I bought a TVS Apache RTR 180 White in mid of December ’09. I have been very happy and satisfied with the purchase and I definitely believe that this bike is worth each and every paise of the three-quarters of a lakh that I spent on it. I wish to thank Prashant, my bikeadvice.in buddy whose advice greatly helped me decide on this purchase. Not to sound humble but I really a no bike expert. I am writing this only to share my views and also hoping that it may help someone like all the other articles have been doing till now. There are already a lot of articles in bikeadvice itself about the pros and cons of this bike but I believe that there are certain myths about this bike prevailing among public and I am attempting to disillusion people about whichever isn’t actually true. Also I am writing about whatever I think could have been better.
Apache is not for tall riders?: I have to award this as the biggest myth of them all.
I even read this in some magazine reviews of this bike that it is ergonomically uncomfortable for riders 5 feet 10 inches and over. I wonder what made them say so. I am 6 feet tall and I am 110 percent comfortable riding the Apache. I haven’t come across any one personally with that complaint. All such I read is on line.
I believe this is being a major set back for people who otherwise love this bike. Again I am making it loud and clear. This bike is very comfortable for tall riders.
Bad Tyres? : This is not very true with the 180 CC version. The tyres have increased in width in comparison with the 160 CC versions. The tyres may not be the best in comparison with the competition but it is not true that they are bad. They are the best among all of TVS bikes at least and in general have improved and are good.
Vibrations? : The bike does vibrate once you cross 50 kmph on the speedo. This doesn’t concern me much. It still handles well. The Hero Honda’s and the Unicorns are definitely very stable in comparison. However the Apache more than compensates with its awesome power, great pickup, awesome brakes to mention a few. In fact the nerve tingling excitement that you get when riding the Apache could not be matched by the Unicorn or the competition. Vibrations? Who cares anymore?
All these said it would be unfair if I fail to mention what I like about this bike and whats so good about it. I wouldn’t wish to be a sinner. So here it is, the 3 things that are really so impressive about this bike.
Smooth Gears: The gear shifts are real smooth that you don’t hear any clanks when shifting. I have trouble finding neutral though. At times it seems like finding extra terrestrial life forms. That was actually a pardonable exaggeration. I have trouble finding neutral but I assume that 90 percent of you riders must be better than me and this should not be an issue at all for any of you.
Awesome Brakes: The petal disc’s that this bike has got is the best. There are only 3 other bikes that have got dual discs, the Bajaj Pulsar 220, the Hero Honda Karizma ZMR and the Yamaha YZF R15. Downright this is the cheapest bike you get with dual discs and braking is just awesome. You think of braking and the bike immediately halts and you wonder if thats telepathy. They are very effective and has got awesome stopping ability.
Amazing Throttle Response: This bike has got great pickup and the throttle response is really great. A slight twist in the throttle and the bike speeds up considerably, instantly. The TVS Apache RTR 180 is the lightest bike in the above 150 CC category and thats a thing worth mentioning too. It is quite simple to move maneuver in city traffic as well as highway cruising.This bike has a toe shift gear lever. This means that you cannot be stamping down with your heel to shift upwards for gears 2 to 5. Instead you will be using your instep to lift the lever up. This is quite convenient but I have a problem with this. Not a real problem actually. On workdays that I wear formal shoes I wouldn’t ride my bike, alt east not with my shoes on. This is because using the instep leaves marks on the shoes which I don’t like. Summing it up all this bike is one masterpiece from TVS and I thank them for it. Also my sincere thanks to bikeadvice for the great opportunity they are offering to readers like me. If it wasn’t for bikeadvice I would still have been trying to narrow down on my list of bikes to consider. Also special thanks to Prashant for his advice. My intention throughout this article was never to argue if this bike was better than any other bike in the market. Each bike is best in some regard of its own. My soul intention was to convey to future buyers of this bike that their choice is worthy and wise. I saw several people hitting it out at the Apache in favor of other bikes. Its purely a matter of personal preference. I would stay away from anything like that. All comments are better being constructive and informational than hurting.
– Vikram Mahadev