Back in 2008, when TVS launched the more peppier avatar of its Apache in the form of Apache RTR 160, it clearly gave an edge over its competitors owing to bigger engine, performance figures, longer list of features and that too at an equaling amount of its competitors. Thus, no surprises, it was a runaway success and acted as a game initiator, thus forcing more and more rivals foraying into the segment, and the ones which existed, were compelled to better it in every other way. The latest iteration of Apache RTR 160 is now in the market for quite a long time now, with an edge over other regular 150cc competitors, due to an additional 7-10cc engine capacity over them.
The bike certainly looks good and modern with every bits and pieces exuding style. The front is what keeps the Apache RTR 160 stand apart from the crowd, with the LED daytime running lamps flanked at both top edges of the headlight. The side view is highlighted by a big and sharp fuel tank with excellent knee recesses, which comes adorned with 'Apache' decals written and has some racy stance to it. The rear has not much changed yet, with the same tail light unit, with an LED layout to it. Though the rear side panel carvings are new and look much better than the previous one. The instrument console has also been retained from previous generation model, with an LCD displaying speedometer, odometer, two trip meters, clock and fuel gauge, accompanied by an analog tachometer and plethora of tell tale indicators. The engine and alloy wheels are given matte black treatment and looks nice. The overall fit and finish is also good and feels solidly built.
The Apache RTR 160 packs in a punchy powermill, which is a 159.7cc unit making out an impressive 15.4 PS of power and 13.1 Nm of torque. The moment you press the electric starter and the grunty engine note signals you that there is a lot of performance on tap. This is a fast motor, and it does a 0 to 60 in just 4.9 seconds, which is commendable for a bike of this engine capacity. The torque is widely spread over the rev range, and the shorter gear ratios from the 5-speed gearbox make the maximum use of it. The downside, though, is the refinement, as the bike sounds harsh at high revs.
The Apache RTR 160 reminds you back of its sporty character through its handling, which is immensely flickable. The clip on handlebars come with meaty palm grips, which only so on inspiring you around corners as well as tight traffic congestions. The front telescopic forks and gas charged coil springs at rear are good enough to make you feel comfortable, though the tyres could have been a bit better. The brakes, petal discs at both end, are razor sharp, and give the segment best braking figures.
Overall, the TVS Apache RTR 160 is an incredible value for money at the price which it comes stickered with, as it gives such oodles of performance at a price lower than the upper end, entry level sportbikes, without being sacrificing too much on fuel efficiency and practicality. It is a pocket rocket which loves to be revved every time you sit on the saddle, which no other bike around its price bracket can, and it is this trait which sets this 160cc monster from TVS in a league of its own.