24 hour speed endurance challenge | Breaking the record with the TVS Apache RR 310 shod in Apollo Alpha H1 tyres
At 02:42 am on July 3, 2023, we shattered the record for the longest distance travelled on a motorcycle in 24 hours. This was just 16 hours 42 minutes into our 24 hour run. The evo India team in collaboration with Apollo Tyres and TVS Motor Company set the new record for the most distance covered in 24 hours. The previous record that was verified by the FMSCI stood at 2525.03km and that was set 20 years ago in 2003 using the Hero Honda Karizma. But that is not the only record that we broke. There was also another unofficial record set recently by a 1250cc imported motorcycle which stood at 3141km. We are happy to say that we have broken that record as well — by a fair margin. The TVS Apache RR 310 shod in Apollo Alpha H1 tyres, clocked 3657.92km on the odometer as the 24th hour ticked over.
Apollo x TVS 24 hour speed endurance challenge | What was the record
The aim was to set a new record, one that would be really tough for the next challenger to break. We needed a safe and controlled environment to attempt such a record, one that has the bandwidth for a record attempt of this scale. That is why the 11.36km long high-speed test track at NATRAX was the natural choice. The current record set by the Hero Honda Karizma at 2525.03km was broken in the first 16 hours and 42 minutes while the next record, not officially adjudicated but nonetheless, a record we were aiming to better set by the Harley-Davidson Sportster S that stood at 3141km, was broken 20 hours and 42 minutes into the run. After this, with a little over three hours to go it was just a matter of seeing how far we could take it, making it that much tougher for anyone trying to beat our record. And take it far we certainly did. At 3657.92km, we broke the record set by the imported bike by a whopping 516.92km. The best part about this record was that we set it on an Indian bike wearing Indian tyres. A single set of tyres, mind you.
Apollo x TVS 24 hour speed endurance challenge | The tyres
We used Apollo’s Alpha H1 tyres for this record. The Alpha H1 is India’s first steel belted radial tyre. During the tyre import ban, while most motorcyclists were struggling to get half-decent tyres, Apollo made high-quality steel-belted radials available for the masses. All the attributes like the zero-degree steel belt in the carcass, the super grippy compound that not just provides supreme levels of grip but also has a rather long lifespan made it the perfect choice of tyres for this record run. And the number that we managed to accomplish are certainly testament to all the claims that Apollo has made for these tyres. The tyres finished the 3657.92km long run with a lot of life left to give. The pit crew was monitoring crucial data like tyre wear, tread wear, tyre temperature and even air pressures with every pitstop to ensure optimum conditions are maintained despite average speeds being well over 150kmph. 152kmph to be precise.
Apollo x TVS 24 hour speed endurance challenge | The bike
After the tyres were sorted we needed a bike that was capable of handling high-speeds consistently, and was reliable and comfortable enough for riders to complete the record run without immense levels of fatigue. That’s where TVS steps in with the Apache RR 310. TVS is a company that has been racing since 1982. With that many years in the field, TVS was the natural choice for a record of this scale, TVS was the natural choice with all the experience they bring to the table. The pit crew from TVS was responsible for all the pit-stops and they were a key element in the record run going as smoothly as possible.
Coming to the bike, the RR 310 is the culmination of TVS Racing’s learnings over the years and is the flagship product in the company’s portfolio. With good reason. The 312.2cc single-cylinder, liquid cooled engine which gets a reverse-inclined placement ran like clockwork. The bike stayed in top shape throughout the run, not once overheating or throwing any tantrums, ensuring a clean run. Three motorcycles attempted the record run and ran different strategies over the 24 hours to give us the best shot at breaking the record. We are happy to report that all three motorcycles broke the national record handsomely, with the fastest bike going on and setting the 3657.92km record. The 11-litre fuel tank gave us a safe range of around 167km (14 laps around the 11.36km long high speed track at NATRAX), which we were doing in an hour. This was also when the riders would pit in, to top up on fuel and the next rider would get on.
Apollo x TVS 24 hour speed endurance challenge | The riders
The riding roster consisted of 18 riders in total. twelve riders from the TVS Racing team, namely — Aravind Ganesh, Lokesh, Prabhu, Vengatesh, Kannan, Manoj, Naveen, Padmanaban, Aishwarya Pissay, Karamjeet, Rohith Ashok and Deepak Vishnu. Two test riders from Apollo Tyres — Alessandro Abate and Abson Varghese and finally from the evo India team — Sirish Chandran, Aatish Mishra, Mandar Sawant and Karan Ramgopal.
All the riders needed to bring their A game to set this record and they certainly did. All the races that TVS Racing participates in year long meant that the racers were more than prepared for the challenge. Apollo deputed their top riders including Abate, who is their chief test rider and was crucial to the development of the Alpha H1s.
We thank all the riders along with the dream team — the technical team from TVS Racing, the tyre techs from Apollo, partners like Bikenbiker who hooked us up with auxiliary lights for the bike that vastly improved visibility at night, Big Bad Bikes who sent us a bunch of kit from MucOff that helped keep our visors and bikes clean, the 100KMPH team, the abjudicator from the FMSCI, India Book of Records, MMSC who was responsible for timekeeping and of course the entire evo India crew for putting their best foot forward to achieve this record. 3657.92km — this is not a number that would be nearly possible unless all the elements of the team worked together like a well oiled machine.