In an In­dian’s guise

Takes to the track like a preda­tor in the open ocean

The Hindu Business Line - - AUTO FOCUS - MIRZA MO­HAMMED ALI KHAN

TVS Mo­tors’ leap into the larger dis­place­ment per­for­mance seg­ment has been in the news ever since it un­veiled the Akula concept at the 2016 Auto Expo. The buzz around the bike based on the concept has been fed by var­i­ous news — TVS’ part­ner­ship with BMW Mo­tor­rad, the shared en­gine with BMW’s own G310R, and of course the prospect of the TVS bike be­ing sportier. When the com­pany re­cently teased the mo­tor­cy­cle, al­beit with a dif­fer­ent name, the ex­cite­ment reached fever pitch. The cov­ers have fi­nally come off, and we headed to the track to put some time on the new TVS bike’s sad­dle.

That TVS de­cided to go with the ‘Apache’ nomen­cla­ture makes sense. Af­ter all, the brand, in its var­i­ous it­er­a­tions and mod­els, has been a suc­cess­ful prod­uct and is at the cen­tre of TVS rac­ing. But make no mistake, there’s lit­tle apart from the name that the Apache RR 310 shares with its smaller dis­place­ment sib­lings — this is a mo­tor­cy­cle with a very dif­fer­ent ap­peal and aes­thetic. Here are our first im­pres­sions af­ter a few laps on the MMRC track.

Looks and de­sign

‘Akula’ means shark in Rus­sian, and we didn’t have to google it be­cause TVS started the brief­ing with this tit­bit. The Akula concept was called so be­cause the de­sign was in­spired by the deep sea preda­tor, and while the shark was later re­placed by the name of the In­dian war­riors, you can still spot the re­sem­blance.

The RR 310’s sil­hou­ette is stream­lined, with the head­lamp and cowl mod­elled on a shark’s head. The twin tail pro­file of the mo­tor­cy­cle is a take­away from a shark’s V-shaped tail and even the hot air de­flec­tors are in­spired by the fish’s pec­toral fin. The head­lamp as­sem­bly, side cowl, and tank cover as­sem­bly, though be­ing dif­fer­ent mod­ules, fit to­gether and look like one seam­less unit. The tank cover stands out with its cur­va­ceous looks and TVS’ sprint­ing horse mas­cot on ei­ther side with an RR 310-em­bla­zoned badge on the top. The wind­shield looks like a no non­sense unit — short and func­tional. Thin, ar­row­head­shaped in­di­ca­tors flank the front and rear. The split head­lamp is a Bi-LED pro­jec­tor with au­to­matic head­lamp ON. Gold-fin­ish tele­scopic front forks add some bling to the looks. The RR 310 sports a ver­ti­cal speedome­ter, which TVS said was for bet­ter vis­i­bil­ity — some­thing that be­came ev­i­dent dur­ing the ride. Its shape re­sem­bles a hexagon and it’s an all-dig­i­tal dis­play, with all the usual read­ers such as speed, rev, ODOme­ter, gear in­di­ca­tor, etc. In ad­di­tion, it also has a side-stand warn­ing, lap in­for­ma­tion dis­play, and launch tim­ing (0-60 kmph) for those stints on a track. There is a set but­ton on the right and a haz­ard lights ac­ti­va­tion but­ton on the left. The alu­minium-forged clip-on

All dig­i­tal

The ver­ti­cal in­stru­ment clus­ter is in­for­ma­tion-loaded

han­dle­bar with the right-bi­ased key fob look un­mis­tak­ably made for rac­ing.

The mo­tor­cy­cle is built on a trel­lis frame with a re­verse-in­clined en­gine (mounted at 180 de­grees fac­ing back­ward). This en­sures a longer swingarm and shorter wheel­base. The re­verse-in­clined en­gine is said to make the bike more ag­ile. Seat­ing po­si­tion is very sporty, with the rear-set foot­pegs. The RR 310 and the BMW G 310 R share the same plat­form. The TVS bike’s aero pack­age, elec­tri­cals, clip-on han­dle­bar and other sub-com­po­nents are all dif­fer­ent from the BMW bike. The only shared parts are the pow­er­train, the trel­lis-frame and the swingarm, with some minor tweaks for the sporty po­si­tion­ing.

Per­for­mance

The 312 cc en­gine is a sin­gle-cylin­der, fourstroke, liq­uid cooled unit, mak­ing 34 PS of power at 9,700 rpm and a max­i­mum torque of 27.3 Nm at 7,700 rpm. The rated top-speed is 160 kmph. Com­pared to the BMW bike, the slightly higher rat­ing for the shared en­gine in the RR 310 has been achieved by chang­ing the fi­nal gear ra­tios, en­abling taller gears. The bike defin- itely feels fast off the block. Some very use­ful torque makes it­self avail­able at the mid-rev range, re­flect­ing in the launch time (which TVS claims is 2.93 sec­onds). It is mated to a sixspeed trans­mis­sion that is slick shift­ing with easy down­shifts — some­thing that is use­ful on the track. The gear­box is also said to have nega­tive back rack gears to en­sure that there are no false-neu­trals.

The TVS RR 310 felt as­sured on turns and cor­ners and maintaining bal­ance was not a prob­lem thanks to the 50:50 weight dis­tri­bu­tion.

Lean-ins felt ef­fort­less and the bike re­sponds

Good grip The Apache RR 310 gets 110/70 R17 and 150/60 R17 front and rear tyres re­spec­tively

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.