TVS Motor Company offers one of the most popular ranges of street-naked motorcycles in India, with their ‘Apache RTR Series’. These motorcycles range from sporty 160cc offerings and go up all the way to the RTR 200 4V model.
The TVS Apache RTR series range-topping model, the 200 4V was updated in 2020, receiving changes to its design, along with the addition of a host of new features and equipment. The Hosur-based brand has now brought in yet another update to the motorcycle.
The 2021-iteration of the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V doesn’t feature any significant changes to its design. However, the company has yet again offered a few new features; further adding to its sporty appeal.
We had the motorcycle to ourselves for a couple of days, to ride it around not only in the bustling city of Bengaluru, but also on the highways and twisties around the metropolitan. So, what are the new updates on the 2021 model and how much of a difference do they actually make out in the real world? Let’s find out!
Design & Style
The 2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V at an initial glance looks identical to its 2020-iteration, with no significant design changes being made. The 2021 version carries forward the same aggressive styling with sharp lines all around the motorcycle.
Starting off with the front, the new 2021 Apache RTR 200 comes with split LED headlamps and the integrated LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights). This is the same headlamp unit, which first debuted on the 2020 BS6-compliant model. The new headlamps offer good throw and intensity, especially when compared to that on the BS4 version of the motorcycle.
The 2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V also continues to carry forward the same sculpted fuel tank. It features a large cowl, with plenty of sharp lines and creases offering a more sporty appeal.
The motorcycle also features an off-set fuel cap, split step-up seats and a body-coloured engine cowl below; all further enhancing the sporty nature of the motorcycle. The rear also features LED taillights to complete the design aspect.
While most of the styling and design elements mentioned above have been carried over from the previous model, one cosmetic change on the new model is the colour scheme.
The 2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V now comes in a ‘Matte Blue’ paint scheme with ‘Red’ body graphics. This new colour scheme is said to have been inspired by TVS Racing’s ‘One Make Championship’ motorcycle.
The 2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V comes packed with a host of features and equipment, most of it being carried over from last year’s BS6 model. This includes LED headlamps, LED DRLs, LED taillights, fully-digital instrument cluster, split seats and many others.
However, the most important updates on the 2021 model are the addition of riding modes, SmartXConnect technology, Glide Through Technology, adjustable brake and clutch levers and an adjustable suspension setup, both at the front and back.
Starting off, the 2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V now offers a segment-first feature with three riding modes: Rain, Urban and Sport. All three modes offer slight differences in performance and other aspects, which is explained in our performance section of the review. The rider can toggle between the three riding modes using the ‘mode’ button on the right handlebar.
Another feature of the 2021 version is the brand’s SmartXConnect technology. The instrument cluster on the motorcycle comes with Bluetooth, which allows the motorcycle to be paired to the rider’s smartphone via a dedicated app. Once connected, the instrument cluster offers a number of additional features such as message alerts, call alerts and navigation.
The TVS Apache RTR 200 also comes with the brand’s GTT (Glide Through Technology), which allows the rider to leave the clutch at low speeds without stalling the motorcycle (similar to cruise control on cars). As the name suggests, the motorcycle glides through at limited speeds and works best in the first three gears.
Our tests revealed that with the GTT, the motorcycle is limited to 7km/h in the first gear, 15km/h in the second and 25km/h in the third gear. Riders can cut off the technology whenever required by just twisting the throttle and taking back control.
The motorcycle also comes with an adjustable clutch and brake levers, while the suspension setup at both ends can also be adjusted. The brake and clutch levers offer three-levels of adjustment, which are quick and easy. The adjustment varies the gap between the levers and the handlebar, which should allow riders to set it according to their requirements.
Coming to the suspension setup, while the 2021 Apache RTR 200 doesn’t offer full-adjustability, it does come with preload adjust. This will allow the rider to customise the suspension setup, depending on his height, weight and when riding with a pillion or have luggage mounted on the back during long trips.
The suspension themselves are from Showa. The 2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 features conventional telescopic forks at the front and a mono-shock unit at the back. Braking is handled by petal discs at both ends, with a 270mm disc up front and 240mm disc at the rear; both supported by dual-channel ABS.
Engine, Performance & Handling
Coming to the heart of the matter, the 2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V carries forward the same 197cc single-cylinder oil-cooled BS6-compliant engine from 2020. The engine produces 20.5bhp at 9000rpm and 17.2Nm of peak torque at 7250rpm. This is in the ‘Sport’ mode.
Shift to ‘Rain’ and ‘Urban’ modes and the power on the motorcycle is limited to 17.2bhp at 7800rpm while the torque also reduces to 16.5Nm at 5750rpm. The engine is further mated to the same five-speed gearbox with a slipper clutch as standard.
Apart from the varying power figures themselves, the engine performance in the low and mid-range doesn’t feel any different. However, the motorcycle in the Rain and Urban does run out-of-breath at higher speeds.
This is because TVS has slightly altered the throttle maps to enhance fuel efficiency in the first two modes. Talking about the fuel efficiency figures, the 2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 returns an overall mileage of around 44km/l. However, a more relaxed riding in ‘Urban’ mode could also see the motorcycle go over the 46km/l mark.
The low and mid-range power here is sufficient to go about your daily city errands. However, out on the highway is where the need to shift to ‘Sport’ mode kicks in. The Sport mode also gives the rider access to the full 21bhp of power, with the engine revving all the way up to the 9,000rpm mark. While there is no major difference in the lower rev-range, the motorcycle does feel more in-sync at higher speeds in this mode.
Having said that, the engine on the 2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 does feel extremely refined and smooth at whatever pace the rider is willing to take it to. There is also very little vibration that creeps up to the rider, which further helps boost their confidence to push even harder.
Apart from the throttle maps, the three modes also alter the behaviour of the motorcycle’s Anti-Lock Braking System. While the dual-channel ABS system on the Rain and Urban mode does feel intrusive, however, it feels more lenient in the ‘Sport’ mode.
The Apache RTR 200 also comes with a rather upright seating position, offering good levels of comfort. The seats themselves offer good cushioning, making light work for long-distance traveling. The motorcycle also comes with adjustable brake and clutch levers, which can further be further set to match the rider’s comfort.
The most impressive aspect of the motorcycle though is its handling. The 2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 continues to be extremely well balanced. This combined with the relatively low 151-kilogram kerb weight makes it an amazingly nimble and agile motorcycle, allowing for a quick change in directions.
The handling is made even better with the adjustable suspension setup, available at both the front and rear. However, the setup is limited to only preload adjustability, but this does help the rider adjust the suspension according to their weight.
The telescopic forks at the front can be set up easily and can be done by the rider, even with a simple coin. Adjusting the rear mono-shock suspension, however, takes some time to set up. Braking on the motorcycle is via 270mm and 240mm petal disc brakes at either end. They offer an excellent bite with good progressions, bringing the motorcycle to a stop rather quickly.
Variants, Colour & Pricing
The 2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V is offered in a range of two variants, either equipped with a single-channel or dual-channel ABS. The riding modes and the adjustable suspension features are offered exclusively on the top-end dual-channel ABS-equipped model.
This 2021 model with all the added features is priced at Rs 1.33 lakh, ex-showroom (Delhi); just Rs 1000 more than its 2020 version.
The 2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V BS6 with Ride Modes as mentioned before is offered with three colour options: Gloss Black, Pearl White and Matte Blue.
The 2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V rivals the likes of the Bajaj Pulsar NS200 and the KTM 200 Duke in the Indian market.
The 2021 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V is one of the most popular street-naked motorcycles in the Indian market. The RTR 200 offers a comfortable ride with an extremely refined engine, segment-best exhaust note and spirited performance and sharp handling characteristics.
The 2021 model has been put together extremely well. This combined with the fact that the new model is just Rs 1000 more than the previous version, the upgrades do feel substantial.