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Old 4th December 2010, 18:14   #1
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Default Apache RTR 160 FI - The Purchase and Ownership Story

Why one more bike?
Well i have been riding bikes for some time, Started with a Bajaj Boxer AT, then got a Wind 125 and then also had the pleasure and fortune to own a Royal Enfield Thunderbird, The first 2 were supposedly nimble traffic carvers of their times (Say 6-8 yrs back). Hence a day came when i decided for an upgrade
Now i needed something which would not only give me good handling on city streets but also decent performance on the highways (Our town is close to 3 National highways so it helps...); And also as a typical Indian i needed some mileage too.

The Choices:
I Narrowed my choices to 3 bikes,
1. Hero Honda CBZ Extreme- The performance bike from the 90's, still going strong
2. Bajaj Pulsar 180 - A mix of eye candy features and an rev happy engine
3. Apache RTR - Cant describe in one line

Reason for shorlisting the above bikes was simple,
I had experience of riding long distances on my friend's CBZ and it never failed giving me a trust advantage,
Having 2 Bajaj bikes already in the stable was the reason for pulsar being on the list,
RTR was the new frenzy and its style caught my eye.

The Purchase Story: Year 2009
After getting my Salary Incentives i thought it was right time to go and check out the Bikes, first in the list was RTR,
i went , i saw it, i bought it
That one moment was enough, If i may say i fell in love with her on my first sight, It was a Apache RTR EFI 160, The latest and the high end offering from Brand TVS.
For one moment i thought to myself, TVS has been known for their robust engines but poor plastics / electricals. But this bike was here to make it all history and bury those arguments deep below.
The sale sperson had sniffed my thoughts it seems, he asked would you like a quote on the bike and i had only one question in reply.."Would you take credit card swipe or shall i give you a cheque right away"
Yes, i had purchased the beauty in magnesium grey color, Who says money cant buy love

The Nitty Gritty
Lets take it one by one

Style - 9/10
  1. The first thing i noticed is the added side cowls which give it a more muscular look,
  2. The racing style graphics are a welcome addition
  3. Aluminium footpegs look gorgeous,
  4. The red lining on the magnesium allow wheels look stunning in night
  5. The L design grabrails suit the bike well and are pretty sturdy with a nice matte finish
  6. The RTR Fi Badge and TVS Racing logos fill pride in you that you are part of a cult now.
  7. The fit and finish of all the parts used was worth the 75 grand.
  8. Overall it gives you an impression of that subtle understated beauty which everyone wants to a look at again and again

Braking - 8/10
  1. This bike comes with a big disc in front(270mm) and a disc in the rear (220 mm)
  2. The quality of discs is good and being petal discs just makes you feel more safer
  3. The Braking is smooth and no sudden jerks are felt (i ended up falling from a pulsar trying to push the front brake a little harder)

Riding Pleasure - 5/10
  1. The seat (although not stepped) feels comfortable, me being a little bulky still did not feel it small enough but the pillion may have to compromise a little.
  2. Clip On handle bars are just rightly positioned to give you that aggressive driving position
  3. This bike likes the cornering and you can feel it the way it responds on throwing it into one. comes really handy in city traffic
  4. On Highway it really roars to life as crossing the 100kmph mark is no big deal on this rodeo

Electricals - 7/10
  1. The first striking change is the blue LCD display, which also stores the fastest 0-60 time and the top speed (do delete records before your parents see it)
  2. A few other good features in the instrument cluster are LED's indicating Engine management, Low Battery,Servicing Due, Fuel Reserve
  3. The Analog RPM meter is old school and still gels well in this modern era panel.
  4. Many of us might overlook the fact that the twin horns on this bike are decent enough to warn people that you are around
  5. The Headlamp / Taillamp assembly is the same, and the headlamps throw a decent light on road (i would like them to be a bit more powerful though) and the tail lamp is LED, simply brilliant in Day / Night conditions

The Split Personality
I have seen a peculiar behaviour in this bike, Below 50 KMPH it is this good boy who will listen to you and smoothly take you through but as you further twist the strings of accelerator, it makes way for the devil within, you suddenly see the speedometer numbers rising and the beast roars to life at 80+, taming it is just so difficult, but its held up at 115 kmph which is the max i could push it to. Never saw two so radically different styles co-existing in a same bike with such harmony (Thanks to TVS Racing)

Many of you folks must be anxiously waiting for this block, well it returns me a decent 50-53 kmpl on city roads and around 55 kmpl on highways
I have not seen a significant increase / drop in mileage just because you drive it too soft / too harsh

  • Longer driving hours can cause you a pain in your thighs and also your arms as this is not a tourer for sure, the low slung driving positions strains your wrist and knees as well
  • The tyres though have disappointed me as they tend to lose grip in wet roads / surfaces but under regular conditions i even managed bending it at 80 kmph and not a sweat
  • The Gearbox is a bit tacky and not the best among what are offered by competitors, you will keep finding a lot of false neutrals (but definitely not a problem for persong who has been riding Royal Enfield bullets where even this is considered as part of prestige)
  • There is a strange vibration at around 60-65 kmph, still trying to figure out if its the resonance that kicks in.

Alternate options: There are some vehicles which meet the taste of certain people and there are no alternatives to such exclusive flavors (wow!!! being a foodie helps at times...)

If you read this review, liked it and planning to buy this bike then go ahead and do it,
Thanks for reading !
Attached Thumbnails
Apache RTR 160 FI - The Purchase and Ownership Story-freaking-friday-rtr-waits-me.jpg  

Apache RTR 160 FI - The Purchase and Ownership Story-apache-toll-naka-stop.jpg  

Apache RTR 160 FI - The Purchase and Ownership Story-image0193.jpg  

Apache RTR 160 FI - The Purchase and Ownership Story-image0202.jpg  

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Old 5th December 2010, 11:16   #2
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A well written review and I guess it's time to put mine as well. Hehehe... You seem to be the lucky few Fi owners out there without issues with the ECU. Most had a harrowing time and this model was considered a failure. Now, they have relaunched it and hopefully most of them shouldn't complain (but inside stories tell that the ECU still has trouble on a select few bikes) The best thing I've found about this model is the sound. The burble is really sweet and a treat for the ears.

Have you done any mods? Plan to move to HIDs? Tires are something most decide to replace because of their awful grip. Yours looks like stock. Any plan to change?
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Old 5th December 2010, 16:02   #3
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Very nice and thoughtfully written review .... Sure will help guys who want to make the choice.

Ride on and ride safe.
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Old 5th December 2010, 17:51   #4
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First Congratulations; though I'm blown away by the looks of RTR, but somehow I don't feel to own one. May be if TVS takes it to the top speed of 140 or so, then I might be interested looking at one. But for sure, RTR has a killer looks, atleast, to me.

Have you done any mods? Plan to move to HIDs? Tires are something most decide to replace because of their awful grip. Yours looks like stock. Any plan to change?
@Shridhar - Never do the above unless your warranty period expires.

Originally Posted by shridhar.s.i View Post
The fit and finish of all the parts used was worth the 75 grand.
Is it? Yes, definitely the quality is better than BAL stables, but is it better than products from YMIS, HMSI or Suzuki India?

Originally Posted by shridhar.s.i View Post
The quality of discs is good and being petal discs just makes you feel more safer
Hmmm...safer is only a feeling. But I undoubtedly agree, RTR petal disc brakes are one of the best in this country. Oh!!! the MIG rear suspension included.

TVS always makes best brakes (TVS Girling) & lights (Lucas TVS) right from the age of Suzuki. But somehow their drum brakes weren't that great compared to Rx or KB of those times.

Once again, congratulations & keep flowing the ownership report.
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Old 5th December 2010, 17:51   #5
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Thanks Alok
@rdna: Yes i do agree that Fi sold really less and i have read about the issues people have faced on other threads, but i just wanted to make one point, i have seen many bikers who purchase these kind of bikes and they tend to forget the basics like
A. Run IN Period: I kept my bike a full 1000 KM under 40 KMPH and then from 1000 - 2000 under 60 KMPH, this may look foolish but after having done this on my 4 other bikes i can bet that it really helps the bike to breathe in during its initial days and serve better in long run
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Old 5th December 2010, 18:01   #6
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Default Detailed Ownership Review

Here is the detail Ownership Experience

Well , you might find it ridiculous but Apache has servicing interval of every 3 months if you go by the service chart
Hence i have completed a whopping 7 servicings till date from the date of purchase (Mar 2009)

First 5 servicings - Free
Servicing Number: 1
Reading on ODO : 692
Cost : 250 (Oil)

Servicing Number: 2
Reading on ODO : 2754
Cost : 250 (Oil)

Servicing Number: 3
Reading on ODO : 4859
Cost : 250 (Oil)

Servicing Number: 4
Reading on ODO : 7407
Cost : 250 (Oil)

Servicing Number: 5
Reading on ODO : 9861
Cost : 250 (Oil)

Servicing Number: 6
Reading on ODO : 10866
Cost : 500 (Oil + labor)

Servicing Number: 7
Reading on ODO : 13500
Cost : 500 (Oil + labor)

Issues Faced
1. Front Suspension Bearings damaged: Apache is a bike designed more for good roads and hence when i drove this for about 4000 KM in congested bumpy roads, the front suspension gave off and that too in a very wierd fashion, the bike started wobbling left and right even at speeds of 10 KMPH, on taking it to service center they initially said it is the handle bar getting loose and tightening it will fix the problem, but it did not happen, so on taking it back they did a detail test and as mentioned in one of other apache threads, they left no stone unturned, after spending about 6 hours on the bike which involved dismantling the whole front assembly , and then fixing it back again, the issue was finally resolved. Since the bike was under warranty the total cost was only Rs 60 which was for the bearings as it is not covered under warranty, No labor charges were charged to me

2. Very Low ground clearance: Again , apache does good staright line speeds but its low ground clearance can be a headache at times, i am a hefty guy and when someone similar to my size hops onto rear of my bike, the rear suspension (Which is too soft even when set level 4 :- 1 being softest and 5 being hardest) totally dips down reducing the travel and ground clearance. Now if you go thru any speed breaker or take a very sharp turn the main stand lever hits the ground producing a crackling sound (very irritating), and the service center cant do anything about this

3. No DC supply for Headlamps: The Headlamp / Indicators are not running directly on DC hence at night times if you decelerate, the head lamp intensity also goes down and this is not good for a bike this costly

What makes the purchase worth the moolah is as below
1. A well tuned engine - even with payload of 200 KG's (No,I dont support the risky/daredevil concept of 3 people on a bike-its a criminal offense guys, i am talking about 2 people weighing that much, i said we guys are a hefty group), the bike is able to cruise as low as 20 KMPH on fifth gear and can climb mild ascents at low speeds of 30 KMPH, The fuel injector ECU settings are really good and refined
2. mileage: It still retains its mileage between 50 - 55 KMPL not burning a hole into my pocket
3. Build Quality: A very sturdy build
4. Handling: There is only one word to describe this - "Exceptional", it can cut thru traffic as hot knife thru butter and on Highways it is rock steady at even 110 KMPH, wet conditions are still a a pain though
5. The Racing spirit: I love revving the bike hard at times, i have had many races as well and this bike always surprises me with its pickup / speed and cornering abilities
6. The Cult: You dont only buy this bike but also join a tribe called "Apache"

Thanks for reading
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Old 15th April 2012, 20:24   #7
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Default My Apache breathes back to life

Well to put it simple, since the day i got my car the bike enjoyed its long stay in garage (almost 10 months) and so i feel it got angry with me for this discrimination and the result
1. Battery went kaput after 3 years of hard work
2. starter motor kind of got jammed
3. rpm meter got misaligned (dont know how this happened)
4. due to battery issues could not use my HID headlamp (One day i took it to office and had to drive at night without headlamp - just pilot lamps...dangerous)

I could not allow my beloved to suffer such a fate so last monday...went to ATM, withdrew some cash and then took the bike to TVS service station, reported all the problems including handle vibration at 60-70 kmph
Went back in eve to collect it and voila - all problems solved, the bike looked beautiful - in fact as good as the first day i saw it when in went to purchase it, below was the expense
  1. Oil Change - Rs 250
  2. Rear disc brake pad - Rs 500
  3. Servicing charge - Rs 200
  4. Rear grab rails Bush change - Rs 20

He also informed me that battery is a gonner and i said i will get it changed externally as i was not sure what brands they would have
Then i went to my usual battery guy, Got myself the amaron pro-rider 9Ah for Rs 1500
Everything works now

There are few open items i need to get rectified
1. oil leaking from engine below area (from my initial analysis it appears like they have not tightened the nut correctly which is used to drain the oil)
2. Need to change the spark plug- I m planning to go for iridium sparks
3. My left sidebox came off due to loose nuts, need to reinstall that to get it the signature look back
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