She was feeling good, right between my knees, she was hot I knew that, and was getting hotter by the second, the curves they were awesome better than the best I’d ever seen, there was no better feeling in this world, I knew. She was responding to each and every whim of mine, she fancied throwing some of her tantrums from time to time, but I just say what the heck, then I braked hard and my heart almost exploded from the sheer braking accuracy and the stability, ladies and gentlemen I give to you:
The TVS APACHE RTR 180:- The Menace has ArriveD!
Apache RTR 180 Bike Overview:
Some time back (during the infamous recession) TVS decided to lock horns with the market benchmark in the 180 cc segment the Bajaj Pulsar 180. The RTR 180 is also touted to be the performance bike of its segment, so it is usually compared to the Yamaha R-15, HH Karizma ZMR & Bajaj Pulsar 220.
The RTR 180 is more of an addendum to the RTR 160. The bike retains the basic lines of the current RTR & comes with all the high tech features: digital speedometer with top speed, 0-60 timer, trips, and other extra functionalities plus stunning looks. Apache RTR looks the best in its class and has been priced very competitively in comparison to other bikes in its segment.
Apache RTR 180 Engine & Performance:
The RTR 180 is powered by a 177.4 cc mill which develops 17 bhp of max power at 8500 rpm, and 15.5 Nm Torque at 6500 rpm, enough to propel the bike to 125 kmph top speed. Many reviews state the bike has done excess of 135 kmph, but I have been able to achieve only 125 kmph, with TVS stating that the bike does 124 kmph with ease, which is quite true. The new 177.4cc mill is a bored out variation of the 160cc mill. It has a longer stroke compared to the 160, of course the engine remains oversquare with the bore and stroke being 62.5*57.8 mm.
The over square engine helps to rev the bike more easily and the bike climbs up the rpm ladder with ease…almost as if it were a dream.
Apache RTR 180 Technical Specifications
The Details of the RTR 180 :
- Engine: 4 Stroke
- Displacement: 177.4 cc
- Max Power: 17 bhp @ 8500 rpm
- Max Torque: 15.5 Nm @ 6500 rpm
- Gearbox: 5 speed (SIGH!)
- Cooling Type: Air-cooled
- Top speed: 125 kmph
- 0-60 time: 3.2 sec
- Front Brakes: 270 mm roto petal disc
- Rear Brakes: 200 mm roto petal disc
The RTR 180 has, like the 160, a gem of an engine. The engine revs freely to the red line without a whimper. The exhaust sounds awesome at any rpm, you can easily differentiate between the 160,160 EFi and 180. The 160 has a slightly weaker exhaust stroke, the 180 is throatier, and the EFI blows you away!
Many people who have ridden the 180 always speak about the humongous amount of acceleration, yes the RTR accelerates faster than any bike in the Indian Market, I personally have achieved a 0-60 kmph time of 3.2 seconds, the R15 does it in around 3.5 seconds. The acceleration gets your heart pounding, its very quick to get to the 70 kmph mark, its almost unreal. The power is given to the black top through a 90*90 front tyre and a 110*80 rear tyre, the fat TVS rubber is good under dry conditions but could do better.
Not many people have been able to replicate the butter smooth gear boxes of the Hero Hondas’ or Hondas’ TVS is no exception. The gear box is very rough initially and after racking brains, shifting at a proper RPM range helps in smoother shifting. The gear box quality needs to be looked into. another thing is that the bike could use the 6th cog. i’ve been riding her for the past year and still try and shift into the 6th gear, the 6th gear would’ve propelled her easily to 135-140 kmph.
Apache RTR 180 Motorcycle Looks & Styling:
The RTR 180 is similar to look at when compared to the 160 and 160 EFI. It borrows parts from both its siblings, it’s a good mix of the both. If you want to differentiate between the two, here’s what you need to focus on:
The RTR 180 started the “white mania”, it was the first bike to come up with a WHITE color scheme, looks awesome! The colors of the front fork and rear coil springs are golden whereas the ones on the 160 are red or black. It also has racing stripes borrowed from the EFI model.
Also, it has the RTR logo on the non-functional air scoops.
2. The Read mud flap:
This feature is one-of-a-kind on an Indian bike, where the bike employs a rear fender that acts as a Mud flap that can be removed giving the looks and feel of a Super Bike rear fender, the fender does have safety reflectors attached. I gotta add this fender is good in the monsoon, when the guy tailing you does not prefer a mouthful of dirt.
One more thing that sets the bike apart is the RTR 180 logo on the clip ons. if you want more details, the RTR 180 has a color swap on the STICKERING, meaning, the 180 has a BLACK filled APACHE lettering on the fuel tank, and the RTR 180 logo on the rear side panels. The Clip ons are now black powder shaded. More on it in the ownership experience.
The instrument cluster borrows its lighting from the EFI again. The cluster is of the highest quality and the 0-60 timer, top speed indicator, gauges are very easily read. But if your over 5 feet and 9 inches tall then it can slightly cause discomfort while reading the tachometer
The headlight retains the “hello SUNSHINE” look as can be seen in the pic below
Rest is the same as with the RTR 160. Nothing much to be added here
Apache RTR 180 Ride & Handling:
The stock setting on the rear suspension is of the SOFT order, which causes the rear to move around quite a bit under heavy braking, this can be fun at times, but when the tarmac is wet, the tires give away. When changed to slightly softer setting the bike becomes a wheeling machine, it wheelies every here and there. But the braking problem becomes amplified. I’ve come to terms with it by hardening the suspension one level beyond the stock setting, this provides great braking stability and great handling characteristics. The Ride is not something that TVS can brag about, especially when you have a pilion, the ride can be very erratic at times, especially when she encounters a bump on the road.
Like all TVS bikes the RTR 180 does not disappoint in the handling department, she handles like a dream, especially on a mountain pass, you can tackle all the corners at full throttle and the bike seems to mock you, asking “is that all you got?”
The clip ons play an important role here, they seem to be perfectly weighted. The handle bars are two stage adjustable, when on the stock setting the handle bars are closer to the tank, causing one to put in slightly more effort on straight lines and in traffic, the second setting though suits me the best, here you can lift the bike and put her to sleep around corners more easily, she becomes more agile I might add. These settings are obviously also available on the RTR 160 and EFI models.
Braking stability of the bike is something I feel deserves a lot of praise. She can handle any amount of braking that you can throw at her, the front of the bike is impeccably balanced. Jamming the front brake lever does not cause the bike to go into a skid immediately, she tends to stay in control, this stability is accentuated by the 90*90 rubber up front. The Rear disc on the bike is also a gem, it could’ve been more precise though, it has lesser feedback compared to its drum 160 sibling.
Apache RTR 180 Features in a nutshell :
- Digital Speedometer which looks very cool especially at night (with the blue, white and red lighting ).
- Petal shaped disc brakes which not only looks good but also provides more efficient braking.
- Big RTR sticker on the tank scoops – the main sign to know that this is a RTR 180.
- Naked chain cover.
- LED tail lamps
- Clip on
- Service and battery indicator.
- RTR 180 logo near the clip-on’s
- A wider rear tyre
Apache RTR 180cc Ownership experience/review:
- I bought the bike on the 4th of August 2009, the bike like all new products had problems. I was in the TVS workshop the next week itself, the Carbon Monoxide levels had changed on its own accord, the cause of which is still a mystery. I had the Carb changed under warranty, which did not solve the problem, but did reduce the effect of the change of the CO level
- The Clip on handle bars a basically black in color, after exposure to the sun they tend to change to a grayish shade, the guys at the workshop were nice enough and got me a new clip on, which now has turned grey again.
- The RTR 180 pops at it’s exhaust, especially when the air-fuel Ratio is rich, like all the RTR series bikes misfire. The problem should be taken up for consideration by TVS.
- The quality of the nuts and bolts could be improved as well.
- The rubber on the Gear shifter is of a lower than horrible quality, they leave a mark on your footwear due to use, I ruined my brand new Nivia sports shoes because of this. So if your going on a date wearing brand new shoes or sandals, think again.
- After you ride the bike for approximately 10 km. without gloves you’ll notice a shade of black on the fingers of your left hand, which grips the clutch lever. No idea why this happens.
- Similar to the entire RTR series, the bike is tad small. The pillion literally sits on the rear split grab rails. And if you have a back pack, forget about a pillion. Increasing the length of the bike would mean compromising on the handling and stability front but the size of the rear seat is something that NEEDS to be improved.
On and all the bike is worth buying, especially if you’re gonna ride in the city and love some traffic signal drag races, this bike will nearly beat any bike on the acceleration front. The bike looks great, the quality is pretty decent, the engine is a gem.
So if you’re looking for a bike in the 160-180-200 cc segment, make sure you test ride this baby before you take a call.