2020 TVS Apache RR 310: First Ride Review
Three years and several updates later, TVS seems to have finally found the perfect recipe for RR310. We recently rode the updated version that was equipped with a slipper clutch and lot of tiny updates which not only made the RR310 a lot more desirable but finally a motorcycle that one could recommend. The initial 'vibration' issues were taken care of but the Michelin Pilot Sports still limited the flagship's potential. But this time round, TVS has taken a leap of faith and brought in not just BS6 updates but a lot, lot more.
The 2020 Apache RR310 now boasts of ride-by-wire, four riding modes (Track, Sport, Urban and Rain), a new 5-inch TFT display with the new-gen Smart Xonnect Bluetooth connectivity, and advanced version of the Glide Through Traffic called GTT+ seen on the BS6 RTR 4V series. We rode the RR310 on the Madras Motor Racetrack to understand what these updates mean.
Better than ever?
The friendly as ever seating position is extremely welcoming, the moment you swing a leg over the saddle. I was welcomed by a vertically-mounted 5-inch TFT display (like a smartphone); crisp and easy to read even under the harshest sunlight. The information is well laid out and there is a custom layout for all four riding modes, displaying information as per the requirement. Each of the modes have their own setups, for everything ranging between engine output to engine braking. The output is limited at 25bhp in Urban and Rain mode with maximum ABS intrusion in Rain mode and somewhat less in Urban mode. The Sport and Track mode get full 33bhp power but in Track mode, the ABS is least intrusive. The switch cube allows you to toggle between riding modes quite easily. The cluster also shows call alerts, interactive maps of the rides, maximum power used and a lot more data.
To start with, I was in Track mode for obvious reasons. Thankfully, the power and torque figures haven’t changed at all despite BS6 trickery.
The moment I slotted it the first gear, which the bike did with utter smoothness and rolled off, the difference was easily noticeable. The RBW throttle is now super sharp in Track mode and it even reminded me of my first-sen KTM RC200. It is sharp but if you don’t like it, you can always switch it to Urban/Rain mode. I digress. The power delivery is not manic but very linear. It packs strong mid and top-end grunt. A racetrack isn’t the ideal place to test the tractability, the engine feels very tractable, comfortable cruising at low speeds even in a higher cog. Complementing this is the GTT Plus wizardry, which we already tested and loved on the BS6 RTR 4V series. On the RR 310, the GTT Plus helps the bike crawl at 9kmph in the first cog and 11kmph in second, when in Track mode. It’s the Urban mode where this tech shines. In the Urban mode, you can stay at 11kmph in the first cog or cruise comfortable at 35kmph in the sixth cog, without using the clutch or throttle. This is one thing that’s going to make riding a supersport in the city much easier. And even on the highways, when you want to roll off the gas and relax.
The RR 310 was already good around corners, and now, with the new Michelin Road 5 tyres, things have dialled up significantly. The new rubber has a rounder profile than the Pilot Street radials and also is far superior in terms of grip. In fact, these new tyres are so confidence-inspiring that most of the journos ended up scraping the footpegs through every corner and yet it felt that the tyres could take more abuse. The pegs had no feelers even! Some colleagues even managed to scrape the brake lever and gearshifter; such is the confident that the chassis inspires in the rider. The RR310 is finally a ready-to-race machine that feels at home on track, even in stock setup. TVS has tuned the suspension and made it firmer to make it even better in corners.
The RR 310 continues to use the 300mm/240mm brake setup, but now gets an updated ABS system as aforementioned. However, the rear was a bit numb to my liking. We also tested the ABS in wet conditions in three modes – Rain, Urban and Sport. In fact, we even slammed the brakes in wet in Sport mode at 90kmph and the RR310 stopped without any dramas whatsoever.
Best RR ever?
With comfortable ergonomics, a friendly engine, good quality and stunning looks, the TVS Apache RR 310 has always been a tempting proposition. Now, at Rs 2.40 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), TVS has further sweetened the deal with the addition of features like throttle-by-wire, riding modes, GTT Plus, TFT display, stickier tyres and even a 5-year warranty, which is a first from TVS. The chassis is sublime and I can stick out my neck and say that it’s one of the easiest and most affordable to get your knee-down. And that, despite putting on weight by 5kg! This is what the RR310 should have been from day one!