We find out if the new upgrades have marked evolution in the right direction for the TVS flagship, Apache RR 310.
Story: Joshua Varghese Photography: Saurabh Botre
Evolution is as much a necessity as it is inevitable. It is what enables us to keep up and make the most of a world that is changing every second and, of course, it is best enjoyed when it is an improvement on the previous version.
Our Editor was mighty impressed by the RR 310’s handling after a first ride at the MMRT. Coming from a man with more than two decades of racing experience, it shows just how good the motorcycle was to begin with. On city roads, too, the RR 310 was a great motorcycle. After almost two years in the market, TVS decided to evolve this motorcycle into a better version of itself.
One fine morning, a glossy black RR 310 with a red and silver stripe running along its length and an “RT Slipper Clutch” sticker on the side awaited me at the Bike India garage. Visually, these are the only elements that set this bike apart from its previous version, but it is more than just a cosmetic job. Taking into account customer concerns, TVS have reduced the vibration at the handlebars by using heavier bar-end weights and the windscreen now comes with a rubber lining to keep rogue vibrations at bay. They get the job done because the RR 310’s vibrations never bothered me during my rides in the city and on twisties.
TVS have left the short-stroke 312.2-cc, liquid-cooled, four-valve, single-cylinder engine untouched. However, they have remapped the ECU to improve the motorcycle’s rideability and to facilitate a smooth power delivery. Power and peak torque figures continue to remain 34 hp at 9,700 rpm and 27.3 Nm at 7,700 rpm. The most significant hardware update in the RR 310, however, is in the transmission. The six-speed gearbox now gets a race-derived slipper clutch; a welcome addition to the RR 310’s arsenal.
Does it work well? After hauling enough speed, I dropped three gears and braced myself for some drama at the rear wheel but the slipper clutch worked brilliantly and allowed me to enter corners confidently without locking up the rear wheel. While the clutch lever action has become noticeably lighter (a huge relief in traffic), there is no significant difference in the way the motorcycle accelerates. To confirm, we slapped some testing equipment on to the RR 310 and did a few runs. Surprisingly, almost all of the figures were the same. While the 0-120 km/h times were identical, the new RR was faster during our 0-60, 0-80, and 0-100 km/h runs by a 10th of a second at best. The biggest shocker came during our roll-on tests from 30-70 km/h. In sixth gear, the new RR was faster by a whopping six seconds, clearly indicating that the new mapping has significantly improved bottom-end power delivery.
Even with these upgrades, TVS have done a commendable job to restrict the price to Rs 2.28 lakh (ex-showroom) which is barely Rs 4,000 over the outgoing model. There is a spot of bad news though, the matte black colour has been discontinued. Now you have to choose between Racing Red and Phantom Black. On the bright side, even existing RR 310 owners can upgrade their motorcycles with these additions for an affordable Rs 3,950 and that obviously does not include the new paint scheme. You could try your luck sourcing an ‘RT Slipper Clutch’ sticker. Good luck.