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TVS Apache RR 310 BTO road test review: A head-turner that's now sharper than before

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The Times Of India
14th April, 2022 20:08 IST

The company's Built To Order programme lets a customer pick from two kits - Race and Dynamic (or one could have them both fitted), pick a colour and change the racing number on the windshield as per preference, pick alloys and more. The kits offer upgrades like a fully-adjustable KYB suspension, and race-spec handlebar and footpegs. Our first experience with the fully kitted up RR 310 BTO was on a racetrack, so it was inevitable we'd take it for a spin on the road as well.

Built to Stand Out

With the introduction of the BTO, TVS also rolled out a new paint scheme for the RR 310 that uses red and white and blue in the right proportions. First look at it and it came across as a 90s Honda colour selection which looked rather very nice. In this colour scheme, the RR 310 definitely stands out in the crowd and delivers on the sculpted big bike appeal. The 'TVS Racing' branding, however, could be a little too loud, along with the use of one too many stickers.

Built to Handle

So, the major upgrade that the BTO provides is all about affecting handling. The fully-adjustable KYB suspension allows freedom to keep the setup plush or firm depending upon whether you're just pottering around in the city or pushing through some mountain twisties, and also the weight you're carrying.

The 43mm forks offer 25 clicks of rebound and damping, along with an 8-step preload adjustment. The rear monoshock has a 10-step preload adjustment and 20-step rebound adjustability. All that's needed for an adjustment is a flat head screwdriver and a 14mm spanner.

The preload adjustment is fairly simple to do and really can be done jiffy but it shouldn't be fiddled with too much especially if you're not too sure of what you're doing. Suspension setup can make or break your ride.

Handling performance on the RR 310 has always been a strong point and with the KYB on board, there's more it can do. In its firmest setting, the Apache changes directions like a gazelle on a racetrack. But that would be bad for the back on the road, and hence it can be softened.

Plus, the Michelin Road 5 tyres may be built more for durability but provide ample grip. The brakes have an appropriate bite, except the front calliper perhaps could use some more urgency or deliver better feedback on the lever.

The new RR 310 continues to be powered by the same 312cc single-cylinder engine that can deliver 25.8 bhp in Urban and Rain mode (in which the throttle response is restricted), and 34 bhp and 27.3 Nm of torque in Sport and Track mode. It can attain a top speed of about 134 km/h in the lower power modes and 160+ in Sport and Track.

The Track mode is the one the RR 310 gives all its got with aggressive throttle response. These differences in power are perhaps good to have for some but in the bigger picture, they aren't really all that necessary for such power figures on a lightweight motorcycle.

It can rev past 10,000 rpm, however, vibrations from the reverse-inclined engine continue to remain a hassle on this bike. While a lot has been improved over the updates and the addition of the slipper clutch made things a tad smoother, the vibrations are still substantial on the pegs and handlebar. Plus, the gearbox feels clunky and slips into neutral often.

Built to be Fancy

With the BS6 upgrade, TVS introduced a new instrument cluster for the RR 310, so it has Bluetooth connectivity which means there's turn-by-turn navigation, phone notifications and more. Features that should be handy to some.

The instrument cluster definitely looks nice and offers four different colour themes based on the ride mode chosen. The Sport and Track modes, however, have a vertical setup for information with the speedo and tacho climbing vertically. To say the least, they look great but the conventional horizontal setup for digital screens comes across as more helpful.

Built to Budget

The BTO Apache RR 310 is the first in its segment to offer fully-adjustable suspension. No other motorcycle with these specifications offers such a choice. The RR 310 is still the most affordable 300cc motorcycle in India at Rs 2,59,990 (ex-showroom).

Ex-showroom price - Rs 2,59,990
Dynamic Kit - Rs 12,000
Race Kit - Rs 5,000
Race Replica graphics paint scheme - Rs 4,500
Red alloy wheels - Rs 1,500

However, the Dynamic Kit with the KYB suspension is recommended if the budget can be stretched just a little bit. You could avoid the flashy race livery and save Rs 4,500 instead. While the RR 310 can make use of some serious refinement, the entire package still with the customisation and adjustability offers a blend that's great value for money in its segment.

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