Launched in late 2017, the TVS Apache RR 310 kind of broke the mould for TVS bikes. Sharply styled with shark-like design cues, loaded with features and sharing the same engine as the BMW G 310 R, TVS Motor Company had expected its 'flagship' to do well in the 200-400 cc segment. But as soon as it was launched and deliveries began, concerns were raised for excessive vibrations and reliability of the chain on the motorcycle. Hence, the Apache RR 310 did not quite have a banging start as TVS would have liked it to. But, it still was an excellent all-round motorcycle! Be it touring, commuting or even hitting the racetrack, the TVS did all of it with aplomb. And TVS being an extremely meticulous company, has kept updating the motorcycle over the last few months. The last time around, TVS offered a free ECU upgrade along with a chain roller, heavier bar-end weights and a new windscreen with better aerodynamics. For 2019, TVS has introduced a 'race-tuned' slipper clutch on the motorcycle and a new colour option called 'Phantom Black'. We sample the updated TVS Apache RR 310 at the Madras Motor Race Track.
Also Read: TVS Apache RR 310 Review
What all has changed
Firstly, the new gloss black colour scheme on the motorcycle looks sinister in good way, coupled with bits of red and the gold coloured USDs upfront. In our opinion, it accentuates the aggressive design of the motorcycle better than the old matte black colour scheme which has now been discontinued. The sun shining on MMRT was exceptionally hot and the humidity made life quite difficult too. Sweating profusely inside our leather suits, we saddled on the motorcycle and as one thumbed the starter and exited the pits, all discomfort was forgotten. The reason? Not only did Apache RR 310 retain its performance oriented dynamics but as we were going around the racetrack, it was evident that the clutch felt surprisingly lighter. And a light clutch means less fatigue when riding in city traffic.
In fact, TVS says that the clutch action on the updated RR 310 is about 20 per cent lighter. The new clutch not only eliminates wheel hopping (the rear wheel spins more freely during rapid downshifts) when downshifting aggressively but also has an 'assist' function which helps the bike carry the torque for longer when accelerating hard.
In fact, just to test the same, we committed the cardinal sin of downshifting mid-corner and lo! Not only did the motorcycle maintain its composure but accelerated out of it like the gear and throttle input were perfect, which they were far from! The engine braking has become smoother and 'slip' function does work as advertised. TVS says that the slipper clutch has been tuned on the racetrack for over 200 hours, to arrive at the exact cam angle and spring force which gives the best launch feel, slip function and engine braking. This also means that the wear & tear in the gearbox is reduced and the full assembly will have a longer life.
With a remapped ECU and fatter bar-end weights, there has been a noticeable reduction in vibrations but if you are wringing the throttle at the top end, you will feel the buzz from the handlebars and the seat.
What all stays the same
The overall design and styling stays the same and we absolutely do not have a problem with that. The engine also continues to be same reverse-inclined 313 cc single-cylinder unit which makes 34 bhp at 9,700 rpm and 27.3 Nm of peak torque at 7,700 rpm while being paired to a six-speed gearbox. The motorcycle retains its agile characteristics and loves being thrown around corners. The cycle parts remain the same too and there is no difference in features offered either.
With all the updates and a price tag of ₹ 2.27 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the TVS Apache RR 310 becomes an even sweeter deal than before. It always looked good, had ample performance and now the added upgrades make it even more premium. TVS products have always scored high on quality and performance and the commitment that the company has shown in order to iron out the faults of the RR 310 deserves applause. The good news is that existing RR 310 customers can get the 'race-tuned' slipper clutch retro-fitted on their bikes for ₹ 3,950. It continues to rival the KTM RC 390 and the Bajaj Dominar.
Photography: Azam Siddiqui and TVS