We have been covering 100 special motorcycles and scooters most of which have played an important role in shaping the trends in the Indian motorcycle industry. Suffice to say that we have come across another machine which is not really road legal, but it is vital for its company in order to improve their road-going motorcycle.
Meet TVS Motor and their road-racing RTR 160. Complete with a performance oriented engine and the bodywork which serves only one purpose â€“ aerodynamics â€“ this particular 160 is TVSâ€™s pocket rocket.
There are significant differences between the production RTR 160 and the racing version of it. To start with, the engine is a 160cc single cylinder unit, but it is liquid-cooled, produces 32 BHP of power (that is correct) and revs up to 14,000/14,500 RPM in its top gear (5th). It weighs somewhere around 100 kg to meet the racing regulations of minimum weight (which is 100 kg), although, without fuel, it weighs just 98 kg. Combine that weight with the power figure it produces and youâ€™ve got one hell of a 160cc motorcycle.
And did we mention yet that we rode it and how much fun it was to do so? Oh, it was one of our best experiences ever.
TVS RTR 160 â€“ Road Racing
We got a rare chance to visit the TVS Motor factory in Chennai and ride their purpose-built racing 160cc sportbike. Honestly, we didnâ€™t expect much from it, perhaps because of our lack of exposure on such motorcycles. But boy, we were in for a pleasant surprise as soon as put it in first gear and rode out.
The first reaction â€“ this thing is fast! It revved freely like no other RTR we have ridden before. In fact, it didnâ€™t nearly feel like any familiar motorcycle we have ridden. The ultra lightweight motorcycle rides on the sticky Bridgestone tyres and with the chassis and suspension tuned specifically for track riding, this little racing motorcycle is quite exceptionally in corners. Of course, the straight line stability is impressive but it is the corners where a track bike has to shine and this one does.
At the beginning, it does feel a bit unsettling because of its low weight, but as soon as you get familiar with it, everything starts to come together nicely. TVS says that the main competition in domestic racing comes from Honda CBR15R and Yamaha YZF-R15, but it is so heartening to learn that TVS has been winning them all for the last 4 years.
And even if itâ€™s so obvious we would still like to mention that you wonâ€™t this or anything like it on OLX. However, the closest you can get to it is by getting a production RTR 160, and that you can definitely find on OLX.
We wish TVS all the success in their racing department, they need it and deserve it. It is one of the only two companies which is into professional racing, the other is Mahindra. While TVS has released their most powerful RTR till date with a 200cc engine, we hope that theyâ€™ll also come out with a madder motorcycle something closer to their racing machine.