am APACHE RTR 160 RD Fashion belonging to the family of RTR otherwise called as “beast, fire-starter, and blistering tachyon”.

I choose Apache RTR 160 RD because I wanted value for money. I did not want to compromise in any aspects be it design, performance, fuel economy, ride comfort, etc. When I first drove my friend’s Apache 150, I kind off liked it because of its smoother and silent ride. Not only the smoothness but I liked this mean machine for many a reasons stated below:

Design

This TVS Apache RTR 160 RD has a smooth and sporty look that can woo any bike lover. I am really in love with the bike as it is a blend of normal commuter and a sports bike. Every part of the bike excels in design from the LED tail lamps to the tank.

On one hand, the tank scoop is of exact As far as I know; this machine has the best looking clip-ons neatly covered by the RTR emblem.

Features

The digital speedometers are one to scout for because they have everything starting from Odometer, 2 Trip meters, Fuel level indicator, Clock, 0-60 Timer to High speed recorder. In addition the bike also sports RPM meter, Low fuel indicator, Battery charge indicator and Service due reminder. The beast also sports sharp Roto Petal disc which gives one more confidence while braking hard.

Wait a minute…. Am I making an ownership review? NO??? Let’s get that started.

I was handed over the keys of my ride on 19th July, 2010. It is an Apache RTR 160 RD Fashion (that’s how they call the Rear Disc + Yellow model). There were a lot of reasons for me to choose this bike; one of the prior reasons was our family’s loyalty towards TVS.

Our family owns two TVS 50s (both in perfect condition), a Star City, a Star sport, a Scooty Streak. My dad owns a Centra (6 years old and returns 70kmpl – This made it easy for me to convince him to buy Apache).

If I go down the memory lane, I will find TVS Champ, Max 100 R and a Shogun. So, one can say that my family is perfectly inclined towards TVS products.

I wish to segment my review into phases for better understanding.

PHASE I (0-650 KMS)

This run-in period is usually the most painful for any biker owning this kind of a bike. As instructed, I kept my adrenaline rush under control and had to put my head down to all those over-taking me with a smile on their face. As mentioned in other reviews, the gear shift was little hard during this period. Every day I showed off as a Superhero on roads and searched for ‘pain relievers’ at night. In just a week I reached 400Kms on my Odo meter. As days passed, I got used to the driving and felt that my bike was the most comfortable off the rest.

In this phase, one should not subject their bikes to rash driving and I was no exception. I saw people noticing my bike because of the sporty look and the yellow color it has. Yellow is so different and easily differentiates my bike from the others, making heads turn every now and then. During the phase I recorded a mileage of 65 Kmpl. As soon as I reached 600 Kms, orange light on my RPM meter blinked asking me to take it for service.

Things to consider during this run-in period:

  • Gear shifts : At 3K RPM. (not more than 4K RPM during the run-in period)
  • Tyre pressures : 26/36 psi
  • Fuel : Unleaded Indian Oil only

PHASE II (650-1750 KMS)

The run-in period continued and I could feel the engine more refined and the gearing smoother than before. Even in this phase my bike returned the same mileage as it did in the beginning. Moreover I was now comfortable with all the riding postures.
I and all my friends were surprised on seeing that the bike was giving the same mileage as it did in the starting but I purposefully hid it from my parents for that extra pocket money over the fuel bills. The second service came in at 1750 kms odd and I’ve not spent even a single paisa for anything else than fuel.

PHASE III (1750-4500 KMS)

I usually drive 40 kms per day of which 35 kms is highway. The racer in me was raring to go, that ways I could test my gutsy side and also the bike capabilities. Unfortunately, even my gutsier side did nothing to help me cross 111 Kmph mark. I was so proud of the achievement that I showed it off to my friends. This way I could get their attention and some words of praise for my beast that it has a high speed recorder.

I had another chance to test my bike’s performance as regards top speed. This time, I’ve clocked 0-60kmph in 6 secs and managed to reach top speed of 117kmph after which there was nothing left over to push further. I wanted to break the 120kmph barrier but it didn’t happen that time. The average mileage figure came down to 62kmpl during this period.

PHASE IV (4500-8500 KMS)

This is the period when I took my bike to a hill station and another long drive. First up was the Ooty trip organized by my friends. This is the second time I rode any bike in hill station (First time – Friend’s Apache). My experience riding my Apache in hill station was amazing. Though while riding I was not able to scratch my knees on the road because my pillion was occupied by one of my friend’s hand (those idiots have a nice time doing all filthy stuff), yet I managed to push the ride hard. When we reached the top, it rained so heavy that we had to return back.

After coming back, the engine felt so refined, the gear shits were smoother than ever and the silencer note seemed fine tuned. I loved the sound so much that I spent few minutes hearing the sound.

Next up was a trip to Kerala. It was a short trip (just 150 km one way) and I was accompanied by my pal Harris with his RTR 160. We covered the distance at a stretch testing the extreme limits of our bikes (top speeds on good roads; suspension & agility on bad roads). Despite the butt burning sensation, we had a great time riding our babies and testing them to the core. During this phase, the average mileage came down to 56kmpl. At 8500kms, I got my bike serviced.

PHASE V (8500-9000 KMS)

Its six months now and I’ve covered about 9000 kms. I still love this machine and everyday my love is growing eight folds. After the last service, my bike touched an unbelievable top speed of 122kmph (I still have it on my console) and 0-60 kmph in 5.5 secs, while average mileage was still 56kmpl.

VERDICT

This review and this bike may not be appealing to all but for a person like me, its life, love and dream. As some one said, “I didn’t believe a person could fall in love with a machine – But it did happen in my case.”

Few things that I would like everyone to know:

  • My bike may not be the best in quality, ride comfort and looks. Even then, I love this mean machine so much that I could never think of any other bike to replace it. It is a true Indian master piece.
  • The acceleration the bike has is just jaw dropping. You get a blend of everything i.e. design, comfort, acceleration and style from this wonderful beast.
  • I’m 6 foot tall and I’m really comfortable riding my RTR 160 RD. Even my friend, who is 6”2, enjoys riding this bike (he also owns one) comfortably. It’s not just for the guys not tall enough.
  • Till date, I’ve only spent for its fuel, engine oil & chain lubricant. Other expenses include decals (INR 300) and the back fender of RTR 180 (INR 650).

Few things that I like about my TVS Apache:

  • Practicality is one reason I bought this bike. I love the bike because of its look, power and subtle sense of raw racing spirit.
  • The lights are one of the best in its segment – better than Hero Honda, Honda.
  • After sale service is convenient. I just have to drive 6 kms to reach a service station, unlike the Honda or Suzuki, which are 20-30Kms away from my place. Because of the maintenance free parts, I can easily give my bike to local mechanics for quick repairs
  • Affordable – The spares aren’t too costly, the bike as a whole is not too costly either.
  • I would like to say that all TVS manufactured products are of sheer quality. Motorcycles by TVS have always proved their worth and they have bagged quality awards at every succession
  • If you think TVS spares are of low quality then think again because nearly 60% of other bikes have one or more TVS component like tyre, fasteners, electric starter motors, etc fitted.

Proud to be INDIAN! Expecting comments and queries…

– S. Saran (saransnmv@gmail.com)

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