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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bajaj Pulsar 180 Vs Apache RTR 180

I was so mighty impressed with the performance and handling with the TVS Apache RTR 180, that it got me thinking as to how does it fare with it's only competitor in the genre, the Bajaj Pulsar 180.

When Bajaj Pulsar 180 was launched back in 2001, it blew roof tops with it's 15PS of peak power and how quick the thing was, back then, from the rest of the crowd. It was the new performance king. From there, the Pulsar 180 only got better and it remained the top choice of performance maniacs, till 2007, when it was finally pensioned away, first by, the Pulsar 200 and then by Pulsar 220.

Seeing the growing popularity of performance machines it was only a matter of time before other started joining the party. The competition did start, but stayed at lower levels of 125-150cc motor segment. Pulsar 180 kept on evolving and touched at max performance number of 17.02 PS @ 8500 rpms. It was basking in it's own glory of being the only one when finally it was challenged by the TVS Apache RTR 180 in 2009. The prodigal son was here with a challenge.

On one hand where the Pulsar 180 was a legacy and evolved into it's current ruthless form, the Apache RTR 180 was an amalgamation of smart observation and track know how. It was the right bits at the right place. With the advent TVS Apache RTR 180, an Indian motorcycle manufacturer thought of getting the basics right, with as simple as weight reduction, which is so heavily stressed upon internationally. It's now a battle of Legacy Vs Contemporary.

A comparison of the specs reveals how fierce the battle is for the supremacy of the upto class is

Almost all major number is almost the same in both the bikes, so what makes the difference? Well to know that we have to see in between numbers.


The TVS Apache 180 RTR and the Bajaj Pulsar 180, have the same cubic capacity, but the actual difference lies in how that 180 cc of Air/Fuel mixture translates into the final through put. Just consider the below factors -

If it's still a bit difficult to appreciate how good a number TVS has achieved with the Power to Weight Ratio, then let's bring another motorcycle into picture, which is almost of the same genre - Bajaj Pulsar 200 DTSi

The Apache RTR 180 develops a full 1.74 Bhp per tonne more peak power than the Pulsar 200 and a staggering 10.01 Bhp per tonne than the Pulsar 180, which means that given the same rate of acceleration, the rider would be having more power at disposal than the Pulsar 180 or the Pulsar 200 for that matter.

Another prime factor to note here is the availability of 1.28 Nm of additional torque on the TVS Apache 180, which translates into better low and mid range, which can be easily seen by the fact that how effortlessly the motorcycle pulls from lower speed ranges and revs all the way to the red line in each gear.

All this gives the rider a sense that the engine is spinning up a lot faster than anything that has been ridden in the upto 200 cc class.


The most shining difference in the chassis of both the bikes is that the TVS Apache 180 RTR has a 19 mm shorter wheel base (1326 mm) than the Bajaj Pulsar 180 (1345 mm). This 19 mm shorter wheel base in conjunction to the lower kerb weight of the Apache 180, translates into amazingly sharp handling, which the Pulsar has not been able to achieve till date. It's almost like the motorcycle just cannot resist the invitation of a corner or lean. It's just so lean happy.

Also, the lower height of the clip-on on the Apache 180 RTR helps in better lean and corner performance, specially at high speeds. The only thing that stops the 180 RTR from being the ultimate cornering tool are the foot pegs. It just might be only me, but it makes the rider feel cramped on the saddle and does not gives that confidence to corner and dive into leans first up, but getting habituated with the riding posture should definitely help in the long run.


Overall, the TVS Apache 180 RTR is easily the best motorcycle that's available in India in it's genre and definitely the king in it's class. If you are looking for the best performance machine in upto 200cc category, then the Apache 180 RTR should be your pick and with ABS version just around the corner, it just getting better by the mile.
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  1. I haven't yet ridden the RTR 180.. I am sure that it will have stellar performance.

    The only aspect where the RTR 180 disappoints is that its very difficult to differentiate from the RTR 160

  2. Well Bro, that's true with Pulsars too!! At one time, it was very difficult to distinguish between the 150 and 180 (Thank God Bajaj killed the 200 and made it a legend, else, it would have been a hell of a job to distinguish the 200 from the 150 and 180). But then again, things evolve. In one go it's very hard to differentiate between the Apache 160 and 180, but yeah, the stickering is much better on the 180!!

    You should try the 180, I'm damn sure that you would totally love it.

  3. apache is better than pulsar in their stunning looks especially the white oneeeeeee

  4. @Anonymous
    Well dude, looks are always subjective!! But yeah the white Apache RTRs do look good!! I won't be comparing them with the Pulsars, as they have their own charisma :)

    1. modest review... nice job @sajal seriously a good job.. but what u forgot to mention is apache rtr 180 has a serious vibration problem.. thats pretty irritating and it spoils the whole joy of riding such a machine but otherwise. best in class :)

    2. I agree with you, the engine vibration is slightly higher due to the light weight nature of the engine, but the engine is like Gem. It is not a serious problem though, Appache has a pleasant ride and handling.

  5. Appache RTR havea problem of road grip, Have seen lot of skid happening bcoz of thin tyre grips.

    Pulsar 180 doesnt have this problem in comaparison to Appache.

    Watch out for 2011 Pulsar 180 model it will silence allthe critics

    1. Hi Vicky,
      Actually Appache has excellent handling, way better than Pulsar. Get one with ABS, you gona love it.

    2. its bcoz of the TVS tyres,change it...

  6. @Vicky,
    Well, road grip is not an issue of the bike on the whole, it's more on the choice of the rubber. One can anytime switch to Soft Compounds which provide better traction and control.

    I'm all waits for the next gen Pulsars!!

  7. Hey vicky am on the verge of buy apache 180 abs. Please let me know if the wait for 2011 pulsar is long one? If its soon enough am prepared to wait. I own a thunderbird currently.

  8. @sbkartha,

    One this is for sure, that the 2011 Pulsars won't be coming before sometime around September-October. So, not sure if you would want to wait till that long.

  9. Beat a Karizma R, RTR 180 n lost by a meter to ZMR(better torque) on 2km drag...
    Pulsar Sucks hell out of every other bike under 200cc if rode by a good rider.

  10. @Dev,
    Absolutely agree with you on man when you bring the term "good rider" into picture. A drag race is 80% about the rider and 20% about the bike in question. But then hey... how many time a day you end up dragging against other bikes!! It's the day to day usage that makes all the difference and that's where the Apache RTR 180 excels as a package.

    I've been riding a Pulsar 200 for almost 5 years now and still totally love it. But then when I see a motorcycle which is right up there in it's performance numbers and weighs less and has the right thing at the right places, boy you should give credit to that bike. Ride the Apache RTR 180 one day and you would know what I meant :)

  11. Reali i say 100% Apache RtR IS The best bike , no comperision....... rtr 180 looks very diffrent from other bikes, so plz ride 180 rtr DAR unleshed.... my con. no. 8233214703Reali i say 100% Apache RtR IS The best bike , no comperision....... rtr 180 looks very diffrent from other bikes, so plz ride 180 rtr DAR unleshed.... my con. no. 8233214703

  12. best review till now...i myself own pulsar 180 but i agree with your review in every aspects...good job

    1. yea man.. honestly best review till date..

  13. guys i own black rtr 180 and in all aspects why to compare with p 180 when mt rtr has beaten yamaha r15 and karisma r also and i have reched speed of 135kmph ...which was razor sharp superb handling pulsar are bullshits!!!! infornt of rtr all other bikes eat dust!!!!!!!! let it be drag or streches or corners looks sitting posture any damm thing........

  14. guys i want u all know the real specs! i own apache rtr 180 black since 1yr and this bike is really a power house performance depends on bike as well as rider i m not bluffing why to compare with p180 when my rtr has beaten the so called gr8 bikes yamaha r15 and karisma old one,,let it be handling looks performance pickup also most imp fuel economy.....rtr is the best bike.....for indian roads still now i m proud owner of apache and bikes gives me milege of 45 to 48 kmpl...which is really good from 180cc and 17.3bhp machine ...blindly purchase this bike and make other machines eat dust!!!!!! rtr rocks!!!!!!!! pulsar is bullshit........scrap

  15. I too own TVS apache its been amazing....
    while riding it i can feel the real meaning of RTR and power dat it has....
    Its realy the king of all bikes under 180cc and also 200cc machines...
    Performance: omg i hav no words... Mind blowing......

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Apaches can never match pulsars,,frst dey are so slow ,,I ws a great fan of apaches unless I drove it,,I found only two things were betr in it dan pulsars,,handling nd smothness,,I didn't felt any vibrations whatsoever in it till 90kmph,,,by god it ws real experience nd I ws amazed to see dat apache was so slower dan pulsar,,,no offence plz,,strictly my own xperience

  18. AS called ,Pulsar 180 is definitely Male. No compare with rtr 180 b.coz TVS rtr 180 belong to short height persons and you will get surely back pain when you will ride more than half an hour the rtr 180.but Pulsar 180 is amazing and good grip on road than any bike.It best choice for average or tall height person and u'll not feel any vibration in high speed moment unlike rtr 180. rtr is real bullshit. Pulser 180 is really rockk. It's definitely Male.!!!

    1. Pulsars are best anyway....may be old skool.....but hello.....u r talking about pulsar......king of roads since born and watch out for pulsar xs180 version in 2013 .....ull rtrians will feel recessive

  19. Rtr is just amazing i have no words to say

  20. I have driven both bikes and what I found is that the apache has good performance and handling but vibrates like hell. I drove it at a constant speed of 70kmph and the chain guard broke off. But the pulsar,though may not have the same performance and handling, but is great for long trips...engine is way better and the added weight means that only a storm could shake it at high speeds...as for milage,it depends on the time and effort spent by the rider during the initial run in period...


Item Reviewed: Bajaj Pulsar 180 Vs Apache RTR 180 Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal


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