TVs Apache RR 310

The TVS Apache RR 310 em­bod­ies the first of­fer­ing re­sult­ing from the tech­ni­cal col­lab­o­ra­tion between TVS and BMW Motorrad. Al­though we shall have to wait un­til June 2018 to see this bike on our roads, we had a first ride on the Chen­nai race­track. Here is

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We HAVe Been WAiT­ing for over a year to ride the RR 310, hav­ing seen it as a con­cept, Akula, at the Auto Expo in 2016 and, now, fi­nally the wait is over. This is the first prod­uct from the tech­ni­cal col­lab­o­ra­tion between BMW and TVS. The RR 310 shares the same plat­form as the BMW G 310 R and G 310 GS. Al­though the In­dian made BMW bikes have been launched in­ter­na­tion­ally nearly a year ago, we in In­dia will get them in June next year. With BMW tak­ing the naked and ad­ven­ture route, TVS have gone for the fully faired su­per sports form. The fully faired sports bike is the prod­uct of TVS’ 35-year-long rac­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and her­itage, and the ben­e­fit of their rac­ing ex­pe­ri­ence shows in the prod­uct.

I have wit­nessed TVS Rac­ing from day one when they made a hum­ble be­gin­ning, rac­ing the 50-cc moped, to the mod­ern times when they have be­come a pow­er­house of mo­tor sport, tak­ing on chal­lenges such as the tough­est mo­tor sport event in the world, the Dakar Rally. At the launch I was speak­ing to TVS R&D Pres­i­dent Vi­nay Harne when he re­minded me how he had come and spo­ken to me for the first time in 1983 at the Sholavaram race meet. The R&D team at TVS is the most en­thu­si­as­tic lot I have in­ter­acted with to date and have al­ways been will­ing to lis­ten to the sug­ges­tions that I made over the past decades.

The Apache RR 310’s aero­dy­namic de­sign comes from the shark. The de­sign­ers at TVS have put in a lot of hard work to make the RR 310 the most stream­lined mo­tor­cy­cle in its class with the best COD (co­ef­fi­cient of drag). The bike has an ag­gres­sive stance with twin LED head­lamps at the front. The full fair­ing and the step seat com­plete the su­per sport look. The up­side down (USD) front forks with ra­dial brake caliper with 300-mm petal disc ro­tor, the aero­dy­namic front mud­guard and the five-spoke wheels with a cast al­loy swingarm add to the look of this mo­tor­cy­cle.

The Apache RR 310 is one of the best han­dling mo­tor­cy­cles I have rid­den

The liq­uid-cooled DOHC four-valve mo­tor is over-square. This short stroke en­gine has a bore of 80 mil­lime­tres and stroke of 62.1 mm and de­liv­ers 34 PS at 9,700 rpm and 27.3 Nm of torque at 7,700 rpm. The en­gine splits hor­i­zon­tally and has white metal shell bear­ing for the con­nect­ing rod and the main bear­ings. This is like a car en­gine. It makes the en­gine com­pact and in­creases the rigid­ity of the crank­case. The en­gine is tilted back­wards with a reverse cylin­der-head with the in­take at the front and the ex­haust ex­it­ing at the back, as in the Yamaha TZR 250 of the late 1980s. The front fac­ing in­take port helps in ram air in­duc­tion to in­crease the air-flow in the in­let port at high speed. The power is de­liv­ered via a wet multi-plate clutch and a sixspeed gear­box. The en­gine unit is tilted back­wards for better weight dis­tri­bu­tion.

The en­gine is housed in a tubu­lar trel­lis chas­sis with a bolt-on sub-frame as in the KTM bikes. To­day the best han­dling mo­tor­cy­cle on the Moto2 grid is the trel­lis-frame KTM. The front USD forks are a car­tridge-type unit by KYB and the rear sus­pen­sion has a die-cast alu­minium swingarm with a KYB monoshock unit with mono­tube float­ing pis­ton tech­nol­ogy. Stop­ping power is pro­vided at the front by a 300-mm petal type disc ro­tor and a ra­dial four-pis­ton By­bre caliper. Rear brak­ing is taken care of by a 240-mm petal disc ro­tor and By­bre caliper. The fi­nal con­tact between the RR 310 and the tar­mac is pro­vided by Miche­lin 110/70 R17 front and 150/60 R17 rear tyres.

The in­stru­ment panel is all-dig­i­tal unit with a ver­ti­cal rpm dis­play, speedome­ter, tem­per­a­ture gauge, fuel level in­di­ca­tor, gear in­di­ca­tor and an on-board com­puter that pro­vides lap times and race di­ag­nos­tics. All the lights are LED, from the BI-LED head­lamps to the rear tail-lamp.

The build qual­ity of this mo­tor­cy­cle is top class right from the slot­ted top yoke of the triple clamp and the qual­ity of plas­tics to all the switchgear, foot-pegs, and the gear and brake levers. In­deed, the die-cast swing is a piece of art.

The seat with its 810-mm height and its con­toured shape as well as the well-placed clip-ons that are not too high nor too low pre­vent wrist ache dur­ing slow city rid­ing. The foot-pegs are on the low side, thus mak­ing them com­fort­able for road use. The three axis points — han­dle­bar, seat, and foot-pegs — are spot-on to give you a re­laxed rid­ing po­si­tion.

Now it was time to see what the RR 310 was ca­pa­ble of and what better place to do it than on the Chen­nai race­track? A gen­tle push on the starter switch fired the en­gine to life with a lit­tle clat­ter from the valve gear be­fore set­tling down a high idling speed of 1,700 rpm. This high idling en­gine rpm is due to the very light crank­shaft and fly­wheel weight. Ex­it­ing the pit-lane you can feel the lin­ear power de­liv­ery all the way to the rev lim­iter. Just af­ter a cou­ple of cor­ners the 310 in­spired so much con­fi­dence that I started push­ing the bike from the first lap it­self. This is some­thing I nor­mally don’t do, but it was due to the con­fi­dence the bike in­spired in me that I could push it from the word go. I had my knee down round all the cor­ners, start­ing from C1 all the way round even on the neg­a­tive-cam­ber C3.

The only thing I would change on the bike for the race­track is raise the foot-pegs by at least two-and-a-half inches. The bike is very tractable and is ca­pa­ble of pulling from 45 km/h in sixth gear with a 100-kg pil­lion on board. The gear shift is very light and pos­i­tive and did not have a sin­gle false neu­tral. The Apache RR 310 is one of the best han­dling mo­tor­cy­cles I have rid­den — it is in the same league as my rac­ing RS125 Honda and that says a lot for a street-go­ing mo­tor­cy­cle. The only neg­a­tive is the valve clat­ter when you start the bike. TVS have re­ally cracked the code with this fan­tas­tic mo­tor­cy­cle.

TVS’ su­per­sport feels and han­dles like a baby Pani­gale

Gear Check Rider: Aspi Bha­thena Hel­met: AGV K4 EVO

Suit: Dainese La­guna Seca Gloves: Dainese

Boots: Dainese

Ver­ti­cal info-clus­ter looks smart; slot­ted yoke points to pre­mium build qual­ity and at­ten­tion to de­tail

Trel­lis frame con­trib­utes to pre­cise han­dling and vis­ual ap­peal

High qual­ity die-cast alu­minium swingarm adds to rigid­ity of the bike

Shark-in­spired vis­ual cues are ev­i­dent; al­most a minia­ture Pani­gale

Rear sub­frame looks tight and dis­plays TVS’ rac­ing her­itage

Need to Know Apache RR 310 Price: Rs 2.05 lakh (ex-show­room) En­gine: 312.2 cc, DOHC four-valve, liq­uid-cooled, sin­gle cylin­der

Out­put: 34 PS @ 9,700 rpm,

27.3 Nm @ 7,700 rpm

Trans­mis­sion: Six-speed, chain fi­nal drive Brakes: 300-mm disc (F), 240-mm disc (R), ABS Tyres: 110/70 R17 (F), 150/60 R17 (R), tube­less Weight: 169.5 kg (wet)

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