When you think of features such as ride-by-wire technology, full-color TFT instrumentation, full LED lighting, and multiple riding modes, high end motorcycles like, say, the BMW S 1000 RR come to mind. However, in recent years, these features have begun trickling down onto smaller, more beginner friendly bikes. Such is the case with one of India's most popular small displacement sportbikes, the TVS Apache RR310.
What makes the TVS Apache RR310 so special is the fact that TVS has outfitted it not just with a few techie features, but have gone right ahead and dumped the entire bucket of tech onto this bike. It features an array of electronic doodads such as ride-by-wire technology which governs four different riding modes. Additionally, it comes with a swanky full-color TFT display, from which the rider can configure the bikes multiple settings. It also gets full LED lighting to ensure maximum longevity and visibility on spirited night rides. All this comes at an extremely affordable package. Or at least it used to.
Now, an Rs 2,000 or a price increase of just south of $30 USD may seem like absolutely nothing. However, given how price sensitive the Indian market is, this tiny little price increase could just be enough to get would-be buyers of the TVS Apache RR310 to hop onto the orange boat, and favor the more powerful, albeit slightly less techie KTM RC 390. With the TVS Apache RR310's price tag now at Rs. 2,49,990, or $3,445 USD, it's getting pretty close the the Rs. 2,60,993 or $3,597 USD of the KTM.
For reference, the TVS Apache RR310 comes equipped with a similar mill as that of the BMW G 310 R and G 310 GS motorcycles. In case you weren't aware, TVS in fact developed and manufactures these two bikes for the German company. That said, the Apache RR310 comes with a 313cc single cylinder engine rated at 33.5 ponies. On the other hand, the KTM RC 390 gets the punch 373cc single cylinder which pumps out 44 horsepower—noticeably more than that of the TVS Apache RR310. The Austrian bike however, does miss out on multiple riding modes and a full color TFT display.
With these two bikes continuing to slug it out in the intermediate sportbike category in India, and with their price tags inching closer together, which bike will ultimately reign supreme this year? KTM is indeed expected to roll out a new RC 200 soon. Hopefully the RC 390 will follow suit. Does this mean that KTM will soon leave TVS in the dust? I guess we'll have to wait and see.