2020 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V first ride review

The Apache RTR 200 4V just got a BS6-update and we’ve been out riding it.

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TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Engine- Topgear Magazine India
BS6 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V (Image: BBC TopGear India)

It’s been 14 years since the first Apache hit the Indian market. Needless to say, things have been different ever since. Not only has the Apache been a consistent seller for TVS, but it’s also created a fairly sizable following amongst enthusiasts. That, in no short measure, is thanks to the RTR 200. Although it’s just been four years since we first saw RTR 200 4V, the impact it’s had on TVS’ racing-themed image has been significant. Also, it was the first production motorcycle from TVS to come fitted with a mono-shock at the rear. If that doesn’t make its intentions clear, I don’t know what will.

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V first ride review - Topgear Magazine
BS6 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V (Image: BBC TopGear India)

Enough of the history lesson though, time to talk about the BS6-ready TVS Apache RTR 200 4V. First off, the 197.75cc, single-cylinder, oil-cooled RT-Fi engine is said to be 10 percent more fuel-efficient than before. TVS also tells us that power delivery and engine durability have also improved. By the way, that tasty motor produces 19.9bhp and 16.8Nm of torque. More on that a little later on. There’s also a first-in-segment ‘Glide Through Technology’ which helps with getting the bike moving at lower speeds. Basically, the bike will start moving with any throttle input. In fact, it’ll do just that till 7kmph in the first gear, 12kmph in the second and 17kmph in the third. Apart from that, there’s also new graphical design on the body, a newly designed LED headlamp, a new wave key and of course the ‘race-tuned’ slipper clutch.

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Speedometer - Topgear Magazine
(Image: BBC TopGear India)

How does it all come together? Really rather well, to be honest. On startup, the RTR 200 4V, feels quiet and restrained with a nice little burble from the exhaust. Get moving and you’ll realise just how much that engine has to give. This Apache is eager to get off the line and move at the slightest twist of the throttle. Once you’re out and about moving along the traffic, you’ll quickly realise that punchy mid-range is the sweet spot of this engine. The BS6-compliant RTR 200 4V has no trouble getting up triple-digit speeds and can sustain it rather well. Power delivery is smooth and refined with the rpm meter rising with ease to the limit.

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Headlight- Topgear Magazine
(Image: BBC TopGear India)

But, the real satisfaction comes from the way this bike moves. There’s a certain rhythm to how the RTR 200 4V handles and it feels almost telepathic in nature. Everything from the dual-channel ABS with Rear Wheel Lift-off Protection (RLP) to the Eurogrip Protoq SR Racing Spec rear tyre comes together beautifully to make the RTR 200 4V a truly engaging motorcycle to ride. Last but certainly not least, is the velvety smooth gearbox which slots in and out of gears with great precision. From a performance standpoint, the latest RTR 200 4V is still aces in our book.

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Engine- Topgear Magazine
(Image: BBC TopGear India)

But does it look just as good? Kind of. It completely depends on what you fancy. I personally felt that the overall angular design fits the Apache’s image. However, those new LED headlamps, which work well, look slightly odd. Even the instrument cluster feels a bit out of place. But the dual-barrel exhaust, which has quite a distinct sound, looks fantastic. Also worth mentioning here is the SmartXonnect system which comes with a plethora of Bluetooth-enabled features to fit the needs of every tech-driven individual of today. For example, it comes with navigation, low fuel warning & assist, lean angle mode, notifications for a call or SMS, race telemetry and a whole lot more.

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Engine- Topgear Magazine India
BS6 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V (Image: BBC TopGear India)

To sum up, the Apache RTR 200 4V kind of reminds of Road Runner, a character from the popular Looney Tunes series. It’s able to come out on top in almost every given scenario. No matter what the situation, it’s able to cut through traffic like a hot knife through butter. Plus, it’s properly quick, just like Road Runner. But, on the whole, the BS6-ready Apache RTR 200 4V left has impressed in almost every respect. This is the Apache I’d buy. Period.

Specifications:

Engine – 197.75cc, single-cylinder
Power – 19.9bhp@8500rpm
Torque – 16.8Nm@7500rpm
Transmission – Five-speed manual
Weight – 153 kilograms

Price: Rs 1.24 lakh (ex-showroom)

For – Rev-happy engine, riding dynamics, braking
Against – Pillion seat, some design elements

(Photography: Jassi Singh)