RTR 200 4v and RTR 160 4v – the not-so-identical twins

I took a ride of my friend’s RTR 160 4v – here’s my thoughts on the bike and how it feels compared to my 200 4v (v2).

What meets the eye….

The silhouette of the front half of the 160 4v is almost the same as the 200 4v but as you look closer differences start popping out. First, it has a flat seat which is actually a good thing given the pathetic pillion comfort of the split seats on the 200 4v. The front forks are thinner black colored ones from Showa while the 200 gets fatter golden colored KYB front forks. The 160 4v also gets a smaller rear disc (also a drum brake variant with slimmer rear tyre). Then the body graphics are different and it lacks the small windscreen of the 200 4v. Throw a leg over the seat and and you’ll find a single piece handlebar as opposed to the clipons. The Draken styled rims seen in the 200 4v have given way for conventional rims in the 160 4v.

Turn on the ignition and you’ll be greeted with the orange backlit console while the 200 has white. Also the gear postion indicator is missed. The headlight bulb is 35/35 watt whereas the 200 4v gets a 60/55 watt bulb. [The Apache RTR 160 4v FI gets these but not the carb…. Why TVS?? Y u do dis??]

Engine and Exhaust Note

The 160 4v feels way too refined… There are no significant vibes on the 200 4v even upto 7k rpm (the point that one would not cross for all practical purposes) and the 160 4v takes it a notch up. The only sign of a 160 cc mill running under my legs was the sound of it. Not even a slight hint of vibrations even after 7k rpm. Even the FZ didn’t feel this much refined (nor this much powerful).

Though the 160 4v shares the same exhaust with the 200 4v (at least visually – who knows if TVS has designed it differently internally) it misses the signature low end grunt of the 200 4v. I kept varying the revs from 2k rpm to 6k rpm but no… the engine only purred and grunt was nowhere to be felt. “But hey… it is not the 200 – it’s the 160 and that’s what you get” I thought to myself.

The cruising speed of the 160 4v is 80-90 kmph while the 200 4v can do upto 100 kmph.

Throttle response

The 160 4v felt more responsive than my 200 4v while filtering through the city. But wait… WHAT??

Yeah, the 160 4v did feel more responsive as it had a lighter throttle action and a more refined engine. I was shifting gears in the 160 4v at 6-7k rpm (I shift on my 200 4v at 4-5k rpm) owing to the lighter throttle action and a calmer motor. So while filtering through city traffic the 160 4v felt a bit more responsive.

Once you whack the throttle full open, the 160 4v feels a bit lazy as it has 4 hp less than its elder brother. Again the difference is apparent only when you ride the 200 4v and the 160 4v back to back.

Both offer enough power to be fun in the city and the only place the difference will be felt is the overtakes in highways above 80 kmph where the 160 4v feels a bit out of breath.

Transmission and clutch

The gearshifts on the 160 4v felt smoother, lighter and more precise (maybe because it had run 2500 kilometres while my 200 4v had done only 700 kilometres).

The gearing is a bit shorter in the 160 4v – 100 kmph comes in at about 7k rpm in the 200 4v but on the 160 4v, it takes about 8k rpm.

Some agressive downshifts without rev matching on the 160 4v reminded me of the lack of slipper clutch. But on the flipside, releasing the throttle completely provides more engine braking on the 160 4v than the 200 4v.

The gear position indicator of the 200 4v felt like a nice addition. It is not a necessity but… yeah it didn’t hurt to have one either as sometimes I ended up downshifting form 4th to 2nd thinking I was doing 5th to 3rd which made the engine rev all the way to 6-7k rpm with a jerk (no slipper clutch – massive engine braking). Not a big deal but ‘every little helps’.

Brakes, tyres and suspension

Both bikes have 90/90 front and 130/70 rear Remora tyres and also share the 270 mm front disc brake. The difference here is the 240 mm rear disc of the 200 4v against the 200 mm rear disc of the 160 4v.

Braking is similar if you use both the brakes but when using only the rear brake, the braking is somewhat inadequate on the 160 4v.

Also I felt the rear brake of the 160 4v to be a bit squeaky when riding without a helmet but not noticable with the helmet though.

There are no differences I’ve got to say about the suspension of both the bikes. Both are good and handled the potholes and speedbreakers encountered without breaking a sweat or destabilizing the rider even at higher speeds.

Deciding between the 160 4v and 200 4v

Both bikes offer adequate power for city rides and are equally fun to ride. On highways, the 200 will be a better choice though.

If your budget is tight and/or you need better fuel efficiency, obviously go for the 160 4v.

If you are going to ride with a pillion for most of the time, go for the 160 4v hands down. It has a flat seat which will be comfortable for a pillion.

If you want a bit of exculsivity, a more aggressive looking bike with some premium bits and if you are going to use it mainly for solo rides, go for the 200 4v.

If you have read this review, please do comment below. Tell me what’s nice and what’s not so nice 🙂

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

2 thoughts on “RTR 200 4v and RTR 160 4v – the not-so-identical twins

    1. The reason I chose the 200 4v over the 160 4v was the small premium bits like the Draken rims and the white backlit console. Had 160 4v got those features, it’d have sealed the deal.

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