2020 TVS Apache 160 4V Test Ride Review
We review the BS6 TVS Apache 160 4V at TVS' test track.
Bike Tested: TVS Apache 160 4V; Road Test No. 1191; Test Location: Bangalore
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1,22,900/- (Drum); Rs. 1,26,380/- (Disc)
The TVS Apache 160 4V is one for the sporty motorcycles in its category
The TVS Apache RTR 160 4V was first introduced in 2018 and it was an instant hit in the market. The styling was carried from the 200 while it’s heart was a brand new 160 which had the highest power figures in the sub-200cc naked category within the price range. It was an instant segment leader. Roughly 2 years later, TVS launched the latest iteration of the RTR 160 4V which is now BS6 compliant. The update is more of a facelift as the hardware seems pretty much the same. The variants, however, have changed and we got a chance to find out what’s really new when we rode the motorcycle on the TVS test track.
Motor Quest: The TVS Apache RTR 160 was first launched about 10 years ago, followed by the launch of the FI version. A brand new version of the 160 with a 4-valve engine was launched in 2018. The only minor update to the 4V after its initial launch came in early 2019 when the ABS version was introduced.
Styling: In the previous models, the 160 and the 200 looked very similar, and this remains unchanged for the new model as well. In the new avatar of the Apache, there are three things that will grab your attention. The first thing you notice is that the Apache now gets a completely new headlamp. It is a full LED setup with separate sections for the high beam and the low beam. There are new LED DRLs at the top which make the bike look aggressive from the front. Second, you will notice the new single-seat which has a dual-tone texture. Third, you will see the new decals which have been updated all over the body panels.
Except for the new design for the LED headlight, the 160 has pretty much the same design language as before
But what might not grab your attention are the new mirrors. The BS6 Apache also gets new mirrors, common between the 160 and the 200. If you happen to look with a keen eye, you will also notice the addition of a few plastic parts under the seat, near the engine. With the pre-cat now present, the exhaust is also thicker than before. Other than these, all elements are exactly the same as the BS4 model. Looks are subjective and what may appeal a lot of you, might not appeal to the rest. We like the overall design of the new Apache. Let us know if you do too.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear: The BS4 version of the Apache 160 had an LCD with a yellow-coloured background and that remains the same for the BS6 variant. It offers good visibility in the sun but does not get any connectivity features like the Apache 200 and hence it misses out on the dot-matrix screen too. This time, however, the information on the display for either of the variants is standard and does not miss out the gear-position indicator. It displays plenty of information like speedometer, odometer, twin trip meters, fuel gauge and a clock too.
Ergonomics: Ergonomics of the TVS Apache 160 are the same as before. TVS has left the rider’s triangle of the Apache untouched, largely because it didn’t need a change. The rider sits upright and relaxed while the seat height is also the same at 800 mm. The posture feels slightly comfortable compared to the 200 as the 160 gets a handlebar rather than clip-ons. Although the single-seat now gets a dual-tone finish, it still offers the same comfort as before, which is ideal for commuting duties. The pillion has enough space to move around and the cushioning is good for both. The centre-set footpegs remain unchanged and offer excellent support too.
Performance: The Apache still has the same 159.7cc motor which is now BS6 compliant and hence it comes with FI as standard. Instead of the previous three variants, the variants have now reduced to two as carb has been removed. The power has dropped slightly with the new bike now making 16.02 PS of power at 8250 RPM as compared to 16.6 PS of the BS4 variant. The torque has also decreased, with the BS6 variant now making 14.12 Nm at 7250 RPM. The torque band has moved further up in the rev-range and while the low-end punch has suffered, the mid-range is still strong. Unlike the 200, the Apache 160 does not get any slipper clutch but the clutch is light and the 5-speed gearbox is slick-shifting.
The exhaust note for the signature double-barrel exhaust is now mellower than before
Just like the 200, the Apache 160 has also gotten slower due to the BS6 update. It reaches the ton almost a second slower. We had limited time to test but the in-gear acceleration is also affected and we’ll be able to give you the exact number once we get it for a road test. The vibrations have reduced significantly in the BS6 update and we didn’t face any heating issues either. Just as we saw on the Apache 200, the Apache 160 also gets GTT – Glide Through Technology. The motorcycle idles at 1500 RPM but as we leave the clutch the RPM will rise and stay up to 2200 RPM without any engine knocking. This works perfectly well in the first 3 gears.
Riding Dynamics: As the ergonomics of the bike remain unchanged, the same can be said for the riding dynamics. The suspension is soft, but it is well damped so the ride is plush. The TVS-made telescopic front suspension and the KYB tuned monoshock at the rear absorbs bumps well. Thanks to the Synchrostiff chassis, the bike has brilliant feedback and feels planted in a straight line as well as in corners. However, due to the missing windscreen, the windblast will probably make your life a little harder in the straight line.
The riding dynamics are comfortable and offer a fatigue-free experience
We felt that the braking performance lacked initial bite and there was noticeable brake fade after a while. After a complete riding session, the brakes felt wooden while the ABS performance did not seem up to the mark. The braking performance would have been better if TVS had offered steel braided lines instead of the rubber lines. The tyre sizes remain unchanged and come with standard TVS rubber which offers a decent grip. Although the overall weight has gone up to 149 kgs (2 kgs more than the BS4 model), the riding dynamics are quite sporty for a 160cc commuter.
Verdict: Sadly, the new norms have caught another prey. The significant drop in the power and torque figures means that the TVS Apache 160 4V now loses its crown of being the most powerful motorcycle in its price range. What it doesn’t lose is that it still remains a sporty commuter motorcycle that looks good and is, overall, a good deal. You should definitely consider buying the 160 4V if you want a commuter with a sporty nature. However, if you’re looking for a little more edge, there are better options in the market.
* Apache 160 has got the quickest update in the TVS lineup
* Comfortable riding dynamics with a sporty feedback
* BS6 motor is extremely smooth and returns better fuel efficiency
What’s Not So Cool
* Pricing has increased drastically
* Braking feedback isn’t as sharp as before
* Peak power and torque comes in higher in the rev range with a lesser output
* Engine: 159.7cc, Oil-Cooled, Single-Cylinder, FI
* Power: 16.02 PS @ 8250 RPM
* Torque: 14.12 Nm @ 7250 RPM
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Fuel Consumption: 40-45 km/l
* Frame: Split-Cradle Synchrostiff Frame
* Gearbox: 5-Speed
* Tyres: 90/90/17 (Front), 110/80/17 (Drum,Rear) / 130/70/17 (Disc,Rear)
* Suspension: Telescopic Forks (Front), Monoshock (Rear)
* Brakes: 270 mm Disc (Front), 130 mm Drum or 200 mm Disc (Rear)
* Length x Width x Height: 2035 mm x 790 mm x 1050 mm
* Wheelbase: 1357 mm
* Seat Height: 800 mm
* Ground Clearance: 180 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 12-litres
* Kerb weight: 147 Kg (Drum) 149 Kg (Disc)