200 cubes and 500 kilometers – getting to know my RTR 200

Hello everone…. Here’s my first review of my Apache RTR 200 after a few weeks of ownership.

Why RTR 200??

Big bunch of 150-160 cc bikes to choose from

First I was thinking of getting a 150-160 cc streetfighter and there were plenty of choices to pick up from. Most of them cost between 80,000 and 1,00,000 INR on road (at my place where the taxes are a bit low). I was looking at everything from the Yamaha FZ which was the forefather of the streetfighters in India to the all new Apache 160 4v.

Why not a 200??

Then I thought…. Why not get a 200 for a few more bucks?!

So I threw in the Apache RTR 200 and the Pulsar NS 200 to the list of my choices.

Shortlisting

After a lot of research, I shortlisted

1) Apache 160 4v: Aggressive stance, most powerful of the 150-160 lot, refinement.

2) Apache 200 4v: Even more aggressive, refined.

3) Pulsar NS 200: Muscular looks, most powerful among my choices.

The Final Decision

I was more convinced by the NS 200 – it had 6 gears, more power and slightly unrefined (I loved this personally as it gave a feel that I was handling a powerful machine) but the Eurogrip tyres were the real deal breakers as I had a real bad experience with them (Bajaj is giving both MRF and Eurogrip tyres but you have no control on what you’d get – I’ve seen new NS 200s running with Eurogrips).

The 160 4v was not chosen as it looked a bit less premium. I’m not telling about the build quality – build quality is as good as the 200 4v but the orange backlight of the console and the conventional alloy wheels didn’t feel as premium as the white backlight and the Draken styled alloys of the 200 4v.

The RTR 200 4v has adequate power and well refined, with aggressive and mean looks it was a very near perfect choice.

The actual review part

Looks

Well…. I’d say the RTR 200 looks like an aggressive feline predator with the fang shaped LED DRLs, low placed headlight setup and the tank extensions that scoop forward and downward. Among the dozens of muscular styled naked bikes, it definitely stands out. The offset fuel tank cap also gives a feeling of uniqueness but closing the fuel tank cap needs some skill and patience. The rear view mirrors not only look nice but also provide a wide field of view.

The instrument console

The instrument console looks like something out of a futuristic sci-fi movie. It looks premium with the white backlight. The speedo readings are big, legible, uncluttered and easy to read under all lighting conditions. It also gets some fancy bits like gear position indicator, lap timer, top speed recorder and 0-60 timer.

Engine, clutch and transmission

A look at the spec sheet will show that the RTR 200 is powered by a 198 cc engine (197.745036… to be precise) that puts out 20.5 PS of power @8500 rpm and 18.1 Nm of torque @7000 rpm.

The engine feels really good for the city rides and throttle response is good. There is adequate power in reserve for quick overtakes in the city.

The engine feels torquey and tractable after 3k rpm and remains so till 7k rpm (I’ve not gone beyond 7k rpm yet). The engine is very refined and no vibrations are felt till 7k rpm.

The clutch feel is light and gear shifts are smooth. I miss the reassuring ‘click’ that some other bikes offer during gearshifts, though.

The slipper clutch makes downshifts from 5 to 4 and 4 to 3 seamless without rev-matching but getting down from 3 to 2 or 2 to 1 will give a pullback effect. Again it is to be noted that even a bike has a slipper clutch, it is always good to ride as if it doesn’t have one. But with the slipper clutch, engine braking is missed though.

Talking about the gear ratios, I feel the gap between the 1st and 2nd is a bit too much. The 1st could’ve been a bit taller or the 2nd a bit shorter. 3rd, 4th and 5th are point on. The 5th could pull from as less as 35 kmph. Actually the 5th gear feels like a gear 5.5 of a bike with 6 gears and it is not necessarily a bad thing. 5k rpm will have you at 70 kmph and 100 kmph comes in at 7k rpm.

Brakes and tyres

The front is a 270 mm disc and the rear comes with a 240 mm disc. The braking feels adequate for the city rides. I say braking and not brakes as the braking is combination of the performance of both the brakes and tyres.

The bike comes with 90/90 and 130/70 in the front and the rear repectively. TVS Remora typres offer adequate dry grip. Rains have not started at my place and I’m yet to check the wet grip.

Coming again to the braking aspect, I have the non ABS variant and the rear brake tends to lock up easily under full force on hard braking if used separately. But I have to iterate that it is always advisable to put more pressure on the front brakes rather than the rear ones (I know a lot of people who live solely on the rear brakes and the front brakes are a taboo to them).

Suspension and chassis

The suspension is really awesome. The bike just glides over potholes as if they were never there. Once I hit a large speedbreaker at about 50 kmph and the bike just managed it without the slightest sign on instability.

Ride position and comfort

The handlebars are nice and wide and postioned perfectly. The footpegs are slightly rearset. The overall result is a riding postion that is slightly forward leaning and a one that gives a good amount of control over the bike. The riding position is neither too commuterish nor too aggressive – it’s just spot on.

Ride feel

I have the black and red ‘Race Edition 2.0’ and I’d say that the name is misleading. Don’t get me wrong, it is a real fun to ride bike with lots of power in the low and mid rpms but lacks a strong top end as it feels out of breath post 7k rpm or 100 kmph. But who cares?? Who lives at the redline all the time?? It has power exactly where it it needed and with a 5 speed gearbox, you are free of frequent (and annoying) upshifts and downshifts.

The distance from my college to home it 6.5 kms but whenever possible, I’d take a 20 km detour. This must be enough to say how good the ride feel is. The bike is greatly suited for the city and I’m yet to take it to the highways.

Headlight

The headlight is a 60/55 (high beam/low beam) watt bulb. It is far better than the 35/35 bulbs most other bikes offer. The lowbeam is good for low lit areas and the highbeam takes total control of pitch black areas. It may not be as good as LED headlights that some bikes offer but it serves it purpose absolutely well.

Mileage

If you buy a 200, you’ll not be buying for mileage but a review is incomplete without those numbers. I get a mileage of 40±2 kmpl and once I managed to get 45 kmpl (yeah, seriously and no, I wasn’t lugging in the low RPMs) and 35 kmpl with pillion.

That’s it for now folks…. I’ll be back with another review soon 🙂

Please do check the index of my blog for more posts.

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