TVS Apache RTR 160 Road Test

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Road Test : TVS Apache RTR 160 motorcycle


Dilip Bam



 When TVS  Lonch”d  the Apache150 couple of years ago, I did some research to find out the origin of the name  APACHE.  I found that  APACHE  are the most fierce  Red Indian Tribe of USA who have killed the maximum number of WHiTE men in USA 150 years ago.  Therefore they are the most famous and best known ADiVASi  tribe of Amerika.

 Now TVS have Lonch”d  Apache RTR 160,  which should be more fierce than ordinary Apache, yet still MUST be Apache. So I did more research and got more information. Just like in India we have “sub-caste” within same caste, these Amerikan  Adivasi people also have sub-tribe within main tribe. And the most fierce and murderously effective sub-tribe of Apache are the “CHATO” Apaches.

 I saw a Hollywood movie named “CHATO”s LAND” starring Charles Bronson. It is the story of how a Chato Apache (played by Charles Bronson) takes revenge by killing five white men who had raped and killed his wife. The movie is not only about violence but more about how this Chato plans to kill these five white men and how he carries out his plan and succeeds in killing all of them. It is not only about physical violence. It is more about thinking, planning, executing….and succeeding.  It is the best lesson in  ViOLENCE MANAGEMENT”” ! And there can be no violence without aggression.

 And aggression is what the RTR 160 is about. Most people believe that if you need a bike for your daily office travel and other social needs like shopping and visiting friends, then you should go for a 100 cc econo-bike, bkoz it kosts less and gives more mileage. While it is true that 100 cc econo bikes are cheaper to buy, it is not necessarily true that smaller bike MUST give more mileage. Mileage is 80% dependant on DRiViNG STYLE and only 20% on engine size, weight and other faktors. This fact was most forcefully brought out when I did the fuel test on the RTR 160. (see mileage table at the end of this report).


 Better known as RTR 160, this Apache has many “firsts” and exclusives.

Starting from the front, a 270 mm dia petal disc provides stopping power on front wheel and is perfect for doing stoppies (see foto-1). The clip-on handlebar is perfect for doing wheelies (see foto-2). While the sharply pointed rear view mirrors enhance frontal fierceness, the split grab-rail at rear gives it the look of bull-horns.

 There are other enhancements. The silencer is different from the 150 and the bend-pipe is fatter. Suspension travel is longer. Foot-pegs are different and so are the blinker lights: clear lens and orange bulb as opposed to clear bulb and orange lens in the 150. A belly-pan below the engine adds a touch of class. RTR Wheelbase is 1300 mm compared to 1260 mm of the Apace150, leading to a relatively lower CG and better stability. Due to the clip-on handlebars, longer wheelbase and rear-set footpegs, the seating geometry and riding posture are highly racist, i.e. ideal for racing. A toe-only gear shifter adds to its racist stance. While the seat and switchgear are identical to the 150, the dashboard and instrumentation are totally different. The digital display at LH has a digital fuel gauge, digital speedometer, digital odometer and two digital trip meters and a clock showing time. A round analog tachometer at RH completes the instrumentation. Hi-intensity LED brake lights enhance safety. (see foto-3)

 This bike is powered by a 159.7 cc engine having bore X stroke of 62 mm X 52.9 mm. Breathing thru a Mikuni BS-26 carburetor at a compression ratio of 9.5, it produces 11.19 kilowatts of power (==15.0 BHP==15.2 PS) at 8500 rpm and develops 13.1 Newton-meters of tork at 6000 rpm. The two-valve engine is operated by a single camshaft and idles at 1400 rpm. Engine starting is by kick as well as self, and ignition is dual-mode digital.

 (see foto-4)

The mono-block engine is mounted on a double-cradle, synchro stiff chassis. The five speed gearbox is operated by a toe-only shifter thru a wet multi-plate kluch. Front suspension is on telescopic forks with 105 mm stroke, while rear suspension is on spring assisted, mono-tube, inverted, gas filled shox with reservoir. Braking is by 270 mm petal disc front and 130 mm drum at rear. Tire size is 90/90 X 17 inch front and 100/80 X 18 inch rear, same as the 150. An AC generator produces elektricity and is backed by a 12-volt, 9-Ampere hour battery. Spark is provided by a twin electrode Mico-Bosch plug. The 35 watt headlight sports a halogen bulb, while the tail light is a twin-triangle, half-watt, LED with a prism-on lens. The 16-liter petrol tank has a 2.5 liter reserve, out which 1.7 liters are actually usable.

The RTR weighs 136 kg (kerb), same as the 150. (see foto-5)


 When I did fuel consumption test, in order to get the best mileage I rode in top (5th) gear as much as possible. As is well known, driving at steady speed between @ 35 to 45 kmpH in top gear, with using brakes as less as possible, and avoid changing to lower gears as far as possible, GiVEs BEST MiLEAGE.

I found that Low-End-Tork of this bike is much better than one would expect in a short stroke engine such as this. Yet, the Low-End-Tork of this bike is surprisingly powerful, and riding at steady 33-35 kmpH in top gear was very smooth, and produced no jerks or chain-snatch. This is the reason I got such good mileage figures. This means that the RTR is a dual-purpose bike like no other: If you ride it as I did in my fuel consumption test, you can get as good mileage as a 100 cc econo-bike, but if you are in a hurry and feel like racing, you can easily stay ahead of the traffik and beat any 150 cc bike.

 Handling of this bike and steering response are on par with the best. Road holding and cornering ability are superb. Pickup is top class and is the fastest in class.

 In my zero to sixty (pick-up) test and braking test, the rider was 23 year old Rishikesh Mandke, height 172 cm (5’-8”), weight 63.5 kg. Rishikesh is an expert professional stunt rider, who does wheelies and stoppies in stunt shows for a living. He can hold a wheelie for many kilometers and even does wheelies and stoppies dubble seat.

 For the brake test, I draw a thick white line on a straight level road. The rider starts riding the bike and achieves a steady speed of 60 kmpH much before this white line which is clearly visible to him. (I have two other helpers standing at both ends of this road to warn or stop other traffic for a few seconds while I do this test. Since I do this test early morning on a mostly deserted road, people are quite co-operative and don’t mind waiting a few seconds). As the rider approaches this line he keeps his eyes downwards, looking at the white line. As soon as the front tire touches the white line, he jams both brakes locking both wheels and skids to a stop. I measure the distance from this line to where the front wheel is touching the ground where the bike comes to rest.

 The shortest braking distance I got was 11.3 meters.

 I do the brake test in this fashion because this is what any driver would do to avoid accident: Jam both brakes in panic to avoid accident.

 For the zero to sixty test, the driver Rishikesh is on the bike, engine is running, bike is in first gear with kluch pulled in. So bike is at rest. I am standing far away with stop watch, looking at biker. I give a hand signal and at the same moment start my stop-watch. Rider sees my signal and leaves kluch and bike surges forward, with the driver looking at the speedometer (not the road). As soon as speedo touches sixty kph speed, driver flashes his pass-light, and at that moment I stop my stop-watch. Thus I have recorded the time taken for zero to sixty.

 I recorded a timing of 4.53 seconds for zero-to-sixty for the Apache RTR 160.

 Sure, this method is not highly accurate, but it is the easiest, simplest and cheapest. You can yourself do this test. You can buy a digital stop watch for less than a hundred Rupees and can time yourself with the help of a friend.

 For measuring the top speed of this bike, I took it on the Pune-Mumbai highway, and single seat, it could touch 120 kmpHspeedo indicated.

 (see foto-6)

For measuring fuel consumption, I did the test with a calibrated measuring bottle such as you might have seen in hospital, with which patients are given a drip. I have such a bottle fitted in a holder, and which has a cap at upper end and a cock (like fuel tank cock) at its bottom end, to which I attach a long plastic tube. The other end of this tube I fit into the carburetor inlet nipple, to which the tube coming from fuel tank cock is normally fitted. I close the tank fuel cock and disconnect this tube which is coming from fuel tank, and konnekt the lower end of the tube fitted on the measuring bottle to the nipple, so that petrol is not going from tank to carburetor but from my measuring bottle to carburetor. I fill petrol in this bottle up to the 200 cc mark and ride as per conditions given in the below table and get the mileage figures.



Test conditions of TVS

Apache 160 RTR

Distance Covered (km)

Fuel Consumed (litres)

Fuel average (kmpL)


20 gear changes ; 6 brakings for slowing down ; Light traffic ;

Max speed 62, but mostly 40-50. Mostly drive in top (5th) gear.






1 braking & 1 gear change to 2nd. . Speed between 32--46 but mostly steady 41-42 in top (5th) gear.





Speed between 32 – 50 (max), but mostly Steady 40 in top gear. Once brake, change to 4th then shift to 5th and continue at steady 40 in 5th (top) gear.





Upslope & downslope. Many brakings & 6 gear changes to 3rd. Speed mostly @ 30 – 50 in top gear.





Overall Fuel Average






The Apache RTR 160 is top class as well as top-of-the-class. You can call it an Economy-Racer. Available in many attractive colors, the on-road price in Pune on December 10, 2007 is Rs.63,610/- for normal color. If you want special color, it will kost Rs.64,708/-.

6 Attachments

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