This one has long been in the coming. TVS, otherwise a prompt and quick response motorcycle maker when it comes to media requests decided to take their own sweet time. The motorcycle was launched earlier this year but I am getting a test unit now. Hey, better late than never. I lived with the TVS Apache RR 310 for a good seven days. Some say it is a small time compared to a long term test (TVS, are you listening?) However, the observations I gathered of the motorcycle over these seven days have helped me write these impressions.
Polarising looks of the TVS Apache RR 310?
Are you mad or oblivious to design changes? There is not one soul that I know of and who says that this TVS looks bad. It still manages to turn heads especially in this fetching red colour. Red, like orange and green, specifies a single motorcycle maker. Yes, you guessed it right. It is Ducati. The TVS Apache RR 310 does look like a mini-Ducati sportsbike. Those bi-LED projector headlights which stay illuminated all the time are fantastic in operation. There are DRLs around the headlights which too do a decent job of illuminating the sides.
TVS have also added golden coloured shock absorbers in the front. Moving on, you will see the bubble windscreen, the nicely sculpted tank, the tight knee recess, the split seat, that chunky exhaust and a well sculpted tail. All these form a cohesive image of the motorcycle in your eyes. If at all, there was an eye sore, and trust me, I am nitpicking here, some weld points on the trellis frame look a bit poorly done. I also don’t like the switches. They don’t have backlighting as well as tend to stick quite easily.
All in all, the designer of the TVS Apacher RR 310 definitely deserves a raise. Ask him/her to design the next motorcycle too. Please!
Rough engine of the TVS Apache RR 310
I though this will be because the motorcycle hasn’t been run in yet or something. A quick check on the odo and the fact that this is no actual Ducati confirmed that the run in period is over. The first generation Dukes used to make this rattle at start-up. Thankfully, the Apache’s unit settles down a bit. It also offers 34PS of power and 27Nm of torque. All the power is sent to the rear wheel through a 6-speed transmission. First the transmission details. It uses a relatively light clutch but I ended up mistiming the second to third upshift. The motorcycle also tends to stall randomly. It may be due to the sharp biting point of the clutch. Having ridden the Mahindra Mojo extensively before, I can vouch that the Mojo will tire you out with that heavy clutch but its refinement is leagues ahead of the TVS.
Now the engine bit. Reports online suggest that the motor is very torquey and has good lower down poke. However, the test unit I had seemed to have an issue with the staying at 15kmph in second gear. My 12-year old Pulsar 150 stays in third gear at 18kmph and doesn’t protest. You need to downshift quite often in the TVS Apache RR 310. All this takes a toll on the city efficiency as the motorcycle returned 23.2kmpl. The number on the highway slightly goes up to 26.4kmpl. Decent numbers from a 300cc motor but not the best.
Thankfully, the engine’s pulling power is adequate and things don’t go south even with a hefty pillion. The top speed I could register during the trip was around 141kmph, with some more left to go. Tucking under that big windscreen helps a lot during high speed runs. There are vibrations when you wring the throttle and the revs cross 6,500rpm. These come in through the sides of the tank, the handlebar as well as from under the seat. They aren’t major as say as those on the Hero Karizma ZMR but they definitely are there.
Handling package of the TVS Apache RR 310?
Absolutely. This apart from the design is the highlight of the motorcycle. It will make you feel like you’re god out there on the twisties. Sublime and surefooted it is. The Michelin tyres too work really well to instill confidence, even in the wet. I have a pair of these on my personal motorcycle and I know that they are not only durable but also communicative Even in dense traffic, this fully faired RR 310 is easy to manoeuvre. The best part is that by virtue of being fully faired, the motorcycle is supposed to spew hot air on to the rider’s legs. Thankfully, TVS’ devised techniques to avoid this actually work. The air coming from the engine is sucked and thrown near the rider’s toes. Job well done!
The mirrors on the TVS Apache RR 310 seem a bit outstretched especially if you have to adjust them while riding. However, the rider gets a clear view of the traffic behind. The pillion seat is small and hard. However, for shorter distances, the wife never complained. It is no R15 beater, the seat, but is nearly as comfortable for small trips. The ground clearance is adequate and never once did the underbelly hit against any speed breakers with a nearly 200kg payload. Exhaust note of the RR 310 dials up a bit on the rorty side as the revs climb.
If you ask me about the ride quality, I found it to be stiff but not exactly bone jarringly. The pillion though can feel the stiffness especially if you go over a couple of rumble strips at over 20kmph. However, this isn’t a deal breaker for sure. I quite liked the brakes. They are communicative and while the rear disc lacks feedback, the front one is more than adequate. Couple this with non-switchable ABS on both the ends and you will be assured about going fast and stopping on time too. Without any drama!
Features of the TVS Apache RR 310
There are too many. Like the TVS NTorq, this one too is crammed with features. Check the vertically stacked white backlit instrument cluster. It is an all-digital unit. There is the speed, dual trip meters, odo, lap timer, top speed display, average fuel efficiency, distance to empty. engine temperature, side stand down, clock and average speed clocked. The backlight adjusts according to the time of the day and is always legible to read even under harsh sunlight. The low fuel warning though comes on when there are two bars of fuel left. There is also an overspeed indicator which came with the turned off setting. TVS have also added a hazard light switch next to the meter console. Under the rear seat, there is very less space to put in the bike’s papers. It could definitely be better. Opening the rear seat and putting it back on is no chore though.
Verdict of the TVS Apache RR 310
The TVS Apache RR 310 price in Mumbai is Rs 2.13 lakh, ex-showroom. It is a lot of motorcycle for that price. The motorcycle is a timeless beauty, well built, has okay performance on offer and will make a racer out of you. The bad bits include the thirsty motor and propensity to stall. While I know of the bad bits, I will still want to buy one. Reason? I am a huge fan of faired motorcycles and this one just looks like million bucks! Perhaps the closest I can come to owning a Ducati in this lifetime.
Things we like about the TVS Apache RR 310
Comprehensive meters, big bike looks and forgiving handling
Things we don’t like about the TVS Apache RR 310
Engine could have been better and sparse service support
Trivia: The TVS Apache RR 310 is a premium product from the Hosur motorcycle maker. However, there are only few outlets in Maharashtra that will sell you the bike. Worse still, there are only three authorised service centres in Mumbai that will service the motorcycle.