We have every reason to believe that in a typical Illuminati fashion, TVS holds secret meetings with its engineers to introduce a ‘new world order’ in the world of motorcycles. While other manufacturers believe in a mere nip and tuck jobs for their updated motorcycles, TVS has been pushing the envelope with each of its offerings. More recently, TVS announced a new sub-vertical christened as ‘Race Performance’ and under this division, the Apache RTR 165RP became the sacramental offering.

Priced at INR 1.45 Lakh, it is limited to just 200 units and the word on the street is that all the units have already been sold out. My stars aligned for a change and we got to take out the Apache 165RP for a brief spin but it was enough to exhibit the implications of all the changes it has received.

Apache RTR 165 RP

Legacy Immortalised

TVS never shies away from displaying its three decades of racing history in all its glory and the Apache RTR 165RP is a pristine example of it. The overall silhouette might be derived from the Apache 160 4V but the 165RP definitely looks a lot more… racy! The tricolour livery that it comes draped in comprises of three shades- blue, white and red. This racing livery is borrowed from the all-conquering GP 165R.

It is further complemented by unique decals on the fuel tank and extensions. Red-painted alloy wheels and single-piece grab rails work in unison to make the RTR 165RP look a lot louder than its standard counterpart. It might look a little ‘over-the-top’ to some people but is there any point in rolling out a special-edition motorcycle that doesn’t even look special?


After breaking the visual enchantment it cast upon us, it was now time to focus more on the mechanical side of things. It wouldn’t take a long spin to make you realize that the Apache RTR 165RP is indeed something else because it ‘roars’ to life after you fire it up.

Apache RTR 165RP

Acoustically speaking, the Apache 165RP is as loud as it looks, at least when you factor in its displacement. Its exhaust note is a lot bassier as compared to the standard variant and it provides the perfect background score when you are going hard on the throttle. It eggs you to push harder and immerse yourself in its single-cylinder growl.

The standard 160 4V is pegged as one of the most powerful 160cc motorcycles in its class but the RTR 165RP is ‘THE’ most powerful offering in its class as it dishes out 19.2PS at 10,000 rpm and 14.2Nm at 8,750 rpm. This definitive tag has been accomplished by numerous internal changes introduced to the powertrain. The overall displacement has climbed up to 164.9cc as it gets a new cylinder head with a 35 per cent increase in intake and twin electrode spark plug. For racier engine performance, the valves are 15 per cent bigger and are controlled by hi-lift, hi-duration cams and dual spring actuators. Moreover, a revised bore stroke ratio of 13.7 allows free-revving to the 10,000 rpm redline. For a higher compression ratio, a new dome piston has also been introduced on the RTR 165RP

But how do all these changes affect its real-world performance? Pretty significantly, as we figured out. Throttle response is a lot crisper and it elevates the whole experience by a fair margin. The bump in overall performance figures is also hard to ignore as it lunges forward with eagerness. I have ridden the 160 4V for quite some time and I can attest to the fact that the RTR 165RP is definitely faster and more enjoyable than its sedated, soberer counterpart. Heck, we believe that it is even going to leave behind the Yamaha R15 V4 in a 0-100kmph sprint. Time to search for a drag strip, eh?

Apache RTR 165RP

Thanks to the inclusion of slip and assist clutch, the clutch action is also comparatively lighter. This addition also makes sure that you can go hard on your downshifts without the rear tyre hopping like a bunny. TVS has also thrown in a segment-first 240mm rear disc brake and brass coated drive chain.


Catering to enthusiasts’ needs is something which has always remained TVS’ top priority. With the announcement of two sub-verticals namely ‘BTO- Built to Order’ and ‘RP- Race Performance’, the homegrown bikemaker has again proved that it is pretty serious about upping the ante. The Apache RTR 165RP might be limited to just 200 units but it certainly showcases the prowess of TVS’ engineers. While it won’t get you to license-revoking speeds in a blink of an eye, the whole ride experience is indeed something special. Especially when you factor in that it displaces just 165cc and still is a hoot to ride. TVS is currently at the top of their game and by the looks of it, usurping them is going to be a daunting task. Expect more such RP-goodness from TVS’s stables in the coming few months. Maybe an Apache RR 310 with 40HP on tap, who knows!

To read our review of the TVS Apache RR310 BTO, click here.