TVS RTR 160 4V

All-new styling and en­gine

Auto Today - - Dashboard - Ab­hik Das Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent ab­hik.das@in­to­ @ab­hik616

The en­try-level sports seg­ment still sees the max­i­mum com­pe­ti­tion among man­u­fac­tur­ers. Here is a seg­ment that mer­ci­lessly de­mands power, styling, premium fea­tures, top-notch han­dling and still be rel­a­tively fuel ef­fi­cient. If any of these fac­tors are com­pro­mised, the man­u­fac­turer will see the cus­tomer knock on the next door.

For TVS, the cur­rent RTR 160, de­spite timely up­grades, was barely cut­ting it. The edgy design had been ag­ing and the com­pe­ti­tion has been inch­ing for­ward, try­ing to make mini-ver­sions of their su­per-nakeds.

TVS doesn’t have one but it sure has ex­pe­ri­ence in rac­ing that no other do­mes­tic man­u­fac­turer can boast of. Learn­ing from 36 years of rac­ing and more re­cently, learn­ing from six na­tional cham­pi­onships with the Group B RTR 165 - their su­per racer. To say that the new RTR 160 4V is a di­rect de­riv­a­tive from the Group B pro­to­type would be stretch­ing it a lit­tle. The 160 4V is much closer to the RTR 200 4V. Surely, that must have been ev­i­dent from the pic­tures and fol­low­ing in its foot­steps, the new RTR 160 looks

just as smash­ing. Best look­ing in its class? We def­i­nitely think so.

Just as the styling, en­gine tech also trick­les down to the newly de­vel­oped 160cc en­gine that pro­duces enough power ca­pa­ble of be­com­ing the most pow­er­ful mo­tor­cy­cle in its seg­ment. The bore and stroke re­tains the over square con­fig­u­ra­tion of the older block but oil-cool­ing, Nano friKS coated pis­ton and ram-as­sisted cool­ing have helped push out more power. A ma­jor change comes in the form of a 4-valve, SOHC head com­pared to the 2-valve one on the older en­gine, aid­ing ef­fi­cient com­bus- tion and bet­ter breatha­bil­ity.

TVS’ short test track in Ho­sur is heaps of fun rolled into two straights and a long (re­ally long) right han­der con­nect­ing them. It’s sur­pris­ing how re­fined the new en­gine feels com­pared to the older, as it freely revs well past 10,000rpm. With a fluid start off the line, the RTR160 4V goes through its rev range and slick gear­box, max­ing out in 4th it­self. Fifth lib­er­ates a lit­tle more top-end and is more of an over­drive gear for bet­ter fuel ef­fi­ciency. There is a def­i­nite feel of ur­gency in the way the en­gine de­liv­ers power and that keeps


Likes Refinement, en­gine, qual­ity, fea­tures, styling, han­dling

Dis­likes Brake feel, tall gear­ing FOL­LOW­ING


things ex­cit­ing for a rev happy throt­tle hand. TVS will be sell­ing a car­bu­ret­ted as well as a fuel in­jected ver­sion with just a slight dif­fer­ence in out­put. There is how­ever, a no­tice­able dif­fer­ence in en­gine be­hav­iour. While the FI ver­sion of­fers quicker but smoother throt­tle re­sponse, the car­bu­ret­ted one seems more lik­able for its gruff­ness mak­ing it seem more sprightly than the re­fined FI ver­sion.

The twin cra­dle down­tube frame gives way to a dou­ble cra­dle split frame that uses the en­gine as a stress mem­ber. Not that the older RTR 160 was a slouch when it came to turn­ing cor­ners but the new frame takes it to an­other level. The turn in is sur­pris­ingly quick along with the light but sure-footed, feed­back rich feel from the front-end. Once leaned over, the Showa sus­pen­sion im­presses with sporty taut­ness yet sup­ple damp­ing to soak up un­du­la­tions with­out dis­turb­ing the chas­sis. Brak­ing how­ever, was a lit­tle lack­ing with the front brake bit­ing the petal disc well but nearly de­void of feel on the lever.


This is TVS’ third launch in just over three months. While the RR310 dons the crown of the Apache series, the small­est model went un­der the scalpel to be made over in this at­trac­tive new form. More­over, they’ve got the prod­uct spot on with all cru­cial as­pects cov­ered. The RTR 160 4V looks the sporti­est of the cur­rent crop of 160s also pack­ing top-notch per­for­mance, brimmed with fea­tures. At its price point, it hits the com­pe­ti­tion hard with enough com­bi­na­tion of vari­ants to cater to dif­fer­ent users.

1. Com­pre­hen­sive in­stru­men­ta­tion comes from the RTR 200 as well, the carb ver­sion gets or­ange back­light while the FI gets white with the ad­di­tion of a gear po­si­tion indicator. 2. Head­lamp in­te­grates LED DRLs just as the RTR 200’s. 3. The 160 gets a uniseat, dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing it from the split-seats of the 200

The new en­gine revs be­yond 10,000rpm but power ta­pers off around 9,000rpm; it’s smooth and re­fined

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