TVS Apache 160 4V Review
Bike Tested: 2018 TVS Apache 160 4V; Road Test No. 921
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 94,337/- (Carb); Rs. 97,725/- (Carb with rear disc); Rs. 1,03,938/- (FI)
The Apache RTR 160 is the most powerful 160cc bike you can buy in Asia
While it was the Apache RTR 160 that kickstarted the 160cc motorcycle segment in Asia, off late it had been facing the heat from its more contemporary rivals like the Pulsar NS 160, Suzuki Gixxer and the CB Hornet 160R. It was not only the product but TVS (as a company) too was under pressure especially after the launches of the RR 310, the updated Apache RTR 200 (with segment-first features like slipper clutch and dual-channel ABS) and the NTORQ 125. It was expected that TVS would now look at the lower end of the Apache spectrum and give it a much-needed update. And here it is! The all-new Apache RTR 160 4V but wait, isn’t this the Apache 200, no!
Motor Quest: The Apache made its debut in Asia back in 2006 and was considered as an alternative to the famous Pulsar brand of bikes. In 2012, the automaker gave the Apache series a cosmetic makeover and fast forward to 2018, the Apache 160 receives a complete overhaul (with mechanical changes as well). Over the years, Apache has earned its place in the hearts of the enthusiasts with its track-focused yet rider-friendly nature.
Styling - Look closely and you’ll realise this isn’t the Apache 200. Yes, the Apache 160 borrows its styling cues from its elder sibling but there are differences between the two. The single piece handlebar, single-piece seat, chequered flag decals on the fuel-tank, silver-finished centre panel and the slightly tweaked seat cowls set the Apache 160 apart from its larger cousin. Of course, there are the snake-fangs inspired LED DRLs, fuel tank, engine cowl, double barrel ‘shotgun’ style exhaust, LED tail-light, turn indicators, split grab rails and even the tail-piece which are borrowed from the Apache 200 which is a good thing as these make the Apache 160 a premium offering. As seen on the RR 310, the TVS logo (horse) sits on the fuel tank and the ‘Apache’ branding has been moved to the centre panel. The motorcycle also gets front fork protectors while the 6-spoke alloy wheels (finished in black) with the red racing rim stripes highlight the visual appeal of the motorcycle. The Apache 160 4V is available in 3 colour choices – RR Red, Racing Black and Racing Blue.
The carb variant’s console loses out on lap timer, gear position indicator and fuel-efficiency meter
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – Apart from the styling, the Apache 160 4V also shares its instrument cluster with the Apache 200. Apart from the usual odometer, speedometer, tachometer, clock, fuel level indicator, service reminder, gear position indicator and two trip meters, the fully digital console also features lap timer, 0-60 km/hr timer and a top speed recorder. The latter half of the features show how much a race-oriented machine the Apache 160 is. The switchgear is of good quality and the controls are placed in proper reach. The RHS features an engine kill switch and self-start button while the LHS houses the buttons for horn, indicator, high/low beam and the pass-light switch.
Ergonomics – Talking about ergonomics, this is quite a comfortable motorcycle. This one gets a proper handlebar and not a set of clip ons. The riding posture is quite comfortable, it still retains some of that committed lean forward position but not at the cost of comfort. If I may be so bold, it brings a good balance between commuter and sporty. This motorcycle also ditches the split seats for a more comfortable banana seat (single-piece seat) setup. This grants even tall riders like me enough room to move around and find my comfort zone on this machine. The seat offers good cushioning and decent support through corners. The rearview mirrors offer a decent view too and mostly stays clear until you reach high speeds and your view starts going blur. Although the footpegs are on the higher side, having a roomy seat really helps.
Performance - This 159.7cc motor has been built on the same platform as its elder sibling, the Apache RTR 200. This engine also gets four valves and hence earns its Apache RTR 160 4V title. It is offered with a choice of both carb and fuel injection. We rode the carb version first and I must say, this motor feels quite refined right off the line. Once you get moving, you notice how eager this motor is to build revs. This motor makes 16.5 PS of power and packs a strong mid-range and low-end torque. The fuel injected variant, on the other hand, makes 16.8 PS of power and honestly felt comparatively more sluggish in its top end. However, the FI had much better throttle response on offer. The carb engine manages to keep its cool and controls vibrations well till 7000 RPM, once you’re past that the vibrations start to make their way through the footpegs and handlebar. I quite honestly prefer the carb over the FI, mostly because of how linear its power delivery is and it feels alive throughout the rev range.
The Apache 160 4V has the best power-weight ratio in its segment; 114.28 PS/tonne (FI) and 113.79 PS/tonne (Carb)
The 5-speed gearbox on this machine is actually quite slick and gearshifts are effortless. Out on the track, I found myself entering corners much later and mostly relying on engine braking. As you’re banging down the gears, this motor will smoothly decelerate and the gearbox does your bidding in quite an impressive way. Start firing down a straight and you’ll notice the clutch does have some weight to it but it only helps deliver better feel and never feels bad to use. I’m actually quite impressed with this motor. The exhaust sounds sweet and especially sweet while you’re downshifting, I can’t believe how exciting this mere 160cc machine feels. Full marks to TVS for doing such a wonderful job and making a simple machine feel so exciting.
Riding Dynamics – Funny story, I was actually unaware of the weight of the motorcycle before I started riding it. To my surprise this bike felt so nimble and agile, it honestly wasn’t something I was expecting. As I dipped into the first corner after a long straight, I noticed I was getting much lower than I’d like on the first try and even almost scraped the stand. Eventually, I did end up scraping the stand and that was actually not something I was expecting. At 147 kgs of weight, the motorcycle is 10 kgs heavier than the Apache 180 yet feels so much agile. The weight is very well managed and properly centralized making this one a really balanced machine. The Apache 160 comes with 2 base variants and 1 sub-variant. The carb comes with a rear disc option or you can even go for the rear drum option, whereas the FI comes with a rear disc as standard. We didn’t get to test the carb with the rear drum but it comes with a slimmer 110-section rear tyre, unlike the disc variants that get a 130-section rear tyre. These soft compound TVS Remora tyres are standard on all variants and offer phenomenal grip.
The Apache 160 4V feels quite nimble and agile through the corners
The suspension on this machine is softly sprung but it doesn’t sacrifice on compliance. The front suspension does a wonderful job of eliminating nose dive on hard braking, especially if that’s what you’re doing right before a corner. It helps keep this bike balanced and lets the front feel accurate. As you dart in and out of corners, the rear suspension manages to squat quite well and helps keep its tail stable even through hard cornering. The brakes don’t feel spongy and offer good progression and bite. I saw myself entering corners much later and a little recklessly only because of how confidence inspiring these brakes are. The overall combination of the balance in weight, suspension, and braking is just beautiful. This is a machine that makes you appreciate its agility more than its outright speed.
Verdict - The Apache 160 4V is the latest addition to the Apache family and is a motorcycle with perfect proportions and details. Though it looks similar to its elder sibling, the motorcycle is brand-new and is definitely a big step-up from the previous Apache 160. The new Apache 160 is a motorcycle you can live with and also have some fun on those weekend rides.
* Design and modern looks
* Refined, vibration-free motor and slick gearbox
* Compliant suspension setup
What’s Not So Cool
* 110-section rubber for the rear drum variant
* No option of ABS
* The rawness of the previous Apache 160 is missing
* Might hamper sales of the Apache 180
2018 TVS Apache 160 4V Specifications
* Engine: 159.7cc, 4-valve, Oil-cooled
* Power: 16.8 (FI)/ 16.5 (Carb) PS @ 8000 RPM
* Torque: 14.8 Nm @ 6500 RPM
* Transmission: 5-speed, one-down-four-up pattern
* Fuel Consumption: 45 km/l (Est.)
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Suspension: Telescopic Forks (Front), Monoshock (Rear)
* Tyres: 90/90/17 (Front), 110/80/17 (Carb, Rear)/ 130/70/17 (FI, Rear), Tubeless
* Brakes: 270 mm Disc (Front), 200 mm Disc/ 130 mm Drum (Rear)
2018 TVS Apache 160 4V Dimensions
* Length x Width x Height: 2050 mm x 790 mm x 1050 mm
* Wheelbase: 1357 mm
* Ground Clearance: 180 mm
* Seat Height: 800 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 12-litres (2.5-litres usable reserve)
* Kerb Weight: 147 (FI), 145 (Carb, front & rear disc), 143 (Carb, rear drum) kgs