For a company which started its ride in the two-wheeler industry with the humble moped, today is a big day for TVS Motor as it introduces the Apache RR 310, priced at Rs 205,000. With this motorcycle, designed more for the spirited rider, TVS has taken the sporty route to get a fair share of the premium or midsize motorcycle market. This segment contributes 14 percent of the Indian motorcycle industry's volumes.
The new Apache RR 310 is the first TVS-branded motorcycle born out of the partnership between BMW Motorrad and TVS Motor. BMW has already unveiled its version of the 'naked' styled motorcycle, called the G310 R.
TVS's market performance is currently better in scooters than in motorcycles. In the April-October 2017 period, the company has a two-wheeler market share of 14.21 percent, up from 13.96 percent a year ago. In scooters, it has a 16.13 percent market share and 7.57 percent in motorcycles.
The TVS Apache RR 310's responsibility will be to add that pep, not only by selling but also by having a positive rub-off on other TVS motorcycles, especially the Apache siblings. "Scooterisation, premiumisation is the way to go," says Arun Siddharth, who is in charge of marketing for TVS Motor's premium motorcycles and international business. According to him, TVS enjoys a 20 percent market share in the premium motorcycle market in India.
The Apache RR 310 leverages TVS Motor's racing experience of 35 years. TVS wants to position the RR 310 more as a 'racing machine' than as a sports bike. The motorcycle has a claimed top speed of 160kph and a figure of 2.93 seconds for the 0-60kph sprint. Nonetheless, says Vinay Harne, president - NPI, TVS Motor, the new motorcycle can also be used for daily commuting. "If you ride for two hours in traffic, you won't get tired," he says.
Engineering & Design
The alliance with BMW Motorrad marks the start of a journey for TVS into a new league in terms of engineering and manufacturing. The Apache RR 310 depicts that. TVS claims a best-in-class drag coefficient figure of 0.520 for the motorcycle. That explains why the Apache RR 310 has a higher top speed than the BMW G310R, even though both motorcycles have the same engine.
Harne says that the Apache RR 310 proves even better than the benchmark two-cylinder-engined motorcycle in pass-by acceleration for 50-100kph. It wasn't an easy task to achieve such figures. The engineers worked on 200 different CFD iterations to achieve the CD figure. More than seven fairing designs were tested in a wind tunnel to arrive at the desired figure. Extensive tests were carried out in the wind tunnel which saw "over 100" design changes in elements for aerodynamics.
The Apache RR 310's engine, with a 80mm bore and 62.1mm stroke, delivers 34 PS (@9700rpm) of power and 27.3 NM of torque (@7700 rpm). At 169.5kg, it's heavier than the BMW version due to the fairing. Though the same engine does duty in both the motorcycles, the Apache RR 310's has a different tuning for acceleration, fueling map and acceleration. The EFI system is from Bosch. Both motorcycles have a common gear ratio. At a later stage, TVS may offer parts for those Apache RR 310 owners who would like to bump up the power even more for track racing.
The stock version of the Apache RR 310 has undergone over 3,000 laps for optimal tuning over "several weeks on the track". It offers dual-channel, lightweight ABS with active speed sensor from Continental. TVS claims that the bi-LED projector lamps in the Apache RR 310 are the first such example in a motorcycle. Rinder is the supplier of the TVS Apache RR 310's lights. The suspension set is from Kayaba, alloy wheels from Wanfeng and the brakes are from Brembo.
The style of the Apache RR 310 is inspired by the shark. TVS Motor's vision, while developing the motorcycle, was to 'create an aspirational motorcycle and a technological flagship for the global market'. Research, while developing the motorcycle, was conducted in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East too. First-time research was carried out across continents for any product wearing the TVS badge. Both the TVS Apache RR 310 and the BMW G310 R are made in TVS Motor's Hosur plant.
From mopeds, to commuter motorcycles, to scooters, to a midsize motorcycle, TVS Motor Co has come a long way. Apache RTR is the fastest growing brand in the premium motorcycle segment. Now, the new Apache RR 310 is set to add more wind in the sales of the brand. This could be the start of a very new story for the homegrown OEM. We'll keep tracking. Stay tuned.
Also read: Revealed: TVS Motor's hot new Apache RR 310