2023 TVS Apache RTR 160 2V Review

The TVS Apache RTR 160 2V got a massive update late last year. But it is only now that we had a chance to ride the motorcycle. And yes! It is still a good buy in the 160 cc segment.
6 mins read
18-May-23 10:24 AM IST
  • TVS Apache RTR 160 2V offers a fun riding experience
  • It has been in the market for 15+ years
  • It got a full-fledged revamp late last year

In its over 15 year existence, this is the first full-fledged revamp that the TVS Apache RTR 160 2V received. It is after all, the O.G, RTR, as the Gen-Z would say. It was one of the motorcycles that cool kids who went to college during the 2000s, would be eager to own. But today, we are riding the 2023 RTR 160 2V and the question that needs to asked is, whether it is still relevant? Or not?

TVS says that there is sizeable demand for the Apache RTR 160 2V in India


First, let’s tackle the question on relevance! Over 30 per cent of the 160 cc motorcycles that TVS sells today, are units of the 160 2V. So yes, it is still sought after in a country like India, where there is always space for one more motorcycle in the 150-160 cc segment. Plus, the ‘racing throttle response’ or RTR heritage, that the Apache 160 always offered, TVS is proud of that. So yes, this motorcycle is still relevant even today! 


TVS Apache RTR 160 2V: Updates

The LED headlight is a new update. It offers decent throw in the dark


Now, for the changes on the motorcycle of which, there are quite a few. To begin with, the LED headlight unit is new and so is the taillight. The graphics on the motorcycle are new too and the colour schemes have been updated as well. The overall silhouette of the motorcycle is similar to the outgoing model, but the design still stays fresh, amidst the crop of current 160 cc motorcycles. 

The instrument cluster on the RTR 160 2V is now borrowed from the RTR 160 4V


There are new additions in the features department too! The instrumentation console is now the same as the one on its sibling, the RTR 160 4V. It is fully digital and gets TVS’ SmartXonnect system, which means, you have to use the app to get the full suite of features like Bluetooth connectivity, turn-by-turn navigation, lap timer, lean angle mode and so on. But the biggest draw are the riding modes!  


TVS Apache RTR 160 2V: Performance & Dynamics

The engine on the motorcycle stays the same as before


The RTR 160 2V continues to get a 159.7 cc single-cylinder engine, which is air-cooled. But power and torque output vary, depending on the riding mode you choose. There are three on offer – Rain, Urban and Sport. The rain and urban mode offer 13.14 bhp at a lower 8,000 rpm, which goes up to 15.82 bhp in the Sport mode. The story is the same for the torque output as well. The top speed too is reduced by 10 kmph in the rain and urban mode at 97 kmph. 

Riding Mode 

Power Output

Torque Output

Top Speed

Rain & Urban

13.14 bhp at 8,000 rpm

12.70 Nm at 6,500 rpm

97 kmph


15.82 bhp at 8,750 rpm

13.85 Nm at 7,000 rpm

107 kmph


Now, the Apache RTR 160 2V, or just the Apache 160 was always a fun motorcycle to ride and this one feels no different. Yes, I prefer keeping the motorcycle in the sport mode. It just feels much more responsive and engaging to ride. The peaky nature of the engine means that you keep the motorcycle on the boil and keep the power coming. The performance on the top end sort of tapers down but the midrange is really strong. The sweet spot of the motorcycle is definitely between 70-80 kmph. 

The engine is peaky and fun, but shows its age too! Feels vibey after 80 kmph


The engine does show its age, with vibes setting in after 80 kmph and staying well beyond 100 kmph and it isn’t the most tractable in the segment either. You will have to work the gearbox, which is smooth, when riding in the city. 

The motorcycle feels agile and responds eagerly when changing directions


The handling on the motorcycle is nice and engaging. And that’s because the motorcycle weighs in at 138 kg, which is 2 kg less than the outgoing model. Plus, the fact that, this has a short wheelbase of 1,300 mm makes it flickable and easy when filtering through city traffic. 

A better feel from the front end would have been welcome


The ride quality is not at par with other bikes in the segment. You will feel sharp-edged bumps, with the front suspension bottoming out more often than you would like. It sort of feels unsettled at triple digit speeds too. The braking though, is decent even though we would have liked better bite, especially from the front!


TVS Apache RTR 160 2V: Ergonomics 

The rider triangle feels a little cramped, especially tall and heavy-set riders


The ergonomics of the motorcycle aren’t the best though. For heavy-set riders like me, and tall riders, the 160 2V will feel cramped. The rider triangle is sporty and forward-set, so that may not be to the liking of few people too. Having said that, the seat is low, at 790 mm and you feel in control of the bike at all times.  

The top-spec model of the Apache RTR 160 2V is priced at Rs. 1.28 lakh (ex-showroom)


TVS Apache RTR 160 2V: Pricing

The prices of the TVS Apache RTR 160 2V range from Rs. 1.19 lakh to Rs. 1.28 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi. Now, the bike sits squarely in the price bracket of the Bajaj Pulsar P150 and the Apache RTR 160 4V, which is perhaps the best buy in the 160 cc range and the top-spec model is barely Rs. 4,000 more than the top-spec model of the 2V. Yes, the prices overlap significantly.  


TVS Apache RTR 160 2V: Verdict

It is a fun motorcycle to ride in town, but there's no denying that better options are available in the market, and from TVS' own stable


Let’s break this down into Pros and Cons. The pros first! Simple, no-nonsense, fun motorcycle! It handles well, offers a nice and a peppy ride and still looks fresh. The cons! The engine isn’t as refined, the ride quality is too soft, plus, at the just a premium of Rs. 4,000 you get the Apache RTR 160 4V, which is a much better option. The Apache RTR 160 2V is a nice motorcycle. It has a lot going for itself and it wouldn’t be a bad option. But there’s no denying the fact that there are better options present in the same price bracket. 


Photography: Apoorv Choudhary

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