Bikes

TVS Apache RR 310 BTO review, test ride


Adjustable suspension and sportier ergonomics have made the RR 310 a more versatile commute, tour and track day bike.

TVS has been regularly updating its flagship supersport, the Apache RR 310, and it keeps getting better after every round. This time, however, TVS has introduced a set of upgrades that can be purchased under its new Built To Order or BTO programme. It, essentially, allows one to add either one, two or all of the three kits – Race, Dynamic and Visual – to the motorcycle.

The first two kits, in particular, have enhanced the experience of riding the RR 310, as we discovered during the first ride at the MMRT. But you aren’t really going to spend a majority of your time on the racetrack, right? The real test, therefore, is out in the real-world as an everyday motorcycle and this is how it performed. 

Spec sheet

The TVS BTO programme is available on the official RR 310 website or the TVS ARIVE app on iOS and Android. Our test bike was fitted with all the kits. The Race kit (Rs 5,000) makes the riding position sportier by way of lowered clip-ons that have been pulled in by 5 degrees and foot pegs that have been raised by 30mm. The Dynamic kit is a must have as it brings a fully adjustable KYB fork as well as preload and rebound damping adjustable monoshock. Visually, the personalised race number and the race replica paint and graphics scheme on our test bike costs Rs 4,500 and boy does it look stunning. If it doesn’t float your boat, you can settle for the regular colours and save the money!

Get real

We spent about a week riding this RR 310 and that was sufficient time to see if the BTO kits are worth spending the extra money on. I had my reservations about the Race Kit’s sportier riding position. But as it turned out, it didn’t lead to aching arms and neck. Yes, there is a little more weight on your wrists due to the lower clip-ons and, because they are pulled inwards, there’s less leverage to steer the bike, but you get used to it in a day or two. Overall, the rider’s triangle is still usable for commuting and touring, while being better for hunting down apexes at the racetrack. The only ergonomic gripe is that TVS should’ve offered adjustable levers, like in the lower rung RTR 200. 

Nevertheless, the Dynamic kit is what one should absolutely consider because fully adjustable suspension at Rs 12,000 is a steal. For perspective, a high-quality aftermarket suspension kit would cost about five to ten times more. More importantly, if you are a serious rider, you’ll appreciate the benefits of adjustable suspension on our varying road conditions, which range from the occasional perfectly smooth tarmac to regular potholes and undulations. 

Our test bike’s preload settings were ideal for my 87kg frame, so I didn’t feel the need to tinker with it. For reference, it was set at the midway point at both ends. 

While riding over bumpy urban roads that abound in a city like Mumbai, I’d set the front compression and rebound at nine clicks from the softest settings. The rebound was at a similar number at the rear. At this setting, the ride felt beautifully plush and composed, as I barely registered potholes and expansion joints. Even the odd manhole cover with a raised lip didn’t cause that cringe-inducing thud you’d normally expect.

Upon reaching a twisty road right outside the city, with a relatively better road surface, I added four clicks compression and rebound on the fork for a tauter setting. The bike felt notably composed as the suspension worked well to absorb minor bumps and keep the grippy Michelin Road 5 tyres in contact with the road, especially when leaned over. 

There’s a lot to learn about how to properly use adjustable suspension and it has the potential to make the RR even more capable at tackling a vast range of road surfaces, including racetracks.

One thing you’ll have to keep in mind is that adjusting suspension can swing the wrong way if you aren’t aware about what you are doing. So, an online tutorial by TVS would be prudent to teach owners the right way to adjust suspension. 

Stay the same

These BTO kits only enhance the abilities of what is a well-rounded motorcycle. The Apache RR 310’s styling is one of its biggest draws. The 34hp engine packs enough punch, albeit while still remaining a little buzzy at high revs. The ride modes are quite useful as well. As before, the throttle response in Sport and Track mode is a tad sharper than necessary. Features like the all-LED lights and the big TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity add to the bike’s appeal and new facilities like digital document storage are quite useful. 

Money transfer

With all options, the RR 310 BTO costs Rs 2.81 lakh, and that’s worth the extra you pay over the standard bike. While the price is in the current KTM RC 390 territory, the new RC is likely to cost more. All said, from commuting to corner carving on a racetrack, the RR 310 BTO will continue to handle everything you throw at it, but now with a little more style and finesse.

 




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