When we first saw the invitation from TVS Motor Company to come test ride the 2020 BS-VI Apache RR 310, I thought to myself that how different could a BS-VI upgrade be and TVS must certainly have several good things to tell us about. And. They did. The RR 310 has already been adored by those who like to do long-distance rides or those who have simply been looking for a fantastic-looking motorcycle. While it has always been a performance machine, it is now that I believe the RR 310 has evolved into its best version with more precise handling and refinement that should improve ride comfort for use within city usage. I’ll try my best to list the reasons why I believe so.
But first. You can’t not talk about the design and styling of the Apache RR 310 because it has been done quite right. In fact, it could be the best-looking 300cc motorcycle in the country – well, in my mind, it is. It now has a new colour scheme with black, grey and a hint of red which looks rather very good. The switchgear has been upgraded because now it needs buttons to operate the digital instrument cluster and the fit and finish on them is commendable – and so are they for the rest of the bike.
There is just a lot to talk about since there is a new TFT colour instrument cluster and smartphone connectivity. More on that later because right now you need to what’s even more important – the ride modes, the engine refinement, and the ride.
So, there are three ride modes – Urban, Rain, Sport, and Track. The power output in the first modes is restricted to 25 hp and so is the top speed. You get the full 33 hp from the Sport and Track modes and a top speed of 160 km/h. TVS will only make the Sport and Track mode available to the user once the motorcycle has been run-in. Customers can head to their TVS dealership after about 1000 km to open the taps in the first service.
What do these modes do? A) there’s the difference in power, B) throttle mapping is tweaked in each of them, and C) the level of ABS intervention is modified. And these differences are easy to spot as well. Jump on the brakes in Rain mode and ABS intervenes very aggressively, do that in Sport mode and the ABS is more docile and there’s no intrusion in the Track mode. The throttle response is super relaxed in the Rain mode and delightfully nippy in the Track mode. Point is that the ride modes actually work and not just change the colour theme on the instrument cluster – which they also do and it looks great.
The 312.2cc single-pot engine has been fuel-injected since the RR 310 was first rolled out, it now complies with BS-VI emissions standards which has led to a substantial improvement in engine refinement. While vibrations were mentioned as a drawback about the previous generations of the bike, 2020 edition has had it addressed.
Until 6,000 rpm, vibrations are just not a concern and those that creep in after that aren’t worth complaining about. The motorcycle now has a ride-by-wire throttle that is helping with a quicker response and the fact that that the rider now has the choice to choose the power and ABS levels electronically – the ECU must have seen a hefty upgrade.
The gearbox on the 2020 Apache RR 310 is rather refined. The bike was updated with TVS’ race-tuned slip and assist clutch in May last year which did make downshifts more civilised, the BS-VI version due to its improved engine refinement feels a tad smoother during gearshifts. That said, there is still sufficient engine braking. If you do downshift to the first gear from third gear speeds, you will upset your motorcycle but it won’t try to throw you off it most of the times.
Another good news is that the tyres have been swapped with Michelin Road 5 dual-compound tyres which offer notably better grip and made cornering on the race track more confidence instilling than the previous-generation RR310. The tread pattern on the tyres could also suggest good performance in wet road conditions.
The 2020 RR 310 promises gerbil-like directional changes as the suspension setup retains its firmness and it won’t be a surprise if you manage to knee-down on a highway exit. Like the suspension, the brakes remain the same as well and have ample bite. Under very hard braking, there can be a little wobble on the frontend but it mostly remains planted.
2020 TVS Apache RR 310 specifications:
Engine – 312.2cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled
Power – Sport & Track mode: 33.5 hp at 9700 rpm
Urban & Rain mode: 25 hp at 7600 rpm
Torque – Sport & Track mode: 27.3 Nm at 7700 rpm
Urban & Rain: 25 Nm at 6700 rpm
Top speed – Sport & Track mode: 160 km/h
Urban & Rain: 125 km/h
Ride Modes – Urban, Rain, Sport, Track
Transmission – Six-speed with RT slip & assist clutch
Fuel tank capacity – 11 L
Seat height – 810 mm
Headlamp – Bi-LED projector
Suspension – front: inverted telescopic forks
rear: gas-charged monoshock
Brakes – 300 mm disc with ABS
rear: 240 mm disc with ABS
Tyre size – front: 110/70 tubeless
rear: 150/60 tubeless
Kerb weight – 174 kg
Price – Rs 2.4 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Now, about the instrument cluster which is now much more fancy-looking and more informative – simply because there is now more to inform the rider about. The 2020 RR 310 is equipped with TVS’ SmartXonnect smartphone connectivity system which means there’s turn-by-turn navigation, phone call & message notifications, and more. It has a race computer on board so there is a lap timer and average speed recorder. It also displays the distance to empty, service reminder, and a lot more.
And lastly, it features something called GTT+ (Glide Through Plus) which allows the motorcycle to move forward at low speeds without any throttle input just through clutch release like it happens on big bikes. This feature should come handy in bumper-to-bumper traffic and we’ll test it out when we do ride it in traffic.
The new 2020 TVS Apache RR 310 is everything you’ve known it as and more. Like I said before, 2020 edition RR 310 is the best version of itself – I say so because it now offers better control in terms of handling and also in terms of practicality. It is now about Rs 12,000-14,000 more expensive than the previous BS-IV version, but I reckon that it justifies all of the extra money that it demands.
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