Despite its age, the recently upgraded TVS Apache RTR 160 2V is still very popular. We find out if it can handle the test posed by the brand-new Bajaj Pulsar P150.
A fascinating turn of events has always resulted from watching two great rivals spar. Any motorbike manufacturers like TVS and Bajaj, Rossi vs. Marquez, Niki Lauda vs. James Hunt, or even the Formula One races. These two Indian producers have been competing for years in the 150cc-160cc range. After being in production for almost two decades, TVS still sees enough demand for the Apache RTR 160 2V to justify a thorough modification. The timing of the aforementioned changes couldn’t have been better too. Since a brand-new 150cc Pulsar that is the greatest Bajaj has ever produced poses a serious threat.
Ergonomics Of The Bajaj Pulsar P150 and TVS Apache RTR 160 2V
As soon as you get on the Apache, it becomes clear that the bike was made for boy racers, not obese people or tall riders. The clip-ons are dragged more inwards than they were on the Pulsar, the footpegs are relatively high and rear-set, and the fuel tank extension presses your knees into your chest, creating an uncomfortable riding position. The Pulsar is much more pleasant for regular travels because to its ergonomic seat and less rigid riding posture. But even the Pulsar has a sportier posture than some might anticipate, while the single disc P150 features a taller, flat handlebar and more ergonomically positioned foot pegs if comfort is your top goal.
Design and Features Of The Bajaj Pulsar P150 And The TVS Apache RTR 160 2V
You can identify which motorbike is the older one without giving it a second thought because they are parked next to one another. The new colours and graphics are the only significant design changes to the Apache. Thus, the new LED headlamp (which does a wonderful job of illuminating a dark road). And the LED tail-light all contribute to the Apache’s improved appearance. Personally, I think the TVS looks good, and the bulk of the team members feel the same way.
If you turn your attention to the Pulsar P150. You’ll notice that the N160 and N250, its older brothers, have had a significant design influence. That’s not a bad thing, and I think the newer Pulsars’ more streamlined body panels look attractive. The spindly fork and the tiny tyres, especially on the P150, are what don’t look nice. We don’t see the same sense of mass and proportion in this Pulsar that we did in earlier ones.
In the race to see who has the best features, TVS also defeats Bajaj. It is significantly more detailed than the Pulsar’s less complicated but still fashionable analogue-digital unit and features a full-digital display with Bluetooth connectivity, turn-by-turn navigation, and more. Moreover, the TVS offers three different ride modes: Rain, Urban, and Sport. Both the power supply and the peak outputs are muted in these modes.
For instance, the maximum power and torque in Sport mode are 16.04hp at 8,750 rpm and 13.85Nm at 7,000 rpm. In contrast, in Urban/Rain mode, these numbers are 13.32 horsepower at 8,000 revolutions per minute and 12.7 Nm at 6,500. Some people would think that ride modes on a 160cc bike are pointless, but throughout the test, the advantages were clear, and we’ll talk more about it later. The Apache is currently unchallenged in another region and is definitely in the lead.
Engine and Fuel Economy Comparison Between The Bajaj Pulsar P150 And The TVS Apache RTR 160 2V
When compared against the clock, the Apache has the advantage on paper thanks to its engine’s higher power and torque outputs as well as its lower curb weight. The TVS is much faster than the new Pulsar whether the run is from a stop to 60 kph, 80 kph, or 100 kph. In fact, it crosses the 100kph mark more than two seconds faster than the Pulsar. But there is obviously no rivalry in terms of performance. And I’m rather surprised at how swift the old TVS is.
The quantity of vibrations felt in the middle to higher rev range did not impress me or anyone else in the squad. It leaves you with a tingling sensation in your hands and feet and feels a touch too harsh for this day and age. The most obvious sign of how ancient this Apache is is these vibrations.
The engine of the Pulsar, in contrast, is exquisitely honed regardless of where the rev needle is positioned. It is also a very tractable engine. And there were moments when I could cruise in second gear at a leisurely 5–6 kph without experiencing any hiccups. Riding in that fashion simply took a twist of the throttle to pull a rapid overtaking. It goes without saying that even while driving through Mumbai’s terrible traffic, first gear was hardly ever used. With this engine, commuting is enjoyable.
Although the Apache’s engine is likewise fairly tractable, we were pleasantly surprised by the level of fuel efficiency it provides. The TVS returned 48.5kpl in the city and 46.44kpl on the motorway when the bike was driven in Sport mode. By switching to Urban mode, the fuel economy in the city increased to an amazing 53.1 kpl. In contrast, the Pulsar only achieved 48kpl on open highways and 43.41kpl in urban areas.
TVS Apache RTR 160 2V Vs. Bajaj Pulsar P150: Ride and Handling
The compact design and shorter wheelbase of the Apache make it a very efficient vehicle for weaving in and out of traffic. When I rode the bike through a set of turns, it was a similar tale. I adored its very flickable handling. Remora tyres on the bike, with their grip and feedback, also contributed to increased confidence. On the other hand, high-speed stability is not a strong suit for the TVS. And its short wheelbase does cause the bike to quiver slightly over uneven highways at triple-digit speeds.
In contrast, the Pulsar feels far more secure and confident on comparable speeds and surfaces because to its larger wheelbase. Moreover, the P150’s handling is greatly improved, and it is noticeably easier to flip into and out of corners than prior Pulsar 150s. It comes close to being as entertaining as the TVS, though.
The Bajaj outperforms the TVS in this regard thanks to how easily it smooths out bumps and potholes. The Apache has a good ride quality, but the front end is very soft, to the point where it bottoms out when encountering hard speed breakers or bumps with sharp edges. Moreover, the Pulsar’s braking system is superior in terms of bite and lever sensation.
TVS Apache RTR 160 2V vs. Bajaj Pulsar P150: Results
Although being such an ancient bike, the Apache RTR 160 2V still manages to put a smile on people’s faces, including mine. The fact that it is one of the fastest and most manoeuvrable bikes in its class, in my opinion, is a key factor. Additionally, it outperforms the Pulsar P150 in terms of features, performance, and—most importantly—fuel efficiency. Even though the Apache is excellent, there are a few aspects to it that make it difficult to suggest.
It is competitively priced with the Apache RTR 160 4V, which ranges in price from Rs 1.21 lakh to Rs 1.30 lakh, with a starting price of Rs 1.17 lakh and a top-end variant we have on test costing Rs 1.24 lakh. In terms of finesse, comfort, and dynamics, the 4V is a far superior motorbike.
Since this bike is in demand, you can’t really blame TVS for keeping it around. Nevertheless, when the Pulsar P150 enters the picture. You can’t help but feel that the Apache, despite the capabilities and design update, is no longer cutting edge. However, the Pulsar is a nicer bike to ride in almost every circumstance thanks to its outstanding engine refinement, more excellent chassis, and comfort levels. The Pulsar P150 was unquestionably the champion, and its price of Rs 1.16–1.19 lakh served as the cherry on top.
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