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Monday, June 9, 2008

RTR - Finally!!

Really haven't been a big fan of the TVS Motors because of the negative and forced marketing strategies of the company (had a bit of prejudice in my mind though), but yeah really pined to swing my legs over the Apache RTR (to quote TVS - "The most awarded bike in it's class"). Finally got a chance to race it through the Faridabad highway a week before (took a me a long time to write this review!!!).

The bike I rode was pretty much in condition being just 4 months old and belong to one of my "Acquaintance" friends from Airtel. I must admit that he's really finicky about his as he didn't allowed me to post a snap of his bike on my blog as the bike was not properly washed. So here goes my experience with the bike -
  • It's a red Apache RTR and I must admit it's a stunner by looks. Many of the design queues of the bike are really wanted on the Pulsars, specially the racing strips and the rear mud-guard (the current mud-guard on the Pulsars, even the 200 and 220 suck big time).

  • The color combinations chosen for the bike go with the racing mood of the bike, even the orientation and color combination of it's digital console are pretty cool (I saw couple of new Pulsar 150s with painted digital console and I must admit the Bajaj guys got the color combination/design patterns completely wrong this time).

  • The fit and finish of the bike is also great and like it's elder brother the TVS Apache 150, it's for the short heighted one. My friend comes around my shoulder and he fits in exactly well on that bike. But I found the riding position a bit un-comfortable because you have to reach out your hand and stretch yourself a bit to get a grip of the handle bar. Also, for an average guy the rear placed front foot-pegs doesn't help the condition at all. The sitting position didn't gave a sense of confidence at all. In my Pulsar 200, which also has rear placed foot pegs, the siting position is quite comfortable and inspires confidence in you. Therefore the bike is certainly not for long drives (Leh-Laddakh you know!!!)

Finally it was time to kick the bike to start......One kick and the 159.7cc was bang into life and quickly settled down into a deep tone. Twist you wrist and you would actually feel the power in this small assembly. Going by the book, a 159.7cc engine producing 15.7bhp @8500rpm is awesome, specially when you compare it with the likes of Pulsar 180 (16.5 bhp @8500 rpm) and Pulsar 150 (14.09bhp @8500 rpm). The gear engaging is smooth, much better than Pulsar 150 and 180. The ride was ultra smooth and I was zipping through the road. Didn't even realize when I touched 60kmph. The 0-60kmph was quick............ real quick as good as my Pulsar 200.

But all the shine dies off once you touch 70 and go beyond it. The vibrations creep in and make their presence felt big time. I don't how some of the Auto Magazines claimed the RTR to be vibrations free. Touch 80kmph and I felt that the bike was trying a lot to maintain itself at that speed. At arround 85-88 kmph, the vibrations started to give me numb figures so I decided to slow down. The rear breaks worked pretty smooth to slow the bike down quickly from 85 - 60kmph at which speed I decided to switch to the front break and God it scared the Hell out of me. No sooner I engaged the front break, and it was not even a panic breaking....... it just applied a little more harder than I normally do, the bike was almost in a stoppie. I could feel the rear wheel leaving the turf. Boy the petal disk works magic, a great stoppie machine I would say. I wonder what would happen if this baby has to panic brake. I covered around 3km stretch which took me around 2.5 mins.

All in all, the bike is fun to ride, if you are a little below average height, want a sporty and stylish bike and don't intend to zip around at continuous speeds over 70kmph.

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Item Reviewed: RTR - Finally!! Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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