It's the new entry-level performance bike on the block, the new TVS Apache RR 310. And according to TVS Motor Company, it's been designed, built, and engineered with TVS Racing's 35 years of motorsport history. It's the first full-faired sportbike from TVS and it's intended to be a one-size-fits-all kind of bike - to do the daily commute on weekdays, take you on a long distance tour on weekends, and even double up as an occasional track tool. And TVS has spent over two years in developing this bike - from design, aerodynamics, handling and performance, tuned and improved over hours of testing and feedback from TVS Racing's best racers, test riders and engineering team.
The Apache RR 310 shares its underpinnings with the BMW G 310 R, but that's where the similarities end. So, the styling is all-new, and completely developed ground up by the TVS design team. And that fairing isn't really a cosmetic add-on, but has been developed with a lot of thought, and research. TVS says the final design of the fairing was done after wind tunnel measurements to benchmark aerodynamic targets, as well as employing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to achieve best-in-class aerodynamic performance. The result is a claimed top speed of over 160 kmph from the 312 cc, single-cylinder, reverse-inclined engine. And that's more than the small BMW.
How does it look?
It looks absolutely stunning! The Apache RR 310 looks like a shrunken, multi-cylinder sportbike, with a lot of presence than anything else in its category right now. In fact, it looks almost like a full-size sportbike, rather than a single-cylinder "entry-level" performance bike. Fit and finish is top notch, and the twin LED projector headlamps, full fairing with air ducts on the sides, LED taillight, LED blinkers and an all-digital vertically stacked multi-information display all underscore the fact that a lot of thought and effort has gone into making and giving this bike the "premium" touch.
It's available in two colours only - matte black and red. To us, the red shade accentuates the bike's creases and cuts far more than the bland matte black, but then it's a matter of personal choice really. In fact, at first glance you could be fooled into thinking that the design of this bike has Italian origins, rather than a pure, made-in-India, and designed-in-India product. Yes, it does look that good! In fact, just on styling alone, the TVS Apache RR 310 scores a lot of points and you'd be forgiven for wanting to take one home right away!
How does it handle?
The Apache RR 310 uses a steel trellis frame with split chassis design, and a forged aluminium die-cast swingarm. Suspension is top-notch too, with a 41 mm, inverted cartridge Kayaba front fork with gold finish adding to the "premium" look and feel of the bike. The rear monoshock is from Kayaba as well, and the chassis, swingarm and suspension work together seamlessly to give the bike a level of handling that is instantly likeable.
Going around the MMRT for a few laps gave us the confidence to push the bike harder, and there was hardly any hint of the bike losing composure, or giving the rider any sense of losing confidence. At one corner, the tail swung out by just a little over a ridge on the track surface, but there was no drama, no "oh my God" moment, and the bike retained its composure and excellent mannerisms, and that is highly commendable. The RR 310 handles really, really, well and for riders upgrading to their first entry-level sportbike, or even for new riders, this is one bike which can actually help improve your riding skills to another level.
Braking is handled by a 300 mm petal disc at the front, gripped by radial four-piston calipers from Bybre, (By Brembo) the Indian-built brand from the high-quality Brembo brand. The rear wheel gets a 240 mm single disc and the RR 310 gets dual-channel ABS. Braking performance is excellent, and there is impressive progression and bite and speeds are shed effortlessly, so full marks there as well.
How's the engine?
The engine is the same four-valve, double overhead cam unit from the G 310 R. And the unique, reverse-inclined architectures gives the Apache RR 310 a compact, mass-centred design with a long swingarm, but short wheelbase. The engine is lively, and pulls quite nicely with a decent top-end. Getting to 100 kmph and more, is without any stress and comes easily from the 312 cc, single-pot motor making around 33.5 bhp of maximum power at 9700 rpm, and 27.3 Nm at 7700 revs. The straight at the MMRT doesn't allow you to really push a sportbike to its maximum, because it's soon time to brake and take the first right-handed corner. We did notice upwards of 135 kmph on the speedo, but frankly, we were too engrossed with leaning into the corner and enjoying the bike's handling than to really check the speedometer.
And those speeds are achieved without any strain or effort, but there's some buzz felt on the seat of your pants at high revs. This may not be the bike for consistent 150 kmph runs, but anything between 100-120 kmph and it should sit there effortlessly on the highway. Of course, our first ride is around a racetrack, so real world experience and street performance is something, which we will reserve for later.
The bikes being ridden around the track lap after lap did sound a little "tick-tocky" after being ridden hard and back to back by the first group of journalists when they pulled in to the pits. But it isn't something entirely unlikeable and I guess you will get used to the sound sooner than later. And yes, the intake does sound like a bigger bike, particularly when you hear the bike approaching from behind, so that's not a bad thing at all. The performance of the engine is linear, and it will certainly satisfy a lot of riders looking for that sporty, sexy set of two wheels for the ride to the college, the office and for occasional racetrack duties.
The last word
At ₹ 2.05 lakh (ex-showroom), the TVS Apache RR 310 isn't really your pocket-friendly, entry-level sportbike. But it still undercuts several competitors in pricing, if only by a few thousand. It looks great, it performs great and it handles absolutely beautifully. We're hoping to review the bike in the real world, outside of a racetrack soon, so we'll reserve our comments for a full road test and review for now.
The TVS Apache RR 310 does almost everything quite well, and leaves little room for criticism, and that is its biggest strength, and versatility. It's like the good guy who does consistently well in studies, tops the class and goes on to land a well-paying, and stable corporate job. If that's the kind of personality you're after, the Apache RR 310 will delight you no end. But if you're looking for that little "extra", that little more excitement, that occasional "bad boy" streak, that's where the Apache RR 310 leaves you wanting for a little more.