IAB spent a good part of yesterday on the Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai to test-ride the updated, 2019 Apache RR310. Here's what the new model is all about.
For 2019, TVS has made two significant changes to its flagship motorcycle. The first upgrade comes in the visual form; there's a new Phantom Black colour option. The new paint job replaces the Racing Black (matte finish) colour. It looks appealing, and the dual-coloured stripes that run through the centre of the motorcycle make it more attractive. TVS has also removed the "35 Years of TVS Racing" sticker from the rear panel (under the pillion seat) and replaced it with an "RR310" badge.
The second significant change is on the mechanical front, and the Apache RR310 now features an assist and a race-tuned slipper clutch. The company has also remapped the ECU for MY2019. TVS has made several minor upgrades based on the feedback from the existing owners as well. The 2019 model has a new mount for the visor and fatter bar-end weights, both of which are meant for filtering out the vibrations more efficiently and delivering a refined ride experience. Do note that existing owners received a remapped ECU, new visor mount, bar-end weights and a chain roller as part of a complementary performance upgrade.
How does the 2019 model feel to ride?
As mentioned above, the Apache RR310 has received an ECU remap, but the performance numbers are still the same. Thus, the motorcycle draws 34 PS of power at 9,700 rpm and 27.3 Nm of peak torque at 7,700 rpm from its 312.2 cc reverse-inclined, liquid-cooled single-cylinder motor. TVS claims that the addition of the assist clutch has reduced the clutch lever operating force by 20%.
The pre-update clutch lever operation was very light too, and you would have to ride the motorcycles back-to-back to feel the difference. Another benefit of the assist clutch is noticeable during acceleration as the assist cam profit pushes clutch centre and pressure plate against each other for enhanced torque carrying capacity. The perquisites of the Race Tuned slipper clutch, too, are easily recognisable. The Madras Motor Race Track was the perfect ground to test the new slipper clutch on the motorcycle, and the hardware ensured stability and avoided wheel hopping under aggressive downshifts ahead of the corners.
The refinement levels have undergone an upgrade and TVS has managed to iron out some of the vibrations in the mid-range. However, they have not been eliminated entirely, and there is still a noticeable buzz as the engine revs towards the redline. You will clearly feel vibrations from the handlebar, and the footpegs post the 7,500 rpm mark.
Apart from the changes mentioned above, the 2019 Apache RR310's styling and specifications are the same as that of the old model. The front continues to feature bi-LED projector headlights to illuminate the road, while at the rear, LED tail light and blinkers have continued. The fuel tank capacity, split seat setup and the chassis, too, have remained unchanged. The upside down telescopic front forks and monoshock at the back have been retained in the same specification as before to perform the shock absorption tasks.
The Michelin-sourced tyres aren’t the most track-friendly ones, but they would do a decent job in real life riding conditions. If you intend to take it to the track, we would recommend using something like a Sportec M5 from Metzeler. The braking department, with 300 mm front and 240 mm rear petal type discs, remains unaltered and the safety net of dual-channel ABS remains standard.
The updated setup has affected the price marginally, and the 2019 Apache RR310 is available at an ex-showroom tag of INR 2.27 lakh, which is approximately INR 3,000 higher than that of the old model. Existing owners can retrofit the assist/slipper clutch mechanism to their Apache RR310 motorcycles through the TVS service centres.
To sum it up, the 2019 Apache's feature list brings it closer to the segment leader, the KTM RC390. The pricing, despite the increase of INR 3,000, is still quite competitive. TVS' flagship motorcycle is still one of the most desirable products in its price bracket.
The Apache RR310 has not been able to clock expected numbers. Check out the sales performance since the launch of the motorcycle in December 2017:
The revised and improved hardware is aimed at increasing the TVS Apache RR310's popularity in its segment and improving its sales.