TVS has been at its innovative best with the Apache model. Compact dimensions, nifty performance, nimble handling and razor-sharp brakes have always been a forte of the RTR family making it the preferred choice of enthusiasts, for street and track use alike. The company has taken it one step further by introducing an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) in the RTR 180.
Traffic conditions in most of the major cities are such that speeds are low, and rider inputs do not match the reflexes demanded by the traffic at times. Keeping these conditions in mind, TVS has developed the ABS in collaboration with German component supplier Continental, suited to the Indian market.
The unit weighs about 1.2kg, and can be fitted easily into the bike. The ABS on the Apache RTR 180 works just like any other conventional ABS, avoiding wheel lock-up in the event of sudden braking, and helping to reduce braking distances. It consists of two small discs mounted onto both wheels of the motorcycle with the brake disc, each connected to non-contact magnetic sensors. These sensors are connected to the HECU (Hydraulic and Electronic Control Unit) mounted behind the engine.
ABS can be switched on or off via a small push button on the dashboard. Each time the ignition is switched on the ABS system activates and does a self-check if it is on or off. We checked out TVS's latest bike at its special test track near Chennai with its variety of surfaces - normal tarmac, wet tarmac and two special patches with minimal grip, one of concrete blocks, and the second of wet ceramic tiles.
We tried the ABS on an adjacent off-road patch too, where the system amazed us again. For numbers sake, we tested the ABS system on a clean, dry patch of tarmac. Without ABS, the RTR 180 covered 23.47 metres in 2.74 seconds to come to a halt from 60kph. With ABS and from the same speed, it took 18.68 metres and 2.49sec.
The ABS is a great value addition and a boon for Indian conditions, helping reduce the number of accidents caused by sudden braking, more so by novice riders. While Honda's exciting new CBR250R is on the verge of taking to Indian roads with ABS brakes, TVS plans to bring its technology to us by April 2011. This move will promote safer biking in the future.