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Old 20th February 2017, 02:14   #1
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Default TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer

Hello everyone,

This is my first Team-BHP review & I hope that I can make this review useful to the readers.

Note: My previous bike was TVS Apache RTR 180. I have extensively ridden my close friend’s Karizma ZMR (both old and new model) & very recently another friend got the Dominar 400, so my ownership review shall be loosely based on comparison with these motorcycle.

What I like:
-Refined engine, Refinement is best in class (relief from vibrations at mid-range for all riders coming from RTR 160/180).
- Adequate power & torque for both city & highway/hills.
- Punchy & robust engine (abuse friendly) as the basic design structure is similar to its smaller siblings.
- Amazing exhaust note for a single cylinder motorcycle. Exhaust sound while accelerating can be addictive.
- Ground clearance
- Excellent built quality.
- Comfortable seating posture.
- Excellent suspension set up from KYB
- No heating issues even in dense traffic situations.
- Good looking instrument console (easy to read & understand).

What I don’t:
- Smaller 12L tank on a bigger capacity engine Apache, I don’t know TVS did this. The smaller 160/180 have bigger 16L tank.
- No kick start (I know most of the competition don’t have one but having one is peace of mind).
- Higher seat height for pillion rider.
- Front brakes are good but are bigger disc or a 3 piston calliper (like hornet 160) would have boosted rider’s confidence.
- Didn’t like the way the double barrel exhaust end can looks (sounds great though).

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Old 20th February 2017, 08:36   #2
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Default re: TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer

Why the RTR 200 when I already had the RTR 180? Before I answer “why” I need to explain my riding history & my needs.

Five years back when I got the RTR 180, I got it purely based on my love for the way it looked & sounded. At that time I was upgrading from a humble 100cc gearless scooter, so it actually didn’t matter to me as long as it had gears. The RTR 180 has been a beloved partner to me in all this years & for close to 50k km I think I can call it super reliable as it is still running on stock chain, clutch & an untouched engine.

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer-180.jpg

My 180

My bike is mostly used for weekend Pune-Mumbai-Pune ride. This can be up to 3-4 times a month if I am not using the car. The 180 has seen most of Maharashtra and around that includes single day rides crossing 700 kms.

On observing other vehicles on highways I believe I am a slow rider. I enjoy riding at 60-80 kmph. I know I can cruise at high speeds and cut the travel time but its my sense of safety on Indian road and my mechanical sympathy towards machines. I have ridden many bikes & I sincerely feel that to cruise safely at 120 kmph at highways you at least need a multi-cylinder 300cc plus bike because these bikes can not only effortlessly reach those speeds but also have enough handling prowess & stopping power to shave the speeds.

My affinity towards TVS is due my pleasant past experience of reliability, affordability in terms of product and service cost. All this made me go for the RTR 200. Test ride on the 200 confirmed that it has covered all the flaws/short comings of RTR 180, which I will mention further in the review.

Booking & delivery process

I made a call to Sachin of Rushabh TVS, Pune & asked him about the availability of the 200. He replied positively that the dealership received fresh stock of 200 a week back and a few are available (rest all were either sold or booked). As I had the 180 in gloss black colour this time decided to go with matte black. Booked the matte black 200 on the same day and got it in 2 days. PDI & delivery process was smooth thanks to Sachin for taking care of everything. Noticed that the chain was greased & not lubed with oil/spray, I was explained that it comes greased from the factory. On further inspection I found similar chain condition on the display bike & another delivery bike.

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer-manual.jpeg

Got the new manual

Last edited by Aditya : 20th February 2017 at 21:18. Reason: Spacing
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Old 20th February 2017, 08:41   #3
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Default re: TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer

Initial impression

The bike feels big once you swing your leg over. The big feel comes from the tank design. The tank is sculpted in such a way that it keeps the riders legs in a comfortable position. The clip on type handle bar has been set to an ergonomic height so there is no need for the rider to bend forward reach them. Seat height has increased for good. Coming to the seats, I think the rider’s seats are best in class considering comfort and space unfortunately the same can’t be said about the pillion seat. Pillion seat is just OK regarding support and space especially if your mom/wife/xx sits sideways.

The engine needs a special mention, TVS calls this bike Apache RTR 200 4V. Don’t misinterpret 4V for any engine cylinder configuration, 4V here stands for 4 valve head. The engine has a raspy/bassy exhaust note similar but mellowed & deeper than 180. The engine sounds best while accelerating. The sprint nature of engine to climb RPM ferociously can be felt in first 3 gears but the raw & jerk power surge of previous generation Apache is missing. If you have ridden the smaller siblings of RTR or as a matter any single cylinder bike in this class the first thing you will notice is how refined & vibe-free this engine is, The refinement is not only present in lower or mid-range but also on the higher rev range (at least till 8000 rpm on the test ride bike). If I want to nit-pick I would say a very slight buzz can be felt on the fuel tank (if you are holding it with your legs) in between 3500 rpm to 4000 rpm & then it disappears.

This this the initial feeling. Let's see what happens after the engine settles downs. Gear shifts are just perfect & finding neutral is never a problem on Apache. During the run in period of my 180 I did face some false neutrals & was expecting the same from 200 but surprisingly no such issues on 200, it may be due to the 6 plate clutch that the torque/power transfer is better here. The clutch is neither hard nor soft to use, it is somewhere in between. One thing that I noticed is that less gear shifts are required as compared to the 160/180 especially when you are riding in the city. 5th gear comes to action after 40 kmph otherwise you are lugging the engine. The bike cruises effortlessly at 80 kmph @5th gear at a shade past 5500 rpm with lots of juice in store (I think the real performance starts here). I believe 100-110 kmph cruising speed will be this bikes sweet spot.

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer-lake.jpg

Ride and handling

TVS has made a lot of changes in the chassis, suspension, steering & performance which is felt once you ride this bike. The KYB telescopic forks in the front & the mono suspension in the rear are balanced for both comfort & cornering, I would say a bit more towards comfort. Ride is way more plush than previous generation RTR but don’t expect a RE Himalayan level of comfort or the comfort level of old Karizma ZMR (I call it a sofa). The increased ground clearance at 180 mm will make it easy to handle all kinds of roads/off roads one has to face.

Cornering dynamics has improved a lot in the 200. I am yet to do a Lavasa on the 200 but recent ride at old Khandala Ghat confirmed the above. For a skilled rider scraping knees at corners on this bike would be a brisk affair. Speaking of hills, Apaches are always fun to ride on them. I felt the 200 is a bit more relaxed & matured at hills unlike 180 which had a restless and eager to accelerate feel.

Open and straight highways can be enjoyed on the 200 due to its refined & punchy engine. Overtaking vehicles running at 60-80 kmph is no problem. The biggest disappointment is the lack of 6th gear which makes triple digit cruising a busy affair. People have achieved 148 kmph or even more on the speedo of this bike (on race tracks I hope) & I am happy to know that. TVS says this engine in its high state of tune can produce 40 bhp which really speaks the capability of this engine.

In traffic and city ride I doubt that a rider will go above 3rd gear unless you have open roads/night rides. The 1st and 2nd gear are very well spaced and you will love the way the bike performs in the city. I don’t know how well the oil cooler works on the 200 but I never faced any heating tantrums even when I ride in very dense city situations. I only wish the turning radius was a bit less (I think I am nit-picking). The rider sits a lot more upright on the RTR 200 so the strain on the wrist & arms are less. Overall you will be happy to ride this bike in the city.

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Old 20th February 2017, 08:50   #4
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Default re: TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer

Few observation from my side

- I never thought a gear indicator would be a useful tool for someone like me who is riding for a long time, but after using it for some time I would say it is immensely helpful and lets your brain relax as you no longer have to think/calculate/assume on which gear you are on. Recently rode my friend’s Dominar 400 & I was really missing the gear indicator.

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer-speedo.jpg

- TVS gives ABS as an option for safety, but no side stand indicator or engine cut-off feature while riding with side stand down (Bajaj gives side stand warning on 220 & cut off feature on Dominar & all KTM bikes also the new ZMR have side stand warning). The funny thing is TVS Scooty gets side stand alarm feature!

- I am a DIY guy and I am really happy to get a main stand.

- 90 section Remora tires on front & 130 section Remora tires on the rear are a vast improvement to what TVS used to offer on their 160/180. Pirelli is optional which is very hard to get, the showroom guy says they only got 4-5 bikes with Pirelli tires in last 3 months.

- Fuel economy: I feel the refined free revving engine and bassy/raspy exhaust note while accelerating will be the culprit for low economy. Last time I checked I got around 38 kmpl with a mix of city and highway ride. I think it will settle down around 35 kmpl.

- Tank range: The Apache 200 with a smaller 12L (my bike takes around 13L below the max brim mark) tank including 2.5L reserve should give me around 350 km range on a tankful of fuel before hitting the reserve.

- The shift light (red LED) can be set according to your preference. By default it is at 7000 rpm.

- The tool kit provided with the bike is a joke with a double side screw driver and a two sided (12 &14) open end spanner. No spark plug spanner!

- You will find KYB branding on the front forks & RTR branding on the rear mud flap.

- Headlights are really good with wide spread at main beam, I would have said excellent if the throw was a bit longer. The LED DRLs remain ON all the time (yes they switch off once you take the key off).

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer-headlight.jpg

- TVS have retained the mirrors from the 180/160 and I am very happy as they have excellent view with zero vibration at any speed/rpm almost feels like they have some image stabilization feature.

Last edited by Aditya : 20th February 2017 at 21:30. Reason: Spacing
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Old 20th February 2017, 09:19   #5
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Default re: TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer

My friend recently got the Bajaj Dominar 400. Really loved the bike for its sweet balance between comfort and performance. The LED headlight looks beautiful and performs sufficiently well.

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer-withd400.jpg

My bike with the Dominar 400.



Here is the video that shows headlight performance of Bajaj Dominar 400 and it's comparison with Apache RTR 200.

One issue that I faced during the beginning was of cold start as the bike always required choke operation and sometimes multiple cranks on cold start. Did a small DIY on spark plug removal, inspection, cleaning and carburettor adjustment according to the sparkplug colour. Now the bike starts in single crank.



Here is the video on sparkplug inspection, cleaning and carburettor adjustment.

This ownership review will continue as I keep on pulling kms on the 200 & I hope this review will help other readers & riders.

TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer-rear.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 20th February 2017 at 21:31. Reason: Spacing
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Old 20th February 2017, 17:01   #6
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer

Finally someone has taken the pain to review a capable contender of 200cc segment. Thanks Sportztourer. Mine had just completed close to 5K KM. The only issue, I had faced related to chain noise. It requires frequent cleaning and lube, even the chain lube provided by TVS is not that effective. Overall I am happy with my decision, even after using it for more than 6 months, it still manages to grab eyeballs at traffic signals/parking lots. Once again congrats and happy riding.
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Old 20th February 2017, 17:09   #7
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer

Congrats on the new bike and a well written review Sportztourer! There are hardly any ownership reviews out on the web except for xBHP forum! Please keep this live and updated with your experience.
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Old 20th February 2017, 20:00   #8
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer

Congrats Sportztourer! Did you get the ABS or non-ABS version? Also, any tire upgrade planned? Do keep the thread updated. Thanks.
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Old 20th February 2017, 20:13   #9
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer

Hey Congrats for the new bike. I took a test ride of the same model , and found that it is comfortable for medium height people like me ( I am 5 feet 7). Eagerly waiting to check the Dominor 400 and also he new Apache 300 before deciding which bike to buy .
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Old 20th February 2017, 20:26   #10
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer

Congrats on the bike and thanks for the brief review. I'm on market for similar segment bike and I'm subscribing this thread to keep an eye on your ownership log. Keep us updated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruchitya View Post
Did you get the ABS or non-ABS version?
Read somewhere (may be T-BHP or any other forums) ABS version is not available on showrooms yet.
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Old 20th February 2017, 22:17   #11
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer

Quote:
Originally Posted by kthrottle View Post
Finally someone has taken the pain to review a capable contender of 200cc segment. Thanks Sportztourer. Mine had just completed close to 5K KM. The only issue, I had faced related to chain noise. It requires frequent cleaning and lube, even the chain lube provided by TVS is not that effective. Once again congrats and happy riding.
Thank alot kthrottle for the appreciation. Good to see a happy fellow RTR 200 owner. I have used alot of chain lubing spray from Rolon, OKS, waxpol, Motul, TVS etc & found to be more or less the same only difference is how long they last.


Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
Congrats on the new bike and a well written review Sportztourer! There are hardly any ownership reviews out on the web except for xBHP forum! Please keep this live and updated with your experience.
Thanks Abhinav, glad that you liked the review. Yes I will keep this thread updated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruchitya View Post
Congrats Sportztourer! Did you get the ABS or non-ABS version? Also, any tire upgrade planned? Do keep the thread updated. Thanks.
Sadly as @Mr.Boss rightly said only carburetor version is available. No ABS or Fi version available yet. Mine is carbureted with remora tires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by autohead666 View Post
Hey Congrats for the new bike. I took a test ride of the same model , and found that it is comfortable for medium height people like me ( I am 5 feet 7). Eagerly waiting to check the Dominor 400 and also he new Apache 300 before deciding which bike to buy .
Dominar 400 is a very sweet bike, I dare to say its the best product from Bajaj till date. Riding back to back I felt RTR 200 and Dominar 400 are very different bike. RTR 200 is very agile & powerful whereas the D400 is built to cruise (more powerful) & take you distances in comfort. The D400 for city use will be like a lion in the zoo's cage. Upcoming 300 from TVS (AKULA) will be a competition to KTM RC series, so you get what kind of bike it will be. All the best for the decision making.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Boss View Post
Congrats on the bike and thanks for the brief review. I'm on market for similar segment bike and I'm subscribing this thread to keep an eye on your ownership log. Keep us updated.
Thank you @Mr.Boss I will be updating on regular basis. All the best for your purchase & fortunately we are spoilt for choice with so many options.
I forgot to add the 1st free service details (you get 5 free service). 1st service was done close to 750km which includes oil & oil filter change. I was charged Rs 720/- for 1.2L of fully synthetic oil, oil filter & lubrication.
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Old 21st February 2017, 09:35   #12
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer

First of all, congratulations on the bike and thank you for the review.

I was a big time admirer of the Apache design until the dragon eyes headlamps came along. The previous version which you had was the one which was on my favorites list. Though haven't gotten a chance to ride the 200 4V, but the initial impressions are quite good and really appreciate TVS ditching the earlier design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sportztourer View Post
Here is the video that shows headlight performance of Bajaj Dominar 400 and it's comparison with Apache RTR 200.
Nice comparison video with the Dominar 400. Both headlamp units preform really well, but IMO the Low beam of the 200 4V has a much wider spread than the Dominar. While the High beam of the Dominar provides better illumination than the 200 4V. Would like to know about your thoughts on both the headlamp units.

Also, how's the seating position (comfort level, cushioning, etc.) in comparison with your old RTR180 and Dominar?

Lastly, wish you happy miles for the future...
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Old 21st February 2017, 11:01   #13
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sportztourer View Post
Why the RTR 200 when I already had the RTR 180? Before I answer “why” I need to explain my riding history & my needs.

Five years back when I got the RTR 180, I got it purely based on my love for the way it looked & sounded. At that time I was upgrading from a humble 100cc gearless scooter, so it actually didn’t matter to me as long as it had gears. The RTR 180 has been a beloved partner to me in all this years & for close to 50k km I think I can call it super reliable as it is still running on stock chain, clutch & an untouched engine.
Great ownership thread there Sportztourer!
Myself being a TVS fan (except for their mid range bikes & scooters) and owner of the two of their reliable bikes - TVS Victor GL which I used for 12 years (sold) and the Apache RTR 160 hyper edge 6 years and still running great, I could sync up with your emotions. However I am not greatly happy with the authorized service centers that are available across Bangalore as they I feel are much inclined towards making money just like any other service centers that are within the city with unnecessary spare change. For this reason I have stopped stepping into one from years and get my bike serviced at my FNG with a trusted mechanic. Annual maintenance have been equal or even lesser than 1/4th of what I had been paying at the ASC ever since.

Also something I wanted to update is the vibration issue which was one of the most infamous issue reported with the Apache range of bikes. I was able to bring this down to a great extent by totally avoiding the company oil and using branded oil. I have been using the Motul range of oils. I have been using Motul ever since the very first service of my bike and I follow a cycle of Mineral - Semi - Full synthetic and a reverse of the same once in every 2 years and I never noticed the usual mid range vibrations in my bike.

Another bit I wanted to add is the OEM tvs tyres which are hard rubber made for durability. However they are not confidence inspiring especially during hard braking & cornering. And for this particular reason I have swapped my tyres to CEAT & MICHELIN rubbers which has greatly improved the handling of this powerful pocket friendly bike.
And for the final bit - the smaller petrol tank is one awful degrade that TVS could do to the 200cc bike rather going for atleast the same or bigger capacity tank

Still I hope you are enjoying the latest sibling and guess they have sorted all the other niggles they had with this series. Wish you happy commuting.
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Old 21st February 2017, 15:29   #14
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer

Congrats on the RTR 200. Its a very good city tool with a nice mid range. Enjoy many more miles on the RTR.

You see very few RTR 200s as TVS is not too bothered about selling more here in India
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Old 21st February 2017, 17:22   #15
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 4V : My Sports Tourer

Quote:
Originally Posted by unni246 View Post
And for the final bit - the smaller petrol tank is one awful degrade that TVS could do to the 200cc bike rather going for atleast the same or bigger capacity tank
While I agree with the frustration of a smaller fuel tank compared to smaller siblings in the stable, one thing to note is that the RTR 200 is already 11kgs heavier compared to the RTR180 owing to the changes to the chassis, suspension etc. If there was a similar capacity tank retained, the wet weight would have been closer to the AS200 or maybe even more than that. Hence to keep the kerb weight of the bike in check the tank capacity would have been reduced. 10 liters excluding reserve still gives you a tank range of close to 350kms which is i think good enough given our riding conditions. You will definitely find a fuel station in this distance unless riding in the Himalayas where you will need to carry fuel for most Indian bikes except maybe RE bikes.
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