TVS Motor Company has launched the BS-VI 2020 Apache RR 310. The MY2020 upgrade is much more than just introducing BS-VI compliance, and the RR 310 is now smarter than ever. So what does the price premium of INR 12,000 (INR 2,40,000* vs INR 2,28,000*) over the old (BS-IV) model bring to the package? We test rode the motorcycle at the Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai to answer that question about the new, BS-VI Apache RR 310.
BS-VI TVS Apache RR 310 Design and Features
The latest iteration of the Apache RR 310 retains the styling cues from the old (BS-IV) model. Thus, you would find a very familiar-looking design on the BS-VI Apache RR 310 that comprises Bi-LED headlight and a double-bubble windscreen with tricolour at the front. LED blinkers and the LED taillight have also been carried forward from its predecessor. The 11-litre fuel tank has the same muscular styling and dons the brand’s 3D logo. The same goes for the split seats.
While the styling has not changed much, TVS Motor Company has added a new colour option to the RR 310. The new Titanium Black paint comes with updated graphics that look appealing. Folks with subtle choices can check out the Racing Red paint. The Racing Black paint option of the old model is not available.
While the styling has not undergone massive changes, the feature list has received a major boost with the addition of a 5-inch colour TFT display that replaces the LCD screen. The new display packs a plethora of information and benefits from TVS SmartXonnect system. The layout of information varies depending on the riding mode selected. The Urban mode displays the most amount of information, while the Track mode offers only the crucial readings such as the tachometer, gear position indicator and the speedometer. The rider can toggle between the modes on the fly.
The lower part of the display in the Urban Mode includes four widgets that are customizable so that the rider has quick access to information that he/she requires.
The Menu offers access to functions such as Ride Modes, Trip Details, My Vehicle and Preferences. The Ride Modes tab is self-explanatory. The modes are pre-set, and the rider cannot customize the parameters. The Trip Details tab of the menu offers access to three trip meters. Each trip meter registers the distance covered, ride time, average speed, top speed, fuel consumed and fuel economy. My Vehicle tab features Service details (time due for next service and time since the last service) and Performance Record (fuel economy, speed and lap times). Lastly, the Preferences tab offers Connectivity functions (Bluetooth connectivity), display setup (Brightness, Clock, Date and Day and Night Mode) and custom widgets.
The smartphone app also offers several functions such as Ride Analysis, Ride Planning, Navigation Assist, Cellular Functionality and an Auxiliary Dashboard.
All the functions on the display are accessible through the updated switches. The rider can use the same switches to answer/reject incoming calls. The switches also include controls for the hazard light. The high/low beam controls are integrated into the pass switch. On the right side, the engine kill switch is integrated into the starter button. The switchgear quality feels sturdy, while the positioning makes it easily accessible.
The limited changes to the visuals aim to keep the costs low and limit the effects of BS-VI upgrade on the ex-showroom tag. The updated instrument cluster adds more utility and premium-ness to the overall package, and buyers would find the setup to be very useful. We did miss adjustable brake and clutch levers – a feature that is available on the Apache RR 310’s rival, the KTM RC 390.
The overall package continues to be appealing but has the BS-VI update affected the performance?
BS-VI TVS Apache RR 310 Engine and Performance
TVS Motor Company has managed to retain the performance numbers of the BS-IV model during the BS-VI transition. Thus, the 312.2 cc reverse inclined, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC motor continues to deliver 34 PS of peak power at 9,700 rpm and 27.3 Nm of maximum torque at 7,700 rpm. The weight has gone up by about five kilograms (169 kg vs 174 kg), although its effects aren’t that evident. The engine is linked to a six-speed transmission that features an assist and Race Tuned slipper clutch.
The BS-VI Apache RR 310 comes with a ride-by-wire throttle and four riding modes – Urban, Rain, Sport and Track. The Sport and the Track mode give access to the full power and torque output numbers that are mentioned above along with sharper throttle response. The Urban and Rain mode, on the other hand, lower the power and torque output figures to 25.8 PS at 7,600 rpm and 25 Nm at 6,700 rpm. The top speed is also limited to 125 km/h in the Urban and Rain modes.
Apart from the power and torque output numbers, the riding modes also affect the ABS intervention. The Rain mode has the maximum ABS intervention, while the Track mode has the least. The riding modes and ABS settings come preset, and they are not customisable.
TVS Motor Company has also added the Glide Through Traffic (GTT) technology, which was previously seen on the BS-VI Apache RTR 200 4V and RTR 160 4V, to its flagship motorcycle. The system on the BS-VI Apache RR 310, however, is a more evolved version of the technology. The two-wheeler brand calls the tech on the BS-VI Apache RR 310 Glide Through Traffic Plus system. The GTT Plus tech works in all six gears. The function keeps the motorcycle moving forward, irrespective of the incline on the road, at the preset speed levels without any throttle input. In the top gear, the Apache RR 310 can keep moving at a speed of 35 km/h without any throttle action. The system is not an equivalent of a Cruise Control system. It focuses to offer some relief to the rider while riding at slower speeds.
The braking setup is retained from the old (BS-IV) model, and thus the stopping power comes from 300 mm disc at the front and 240 mm rotor at the rear. The feedback from the setup feels nice and progressive, although some more bite would be a great addition. The safety net of dual-channel ABS is standard, although the intervention level, as mentioned above, depends on the riding mode.
Have the refinement levels improved?
TVS Motor Company updated the Apache RR 310 last year to address the vibration issues. The drill brought fatter bar-end weights, among other updates to the motorcycle, to reduce the vibrations. The previous upgrade did a fair amount of improvement on the vehicle, although the refinement levels haven’t changed by a big margin.
The BS-VI Apache RR 310, despite being BS-VI compliant, feels just as fun as its predecessor, while the added functions such as GTT Plus and selectable riding modes enhance the overall experience. On the downside, the refinement levels, despite being considerably lower than the very first-generation model (pre-2019 update), still have some scope for improvement.
BS-VI TVS Apache RR 310 Ride and Handling
One of the biggest changes in the BS-VI model is with the tyres. The old (BS-IV) version of the Apache RR 310 used Michelin Pilot Sport tyres. The tyres offered decent performance for regular riding, although they weren’t the most ideal set for a race track. TVS Motor Company has taken the feedback and replaced the setup with a pair of stickier Michelin Road 5 tyres. The new set is more confidence-inspiring around the corners than the Pilot Sport tyres.
The rest of the setup is carried forward from the old (BS-IV) motorcycle. Thus, shock absorption duties are handled by upside-down telescopic forks at the front and preload-adjustable mono-shock at the back – both sourced from KYB. The suspension tuning has not changed either, and it continues to deliver decent performance for track riding, and it should work equally well in regular riding conditions. The handling prowess, too, is respectable, although it isn’t the sharpest motorcycle in the segment.
BS-VI TVS Apache RR 310 Verdict
The latest iteration of the flagship TVS Motor Company product is a respectable upgrade over the old (BS-IV) model. The multiple riding modes, 5-inch colour TFT display, updated switches and the new set of tyres from Michelin add new utility value to the overall package, and those are a lot of upgrades considering that the BS-VI model is just INR 12,000 more expensive than the old version.
The Urban and Rain modes will make life easier in the city, while the Sport and Track mode should make the weekends fun. The user-friendly interface of the 5-inch display just takes minutes to understand, and it is easily customizable as per the rider’s preference.
On the downside, the TVS Apache RR 310 still misses adjustable brake and clutch levers – a feature that is available on its direct rival, the KTM RC 390. The refinement levels witnessed a major improvement in the 2019 upgrade, although they still have some scope for improvement.
However, the overall package, as mentioned before, is a commendable upgrade over the old (BS-IV) motorcycle, and people interested in buying a sub-500 cc motorcycle should consider the BS-VI Apache RR 310. Do not miss the virtual reality buying experience at the TVS Motor Company dealerships in the country.