The nameplate Apache RTR usually generates two types of reactions among Bangladeshi riders.
Fans claim it to be a speed demon that only listens to capable hands while detractors consider the RTR to be a dangerous machine that becomes unstable at high speeds.
However, the RTR is a lineup of fast and aggressive sports commuters developed by a team of engineers with over three and a half decades of racing experience.
TVS introduced the latest iteration of RTR, the 4V, in 2018. While the new design retained the aggressive mass forward lines of its predecessor, under that muscular skin hid a completely different beast.
The new four-valve engine is now part of a double-cradle split frame, paired to a SHOWA Monoshock rear suspension with a thicker 130/70-17 rear tire.
This dramatic refinement to handling and performance was further enhanced last year, when TVS added its "Super Moto" single-channel ABS to the 4V, along with LED DRL and headlamp.
Another feature TVS introduced during the last year refresh is its SmartXonnect intelligent instrument cluster. The system falls somewhere between your basic digital speedometer to a full-fledged TFT screen found in more premium offerings.
Connected to its proprietary android app - found under the name "TVS Connect - Bangladesh" in the play store - via Bluetooth, it can do a number of things.
How the SmartXonnect functions
Users can program the screen to greet them by name during startup, display their phone's charge, unread message and call notifications, and even send automated replies through the "I" button found on the left switch cluster.
However, the most useful feature of the Xonnect is the built-in navigation system. When riders select their destinations in the app, the screen marks the path with directional arrows as well as the distance to the next turn.
The map also contains locations of fuel stations and tries to direct riders to the nearest one if the bike is low on fuel. It also displays restaurants, hospitals, and few other items, though that part of the map is still being worked on.
In addition to the map, the app also contains two more features that are mainly aimed towards more courageous riders.
The first is the race telemetry, which records lap time, top speed, g-force, and all that good stuff you would use if you took your bike to one of our country's nonexistent race tracks.
The other is the lean angle mode which uses the phone's internal gyroscope to record the bike's lean angles, something you need to be good at if you want to get the most out of this bike. There is more on that later.
How is the ride?
One thing both, detractors and fans, would agree on, is the fact that the RTR is a tricky bike to ride.
In straight, the bike is loud and exciting. If given throttle, the double-barrel exhaust will roar with enthusiasm as the bike runs for 0-60KMPH in the advertised 4.7 seconds. As soon as you approach a corner though, things get dicey.
Being race engineers, designers of the 4V pretty much expected riders to have mastered the art of shifting body weight. Nonetheless, unless you plan to use the app's lean angle mode to its fullest, do not try to attack a corner with this.
The good news is that the single-channel ABS slows down the bike quite quickly while the oil-cooled 4 valve engine lets you rapidly recover speed afterwards. In short, do not try to recreate your favourite Bollywood actor's stunts because your bike is probably not bolted to a stunt rig.
Adopt a gentler approach.
The RTR, being one of the few nameplates in the local market with actual racing heritage, is a quick bike that is much less forgiving compared to its peers. It is fast, aggressive, and can be a difficult beast if you do not know what you are doing.
If this is your first bike, take it slow. If you are experienced, be cautious because the bike does not play nice with reckless riders.
All in all, the TVS Apache 4V Xonnect is a great bike with lots of features that cater to both sides, as long as they are willing to adapt.