18th Jan 2020 8:00 am
We rode down to the inaugural edition of MotoSoul in Goa on the RR310. Here’s what it was like.
When you buy a motorcycle, you’re buying more than just a machine that’ll get you from point A to B. With a lot of manufacturers, you’re also buying into the brand’s culture and the opportunity to be one of its advocates. TVS Apache owners have probably been meeting and riding with like-minded enthusiasts for a while now, but some time last year, the manufacturer decided to get involved and flagged off its first official TVS Apache Owners Ride. Initially, it had just over a 100 people from different parts of South India riding to the TVS plant in Hosur, but now it has gone on to become an annual gathering of owners from across the country. The bike maker is calling the event ‘MotoSoul’, and we were invited to Vagator, Goa, to be a part of the inaugural edition.
Considering this was a gathering of riders, flying to the event would defeat its purpose. And since our only experience with the updated, slipper-clutch-enabled RR310 was on the racetrack, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get some saddle time. So here’s what the bike was like on a 1,265km round-trip from Goa to Mumbai, and what MotoSoul had in store for us.
A noble steed
The purpose of the update seemed to be to reduce vibrations, and with a new rubber lining for the windscreen and heavier bar-end weights, things were a lot better at the front. The bike also gets a new chain roller to address issues with chain sound, and an ECU update that supposedly smoothed the engine out by a small margin. The vibrations are still there but they have been reduced to a buzz, which is most prominent around the tank. With peak output figures of 34hp and 27.3Nm, the RR310 lets you cruise comfortably even upwards 120kph, with the ergonomics keeping wind blast at bay. The benefits of the new slipper clutch aren’t as noticeable as they would be on a racetrack, but it’s a system that works extremely well. On the occasional aggressive downshift to avoid a nasty stretch of road, I noticed that the system smoothens out almost all engine braking. Even on the monsoon-ravaged roads that led to Goa, it did a decent job of soaking up potholes, and you won’t have to slow down as much as you’d think you’d have to. In the price range, there’s no other motorcycle that walks the tight line between being a track machine and an everyday bike as gracefully as the RR310 does. The updates only improve the already impressive package and it’s a bike you could spend hours on. The ergonomics are such that you can still reach the handlebar with your back nearly upright.
Despite its supersport-like design, the RR310 made for a great highway companion.
With MotoSoul, TVS intends to ‘celebrate the bond between man and machine’. This first edition saw nearly all the TVS Factory racers attend with their race machines! The Sherco TVS Dakar team for 2020 was also officially announced, with Michael Metge, Lorenzo Santolino, Johnny Aubert and Harith Noah part of the squad. We also got to see why these guys are at the top of the sport. Aboard the RTR 450 FX rally bikes, they rode around a specially designed dirt circuit at the venue – most of it on one wheel! A few of us were given the opportunity to do so too! To me, the 450 FX felt like the equivalent of what a race-spec supersport would feel like on a racetrack. With my limited skill, I probably pushed the bike only to a minor fraction of what it’s capable of, but it was still an extremely fun experience. The two-day event was held at Hilltop, Vagator. There were a number of fun activities planned, like a tug-of-war and a push-up contest, and, obviously, quite a few that required a motorcycle – like a dirt race that integrated some fitness tests, a slow race, and an obstacle course! TVS even had a service bay set up. This came in handy for participants who had ridden their bikes down and needed work done before their ride back.
If its maiden year is anything to go by, the future iterations of the TVS MotoSoul are sure worth waiting for!