Bigger, better

K SHIVRAJ
Saturday, 16 June 2018

Slightly heavier than the model it replaces, the new TVS Apache RTR 160 4V is a good sporting bike 

TVS has launched a faster and more purposeful looking Apache RTR 160 called the Apache RTR 160 4V. The new bike is available in two guises — one that breathes through a carburettor, and the other, that is fuel-injected. In terms of styling, there’s a bit of an irony. When the bigger RTR 200 was launched, its styling was said to be inspired by the RTR 160. Now, as a new RTR 160 has arrived, its styling is said to be inspired by the RTR 200. 

Good fit and finish 
Both the RTR 200 and the new RTR 160 are handsome and from a distance, they look alike. As part of the design strategy, the new RTR 160 gets new-design alloy wheels, new-design side panels, a one-piece seat and a new handlebar. Missing the fly screen, the Apache RTR 160 sports boomerang-shaped LED DRLs that have been borrowed from the RTR 200; they add a dose of aggression to the design. The new stickers also contribute to the aggressive looks, and like the RTR 200, the RTR 160 gets a digital instrument panel. Equipped with a slipper clutch that was until now found only on the RTR 200, the new bike, albeit in the fuel-injected form, gets a gear position indicator and a lap timer. Flaunting an LED tail lamp, the quality and tactile feel of the switchgear has also been borrowed from the RTR 200.  

Smooth revving               
With the carburettor version rated at 16.5bhp, and the fuel-injected version rated at 16.8bhp, the RTR 160 is powered by a 159.7cc oil-cooled single cylinder engine with two inlet and two exhaust valves. The ride is very smooth and the riding position is rather upright with the new, raised handlebar, even though the foot pegs are slightly rear set. However, at around 7500rpm, a hint of vibes can be felt through the handlebar and the foot pegs. They seem to gain in intensity till the rev needle races past 8500rpm. The throttle response on the fuel-injected version is smoother and considerably linear.  

The carburettor version has a sharper response; it shows an ability to accelerate quicker than the fuel-injected version. Topping the chart at 121kmph, the bike surprisingly has good pulling power lower down as well. The five-speed gearbox enables a good exploration of power and torque. The top gear could be used only closer to 100kmph. It is in the fourth gear that the engine achieves its sweet spot at speeds above 80kmph. The slipper clutch aids quick shifting whereas the gearbox enables precise shifting. 

Handles corners well
The new, double cradle frame, borrowed from the RTR 200, has resulted in a considerable improvement in the way the RTR 160 handles. If the slight rear set foot pegs add an amount of sportiness, the chassis ensures that the bike handles corners well. Riding on 17-inch dia wheels, the tyres exhibit good grip. If the rear feels a bit unsettled over less-than-ideal surfaces, the adjustment of the monoshock rear, which has a pre-load setting, does the job. There are a total of seven pre-load adjustments possible. The front suspension of the bike comprises 33mm dia telescopic forks. The disc brake equipped version of the RTR 160 offers good braking ability. The lever travel is slightly more, and therefore necessitates it to be squeezed more than one would expect, especially under hard braking. There’s no ABS on offer. 

Verdict
Marginally heavier than the model it replaces, the RTR 160, with a 12-litre fuel tank should offer a good range between refills. Fuel efficiency is expected to be in the range of 40 to 45kmph depending on the style of riding, the new bike is more appealing. Offered in three versions, the new TVS Apache RTR 160 4V, with the price starting at Rs 81,500 ex-showroom, is a good sporting bike and also offers good value. 

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