Buying my first bike: Confused between TVS Apache RTR200 & Yamaha R15

Both are good on different aspects, with Apache offering more comfort and R15 gives more economy and ability to maintain high speeds over long time

BHPian SaurAswale recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi all,

I have just started my career last year as a mechanical engineer. I have been absolute nerd for bikes and after drooling for 25 years, I think this is time to gift myself with one and join the tribe. I need help to take the decision, so here is some background.

Growing up in a farmer family, I have experience around 100cc splendor and passions(5 splendor and 3 passions).We use them for farm duties to 300km 'Rides' in a day. Until recently my brother bought Hornet 160r.

At start of career, it makes sense only to buy used one. Budget is set around 80k-90k and 1L including basic gear. Here are my requirements:

  • Top priorities are fun to ride while giving good fuel economy of at least 40+kmpl. So all KTMs, CBR and Gixxers are out.
  • There is "No need of a bike" as my parents says. I live in hostel literally 10 meters of my office. So, it is true to some extent. There is no commute now, but the bike should do commutes and errands after a year if I switch job or get married.
  • I wish to keep her for at least next 5-7 years.
  • As said this will be only vehicle I'll buy in near future it should be able to carry my partner as pillion and little luggage.
  • I am working in Hyderabad, 600kms away from home in Kolhapur and I want to ride to home and back on the bike once in a quarter. So should be comfortable and efficient at highway speeds.
  • Touring and weekend rides (At least I am planning to do it).
  • ABS is mandatory.

I have only two motorcycles in my mind. Both are at different end of spectrum. First is king of the segment, Apache RTR 200. Another is the college crush and the Legend, Yamaha R15. I am not considering any other as most of out of my budget and these two I love.

Here is how they compare with each other. I am not going into spec sheet as it can be found on internet:

  • Fun and feelings- I think Yamaha takes this one but Apache is not far behind in terms of fun. Being a motorsport fan, there is always itch to have a sportbike which R15 satisfies and Apache won't.
  • Cost- Apaches are very affordable bikes for what they offer. I am able to find 2020 bs6 bikes with ABS, Bluetooth at 85-90k. While older R15v3 are 30k more expensive. God,WHY????
  • Fuel economy- I know Apache can give 40+kmpl if driven sanely, and at highway speeds FE will drop further which is expected. R15 wins this one as for R15V3, people are claiming 50+kmpl at regular usage and 40-42 kmpl when driven above 100kmph. Please correct me if I am wrong here.
  • Touring- Both are good on different aspects, with Apache offering more comfort and R15 gives more economy and ability to maintain high speeds over long time without breaking sweat or bank. And it's a sportbike not sport tourer hence not so comfortable, But I think I can manage this one just for sake of owning a sportbike.
  • Maintenance- I don't have much knowledge on this but I think both will cost same to maintain. If you own one of the two, please share your experience.
  • Pillion comfort- R15 is designed for different purpose and which it does the best, bringing smile on riders face. If it was for me alone, I would have bought it by now. But as a do it all bike, it will not make sense in couple of years. Apache wins this one.

Last week I had to travel 250 kms and my brother managed to borrow R15v2 from a friend so I can test ride. I absolutely loved it. She pulls nicely to overtake at 70kmph, very smooth, agility and cornering is as everyone says, Legendary. But being pillion and holding to my dear life is not pleasant experience.

Finally, What do I want?

Heart is screaming for R15v3 and go full yolo as 'You live the life only once'. Be selfish, live for yourself, don't think much.

Head says, be practical and buy Apache. Save 30k which can be spent on petrol. Do everything I want but loved ones close with me rather than waiting for me.

Which one should I choose?

Here's what BHPian Nikhildrao had to say on the matter:

The RTR 200 is a fun bike with rider modes and is very easy to drive in the city .The R15 has a committed rider position so being stuck in traffic will kil your wrists if you don't have the proper technique. The R15 is insanely fuel efficient, my V4 sometimes gave me 54+ km/lit ! I feel like your best bet would be FZ25. It has dual channel abs , 35-40 km/lit , torque filled for the city and a comfortable tourer.

Here' what BHPian Mr.Boss had to say on the matter:

All your requirements scream Apache RTR 200.

R15 is very much nimble and fun to ride, but the committed posture is a pain for both rider and pillion. Best alternative is MT15.

Here's what BHPian Oppanna had to say on the matter:

Based on your mentioned requirements i would pick Apache 200. It is a tried and tested machine out there.

R15 is a nice machine but are you ready to compromise on pillion comfort? Are you ok to ride in that aggressive position for 600 kms one side?

BHPian SaurAswale replied:

Totally agree with you @ Mr.Boss. But the problem is MT15 is launched recently compared to other two and I can't find one used in my budget. Although it'll be better fit, I had to exclude it from my list, same is the case for Duke 200 and CBR 250r both having higher running cost.

Exactly @Oppanna, this is where I'm stuck. Buying Apache is sensible. Though I will happily ride R15 for 600kms but I will not be a pillion for 50 kms. It'll be extremely selfish decision to buy R15. But as I said, I have been dreaming of the sportbike till now.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Picture used is for representation purposes only.

Redlining the Indian Scene