The concept wa s named after a shark. Easily the most awaited motorcycle of th e year, developed with BMW Mot orrad, rival to both the KTM RC 200 and RC 390. Now, the speculations stop, for the wraps are off! It’s time to ride the brand new TVS Apache RR 310
Sustaining interest in a product that’s yet to come isn’t easy. To sustain it for nearly two years? Impossible. Yet, TVS seems to have managed the impossible with the Apache RR 310. It is possibly the most awaited motorcycle since we first laid eyes on the Akula 33 concept (the prototype Apache RR 310) at the 2016 Auto Expo. In the making for a good long 22 months, TVS Motor Company has finally launched the sporty, race-inspired, fully-faired motorcycle that made its first appearance at the 2016 Auto Expo.
The final production bike wears Apache badging, building on the success and strong reputation of the Apache RTR 200 that won the 2017 Indian Motorcycle of the Year (IMOTY) as well as the Bike of the Year at our own awards. In fact Apache is the second largest brand in the premium motorcycle segment, after the Bajaj Pulsar, and has been growing at three times the industry average, tripling volumes over the past five years. Honestly, it would made little sense to introduce a new brand then especially with the 310 having a very clear focus, and that is racing.
Of all the Indian manufacturers TVS has the longest association with motorsport, having started with its 50cc moped in Sholavaram. That was 35 years ago! And since then the outfit has participated, without interruption, in every single form of Indian bike sport – racing, rallying, dirt track, motocross, supercross, raids, scooter rallies, you name it – and with every moped, scooter and motorcycle it has ever made.
The 35 on the new Apache’s tailpiece is, in fact, a statement of pride, of a legacy that nobody in India can come close to, a “summation of 35 years of our racing experience,” as TVS people spare no opportunity in reminding you of. In fact the 310 does not have a single TVS sticker on the bike, it’s all TVS Racing including on the crankcase.
Whose motor is it anyway?
The motor in the Apache RR 310 is from BMW Motorrad but is actually an old Husqvarna engine. Confused? Let’s clear the air then. We all know about the BMW-TVS partnership. The G 310 R and the off-road-focussed 310 GS are both built at Hosur, on the same assembly line as the Apache RR 310, but BMW Motorrad’s focus right now is on meeting (very good) global demand for the 310 while building a premium positioning in India with the big GS bikes, before moving down the order. As a matter of fact, BMW Motorrad has already confirmed that the 310s will only come by the middle of 2018.
Behind the (very sexy) fairing the 310 Apache is identical to the Motorrad bikes. It shares the same frame and engine as the Motorrad machines. However we did learn, on a recent visit to BMW Motorrad’s Munich facilities, that this engine was designed by Husqvarna (that was owned by Motorrad before being sold to KTM) for a baby off-road bike.
The single-cylinder, liquid-cooled motor displaces 312.2cc with bore and stroke dimensions of 80 x 62.1mm and is uniquely reverse-inclined (a format that suits off-road bikes really well) with the exhaust having no bend pipe. TVS R&D people are playing up the advantages of the cylinder head canted backwards – of the weight moving closer to rider leading to better mass centralisation, of the intake positioned in the air stream and delivering a ram-air effect, of the down draft port in the cylinder head getting an eight per cent better volumetric efficiency due to the gravitational effect.
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