With the launch of the 2019 TVS Apache RTR200 V2.0 in Malaysia at a price of RM10,950, paultan.org was given the chance of a first look at this made in India 200 cc sport bike. While the time permitted for us with the RTR200 was a trifle short, we did come away with some positive impressions of the bike.

Using an oil-cooled, single-cylinder 197 cc power plant, TVS claims the RTR200 produces some 20.5 PS of power and 18.1 Nm of torque. These numbers are well in keeping with the nature of the RTR200 and we were much more interested in the build quality and performance of the bike.

Straight off, the RTR200 we were allowed to ride came in a fetching shade of matte red, with the finish being without blemish. Studied from a distance, the RTR200 gives the impression of being larger than it is, a trait we have noticed with motorcycles coming from India.

It should be noted at this juncture the bike we rode is the 2017 version of the Apache RTR200, while the model currently launched is the 2019 TVS Apache RTR200 4V Race Edition V2.0. The main difference is the 2019 RTR200 comes with a slipper clutch and updated graphics.

Getting on the RTR200, we settled into the 800 mm tall saddle quite comfortably, with a little room to move around. The seat is a two-piece affair, in keeping with the ‘sports’ design language much favoured amongst young riders.

Starting on the RTR200 is electric, and the engine came to life with a little surprise. Revving the engine up, the RTR200 exhibited a minimum of vibration, well below what we have become accustomed with from single-cylinder bikes in the sub-quarter litre class.

Riding the RTR200 around, we noticed the handling of the bike was certainly above average. A close inspection of the tyres revealed Pirelli Angel rubber fitted to the RTR200 which goes a long to explaining the bike’s handling confidence.

Throwing the bike around various high- and low-speed corners, the RTR200 handled everything we chucked at it with aplomb, and there was never a point when we wished for more road grip. However, being a budget bike, the RTR comes with standard telescopic forks in front and a pre-load adjustable monoshock at the back.

While low and medium speed comfort was good, heeling the bike over did show some wallow and weave. This is perhaps somewhat excusable given the budget nature of the bike and it is certainly not designed for knee-down corner heroics.

Braking hard for the corners did show the brake lever coming back very close the grip with lever feel being soft even under normal operating conditions. While the rear brake does do the job, an over reliance of the rear brake does not make for good stopping.

What it does do well is the city commute, covering medium distances well. With the frugal nature of the engine, the 12-litre fuel tank gave us some 200 plus km of range before the fuel light came on.

One thing though, if you’re a speed demon, take note the RTR200 will only give you some 130 km/h top speed and we do mean top. This is perhaps a function of the five-speed gearbox and gearing, as we did expect about 10 km/h more but this is neither here nor there.

Inside the cockpit, a monochrome LCD panel displays all the necessary information. Resembling the unit installed on the BMW Motorrad G310 R, the panel also includes a little shift light.

Taken as it is, basic two-wheel transport with a sporty bent, the RTR200 performs admirably well and does tick all the right boxes for a fuss-free, reliable ride. The build quality of the RTR200 is good and it gives its rivals in the market, the KTM 200 Duke at RM11,888 and Modenas Pulsar NS200 at RM11,342 a run for the money.

The control over the vibration of the engine and the way the RTR200 is put together, along with its price of RM10,950 makes this one well worth considering if you’re in the market.