TVS Apache RR 310 OMC ARRC Ride Experience: India’s Most Phenomenal Race Bike

  • Dec 13, 2022
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Riding India’s fastest race motorcycle on a MotoGP track is something truly special

I count my blessings to have ridden a few race bikes (or race-prepped bikes). Each one has sort of left their own imprint in my brain. My most recent encounter with such a track bike probably ranks the highest. The sheer brilliance of this motorcycle is that it leaves you wanting more without actually damaging your ego. Because unlike its Indian racing counterpart, the TVS Apache RR 310 ARRC OMC turns out to be a far more precise and accessible track weapon. Here’s how it felt around the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand.

Bike Updates

Before getting to the actual experience, I’m quickly going to list down the RR 310’s deets (or you can see the all of the bits by clicking here):

  • Full carbon fibre body work
  • No changes to chassis but gets a carbon fibre subframe
  • Weighs just 110kg
  • Engine still displaces 313cc but uses lighter and race-ready internals
  • Air duct introduces RAM air effect at speeds above 150kmph
  • Twin-port exhaust to ramp up exhaust gas velocity
  • Power produced is slightly over 50PS
  • Top speed of 211.2kmph achieved by KY Ahmed at the final round
  • Engine rev limit is 11,900rpm
  • Gets a quickshifter for upshifts, uses GP shifts (inverse of normal bike: 1 UP - 5 DOWN)
  • Comes with launch control, pit limiter and engine map selector
  • Premium Ohlins fully adjustable suspension developed with TVS for the race bike
  • Larger 320mm rotor and fierce pads for braking as late as possible
  • Dunlop semi-slick race tyres used this year but special slicks being tested
  • Carbon fibre wheels ditched after riders complained of too much chatter but are likely to arrive on next year’s bike after some development work
  • Adjustable clip-ons and footpeg position for finding the sweet riding spot for each rider
  • Slimmer six-litre fuel tank with new tank cover designed with rider input to grip the bike better

The Experience

After getting the necessary briefing on the bike as well as the circuit, it was time to ride and experience the very best of Indian race engineering. And it starts to become apparent as soon as you swing a leg over the bike. It is quite compact and surprisingly roomy. Though sleek, the subframe is reasonably long. 

Leading us out onto the track was the 2022 champion of the series itself: Vorapong Malahuan. Built like a jockey, Vorapong’s enthusiasm was evident throughout the weekend. He has been helping TVS with its race development programme for a few years and was also the fastest man over the course of the race weekend. His lap time of 1 min 50.8 sec was around six seconds slower than the Moto3 racers which is quite special considering the Moto3 race machines weigh 30-40kg less and are putting out over 70PS. 

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Now, Vorapong had suggested to us what gears to use in what corners and to keep a close eye on his lines. Out lap completed and Vorapong started to pick up the pace. I obliged. With the taps opened to the max, the 313cc motor was roaring away to 12000rpm, the note growing more menacing and fearsome closer to the red line. 

Initially, I did fumble with the shifts a few times, I had to forcibly mutter to myself inside the helmet about the GP shifts. But as soon as I got the hang of it, the quickshifter was a joy to operate, quick and precise every time I wanted it to go up the cogs.

Much like most race bikes, this RR 310 too needed to be revved hard to keep it singing. Short shifting was going to do no good. There’s absolutely no drive below 7000rpm, the motor coming into its element only post 8500rpm. And once it does, boy is it exciting! TVS engineers did have a conservative throttle map activated for us as they didn’t want us to wreck the bike or do something silly to ourselves. And despite that, I was able to notice around 180kmph or so down the kilometre-long main straight.

Just a light tap on the brakes and you were brought back to sanity. The fierce pads shed speed in an instant, as I almost pulled a stoppie on an occasion where I went a bit hamfistedly. And suddenly it dawned on me that it was still a race bike, not meant to be forgiving to silly noobs.

It wasn’t the sheer straightline performance or the rock-solid brakes that made this Apache so special for me, it was just how easy it was to put it down into bends. The in-field section of the track starts with a fast left hander followed by a couple of more left turns. 

Vorapong had told us to shift down to fifth just before the first of the lefts, possibly to keep us grounded and safe. However, as the session progressed, I found that keeping the bike in sixth and carrying the momentum was faster, and a little hairy too. The first time round, I ran wide over the kerbs and onto the run-off tarmac area. However, I kept at it and hooked the bike better to keep it between the lines.

Sticking it into the next two lefts was a breeze and flicking it the other way round for the following long right hander required a small push at the bar. Despite the shorter wheelbase, sharper steering geometry and aggressive riding posture, this bike never did scare me in fast corner-to-corner transitions. Even the slightest steering input was reciprocated instantly, but gently. 

After tweaking the suspension and ergonomic settings for session two, I started feeling more confident in pushing the bike. It was nowhere near its limits, we were just trying to find mine. And never in that search did it falter or feel unsettling. Yes, I did have a few more off-track excursions, which would’ve definitely led me getting a long lap penalty or two for sure if I was in a race. Even then, it just stayed composed.

The fastest clean lap that I managed was a 2 minute 9-something seconds, some 19 seconds slower than Vorapong. As shocking as that gap is, I still am not deflated. That bike is truly something incredible and I would love to have a go on it once again if and when the opportunity arises.

TVS Apache RR 310 Video Review

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