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Old 3rd August 2017, 11:00   #1
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Default TVS Apache RTR 200 or Yamaha FZ25?

Hi All,

After 6 years of ownership, I have finally decided to retire my pride and joy, my 2011 Karizma R in black! With modern bikes being lot more nimble, efficient and easier to ride in the city, have narrowed my choices to the TVS Apache RTR 200 and the Yamaha FZ25.

Requirements are as below.

1. Monthly usage of about 600km (80% in the city)
2. Peace of mind in terms of ownership
3. Ride quality
4. Long term reliability

Having ridden both the bikes briefly, I am unable to come to terms with the price difference between the two. Both are well made, comfortable bikes with distinct characters (something that I really look for). The RTR was far more involving while the FZ much more laid back. Lack of ABS is bothering me and the fact that TVS does not seem to be delivering on the promise of Pirelli specced models or the FI model makes me think about their commitment to the RTR line. Maybe they are more focused on upcoming launches and the BMW partnership. Either way, I would greatly appreciate any current owners and enthusiasts to throw some light and help understand points I might have missed out in my TD.

Since I am highly skeptical about long term reliability of Bajaj products, have excluded the newly launched NS200.

Last edited by tejus.s : 3rd August 2017 at 11:12. Reason: Additional Information
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Old 3rd August 2017, 11:24   #2
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Default re: TVS Apache RTR 200 or Yamaha FZ25?

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Originally Posted by tejus.s View Post
I am unable to come to terms with the price difference between the two. Both are well made, comfortable bikes with distinct characters (something that I really look for). The RTR was far more involving while the FZ much more laid back. Lack of ABS is bothering me
Well you need to realise what you want out of the bike most. You said it yourself; the RTR felt more involving and the FZ25 felt more relaxed. I'd say the FZ trumps everything in terms of reliability since it comes with a very simple air cooled, single overhead cam, two valve, low compression ratio motor which just means that it will be far less stressed than anything else in this segment, easier to fix and as a result should outlast every other motorcycle out there. That said, it does come with its own issues like poor headlights. The RTR is definitely the more fun bike of the two, and if you're into the involving nature of the bike, might I suggest test riding a Duke 200? As long as you are under 6ft tall, the D200 is the most engaging and fun bike out there; extremely light, short gear ratios, very flick-able through traffic and a nice rev-happy motor. It is well worth the premium because in terms of sheer fun nothing comes close.

Either way, I would recommend that you push your purchase decision until next year. There are hardly 4 months remaining and your Karizma should be able to serve you well until then. You could also use the time to come up with more moolah. The reason I say wait until next year is because the government has extended its deadline after loads of lobbying to 2018; after which all motorcycles will be mandated to come with ABS.
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Old 3rd August 2017, 12:14   #3
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Default re: TVS Apache RTR 200 or Yamaha FZ25?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tejus.s View Post

Having ridden both the bikes briefly, I am unable to come to terms with the price difference between the two. Both are well made, comfortable bikes with distinct characters (something that I really look for). The RTR was far more involving while the FZ much more laid back. Lack of ABS is bothering me and the fact that TVS does not seem to be delivering on the promise of Pirelli specced models or the FI model makes me think about their commitment to the RTR line. Maybe they are more focused on upcoming launches and the BMW partnership. Either way, I would greatly appreciate any current owners and enthusiasts to throw some light and help understand points I might have missed out in my TD.
Some thoughts from my side:
1. You should choose the ride which suits you more.
The RTR is frantic, busy and extremely involving to ride hard.
Whereas, the FZ25 is calm, pleasant, deceptively fast and refined.
The FZ25 accelerates faster than RTR (FZ has 10% more torque with same Kerb weight), however, on the bends the RTR feels that much more alive.

2. TVS take their own sweet time to optimize things. However, their products are very well tuned and optimized.
Personally, I did not see any benefit of FI over the Carb version. Difference in performance is mild at best.
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Old 3rd August 2017, 13:07   #4
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Default re: TVS Apache RTR 200 or Yamaha FZ25?

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
Well you need to realise what you want out of the bike most. You said it yourself; the RTR felt more involving and the FZ25 felt more relaxed.

Either way, I would recommend that you push your purchase decision until next year. There are hardly 4 months remaining and your Karizma should be able to serve you well until then. You could also use the time to come up with more moolah. The reason I say wait until next year is because the government has extended its deadline after loads of lobbying to 2018; after which all motorcycles will be mandated to come with ABS.
The FZ feels like a natural extension of my Karizma - relaxed nature and overall Japanese feel of the bike.

As per waiting till 2018, I am a touch worried about the depreciation of my bike. I feel it is under valued already and might get worse by 2018! Thanks for the awesome suggestion on the ABS rule, I'll keep that in mind.

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Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
2. TVS take their own sweet time to optimize things. However, their products are very well tuned and optimized.
Personally, I did not see any benefit of FI over the Carb version. Difference in performance is mild at best.
My inclination towards the FI version is purely based on my need for ABS. But it's just sad to see them not optimize the product line even after almost a year from launch. The Dominor does come equipped with ABS, but is way out of my price point.

Last edited by tejus.s : 3rd August 2017 at 13:08. Reason: Typos
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Old 3rd August 2017, 23:34   #5
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Default re: TVS Apache RTR 200 or Yamaha FZ25?

Well I am going in a totally different direction, but why do you want to retire the Karizma? I own a 2011 CBR250R and sure, once in a while an itch to ride something different becomes too strong but then nothing available now feels like an upgrade and the ones that fit the upgrade bill, feel too impractical to ride everyday! I would suggest you to keep the Karizma because they don't make that kind of bikes with relaxed demeanour anymore. IIRC no other bike under 250cc except Karizma and CBR does 80kmph @ 5000rpm.
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Old 4th August 2017, 04:48   #6
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Default re: TVS Apache RTR 200 or Yamaha FZ25?

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Originally Posted by sidhu_hs View Post
IIRC no other bike under 250cc except Karizma and CBR does 80kmph @ 5000rpm.
Inazuma; the most laid back daily bike. Quality, refinement, ride quality, stability and tractability was unparalleled. Alas one will have to go through the classifieds if they ever wanted one.
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Old 4th August 2017, 09:57   #7
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Default re: TVS Apache RTR 200 or Yamaha FZ25?

Donít make the mistake Iíd made as the ZMA is irreplaceable and nothing can give you the satisfaction and peace of riding one. Albeit the parts are hard to come by and the quality of service is pathetic but the effort taken in maintaining the motorcycle is worth it when considering its long distance touring capabilities, my best on the ZMA was 1,340 kms in a day and I can say with definition that Iíd be half paralysed if I attempt anything of that sort on my P220. The ZMA doesnít only fare on the highways as it is a potent off roader as well making it an all-round motorcycle.

As for FZ25 vs RTR200, the FZ25 is laid back whereas the RTR200 is aggressive, coming from a ZMA youíll feel at home with the Yamaha but the TVS would definitely be exciting. As for spare availability both are more or less the same, better than Hero but not even close to Bajaj, same goes for service quality though that would ultimately depend on your location. As for spare costs I feel both TVS and Yamaha are on the premium side considering that both my current rides are from Bajaj.
Iíd urge you to give Bajaj a thought as well merely considering practicality and by Bajaj Iím not referring to the new age liquid cooled KTM abominations i.e the NS200, Dominar etc. Iím referring to the P180, P220 etc, reliable, cheap to run and more bang for the buck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidhu_hs View Post
IIRC no other bike under 250cc except Karizma and CBR does 80kmph @ 5000rpm.
The wannabe P220 also does 80Kmph at 5k RPM, but it is definitely buzzier than the ZMA by all means, Iíve owned both and currently own the P220 and I definitely miss my ZMA!
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Old 4th August 2017, 11:27   #8
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 or Yamaha FZ25?

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Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
Iíd urge you to give Bajaj a thought as well merely considering practicality and by Bajaj Iím not referring to the new age liquid cooled KTM abominations i.e the NS200, Dominar etc. Iím referring to the P180, P220 etc, reliable, cheap to run and more bang for the buck.
OT but just out of interest, could you help me understand why you believe the older generations of Pulsars are better? I mean can you detail how exactly the P220 trumps an NS200?

I'm not trying to offend you or anything like that, just genuinely intrigued by your comment. I have ridden both the P220 and an NS200 and found the NS200 to be much better in every aspect of riding. I agree that owning a bike would probably tell a different story but I just assumed that the newer machines would apart from offering more performance, ride and handling capabilities, also be more reliable just due to being engineered with a greater compounded experience and R&D. Is that really not the case?
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Old 4th August 2017, 11:52   #9
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 or Yamaha FZ25?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tejus.s View Post

Requirements are as below.

1. Monthly usage of about 600km (80% in the city)
2. Peace of mind in terms of ownership
3. Ride quality
4. Long term reliability
You will get complete peace of mind with either though I feel in terms of customer service aspect, TVS is ahead of Yamaha. There is a thread on the forum about TVS's roadside assistance and also the experience of one of our members with it. So do consider that as well.

Like already pointed out by others, Apache is extremely involving while the FZ is not so much. I have had the opportunity of owning the Apache 160FI and the FZ16 for quite sometime and nothing put a smile on my face as riding the Apache did. Yes it had some mild vibrations while the FZ was way too refined but the throttle response from Apache is something I miss even today. The exhaust note of the Apache too is something which is music to your ears. Apache is an enthusiasts bike and only very few people appreciate it. The way it corners is something which I have not yet experienced in any other bike. Indeed like TVS says - Racing DNA unleashed

In terms of price, going with the Apache will help you save a good amount and if you feel the Apache can serve your needs then surely go ahead without much thought.

What you get over the FZ with the Apache -

1. better cornering
2. better instrument cluster
3. better service coverage (as per my experience)
4. Better FE
5. Lower price

What you Gain with the FZ over the Apache-

1. Relaxed and smoother drive
2. bigger engine (if your those who think bigger the better)
3. Slightly better torque which means marginally better acceleration
4. I felt the suspensions are slightly softer than the Apache making it better for city
5. Well its a Yamaha

Hope this helps you take a call
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Old 4th August 2017, 13:05   #10
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 or Yamaha FZ25?

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
OT but just out of interest, could you help me understand why you believe the older generations of Pulsars are better? I mean can you detail how exactly the P220 trumps an NS200?

I'm not trying to offend you or anything like that, just genuinely intrigued by your comment. I have ridden both the P220 and an NS200 and found the NS200 to be much better in every aspect of riding. I agree that owning a bike would probably tell a different story but I just assumed that the newer machines would apart from offering more performance, ride and handling capabilities, also be more reliable just due to being engineered with a greater compounded experience and R&D. Is that really not the case?
A very valid question considering that the NS200 kicks the P220's ass on paper and on track. And to be honest this question is very hard to answer as the answer to this is multi-dimensional, Iíll try my best to pen down my reasons, please do let me know if clarity is required on any front as otherwise Iíd presume that weíre both on the same page as far as experience and knowledge goes.

1. The NS200 is liquid cooled over the P220 which is air cooled (with an oil radiator), this is a major disadvantage (considering we live in India) for the NS200 considering that the owner would have to watch out for both coolant as well as oil leaks, either of which can result in immobility as for the P220 on the other had irrespective of the number of oil leaks the P220 would still run provided you top up the oil.
This is not just me being pessimistic but there has been numerous cases where the NS200 variants have seized to function. Just think about a head gasket leak which is a common thing in India considering the quality of service offered in India across brands. A head gasket leak in a P220 is just as significant as a bird poop, you can ignore and ride on but the same on the NS200 immediately makes the motorcycle unusable as coolant leaks into the combustion chamber and youíd be lucky if the motor doesnít seize up.

2. The next thing that comes to mind is the absolute lack of torque in the low to mid RPM range, which goes unnoticed if youíre riding on 6 lane highways most of the time but in the event that youíd have to thump around a bit which is precisely what I do as Iím from Kerala the NS is a pain, now bring in a couple of aggressive inclines and thatís the end of it. Not saying that the P220 triumphs in this aspect as I had to shift to a 40T at the rear to actually use my 4th and 5th cogs but the mid end performance of the P220 is commendable in comparison.

3. Accessibility:
a. The Air Filter, now come on! Donít tell me Iím the only one who finds having to lift the tank to change the AF unreasonable? Iíd be royally pissed in the event of a hydro lock Iíd have to lift the tank to access the air filter.
b. The spark plugs, Iíd have to remove the tank to change them, which just makes things comical.
c. The cables, Iím yet to ascertain what all Iíll have to get out of the way to change them considering that the carb is concealed by the chassis.
d. The chain, the swing arm has to be removed to change it as it doesnít come with a master link.

These are a few reasons I feel that the NS200 is an unsuitable option in India compared to the P220 or P180. Please do share your thoughts and do educate me if you feel that any of my statements need correction as Iíve not literally owned the NS200 though Iíve had considerably ridden and maintained it as it is a popular choice in my social circle.
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Old 4th August 2017, 13:38   #11
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 or Yamaha FZ25?

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Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
These are a few reasons I feel that the NS200 is an unsuitable option in India compared to the P220 or P180. Please do share your thoughts and do educate me if you feel that any of my statements need correction as I’ve not literally owned the NS200 though I’ve had considerably ridden and maintained it as it is a popular choice in my social circle.
I fully understand what you're saying. I'm not sure if your argument supports the previous statement that you made in your earlier about reliability, but I get that these newer bikes may not be the most suitable option in our country. When I read your first comment on reliability I was thinking on very different lines; I took it very literally and was left wondering whether you meant that the stress tolerance levels and failure rates of components on the newer bikes were actually higher, but I guess I understand where you're coming from now.

I myself don't have as much experience as you do cause it's only been about a year and a half since I learnt how to ride with around 15k kms under my belt. I ride an RC390 which may not seem like the most practical thing as it is an early 2016 model with choppy fuelling at low rpms, fan that's perpetually on in traffic, buzzy fairing, short service interval etc. since it is my first bike, I have grown quite used to the ergonomics and I don't find them to be as aggressive as most feel. Infact I feel nervous on other bikes with less aggressive stance as I feel as though I have less confidence and leverage over them at high speeds. Lately I have been learning how to take care of basic service stuff with my bike and it does prove to be quite annoying to have to remove so many things and having to scrape the skin on my hands trying to gain access to certain stuff. That said, none of these drawbacks surprise me as I pretty much expected them before buying the bike so all the painful hours of working on my bike and sweating in traffic don't make me want a more 'suitable' ride, since I had made my mind up about exactly what kind of bike I wanted to ride; a properly focused sportbike. People always tell me how uncomfortable they find the bike, how dangerous it is to ride since it sucks being ridden at low speeds and it urges you to have to go fast, how wasteful it is in the city etc. but I am made aware of everday, and appreciate, the fact that all the less than 'suitable' disadvantages I face in my ownership are more than made up for in the gains it has in the by the way it rides as soon as there's space on the roads, and the sheer pleasure it gives me, since that is exactly what I had wanted the most. So I make it work, I ride the thing everyday through less than ideal conditions still feeling like I'm in a place of zen.

Sorry for going on and on, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that if there were a single definition of what is and isn't 'suitable', then we'd all have our bicycles, cars, bikes, gear ratios, girlfriends and wives, already selected for us.

What is and isn't suitable is a relative term the parameters of which differ from person to person. Unsuitable low-end torque and more complicated engineering for some, may not matter as much as outright performance or handling characteristics. I totally respect your view on the matter and thankyou for taking the time out to go through it in detail Sorry for my extensive post on the subject.

Last edited by IshaanIan : 4th August 2017 at 13:47.
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Old 4th August 2017, 14:48   #12
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 or Yamaha FZ25?

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
I fully understand what you're saying. I'm not sure if your argument supports the previous statement that you made in your earlier about reliability, but I get that these newer bikes may not be the most suitable option in our country. When I read your first comment on reliability I was thinking on very different lines; I took it very literally and was left wondering whether you meant that the stress tolerance levels and failure rates of components on the newer bikes were actually higher, but I guess I understand where you're coming from now.
I believe Iíve missed out to mention that my practical mode of motorcycling is long distance commuting. There used to be a time when Iíd not even think about touching anything even closely related to Bajaj and that too with a long pole!

But in 2013 I got myself a Bajaj Discover 100 4G and man! Absolutely no issues! My commute at the time was between Kollam and Bangalore which comes around to 750~800 kms depending on the route and not once has the motorcycle left me stranded, even in the event of a mini flood when the motorcycle got hydro locked I was able to clean the filter, drain the AF box and carb and clear the water that got inside the cylinder within a matter of minutes as this happened just around midnight and it was raining heavily, the whole scenario wouldíve been totally different if Iíd been riding my friends NS200 which I casually used at the time and which also led to me upgrading to a P220 later on.

Spare and service availability is the only concern which plagues Indian consumers which is also the reason why most of us are sceptical about going for the latest market offering in terms of technical advancements.

FYI, Iím not a P220 fan, I just use it for running interstate runs involving decent roads, for the most of my touring I prefer to use my CT100B, gets the job done with the least possible hassle.
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Old 5th August 2017, 20:17   #13
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 or Yamaha FZ25?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidhu_hs View Post
Well I am going in a totally different direction, but why do you want to retire the Karizma? I own a 2011 CBR250R and sure, once in a while an itch to ride something different becomes too strong but then nothing available now feels like an upgrade and the ones that fit the upgrade bill, feel too impractical to ride everyday! I would suggest you to keep the Karizma because they don't make that kind of bikes with relaxed demeanour anymore. IIRC no other bike under 250cc except Karizma and CBR does 80kmph @ 5000rpm.
Believe me, no one wants to retain the bike as much as me, but there have been some incidents which has increased family pressure to consider a replacement. Having ridden these modern bikes, I really miss the relaxed nature of my bike. I'm certainly not going to be able to tour the same way I used to, but I guess considering the personal reasons and pressure at stake, I have to replace the ZMA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
Don’t make the mistake I’d made as the ZMA is irreplaceable and nothing can give you the satisfaction and peace of riding one. Albeit the parts are hard to come by and the quality of service is pathetic but the effort taken in maintaining the motorcycle is worth it when considering its long distance touring capabilities, my best on the ZMA was 1,340 kms in a day and I can say with definition that I’d be half paralysed if I attempt anything of that sort on my P220. The ZMA doesn’t only fare on the highways as it is a potent off roader as well making it an all-round motorcycle.

As for FZ25 vs RTR200, the FZ25 is laid back whereas the RTR200 is aggressive, coming from a ZMA you’ll feel at home with the Yamaha but the TVS would definitely be exciting. As for spare availability both are more or less the same, better than Hero but not even close to Bajaj, same goes for service quality though that would ultimately depend on your location. As for spare costs I feel both TVS and Yamaha are on the premium side considering that both my current rides are from Bajaj.
I’d urge you to give Bajaj a thought as well merely considering practicality and by Bajaj I’m not referring to the new age liquid cooled KTM abominations i.e the NS200, Dominar etc. I’m referring to the P180, P220 etc, reliable, cheap to run and more bang for the buck.



The wannabe P220 also does 80Kmph at 5k RPM, but it is definitely buzzier than the ZMA by all means, I’ve owned both and currently own the P220 and I definitely miss my ZMA!
Thank you for your reply! I've said it before and I'll say it again, I really want to retain this bike, but there are some personal reasons to change, hence the decision. The Yamaha really felt like a natural extension to me considering the torque over power approach of the bike. Having never bought anything outside a Honda/Hero, this is a big step for me!

I will surely consider your opinion on Bajaj, but the NS 200 feels a touch dated now, the design being discontinued and then brought back etc., What really intrigued me was the Bajaj managed to provide ABS on the RS but not the NS. Quite strange IMHO. Anyway,my experience was that the NS was not as refined as the RTR, let alone the FZ25. Having got used to my bike, it would be hard to compromise on engine refinement for me. That's my humble take on this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by centaur View Post
You will get complete peace of mind with either though I feel in terms of customer service aspect, TVS is ahead of Yamaha. There is a thread on the forum about TVS's roadside assistance and also the experience of one of our members with it. So do consider that as well.

Like already pointed out by others, Apache is extremely involving while the FZ is not so much. I have had the opportunity of owning the Apache 160FI and the FZ16 for quite sometime and nothing put a smile on my face as riding the Apache did. Yes it had some mild vibrations while the FZ was way too refined but the throttle response from Apache is something I miss even today. The exhaust note of the Apache too is something which is music to your ears. Apache is an enthusiasts bike and only very few people appreciate it. The way it corners is something which I have not yet experienced in any other bike. Indeed like TVS says - Racing DNA unleashed

In terms of price, going with the Apache will help you save a good amount and if you feel the Apache can serve your needs then surely go ahead without much thought.

What you get over the FZ with the Apache -

1. better cornering
2. better instrument cluster
3. better service coverage (as per my experience)
4. Better FE
5. Lower price

What you Gain with the FZ over the Apache-

1. Relaxed and smoother drive
2. bigger engine (if your those who think bigger the better)
3. Slightly better torque which means marginally better acceleration
4. I felt the suspensions are slightly softer than the Apache making it better for city
5. Well its a Yamaha

Hope this helps you take a call
Woah! Thank you for taking time to detail the answer. My usage would primarily be restricted to the city with occasional highway jaunts. Priorities for the next few months would be different, so :-)

Your point of bigger engine is a big plus for me, because FZ feels more relaxed than the highly strung Apache. The Apache surprised me with it's refinement and the cost difference is something I am really finding hard to understand. Both machines drip quality, a couple of notches above my aging bike, but the 'Quarter Litre' sense of achievement is there with the Yamaha!

I am really torn between these two as it is a really close fight. Both showrooms have offered me a similar quote for my ZMA, so it would ultimately boil down to which place I navigate to on the given day I guess. My only concern is the long term reliability of the RTR as the earlier versions were prone to rattles, but I am hoping TVS has sorted this out.

Thank you all again for the suggestions and feedback. This is really helping me make a sound decision and of course just talking about bikes brings such a grin on my face.

Last edited by tejus.s : 5th August 2017 at 20:22.
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Old 8th August 2017, 10:18   #14
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 or Yamaha FZ25?

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My only concern is the long term reliability of the RTR as the earlier versions were prone to rattles, but I am hoping TVS has sorted this out.
Not sure that I agree on this. The FI I had was a pre-owned one. The owner had used it for around a year and a half, odo reading around 13k kms, completed the free services and was wanting to sell it because he was moving out of town. I owned it for another 3 years, put another 40k kms on the odo and sold it for the same price I brought it at (yes that is actually true). The buyer told me that he has been looking for Apaches only primarily and mine was the most well maintained bike he came across in spite of being a second owner. He gave me the price I asked and the deal was closed.

In retrospective, I feel I could have probably put a slightly higher price and still sealed the deal because the bike was that well kept but then my intention of selling the bike was not to get a profit.

The point here is that, you maintain the bike well and there would be no reasons for you to complain. Since you say you will mostly use in the city, FE might also something you probably should consider and that advantage comes with Apache but you lose out on a bigger engine. So you need to take a call as to which trade off can you live with
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Old 8th August 2017, 11:49   #15
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Default Re: TVS Apache RTR 200 or Yamaha FZ25?

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The point here is that, you maintain the bike well and there would be no reasons for you to complain. Since you say you will mostly use in the city, FE might also something you probably should consider and that advantage comes with Apache but you lose out on a bigger engine. So you need to take a call as to which trade off can you live with
Thank you for that! I do take pride in maintaining my machines well. Since my usage would be restricted to the city primarily, FE surely plays a role as long term savings are appreciated! I have a couple more days to decide before I can update this thread on the choice I make.

It's sad to see Yamaha not even offer decent colors on the FZ25. Brand pull is one, but TVS seems to have a very competitive product as well.
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TVS Apache RTR or Pulsor 200? safari_lover Motorbikes 20 24th October 2007 22:55


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