TVS Apache RTR 180 (White) Ownership Review by Aniket Jha

1987 Patna, Bihar. A kid was born. As told by his mum, by the age of two he was the fastest in tricycle race across the society kids and by the age of three, even sitting in his bedroom he could say ‘ma, Yamaha gaya na?’, and today 23 years later this kid has something to tell you all, about him, his passion and above all, his bike.

Hi, I am Aniket Jha, 23, living in Bangalore and currently doing my MBA Advertising here. I have lived in Bangalore for 20 years and have not just grown here but have seen this city too, grow with me.

Bikes have always fascinated me much more than cars and girls, honestly! But yes in India after roti,kadapa, makaan its gaadi. A two wheeler is either mainly taken as a commuter & still today even in 2011 when we have so many launches of bikes, I mean good bikes, many can only think about it. Blame it on the way we think or the fuel prices at 65.45 Rs a liter (Bangalore-Shell).

Cars are great, convenient, but let me ask you a question. Two questions in fact. At 3 lac Rs, alto looks better or Kwakker Ninja? Even lesser. A 2 Lac Nano will look great or a Honda CBR 250 ABS? Now you only decide that which and what will give you the feel “you own it, your way”.

At the age of 19, when I was in my 1st year of under grad, I got my 1st bike a Bajaj Discover 125 ES/Alloy. Due to lack of technical knowhow and riding experience in span of 12 months ended with 6 accidents but I kind off loved it, got a feel that I am learning. But dad was concerned and so asked me to go for a change and so I bid goodbye to the drum brakes and eurogrip tires, and then got a beauty Honda Stunner.

Used it for a year (not a single accident) What an engine and MRF Zappers were awesome, but I realized that it was time for something different, bigger which could take me far away from this polluted city and could be even more meaner. I completed my graduation by then and took up my Post Grad.

By the end of my grad I had saved around 35k (cz I love to save money) and my yellow Stunner beauty went for 45k. Mind it a year used and I still got 45k. Had maintained it well and next.

  • Bajaj Pulsar 180 UG4
  • Bajaj Pulsar 220 S
  • Bajaj Avenger 220
  • Suzuki GS 150R and
  • Tvs Apache RTR 180

The final five which I chose. Went for two good test ride for each of these.

Bajaj Pulsar 180: Nice bike. Mean, upgraded and good front brakes (thanks to KTM I guess) but then I am a slim guy and 5’7. So at low speed it was a little difficult for me as I didn’t want to end up struggling with the bike which I wanted to buy for long term use and honestly the rear brakes are BAD for a 180.

Bajaj Pulsar 220S: Best. What a bike, the best Pulsar I had ever ridden, but mileage of 30-35, the heavy weight of around 150 Kgs and cost around 85k in Bangalore (on road) made it difficult for me, but honestly if any 1 wants a Pulsar, this is it .

Bajaj Avenger 220: Humm… Turn off were the poor mileage and turning radius as I am more of a city rider and in Bangalore the traffic is bad. Cost too 84k (on road).

Suzuki GS 150R: Well in my budget as it costs 71k. Nice, comfortable commuter and I believe good on highways too but lacks initial pick like the Ford Figo car, tube tires were another turnoff and the sales men at Suzuki were bad (so I assumed how their service guys would be). I loved the digital console of the bike thou.

TVS Apache RTR 180: Well…

Looks: White is a killer. Loved admiring a white ZMR and so this mini ZMR too. Bike looked just perfect to me. Considering the height, Length, Breath.

Design: TVS Apache RTR 180 is Very attractive, sporty for sure and a head turner. Mind you it still does at traffic junctions.

Seating and Comfort: Seating is very sporty and it’s like, you sit on it for a race. It doesn’t have split seats as my x bike stunner, as I was more comfortable with it. Love the clip on handle bars as they not just make handling a comfort but take the bike on highway and at 80 kmph and 6k Rpm, you will then know what I mean.

One issue though, you ride the bike for an hour and then your back will hurt so yeah take breaks if you are touring on it and make sure you either above 6k rpm or below 4k rpm to avoid vibration or if you love it stay around 4-5k rpm.

Brakes and Tech Specs: Well brakes 270mm and 200mm Petal Disc are awesome. Mean it. Pulsar 180 is highly beaten on this any day. Regarding other details on tech, kindly visit this link.

My Care for the Bike

Frankly speaking, I love my TVS Apache RTR 180 but due to time constraints I hardly do anything much to it. Ya, I have never used the TVS TRU4 oil as its semi synthetic and 10w 30, for Apache 180 its 20w 40. So changed the oil at a garage near my house with Shell Advance Fast Trac 20w 40 at 400km (got 1st service done) and got it changed again at 1200 km, as I did not want to take any chance with the engine.

Till today I have not ripped the bike and only after second oil change have taken it up to 101 kmph max and have gone to Mysore (130 km from Bangalore one way) and once Nandi hills (60 km one way). I am updated that the bike can touch 125 kmph but its ok I don’t want to do that. I am a common man, with high dreams but low means.

Will be getting the next oil change at 2500 kms to Shell Ultra Full Synthetic Oil 10w 40. Shell I believe is the best thou I have heard a lot about Motul, ELF, Castrol etc. I am not interested. Beyond this I clean it with water every Sunday and wipe it with a dry soft cloth. Till today at 1700 kms done I have had just no trouble, riding in city or highway.

Pros and Cons of the Bike

Pros

  • Gives the feel of a race bike. A good race bike
  • Decent mileage of 38-40 in city and 40-44 in highway
  • Great looks
  • Durable engine and very good brakes
  • Still the premium product of TVS, thou surprises are lined up for 2011
  • Beautiful digital console

Cons

  • Vibrations sorry but yes, its biggest issue. Not all bikes are vibration free but at 5k rpm, vibrations are bad
  • Not very good for long trips, until you get used to the sitting position
  • Service people honestly suck. They act like they don’t know anything what needs to be done for service and need to be told everything what you need and expect, and worst they use TVS TRU 4 oil for scooty pep and RTR 180

Conclusion

  • TVS is not a market leader but yes, a challenger and racing is in their genes when it comes to their premium products
  • Ride at 50-60 kmph in city and around 80-90 on highway and you will simply love its smoothness above 6k rpm, and kindly just don’t rip the throttle as its only going to screw up your engine, take it up slow and steady
  • I have had no issues yet, as I am a safe rider and I pray nothing happens too
  • Nothing is perfect and so is not the bike, but get a hang on it (with helmet on and alcohol off) and complains, will be history

P.S. Mr.Deepak, you and your team have been doing a fabulous job and God bless you guys for helping out so many people. It was great to see the pics of your China trip (Auto Show) and was really nice to read your detailed review about RTR Maniac and P180 which helped me in my final decision to my purchase.

Thank you all and your feedbacks are most welcome.

Regards,
Aniket Jha

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