Reader’s Review- Nishanth talks about his TVS Apache RTR 180

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In this TVS Apache RTR 180 review, our friend and reader Nishanth has talked about his experience with his bike.

This is my first TVS Apache RTR 180 review, hence let me start it from how I bought this bike. I am Sai Nishanth from Chennai, I am a B.E graduate, working currently at DELL Services. My passion for bikes, frankly saying isn’t from childhood, because I was more interested in cars than bikes, in fact till I bought Apache RTR 180, I didn’t know how to ride a bike!! As both my mom and dad had scooters (Kinetic Nova 135 and TVS Scooty pep), these were the ones which I rode before I bought a bike. It was in 2010, when I started to look for a bike. I was very much confused which one to buy, but the only aim I had in mind was to get a fast bike because i love to ride fast, I have an insane love for racing. So speed was the main criteria, along with low waiting period. My choices were Karizma R,Apache RTR 180,Honda Unicorn (later crossed out because of the waiting period). I never even thought of going for a Pulsar as most of the performance bikes in Chennai were Pulsars.

So i got down to Karizma and RTR 180. People at TVS said if i make the full payment today i will get the bike tomorrow evening with the registration completed. I was so happy to hear it, made the full payment and came home with all excitement and anxiousness (because i have never ridden a bike before). I booked the black color and next day, took my black beast home, of course with a slight difficulty as the only bike I had ever ridden was my friend’s Splendor, and that too just once. The week after that I practiced a lot to ride the bike and switching gears, riding a 180cc bike wasn’t easy as it was always ready to plunge on the road when you twist the throttle. Somehow I learnt to switch gears without the bike getting choked.

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First 1000 kms :    

As soon as I was confident enough to ride it on the road I took it to college (20 kms from my home). I was very much focused on getting the best mileage from RTR hence I rode it in 50 or 55 kmph in the first 1000 kms and it was very tough because the bike was capable of doing much more and reaching 50 will happen in less than 4 seconds then i will have to keep the throttle in the same position with just slight variations.

Mileage run gets over Performance run Kicks In! :

One day, I was riding on an empty road as usual slowly saw the ODO it showed 980km. I became very much impatient and suddenly something got through me, I twisted the throttle and the bike jolted into wind the numbers in speedometer climbed up at a startling rate and I was very much excited riding my bike fast for the very first time. The throttle response was very instant as the name suggests “Racing Throttle Response” and the handling was as so cool one can ride this very confidently through corners. .

Console: 

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Let me put together on the features of the bike, to start off with let’s see the console, the Apache RTR 180’s console is back-lit with a blue light at that time none other bike had blue illumination I like it very much, it gives the info such as time, fuel level, time taken to reach 0-60,Top Speed, kms covered, trip meter and we have a analog tachometer too. the fuel indicator is somewhat accurate and if it shows a single line it means you have 2.5 liters(Reserve capacity) of petrol left. The fuel tank is 16 liters and a full tank can take you to approx 620 or 630 kms.

Engine:

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The RTR180’s throttle response is instant it can challenge any bike in the 180-200 segments and the engine is well refined for the throw, the gear shift pattern is 1 down and 4 up, the bike feels unstressed at any speed and is ready to zip through traffic, the major thing that I don’t like in the bike is the vibration as soon as it reaches 60 it starts to vibrate and its very much irritating, till 60 it stays calm after that the bike starts to vibrate badly. The bike instantly climbs to 110kmph without any effort after that the climb is steady but not quick.

Tires:

Apache features the TVS tires which are reliable and the 180 has got tubeless tires which are very much long lasting, in 3 years of my riding I had only 2 punctures and that too the bike just goes even if, it has a hole but the air reduces gradually, even if you have a puncture you can drive the bike without much wobbling till you get any shop, but not too long as it will damage the tire. The first time when I had a puncture (after 2 years from buying) is was riding with my friend and after sometime a rider nearby told that the back tire is punctured but I was like what? Because I didn’t feel the bike running with any difficulty that too with a pillion rider, I got down to check and he was right! the back tire was flat. And by God’s grace there was a shop nearby, I fixed it. The cost is Rs100 per hole and there were 2 holes. The worst part in the TVS tires is that they lack grip, you can easily make the bike skid by applying the brakes, that too in muddy roads they skid a lot. You must have to be conscious on the surface you are riding while applying the brakes and how hard you apply them or else easily it will skid bringing you down. But as the months pass on you will master it.

Brakes:

The Apache has very good brakes they are very powerful, the 180 comes with 2 disks as standard, the bike do requires 2 disks for its power, they do a very good job bringing the bike down from high speeds quickly this will increase the riders confidence. Especially the back disk is very powerful and it stops the bike suddenly was a bit hard in the beginning but got used to it.

Durability:

The parts used in the bike are of good quality and the paint used for chassis is very good it retains the new look, but in the handlebar and grab rails the paint came off soon. The bike has an open chain and it turns out to be a huge problem in rainy season the mud gets accumulated in the chain and starts giving noise, have to clean it and lubricate it often. Summer gives no problem. I am not happy with the open chain in bikes as they cause problems in the chain sprocket due to dirt accumulation, but there is no other go because most of the high end bikes have a open chain design. Another problem in the rainy season is that when you ride in road it splashes the water on your legs due to the design of the wheel, but thanks to the crash bar I will keep my legs over it while riding through flooded roads. The crash bar saves the bikes even when it is dropped hard on the ground.

Comfort:

The Apache has a telescopic front shock and gas charged rear suspension that performs very well in absorbing the pot holes and bumps; it has different settings by which the suspension can be adjusted as hard or soft as per your preference, the stock seat is good but not that comfortable for long rides, I have ridden the bike for 3 years 16888kms I dint get any back ache riding the bike, the riding posture is slightly lean forward but for tall guys that won’t be a issue. Headlights are adequate they could have been a bit more powerful but they are fine for riding in city at night.

Tire Pressure:

I would like to put this as a separate topic because most of the people don’t follow the prescribed tire pressure mentioned in each bikes manual, all go with the default Front25 and Rear35 setting which will decrease your tires life and check the tire pressure for your bike and ask the person at the bunk or any service center to follow the appropriate pressure setting for both tires. Check your tire pressure once a week or try filling up nitrogen in your tires they will last longer than normal air and they keep the tire temperature low. Tire pressure for RTR180 is Front – 28, Rear – 32.

Conclusion:

So altogether the RTR180 is a great bike for the price and besides being sporty it delivers a convincing mileage too, I have never felt bad on choosing this bike and highly recommend it to riders who want a combination of performance and mileage, to buy it.This bike is a very nice warmup that you can ride and practice before you buy a bike with higher displacement.RTR180 is the one which created a passion for bikes in me, now I have become a bike lover and I wish to own super-bike soon. As soon as I get up in the morning I check motoroids first even before checking my mails. Also guys always wear helmet during your ride, I always wear it not only to protect my head but my eyes too, I have seen many people driving with their windshields open this is not a good practice, if something hits your eyes then that might distract you and make you stumble over please close it and ride. Thanks for reading my review, please share your thoughts below. Wish I could review new bikes every day; hope to see you guys in my next bike’s review.
Pros:

  • Looks – Apache has killer looks, undoubtedly the most stylish bike from TVS.
  • Acceleration and handling are great, it accelerates without a delay like a race bike and handles well its weight is 139 kg which also makes the handing hassle free.
  • Sound – Apache has the roar, the thump that no other bike in this segment has, I just love its sound, no need to modify the exhaust or anything to get the thump.
  • Mileage – It offers an affordable mileage and even with rash driving returns 36 or 37 kmpl.
  • Brakes – best disk brakes I have seen stops the bike real quick, they also look great not like the usual circular disc but these are the petal discs.
  • Console and Tachometer looks good and also gives the necessary information.
  • Suspension – The gas charged suspension is good at absorbing bumps and also have different set of adjustments that can be made.
  • Price – At such a price (79,000 on road) the machine is a complete value for money.
  • Cold starts were never an issue, I never kick my bike, always use self start but with a single press it comes alive.
  • No Waiting – Quick availability and delivery from TVS.

Cons:

  • Looks – the TVS didn’t make any remarkable changes for differentiating the 160 and 180 variants just the graphics were little different and 180 logo on handlebar otherwise they both look the same.
  • Vibrations – hell a lot of vibration kicks in as soon as you reach 60kmph TVS could have refined it to reduce the vibration.
  • TVS Tires – though they are reliable they lack grip.
  • Open tire design splashes muddy water on legs during rainy season; TVS could have given a tire hugger to handle this.
  • No further improvement to the Apache series, though the Apache was a big hit TVS didn’t introduce higher (200cc,250cc) or lower(125cc) variants, so that the people who intend to buy the bike have options to select the bike that they can afford for.
  • Service – TVS service is not up to the mark (at my outlet)

Specifications :

  • Engine Type                         4 Stroke
  • Displacement                 177.4 cc
  • Cylinder arrangement    Single
  • Maximum Power         12.52 kW (17.03 bhp) @8500 rpm
  • Maximum Torque         15.5 Nm @ 6500 rpm
  • Bore x Stroke                 62.5mm x 57.8 mm
  • Compression Ratio         9.5:1
  • Carburetor                         UCAL BS-29
  • Compression Ratio         2 Valves, Single overhead cam
  • Starting                                 Electric & Kick Start
  • Idle speed                         1400 +/-200 rpm
  • Starting                                 IDI-Dual mode digital ignition
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio  90.1 kW per 1000kg
  • Dry Weight                       139
  • Acceleration 0 – 60         4.15 secs
  • Top Speed                         125

WHEELS AND TYRES

  • Rim size             (Front) 1.85 x 17″
  • Rim size             (Rear) 2.15 x 17″
  • Tyre size             (Front) 90/90 x 17″ (Tubeless)
  • Tyre size             (Rear) 110/80 x 17″ (Tubeless)

Brakes

  • Front                     270mm Petal Disc
  • Rear                     200mm Petal Disc
  • Brake Fluid             DOT 3 / DOT 4

DIMENSIONS (mm)

  • Length                     2085
  • Width                     730
  • Height                     1105
  • Wheelbase             1300
  • Ground clearance     165

Suspension

  • Front                    Telescopic Forks, 105 mm Stroke
  • Rear                     Monotube Inverted Gas-filled shox (MIG) with spring aid