Have cleaner emissions come at the cost of outright performance?
The TVS Apache RTR 200 4V provided a great balance between performance and affordability when it was first introduced back in 2016. It’s been used for everything from daily commuting to racing in one-make championships, which should give you an idea of its fun factor. Recently, though, the bike received its BS6 update and lost some engine output in the process. So have cleaner tailpipe emissions compromised the RTR’s biggest USP: its accessible performance? We’ve tested both the BS4 and BS6 versions with our trusty ol’ VBox, so let’s take a look.
Despite having lost 1.3Nm, we’re happy to report that acceleration figures haven’t really taken much of a hit, at least in the lower reaches of the speedo. In fact, the BS6 bike is actually quicker to 60kmph, even if it is just by 0.15sec. As speeds rise further, though, the new bike’s castration starts to become more evident. It’s around half a second slower to 100kmph, and beyond this is where it starts to feel noticeably slower than before.
But we hardly ever perform standing starts in the real world. What’s going to matter most to users is in-gear roll-on acceleration, which mimics the sort of overtaking manoeuvre that riders are likely to face in everyday situations. In these tests, the BS6 bike comes out on top in both 3rd and 4th gear roll-ons, which bodes well.
Of course, no bike is absolutely perfect, and one of the few weaknesses of the old RTR 200 was braking. There was not much bite from the discs and lever feedback was quite wooden as well. We’re pleased to report that TVS has rectified this to a great extent on the BS6 version. Feel and feedback at the lever still aren’t great, but the braking power has definitely improved, as is evidenced by the new bike’s significantly shorter braking distances.
The city is probably where most RTR owners will spend the majority of their time, so it’s just as well that the new bike is more fuel-efficient in this environment than its predecessor. Out on the highway, the wheezier top-end means that the motor has to work harder to maintain speeds, and fuel-efficiency suffers in the process. Nevertheless, it’s only slightly lower than before.
On the basis of these numbers, then, the BS6 bike seems to be improved in nearly all areas. So, is it perfect? And how much have these improvements driven up the cost? All those questions are answered in our road test here.