There is an alluring old charm about scooters – may it be the retro-touch in design, tiny wheels, wide floorboard, bulbous side body, or the low power easy-to-ride runabout. But here’s the all-new Aprilia SR 150 that bears no resemblance to any vehicle that is categorised as a scooter so far in India. When was the last time you saw a scooter with chunky disc brakes up front? Or a scooter with smart modern design that the rear half looks just like a commuter bike? And that too for an unbelievable Rs. 67,396 (Ex-showroom, New Delhi) price tag? I end up staring at this gorgeous two-wheeler all day, only to convince myself that a whole new breed of scooter is right here!
The Aprilia is typically Italian, and the styling of this motorcycle tells you more about that. The first thing is the large 14-inch blacked-out, polished alloy wheels, something that you can’t even find in larger bikes in this price range. The next thing is the moto scooter-ish front styling with headlamp on its chest and short-stepped seat. Then moving across nose to tail, the transformation happens even before we realise – the tail part is more bike-esque ever. Lastly, the balanced paint job and stickered graphics adds more value to the Aprilia’s design.
This fancy moto-scooter is powered by a 150-cc single-cylinder SOHC 3-valve engine that generates a maximum output of 11.6 PS at 7,000 rpm and 11.5 Nm at 5,500 rpm. The engine is paired to a ‘Variomatic’ automatic gearbox. Once you light up the engine, the typical clatter of a scooter turns up, but with less of harshness and vibration unlike other Indian or Japanese counterparts. But the real treat is its seemly effort-less power delivery, it simply passes the 100 kmph mark with ease while acceleration still nimble even at those speeds.
The Aprilia SR 150 features a tubular open frame single-cradle chassis that is sturdy like any other larger bikes, quite evident from the its ride experience. It also feels little heavier with 122 kgs, but the Vee Rubber 120/70 wheels come to the rescue. The single 220-mm disc up front and 240-mm drum brake at the rear makes braking less troublesome. There is no ABS tech although. But once the brand gets the ball rolling in the Indian market, the SR 150 is likely to go a bit premium with additional features and technologies. For now, there is nothing more than an under-seat storage box and a hand bag hook!
On the whole, the new fancy scooter defines its target audience very clearly. The SR 150 is for those who wants the best of both worlds – the excitement of a motorcycle and the practicality and easiness of scooters – and more importantly, at a very affordable price. The Aprilia is something like a ‘crossover’ and is totally worth to consider against its key rivals in the segment – the Vespa LX 125, Honda Activa, Honda Aviator 125, Suzuki Access 125, and Yamaha Fascino or Cygnus Ray ZR. Also note that all these challengers who fall in SR 150’s price range are below-150 cc scooters, pointing to the Aprilia’s head start in the performance-oriented scooter game in the segment.
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