TVS RTR 160 4V
All-new styling and engine
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
ENGINE TECH TRICKLES DOWN FROM THE RTR 200 4V TO THE NEWLY DEVELOPED 160CC ENGINE ALSO MAKING IT THE MOST POWERFUL MOTORCYCLE IN ITS SEGMENT
Likes Refinement, engine, quality, features, styling, handling
Dislikes Brake feel, tall gearing FOLLOWING
IN THE 200’S FOOTSTEPS, THE NEW 160 LOOKS JUST AS SMASHING
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