Altering Perspective with Apache RTR 2004V

Now and then the safest option, turns out to be the best one.

Let me tell you a story that took place exactly three years from now, back when the whole world was in dismay and the production across industries was heavily impacted resulting due to the shortage of Chips globally. In June 2020, I decided to stop playing around the bush and make that elusive purchase (for me at least) to get a somewhat decent performance bike.

But before I commence with the story, let me state something about myself I used to hate motorcycles of any kind, I was firm in my opinion that Cars were better, faster, and whatnot. But all that was about to change and for better or worse, I am hooked to the two-wheeled Madness.

Ok, back to the story, The idea to get me a two-wheeler was sown a year and a half before the purchase was made when one of my friends got a brand new R15 v3 in January 2023, call it peer pressure or a moment of divine epiphany, once I got to test ride that R15 I knew then and there I need to get me one of those.

So, with that thought in mind, I began searching for my true one, since I was so fascinated with the R15 v3 it was fair to say I was more than intrigued when the announcement of the MT-15s (R15’s naked street fighter sibling) launch date was announced, I precariously waited for three months in anticipation for MT-15s launch. Finally, on the 15th of March 2019, my wait was about to come to an end, but to my utter dismay Yamaha MT-15 was not the bike I expected it to be, maybe I had my hopes and expectations higher than usual, but I don’t know.

But MT 15 wasn’t just a faring stripped-off version of R15 V3 but it was also a mechanically stripped-off version of R15s, allow me to explain R15 V3 came equipped with an aluminium Swingarm and dual channel ABS. Whereas Yamaha equipped MT15 with a back-to-the-basic box-section swingarm and a single-channel ABS.

Now, all that could’ve been forgiven as I set my mind on the MT15 and was willing to let go of some features, but the factor that became the final nail in the coffin was its price, which despite not being as complete as an R15 V3 only costed 2000/- rupees less than the R15V3, left a bad taste in my mouth and I started looking for other alternatives.

First on my list was Yamaha’s stable, The Fz-25 which produces 20nm of torque and 20 bhp from a 250cc engine, but it too lacked in the mechanical department such as a slipper clutch which was present in the MT-15 and other alternatives but was highly impressed by its pulling capabilities and it was my second preferred option. If FZ 25 was my second preference, so what was my first choice?

After riding and much contemplation, NS200 was my top priority, I particularly loved its chassis which inspired great confidence and the braking was top-notch, not to mention its KTM derived 200cc motor that produces 24 hp and 18 nm of torque was more than enough to keep a rookie like me engaged and impressed. But despite being much impressed by the NS200, this article is still not about it but about The Apache RTR 2004V. And here’s why.

Of all the bikes I mentioned I never got to test ride the Apache 2004v and during this time when I was still contemplating my options Covid Struck any further chances of me getting to ride these bikes back to Back became difficult and during the lockdown, I didn’t think twice about purchasing a bike and left the idea in the back seat.

That is until May 2020 when the idea was revived again and I went out to scout all the four bikes I had my eye on but this time something was different, the prices of all these motorcycles were hiked and the introduction of BS6 Norms tamed these bikes to some extent so, now I had to revise my priorities.

But one bike that was not even considered a sure shot was standing out Apache RTR with its new feature-rich brochure, which came with dual channel ABS and a slipper clutch with 20hp produced by a 200cc motor and became my safest bet when others either became way too expensive for my first bike and lacked some bells and whistles to at least sway me their way and Some that just didn’t make sense with their age and some lost significant power due BS6 (I am looking at you, Yamaha).

So, now the safest option among the four bikes ( YAMAHA MT15, BAJAJ NS200, YAMAHA FZ25 & TVS Apache RTR 2004V)

Apache RTR made more sense and it was perfectly under my budget, and Since I would be sharing this bike with my brothers, The safest option became my only option.

In MAY 2020 I ordered the bike since due to Covid the production was dramatically slowed and the stock was affected I had to wait for a month to get my bike and on one fine day in June 2020, I got a call from the dealership that conveyed to me that my bike has arrived at the dealership and I can come and pick it up.

I went and got home our very first entry-level sports bike, got home safely didn’t think much about it, was just way too ecstatic to notice or test anything else on the bike.

But a week later I decided to take it out for a spin and my first impressions were lacklustre, and being a rookie rider my expectations and technique didn’t match. I felt the bike lacked character while accelerating like FZ25 and Ns200, or the sharpness of MT15 in the corners.

With time I learned about the differences between chassis on a bike and how they have to be driven in a way that is very specific to each motorcycle. And also learned that I was upshifting way too quickly to enjoy the full potential of the engine.

In a year I learned the bike is front-biased and had a twitchy rear end, so, I started riding exactly to its character, turning in way too quickly and nursing the throttle, and downshifting at the right time while exiting a corner to create sway on the rear that helps rotate the bike around the corner.

By the time I started having fun on our Apache RTR 2004V, I was privileged enough to ride other motorcycles and realized Apache was a more complete package than most bikes, one tiny little detail that I was most impressed was with its suspension and I still am impressed, on a simple ride you won’t appreciate it much but when you start taking some corners with some aggression now and then you encounter some bad patches of the road around a curve that on other bikes would unsettle you but Apache’s suspension made sure it could absorb all that roughness and edginess while leaning without getting itself unsettled. And that! is highly impressive for an entry-level motorcycle.

With time I got into riding much more than I ever anticipated I went on long rides with my motorcycling buddies which ranged from 70km to 100 kms (a rookie number I am sure but for someone who hated motorcycles with all his passion and just got into riding a few years ago it’s a massive step) despite being completely knackered after those rides and both mental and physically exhausted I get, but the next day after the ride I got up and planned my next ride again.

I’ve ridden some very impressive motorcycles since then but I am pretty certain if it was any other bike than the Apache I wouldnt have loved motorcycling the way I do now, it is a bike that offered all the goodies of a motorcycling world without the flaws of a motorcycle, it is comfortable, it is forgiving in the corner yet you could get mischievous if you want, it is safe, offers great confidence in the rain and on damp roads. And this is how The Safest Option, Became The Best.

25,000 kms and three years later it remains the motorcycle whose keys I would grab whenever I crave some pure unadulterated fun.

Now, this doesn’t mean it is all sunshine and perfect it has flaws, a major one at that.

But I don’t want to make this post tedious so I would cover that in another post that would be posted on this website very shortly, And my complete review as well in my upcoming posts.

Let me know in the comments, which motorcycle still holds dear to your heart, and wrote the first paragraph of your motorcycling history. 


In the third paragraph of this post, I made an error in the dates the r15 V3 bought by my friend was in January 2019, not 2020.

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