So, BS-VI emission norms are now in play, which means motorcycles are getting heavier, reporting less power and most importantly, becoming more expensive. While this is good for the polar bears up north, it does put a frown on all the enthusiast’s faces. Speaking of we recently got our hands on the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V in its BS-VI avatar, a motorcycle that has been dear to the community. So as it transitions to the new norms we are here to see what has changed, what has remained and if it is still the impressive commuter in the urban space.
Starting with the design, a major change comes at the front with the new headlamp that now has a pair of DRLs that TVS calls a claw lamp. While looks might be subjective, we did not quite resonate with the shape of it. Also, the angle at which these lamps are placed it throws a glare at night on the rider which obstructs the vision. Apart from this, most of the bike remains the same, except for a few changes in stickers.
The quality of the panels on the body and around the instrument cluster looks premium minimal gaps. Overall, the bike has been put together pretty well.
TVS Apache RTR 200 4V. (Image: Prashant Rai/News18.com)
Now the Apache 200 has always been a happy commuter with laudable ergonomics. The tale continues in the BS-VI version as well with accessible seat height, upright handlebar position, slightly-rear set footpegs and a wide seat. While making its way into the new emission norms, the Apache RTR 200 4V has gained about 3kgs. However, we were happy to see that this gain remains to be just on paper, as the motorcycle still continues to be the same exciting agile machine that has no problem being in the urban space.
TVS Apache RTR 200 4V connectivity features. (Image: Prashant Rai/News18.com)
To keep the bike fresh and make it more appealing in the competitive market, TVS has dug into its bag of R&D and graced the motorcycle with two new interesting features.
Now one of the things that TVS has added in the new Apache 200 is the Glide Through Technology. What it essentially lets you do its crawl at slow speeds in traffic by only modulating the clutch without any throttle input.
And the second is the SmartXConnect that connects with your phone’s Bluetooth and shows vital information about your motorcycle including trip details, top-speed, lean-angle and average speed.
TVS Apache RTR 200 4V instrument console. (Image: Prashant Rai/News18.com)
Ride and Handling
The new Apache 200 features the same KYB conventional fork at the front and Showa monoshock at the rear that is sprung on a slightly stiffer side. The setup does not compromise comfort in any way while being planted and stable during corners.
In its new avatar, the Apache RTR 200 4V continues to have the brand’s Remora tyre at the front, but ships with grippier new dual-compound radial tyres Eurogrip Protorq Sport RS as standard. In terms of braking, the new Apache 200 is exactly how I remember the BS-VI versions to be, a unit that could have done with more bite and feel.
In addition to this, the bike now gets dual-channel ABS. However, the system kicks in a wee bit early and seems intrusive at most times.
TVS Apache RTR 200 4V front. (Image: Prashant Rai/News18.com)
Now coming to the core of the matter, did the transition dilute the Apache 200’s character? In a word no. On its way to the new norms, the Apache200 has gained almost 3 kgs and has shown a drop of 1.38Nm of torque. But our doubts were put to grave the moment we got our hands on the bike. The engine still loves to rev and still comes alive with a solid mid-range. The fuel-injection has significantly helped with the refinement. But we did notice vibrations that seeped in at around 8,000rpm.
On a related note, we were also expecting TVS to offer the bike with a 6th gear. On the highway, the bike reaches triple-digit speeds at the viby part of the rev range and a 6th gear would have notably improved the issue.
So to sum it up, we are happy to report that TVS has done a rather splendid job in retaining what the motorcycle stood for in its BS-IV avatar. It is still a quick, agile and happy machine that fits perfectly in the city. And with additions like the Glide Through Technology and connectivity features, the deal is even sweeter. Hence, if you are looking for a motorcycle in the 200-cc segment, the Apache RTR 200 4V should be at the top of your list.