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TVS Apache RR 310 BTO Road Test Review: Ride and revelry

Do the track and performance-oriented upgrades make the bike a hassle to ride on crowded and bumpy city roads? Or is the RR 310 still the capable all-rounder that it was?

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TVS Apache RR 310 BTO riding

Customisation is not an alien concept in the automotive sphere. Enthusiasts who know their machines and want more out of them are always making upgrades and enhancements to their cars and bikes. More often than not, these customisations are an aftermarket affair. TVS is bringing a change in the two-wheeler space with their Built To Order (BTO) platform. The company announced that the RR 310 will be the first vehicle to be part of this programme and allow users to buy an RR 310 with additional equipment offered in the form of kits. These upgrades come factory-fit and offer better quality and reliability. Most of the upgrades are made to turn this bike into a more capable track machine and we got a glimpse of that when we rode the bike on the MMRT in Chennai. But how do these upgrades make a difference in your everyday commutes? We had a chance to spend a few days riding the gauntlet known as Delhi.

Kit-ing around

The bike we had was equipped with both Race and Dynamic kits. The Dynamic Kit is definitely the star of the show here as it gives you fully-adjustable KYB suspension. The upside-down forks can be adjusted for preload, compression and rebound. Even if you do not have a screwdriver around, you can just use the bike’s key in its place. The adjustable suspension is a huge feature of the Apache RR 310 BTO because it will allow the bike to seamlessly transition from a road bike to an apex predator. Usually, motorcycles are either set up too stiff and can be bad when going over broken city roads or they are set up so soft that they do not lend a whole lot of confidence when attacking corners. The RR 310 does not have that problem at all. Another thing that you get with the Dynamic Kit is the brass coated chain. Brass is more resistant to corrosion and can increase the life of the chain even if you happen to have occasional rainy-day rides.

The Race Kit goes for more subtle changes and aims to modify the riding stance to be a bit more catered towards track riding. With this kit, the clip-on handlebars are set lower and brought closer to the rider while the footpegs have been raised by 30mm. This makes the riding posture a bit more aggressive and also provides more cornering clearance. Even the exhaust canister has been angled upwards to achieve better lean angles. Needless to say, it helps a capable rider to push the RR 310 to the edge. However, despite the bike’s aggressive setup, I did not feel too uncomfortable snaking through crowded city roads.

The best part about these kits is that owners of previous RR 310 models can also get individual components fitted on their motorcycles. Any Apache RR 310 produced in and after 2017 is eligible for these upgrades. It is good to see a manufacturer care about customers who already have bought their products.

I might sound like a greedy person but I do feel that maybe a quickshifter would have been a great addition to the kits. Maybe we can get it as part of the BTO platform sometime in the future.

Lively Looks

Kudos to the designers at TVS for finding a design language that has managed to look amazing since its inception. This new RR 310 fundamentally retains the same shape and look as the original bike. The Kits, however, do allow customers to opt for red alloys instead of black ones. There is also a new Race Replica paint scheme that is inspired by TVS’ racing motorcycles. This paint scheme is rather vibrant with bold splashes of red and blue on a white canvas. I can understand that it might not be everyone’s cup of tea and the conventional colour options are still around for them. I, however, would love to ride daily on this loud but amazing Race Replica RR 310. Another thing you can do is have a two-digit number on the front windscreen like you see on racing motorcycles. It makes me wonder how many people would be riding around with the numbers ‘46’ or ‘93’ plastered on the front of their RR 310.

Improved instrument cluster

The fabulous and functional 5-inch TFT full-colour screen is as informative as ever but has become a bit more capable now. You now get Digi Docs which allows you to store up to three documents in the cluster itself. These could be your driving license, registration certificate or PUCC. Another thing that you get is the day trip meter that shows you stats related to your day’s ride. In this menu, you can see things like the amount of distance you covered, what were your top and average speed, mileage and more. The RR 310 also displays a dynamic rev limit indicator now. Revving the bike too hard after a cold start is not good for the engine, as such, this dynamic indicator will show the same and ease away as the engine becomes warmer. One can also set a custom speed limit and the bike will warn the rider when it goes over that. These small features might not look like much but they are a nice addition to the feature set of an already capable instrument cluster.

Riding performance

The engine is the same 312.2cc single-cylinder engine. It is liquid-cooled but do expect the back of your legs to get a little toasty on a hot day. As we know, the RR 310 got ride-by-wire technology and four riding modes in its previous update, the power and torque outputs differ depending on the riding modes. It makes of 33.5bhp and 27Nm of torque in the Sport and Track modes while the Urban and Rain modes cap the power and torque to 25.4bhp and 25Nm, respectively.

Nothing has changed in the engine and gearbox department and this is still one spritely machine. Almost at any time you open the throttle, the bike lunges ahead with a lot of enthusiasm. The vibes are well within check for the most part and the slipper clutch makes your life easier. You also have Glide Through Technology which allows you to navigate through slow-moving traffic without having to press and release the clutch a thousand times.

Verdict

If you were to go and add a Race Kit to your new Apache RR 310, it would cost you Rs 5,000. The Dynamic Kit is a bit more expensive and will set you back by R 12,000. If you are someone who wants the most out of their machine and get a better track experience, these kits are totally worth the cost. They make the Apache RR 310 an even more alluring pack for anyone that plans to take the bike on race tracks frequently. I have a feeling that there will be many takers for the adjustable suspension. On top of that, since this is an enhancement done by TVS itself, you can be assured of the quality of the components.

The visual upgrades can only be opted for if you have selected a kit. So, apart from the cost of the kit, you will be paying Rs 1,500 for the red alloy wheels and Rs 4,500 for the alloy wheels and the Race Replica graphics.

TVS had increased the base price of the bike when they announced the BTO platform. Even if you were to buy the RR 310 now, without any kits added on top, it would cost you Rs 2,59,990. Given the rise in prices of almost every commodity in the recent past and the additional features you get in the instrument console, I think it is not too bad a deal to get the basic Apache RR 310 either. It is still a very capable bike on highways and something you can use for daily city commutes too.

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