2019 TVS Apache RR 310 First Ride Review
We took the 2019 TVS Apache RR 310 for a spin at the Madras Motor Racing Track. The bike now gets a slip & assist clutch and subtle upgrades.
The TVS Apache RR 310 has been updated for 2019 and will now come equipped with kit which is a result of the company’s racing department’s learnings from the track. TVS has also been listening to its customers and has incorporated minor changes which only make the Apache RR 310 a better machine than it already was. In addition to the Racing Red, the 2019 Apache RR 310 is also available in a new shade of Phantom Black (Matte Black has been discontinued) and now asks for INR 2.27 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi). Everything else in terms of design, equipment and power figures is still the same. So what are these changes and how do they help to make this flagship TVS a better machine? We’ve just ridden the bike on track and here’s a straight from the pan, still steaming account.
What’s the Biggest Change?
The 2019 TVS Apache RR 310 now comes equipped with a slip & assist clutch, which arrests wheel hop while downshifting aggressively at high engine speeds. Developed by TVS at the MMRT in Chennai, it worked like a charm at this technical circuit where some corners require the rider to drop down into the ideal lower gear quite violently. For street riding, this new addition will definitely help during panic braking situations when one has to downshift aggressively and also when the bike carves its way through your favourite set of twisties during a downhill run.
Benefits of the Assist function are straightaway apparent at the clutch lever, where the action now feels lighter, compared to how it felt with the non-assisted bike. TVS says the effort required now is 20% lesser than what was required earlier. What will bring cheer to existing customers is the fact that for a mere INR 3,900, their bikes too can be fitted with a Slip & Assist clutch which is available as a TVS Racing accessory at the dealership.
What Else Has Been Changed?
Customers of the first-gen Apache RR 310 did complain about chain noise, the remedy for which was made available at service stations in the form of a softer chain roller which is now fitted as standard on the RR 310. The gap between the windscreen and the plastic panel around the instrument console has been capped with a rubber insert which will ensure there aren’t water stains and dust settling in a not-so-accessible space.
Besides all that, heavier, bigger bar-end weights have helped to reduce vibrations at the handlebar. In addition to that, the ECU has been remapped to make the engine run in a more refined state-of-tune, and that different mapping has also eliminated stalling issues which a few customers faced. To answer the question which most people would have, which is, If the vibrations have gone down? The simple answer is, Yes. They’re almost negligible now at the handlebar and the footpegs, however, a little buzz is still felt at the tank and in the seat at the 6,500 – 7,000 rpm mark. Although we’re happy to report that there has been quite an improvement over how things felt earlier.
Is There Any Change In Performance?
During our time on the track with the 2019 TVS Apache RR 310, performance in terms of acceleration, handling, braking and everything else, felt similar to how it has been. On paper too, power figures and all other numbers and figures are still the same. However, the engine felt smoother and TVS says they have worked to improve the durability of components, which is a great thing, considering the fact that the RR 310 always felt like a shut tight machine.
The Bike To Buy In Its Segment Then?
If you take fully-faired examples into consideration, the Apache RR 310 competes against the RC 390 which is priced higher but also asks for more. Then there’s the Honda CBR 250R which is now dated and the newly-launched Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 which is down on power, equipment and price too. Considering fully-faired examples then, the RR 310 still reserves its place as a great all-round product which offers a lot for the price it asks.
But then if you bring all the non-faired bikes into the mix, things get interesting. For a little more, there’s the Duke 390, the Interceptor 650, and there’s that Honda CB300 too. For a lot less, there’s the Dominar 400 which packs more power but isn’t as well made as the Apache and it isn’t faired. All things considered then, this flagship TVS still carves a unique space for itself as a product, where for the price it asks, it still is the best looking in our books, packs exciting performance, and is really well put together.