The temperature dropped under -Three levels, and I am holding on to the engine to get some heat into my numb palms. The sunshine is fading quick and I’ve nonetheless far to get to my vacation spot for the day – Phobjikha, within the coronary heart of Bhutan. The TVS Apache RR 310 is my companion for the day and the best mile muncher one may ask for. The chilly is not serving to however the view is value each bit. However what precisely am I doing in our carbon unfavorable neighbouring nation using the flagship Apache? Learn on to search out out.
In a span of a bit over a decade, the TVS Apache sequence has grown exponentially with bikes starting from 150 cc to 313 cc. Whereas TVS has offered over three million Apaches in India, the model has its set of followers past our borders too and the corporate sells these bikes in a number of nations, a few of them in South Asia. So, it was about time that the Apache House owners Group (AOG) obtained a style of a global experience, and what higher place than the picturesque Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan? We joined the TVS Apache House owners Group (AOG) on its maiden worldwide experience to the Land of the Thunder Dragon.
As many as 15 TVS Apache prospects signed up for the experience, most of whom had ridden their bikes to the beginning line of the Trip To Bhutan. The experience initially began from Siliguri in West Bengal, however we joined the riders throughout the border in Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu. Over the subsequent 5 days, we rode from Thimphu to Punakha after which Phobjikha, earlier than culminating our journey in Paro. Getting into the nation is comparatively simple on bikes, so long as your paperwork is so as.
The primary day of our experience was a relaxed one as we got down to discover Thimphu on our bikes. Having given the selection between the Apache RTR 200 4V and the Apache RR 310, I selected the previous since it is a bike I used to be acquainted with. The RTR 200 4V was the proper companion for the slender roads of Thimphu, as we climbed in direction of the Buddha Dordenma temple, a big Shakyamuni Buddha statue overlooking town. After spending a while on the temple, we headed to discover the capital that could be a melting pot of tradition and improvement. The native delicacies is what we needed to try to had some lip-smacking native dishes like Ema Datshi, retaining our bellies heat.
The actual experience started on the second day as we moved from Thimphu to Punakha by way of Dochula Go. The Apache RTR 200 4V was my companion for the day and the mountain roads ensured that I used to be in for a deal with. The well-paved roads of Bhutan are a motorcyclist’s delight and serving to the trigger was the close to excellent sunny climate. The RTR 200 4V is a wonderful companion, each inside metropolis limits, and out on the freeway, even on twisty mountain roads, and from the very starting, I used to be proper at house on the saddle. The 200 cc bike with its 19 bhp of energy and racing heritage carried out brilliantly over the 80 km experience. Bhutan is filled with roads carved out on the facet of mountains and infrequently do you get straight stretches to throttle away. The Apache’s agility was simply excellent for the roads right here, as we swept left and proper via the huge empty stretches with out having to shut the throttle.
The Dochula go is situated at an elevation of three,108 metres, and in addition holds the 108 stupas that had been constructed as a memorial in honour of the Bhutanese troopers who had been killed within the December 2003 battle in opposition to Assamese insurgents from India. The stupas are a should go to and provide a panoramic of the jap Himalayan vary.
TVS Motor Firm’s first worldwide buyer experience had almost the entire Apache line-up with the Apache RTR 160, RTR 180, RTR 200 and even RR 310 house owners in attendance. As we gathered for dinner later that night, the house owners narrated anecdotes about their adventures and what introduced them to Bhutan. It was heartening to see the love for bikes and journey bringing this enjoyable group of people collectively.
With Day Three shining upon us, it was time for me to commerce within the RTR 200 for the Apache RR 310. Whereas I had briefly sampled the TVS flagship in India, this was for the primary time we had been to spend some high quality time collectively. The Apache RR 310 was a revelation then and sailed via the winding roads of Bhutan with its 34 horses at play from that 313 cc single-cylinder engine. The bike packs within the practicality of the RTR 200 and amplifies it with extra energy, agility, and sheer ride-ability. The 310 does have a barely devoted using place, however the flagship Apache manages to steadiness the using stance properly. At no level did it really feel strained, however the actual problem was but to come back.
Phobjikha, we had been advised, was one of many coldest areas on our experience and temperatures had been dropping quick as we climbed greater. The organisers needed us to have an genuine keep expertise within the unknown, which meant we had been lodged in a resort in the course of wilderness and we needed to undergo some tough roads (no less than it appeared so) to get to the vacation spot. I used to be instantly regretting my choice to decide on the Apache RR 310 for the day. Dangerous roads have seldom been associates with sportbikes and the Apache could be no completely different, or so I believed.
We had been dropping gentle quick and the mercury had dipped properly under zero. For somebody used to humid climate all 12 months lengthy, temperatures like these can get a bit overwhelming. The roads went from dangerous to worse, however the supple suspension of the 310 ensured that I used to be gliding over the damaged roads; now it is a sportbike with good experience high quality! The bike simply devoured up the tough patches with barely a rattle from its physique. The bike showcased its vary of versatility as a monitor software and a tourer, and it’s this attribute that makes you forgive the vibrations that in any other case plague the stunning bike at excessive revs. Whereas I’ve at all times rooted for the Apache RTR 200 4V as certainly one of my extra favorite Apaches, the Apache RR 310 now sits a really shut second on that checklist.
Having survived temperatures of -9 levels in a single day, we now needed to put together for the final leg of the journey. Ranging from Phobjikha to Paro, this was the longest stretch of the experience with about 180 km to finish. I reluctantly swapped the keys with a fellow journalist and was again on the RTR 200. Our convoy of 15 Apaches using in near-perfect sync was one of many highlights of the final day’s experience. A lot to everybody’s aid, there have been no breakdowns or any untoward incident involving a fall or crash. And TVS ensured that the purchasers solely consider using their bikes, with the bags taken care of in a automobile that adopted. The technicians would additionally assist out prospects if there have been a necessity.
On our final day in Bhutan, we determined to offer the bikes a bit relaxation and as an alternative let our toes do some climbing as an alternative. We headed to the Paro Taktsang monastery, extra generally often called the Tiger’s Nest, which is a three-hour climb one-way and positively not for the faint-hearted. To say that the trek to the long-lasting Tiger’s Nest monastery is steep is an understatement. In the long run, I did handle to make it to the highest, regardless of the fixed huffing and puffing, and virtually giving up as soon as, however the reward was the magnificent view from the highest. Over 18 kilometres and 25,000 steps later, the trek felt value each effort even when it meant having sore legs the subsequent day. That being stated, I would like using my method to the highest the subsequent time if that’s an choice.
TVS could not have chosen a greater nation to kick-start its first worldwide buyer experience. With scenic views and pleasant faces throughout, Bhutan simply leaves you in awe and wanting extra. It is precisely the form of nation that must be explored on a bike and I’m lucky that I obtained to try this on this lifetime. It is one thing ticked off my bucket checklist, and it’s best to add it to yours too.