2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Test Ride Review
Detailed test ride review of the latest 2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V.
Bike Tested: 2021 TVS Apache 200 4V; Road Test No. 1304; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1,54,461/-
The TVS Apache 200 is the only motorcycle in its segment that has been updated each and every year
The TVS Apache is no new name in the two-wheeler market. Since the very beginning, TVS has been very serious about getting a hold of the 200cc street bike category, which is quite hot. Over the years, the Apache lineup has become quite vast, the range starts with the Apache 160 and the flagship model is the Apache RR 310. While the Apache 200 is known for its punchy and zippy performance, in 2019, the BS6 version was launched with a facelift. For 2021, TVS has packed quite a few updates which have made it even better! Better by how much? We find out.
MotorQuest: The TVS Apache series has been around since 2006, and the first Apache 200 was launched in 2016. To date, TVS has sold more than 40 lakh units of the Apache lineup globally. While the acronym RTR stands for “Racing Throttle Response”, it’s present on all the bikes except the RR 310.
Styling – The Apache has always looked appealing and purposeful and, the 2021 model is no different than its predecessor. Although the bike hasn’t received any dramatic visual update, the face of the motorcycle still looks striking. The tank design of the Apache looks very aggressive and compliments the edgy nature of the bike. And to add the red pin-stripe graphics are continued for this update as well. However, a small visor covering the instrument cluster which was present on the BS4 version should have been offered for a refreshed look.
TVS surely wants to convey with the new colour that the race-spec Apache 200 is now road-ready too
Now, there are three colour options on offer – pearl white, matte blue and gloss black. And to further increase the visual appeal, the telescopic forks are finished in gold. The Apache still continues to get halogen indicators and TVS should have offered LEDs instead. Although the LED headlight and tail light look really well, the boomerang DRLs still have that plasticky feel. Overall if you compare the 2021 model with the 2019 BS6 update, not much has changed but it is significant.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – The instrument cluster is the same unit from the 2019 model which displays all the vital information you need. It is bright and easy to read. The data that is displayed in the cluster is exactly the same, inclusive of the dot-matrix section. However, the only new thing is a set of three words which are displayed below the dot-matrix – Urban, Rain, Sport. These are the riding modes that the new 2021 Apache gets and can be switched using the “MODE” button which is a new addition on the right-side switchgear.
The TVS Apache 200 is the only bike in its segment which has riding modes
The left switchgear remains unchanged with the “i” button used to clear the information on the dot-matrix screen. The quality of the switchgear is decent. The SmartXonnect feature is present here as well and helps you with turn-by-turn navigation, call and SMS alerts which are good to have. But, what has impressed us is the Crash Alert feature which sends your location to the selected emergency contacts if the system detects a crash. For this, the only ask is that your mobile should be connected to the SmartXonnect.
Ergonomics – There are very few changes made to the 2021 model ergonomically. TVS has made an effort to make the Apache more comfortable than before. As the cushioning on the rider’s seat has been worked on which makes it more comfortable for longer rides. While the Apache now gets adjustable levers which is a segment-first feature! The riding posture is a bit leaned in but, it is still comfortable. The seat height is 800 mm which makes it apt for the average Indian. However, if you are above 6 feet, you might feel cramped on this motorcycle. The only gripe we have is that the mirrors don’t offer a good view of what’s behind.
Performance – The Apache is powered by a 197.7cc, oil-cooled, single-cylinder motor mated to a slick-shifting 5-speed gearbox with a slipper clutch. With the 2021 update, the Apache 200 gets three riding modes, Sport, Urban, and Rain. These modes alter the power and ABS calibration. The power output depends on what mode the bike is in. In Sport mode, the bike produces 20.54 BHP and 17.3 Nm while the power figures in Urban and Rain modes are 17.08 BHP and 16.5 Nm. In Sport mode, the 0-100 comes at 12.91 seconds while it takes 17.93 seconds in Urban mode. The vibrations are well contained in the low-end but as the RPMs increase, they start bothering you a little. While extracting all the juice from this motor, you would surely miss the 6th gear because the motor feels a bit stressed and needs some calming.
Apache’s oil-cooling system does a good job of keeping the temperature under control
The low-end and mid-range are packed with punch, which makes it a great choice for the city commute. However, the motor still continues with oil-cooling which gets the job done but, we expect liquid-cooling for the next update. The throttle response is livelier than before, and the difference can be felt throughout the rev range. The exhaust note is back to being throaty and it feels louder than the previous model. On our test, the Apache returned a mileage of 34 km/l and, with a 12-litre fuel tank, expect the range to be around 400 kms.
Riding Dynamics – There is no major change in the riding dynamics as the bike remains pretty much similar to the previous model. The bike is nimble making traffic filtering an easy task and the chassis offers decent flex which supports you while cornering hard. However, there are a few notable changes that define the riding dynamics of the bike. The Apache now gets preload-adjustable telescopic front suspension from SHOWA. The stock configuration is somewhat soft and does a fair job of absorbing small bumps and potholes but, you can tweak the suspension according to your liking and all you need to do so, is just a screwdriver. With all the addition, the 2021 Apache 200 is now 1 kg lighter too at 152 kgs.
The riding modes are now available in both single and dual-channel ABS versions of the TVS Apache 200
The Apache gets in-house TVS Remoro tyres as standard which offer promising grip and stability. This year too, the Pirelli tyres are not on the options list. The straight-line stability of the Apache is quite good but due to the absence of a visor, the windblast robs away the comfort and tires the rider on long journeys. The braking performance is better than before, the lever offers good feedback and the initial bite is strong also, with the presence of rear lift prevention (RLP), things get a bit safer. While the riding modes alter the ABS too. It is very intrusive in Rain mode and starts bothering less from Urban to Sport. For the most part, the Apache is an excellent bike for day-to-day use and occasional highway runs.
Verdict – At Rs. 1,54,461/- (on-road Mumbai) the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V offers an excellent riding experience, the most hardware with very few trade-offs. The insignificant price hike is over-justified by the equipment on offer. Whilst the service network of TVS is spread out throughout the country even in rural areas, making your overall ownership experience valuable as spare parts aren’t expensive and the bike is pretty reliable. If you are looking for something that you can commute daily and also have fun on, then the Apache is a very sensible choice.
* The styling of the bike is very macho
* Punchy midrange with linear power delivery
* Ride modes do make the sense on daily riding conditions
What’s Not So Cool
* 6th gear is missed for high-speed cruising
* Absence of LED indicators and a small visor is still felt
* Total of 4 variants of just the Apache 200 can get a bit confusing to choose from
* Engine: 197.7cc, Oil-Cooled, Single-Cylinder, FI
* Power: 20.54 BHP @ 9000 RPM (SPORT)
* Power: 17.08 BHP @ 7800 RPM (URBAN, RAIN)
* Torque: 17.25 Nm @ 7250 RPM (SPORT)
* Torque: 16.5 Nm @ 5750 RPM (URBAN, RAIN)
* 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: SHOWA 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
* Seat Height: 800 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 12-litres
* Kerb weight: 152 Kgs