Almost around a decade ago, at a press event in Bangalore, I bumped into the then-R&D Head at TVS, Mr. Vinay Harne, and I just couldn’t refrain from conveying something to him… “Hello, sir, I’d been wanting to tell you that my maternal uncle, who’s been running a motorcycle workshop in Delhi since 1969, and […]

Almost around a decade ago, at a press event in Bangalore, I bumped into the then-R&D Head at TVS, Mr. Vinay Harne, and I just couldn’t refrain from conveying something to him…
“Hello, sir, I’d been wanting to tell you that my maternal uncle, who’s been running a motorcycle workshop in Delhi since 1969, and has worked on all sorts of motorcycles in these decades, really admires TVS’s engineering.”
Now, Mr. Harne could’ve just replied with a dry thanks, and continued to proceed to the snacks counter, but that’s not what he did. Instead, he said, “thank you, Shiraz. Please convey to your uncle that it really means a lot to us coming from a veteran like him!”
We did chat a bit more, but this was the highlight of our conversation as it reiterated the fact that the most accomplished are generally the most gracious as well. It also gave me an insight into the work culture and ethos at TVS, where humility seems to be a byword, and the people who make this company let their products do the talking.
Fast forward to the present day where TVS continues to achieve new heights, and I tested its most advanced motorcycle yet, the Apache RTR 310, to find out whether it does justice to the almost hallowed legacy of the brand’s engineering.

Design and Ergonomics
Honestly, at first, when I saw the bike in pictures, I didn’t like its design. However, when I finally got to see it in person, my first reaction was, “this will turn a lot of heads,” which it did in the last few weeks that I had been riding it.
Most might not call it beautiful, but it’s definitely a striking design. Presence wise, it looks like a big bike—definitely bigger than what its cubic capacity might suggest. Therefore, I can promise that you will indeed stand out on this one amongst all your friends riding other 300–400 cc nakeds.
However, the exhaust could’ve been designed better as it just doesn’t go with the rest of the bike.
Ergonomically, despite its big bike appearance, most Indian riders would not find it intimidating, and even if they do, all their fears would disappear the moment they swing a leg over its saddle. The bike has an 800 mm high seat, and I’ve said this earlier as well that every manufacturer should aim at keeping the seat height at 800 mm for their motorcycles in India. It’s the perfect sweet spot for the majority of Indian riders.
That, along with the handlebar height, angle, and distance from the seat, and the footpegs’ position, makes for a comfortable riding triangle for everyone between 5’0” to 6’0”. If you’re shorter than 5’0” (with an inseam under 27 inches) or taller than 6’0” (with an inseam over 34 inches), I’d recommend that you take a test ride first.

You might be thinking that by now TVS should’ve given its flagship bikes a 400 cc engine, and a little birdie tells me that the company is indeed working on a bigger engine, but even right now this 310 cc naked is quicker than every single cylinder 400 cc naked, except the Duke 390! For those who want numbers, I managed a 6.6 s 0–100 km/h run on the RTR 310; a 7.4 s run on the NS400, and a 5.8 s run on the D390. These were all GPS runs.
As far as the top speed goes, the RTR 310 hits the limiter at a speedo indicated 160 km/h and it reaches there way too quickly! If you’re a newbie, please take it easy on this motorcycle for the first few months…
Speaking of which, TVS has thoughtfully given five riding modes: Rain, Urban, Sport, Track, and Supermoto. The first two modes share the same map, where the peak power and torque outputs (and naturally the top speed as well) are lower than in the other three modes that give you access to full power and torque. Therefore, keep it in Rain or Urban until the first service, and then you may graduate to the full bonkers modes. Please also note that the rear ABS gets switched off in the Supermoto mode.
And here’s something that no other reviewer would be able to tell you—even if you’re an expert, in heavy traffic, keep it in Urban mode, to avoid stalling the bike (happens to even the best of us!). The GTT works overtime in Rain and Urban modes, where you’ll notice that it keeps the motor spinning at a few hundred rpm higher than in the other three modes at idle (throttle-closed, but clutch out) in ALL gears, although you usually need just the first two gears in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Don’t keep it in Rain mode because the brake feel completely vanishes in this mode, which is somewhat expected due to the ABS intervention becoming stronger than America’s interference in others’ affairs.
That said, the ABS intervention is higher than expected in all modes, which increases the stopping distance. I tried running lower air pressure (as low as 24 psi at both ends, whereas the recommended is 32 psi front and back) but it didn’t help. So it’s not a tyre grip issue; the ABS intervention needs to be toned down, at least in Sport, Track, and Supermoto modes. Also, with a bike this quick, a stronger front brake is needed. It’s not bad by any stretch of imagination, but it should’ve been more powerful, more so because right now it stops you from exploiting this RTR’s beautiful handling characteristics to the max. Yes, like all TVS motorcycles, the RTR 310 is also an exceptional handling motorcycle. You will love it if you have a lot of roundabouts in your daily commute. Plus, while the Cornering ABS and Cornering Traction Control will make you LOOK like a hero here, the bidirectional quickshifter will actually make you FEEL like one too.
But, what about the highway performance and vibrations, you ask? Well, it’s common knowledge by now that the favourite song of TVS engineers is Keep Their Heads Ringin’ by Dr. Dre, as their motorcycles, and even their scooters, have more vibrations than their counterparts from other manufacturers’ stables. I sincerely hope that their future engineering efforts go into reducing these vibrations and not towards gimmicks such as the so-called “climate-controlled” seat which not only is totally useless, but also makes the perch obnoxiously uncomfortable for any ride lasting over half an hour. I won’t recommend getting this seat at all.
Don’t get me wrong; I really appreciate that TVS attempted something like this, that too in this segment, but there are other areas where that time and money could’ve been spent.
Still, it’s not that the bike is unrideable at triple digit speeds for long. Yes, there are vibrations everywhere in the rev range, and everywhere on the bike (handlebar, pegs, and seat), but, thankfully, the intensity of vibrations at 100 km/h in 6th gear isn’t strong enough to disallow you from holding that speed for long durations.
In fact, even 110–120 km/h is doable, but anything more and you feel like you’re making the motor do something it’s not intended to do. It’s a street fighter, which is why TVS gave it a bigger rear sprocket, and while it makes the bike a rocket in the city, on the highways, it makes the rpm at cruising speeds unconventionally high. So, yes, it’s not the vibrations, but the stressed demeanour of the motor that will compel you to keep your touring speeds in check. The flawless cruise control system would assist you in doing that though. Its operating range in 6th gear is 50–120 km/h.
My test bike came with all the bells and whistles, sans the fully adjustable suspension, but I’m happy to report that even the stock suspension would be appreciated by all sorts of road riders. It’s an RTR so it’s definitely on the stiffer side, but it won’t break your back. The monoshock has preload adjustment, which is all you’d need if you really want to load it up for touring. In the city, the stock setting would suffice for everyone under 80 kg.

Fuel Efficiency
If you ride like a devil, expect the fuel efficiency to drop down to low 20s. If your father has purchased the bike for you, and he rides it to work and back over the weekdays, and doesn’t exceed 80 km/h, he may even get 35 km/l. Overall, expect to get 30 km/l under mixed riding conditions and varied riding styles.

Headlight and Instrument Cluster
The review would be incomplete if I don’t mention the incredible headlight TVS has given on this bike! It’s the absolute best in the segment. The TFT screen, and the information it provides, is again second to none. Yes, you can connect your phone and your GoPro. I wish I could tell you more but I’m running out of space here.

I’ll keep this short. Buy the TVS Apache RTR 310 if the majority of your riding will be in the city, and you don’t like arriving late at work, even if you have a habit of getting up five minutes prior to the reporting time. This bike will help. You can tour on it too, but it would be at a law abiding pace. I don’t see a problem with that. Mr. Harne would approve too.