2020 TVS Apache 200 4V Test Ride Review
We do a detailed road test of the 2020 TVS apache 200 4V.
Bike Tested: TVS Apache 200 4V; Road Test No. 1190; Test Location: Bangalore
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1,50,080/-
The TVS Apache 200 is the most hardware-rich motorcycle in its category
Since the launch of the TVS Apache 200 in 2016, there have been quite a few updates with the addition of hardware in each and every iteration. But there was never a major update that altered the visual appeal drastically. The 2020 BS6 update for the Apache has been a major change as it gets a facelift too along with some updated hardware. We review and find out if the increase in price has been justified too?
Motor Quest: The first variant of the TVS Apache 200 was launched in January 2016 while it got ABS and FI in the next year. A major update of the Race Tuned 2.0 version came in March 2018 which got new graphics and slipper-clutch. While it was December 2019 when the third update of the Apache 200 was unveiled alongside the Apache 160.
Styling – The overall styling and the lines flowing from the front to the rear are exactly the same. But as it has got a new face, hence it can be called a facelift. There are 3 major and noticeable design changes from the BS4 model. First is the bold new LED headlight with new LED DRLs, the headlight has separate sections for the high and low beam while the DRLs are now exposed and have a plasticky feel. The mirrors are new and thinner while the decals and graphics are new too. The race edition 2.0 colour scheme is now standard for the Apache 200 as there are no other models in the line-up.
The Apache 200 has a brand new face with similar design elements
With a keen eye, one would definitely notice that there are extra plastic panels that have been added below the seat, near the engine area. While engine cowl is slightly broader to pass the thicker exhaust pipe which carries the pre-cat and has BS6 stickers on both sides. Other elements are exactly the same as before like the alloys and almost all the hanging parts. It would also be extremely difficult to differentiate the BS4 and BS6 models from the rear.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – The instrument cluster might look exactly the same as before but it has had a major update too. TVS introduced the SmartXonnect feature to the last version of the Apache 200 about 2 months before the BS6 update. While we didn’t get a chance to test that model, it is definitely considered as a new update in the BS6 model. The LCD display is far denser with information as there is an addition of a dot-matrix screen. It displays all the vital information like navigation, calls or message notification and even distress or a crash notification can be sent to the emergency contacts once connected to the phone.
The instrument cluster is smart but feels cluttered with a lot of data to showcase
It still displays all the other information like the gear-position indicator, tachometer, speedometer, fuel gauge and a clock. We have seen a much bigger version of SmartXonnect on the iQube but including it here in the 200 is pretty smart. The switchgear also has an update as the left-side unit has an additional “i” button that can be used to toggle through the information on the dot-matrix section. While the rest of it stays the same and the switchgear quality is pretty decent too.
Ergonomics – The ergonomic triangle of the Apache 200 hasn’t been touched as it still continues with the same streetfighter ergonomics. Seating posture is upright while the rider sits slightly leaned-in due to the clip-on handlebars. The seat height is at 800 mm which is accessible for short as well as tall riders while the split-seat setup has enough room for the pillion. The cushioning is nice and comfortable while the centre-set footpegs do their job well. Rearview mirrors will be same as before from the rider’s perspective as the shape hasn’t changed but the cover is now thinner giving it a sleeker look. However, they aren’t wide enough even now to give a good view of what’s behind.
Performance – The Apache 200 has the same 197cc motor but it is now BS6 compliant. The power figures haven’t seen a huge change as the power stays the same at 20.5 PS while the torque has dropped significantly at 16.8 Nm. The immediate throttle response has mellowed down quite a bit but the Apache still has a very strong low-end and mid-range. The motor is still oil-cooled and gets FI as standard and since the race edition version of the Apache got the race-tuned slipper clutch. This one gets all that hardware as standard making it quite a hardware-rich motor in the 200cc category. While the 5-speed gearbox is standard and slick-shifting and the clutch has become slightly light too.
The TVS Apache always had the best exhaust note and it is quite bassy even now after the update
The Apache 200 now reaches the ton a second slower than before as it has picked up some weight too. However, the comfortable cruising speed is between 80-100 km/hr as the vibrations have reduced considerably after the BS6 update. There is no harshness from the engine and the motor would return a mileage of 32-36 km/l depending on the riding style. Another addition to the tech factor is GTT – Glide Through Technology which allows the motorcycle to glide through traffic just by letting go of the clutch. As you let the go the clutch slowly the motorcycle will pick up a rolling pace without any throttle input and this works for the first 3 gears.
Riding Dynamics – As the ergonomics have stayed the same, the riding dynamics haven’t changed either. The motorcycle rides really well as it gets the telescopic suspension at the front and a monoshock at the rear tuned by KYB. While the split-cradle chassis has the nature of its racing origin and has a brilliant control on high speeds with the necessary flex in tight corners. The straight-line stability is likeable but the windblast does rob away the fun. As the Apache 200 used to get a tiny visor earlier and even that has gone missing now.
Race-tuned nature of the Apache has very likeable riding dynamics
The suspension setup isn’t softly sprung while it does a decent job of absorbing small bumps. The Apache 200 is now 2 kgs heavier at 153 kgs while it has a very well balanced centre of gravity. The tyres are the same as before but the rear is now a radial unit. Earlier, the Apache used to get Pirelli as an option but now the TVS tyres are standard. They grip decently well and are suitable for track as well as road riding. After the ABS update, the Apache 200 was equipped with the dual-channel ABS setup and it is the same unit here. The feedback from the brakes is really good as there is a strong initial bite which does not drop off even under heavy braking.
Verdict – The first variant of Apache was priced close to Rs. 1 lakh (on-road Mumbai) in 2016, right now the price is 50% more at Rs. 1.50 lakhs. Over the years, the product has developed and has got the hardware from the TVS racing department which is quite exciting. With the addition of new hardware and looks, TVS is trying really hard to justify the price. For that amount, you do get a hardware-rich motorcycle which has a brilliant design and as an overall package, it is a very appealing machine.
* The updated model looks really fresh
* Engine has enough grunt while being quite linear
* The motorcycle is apt for the city as well as highway duties
* Dynamics and brakes are same as before and they perform really strong
What’s Not So Cool
* No more Pirelli tyres, even as an option
* Torque has dropped drastically as an effect of BS6
* Pricing has increased drastically, very costly for a 200
* The visor is gone missing and the LED DRLs have a plasticky feel
* Engine: 197.7cc, Oil-Cooled, Single-Cylinder, FI
* Power: 20.5 PS @ 8500 RPM
* Torque: 16.8 Nm @ 7500 RPM
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Fuel Consumption: 32-36 km/l
* Frame: Split-Cradle Synchrostiff Frame
* Gearbox: 5-Speed
* Tyres: 90/90/17 (Front), 130/70/17 (Rear)
* Suspension: Telescopic Forks (Front), Monoshock (Rear)
* Brakes: 270 mm Disc (Front), 240 mm Disc (Rear); Dual-Channel ABS
* Length x Width x Height: 2050 mm x 790 mm x 1050 mm
* Wheelbase: 1353 mm
* Ground Clearance: 180 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 12-litres
* Kerb weight: 153 Kg