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Aprilia SR150 Review, First Ride

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Aprilia SR150 scooter is a scooter on paper but has the performance and character of a motorcycle as its performance and dynamics are captivating

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Enchanting –

  • Unique and attractive styling
  • Superlative chassis, brakes, engine
  • Practical and comfortable
  • Value for money

Unsatisfying –

  • Underseat storage could be bigger
  • Plain speedometer, lacks features

Aprilia as a name is synonymous with motorcycles that have engines to cry for and chassis to die for. Aprilia has maintained that by racing continuously over the past several years. All of this to make sure they get the right balance of racing pedigree and add of all that into a road going motorcycle which can be as good as getting you high without drugs. Aprilia wants to put some of that magic into a scooter it announced at the Auto Expo 2016. We were all excited and frankly not so enthusiastic at the same time. Reason? Pricing for the scooters from the Piaggio Group was not its forte till date. The Vespa scooters are sold for almost Rs. 1 lakh on-road for either the 125 and now the 150.

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Reason? The monocoque chassis and suspension along with a very high tech motor costs a lot. You do get what you pay for but it isn’t something you reap as an enthusiast as it is more of a cosmetic appeal for the masses and a commercial product. All of that is set to change with the new Aprilia scooter. They call it the SR 150. Yes, a new 150cc engine with a new chassis and a sportier positioning of scooter should help this scooter. Why you may ask. Demand for powerful scooters is on the rise. Suzuki has ruled the 125 and now Honda came with the 125 as well. Aprilia wants to offer double that what the Japanese offer and that’s we found out in brief ride on the outskirts of Pune with perfect weather! How is it? Let’s find out!

Design First glance and the typical mindset of any buyer in the country will be that of a very skinny and edgy scooter. At the very same time it will be something totally new and attractive, especially in the black color. Cream white isn’t something any enthusiast would choose over the sinister black. The red graphics and decals all around, especially at the handlebar in the front remind you of the bigger bikes and just makes you smile for known reasons. The massive 14-inch wheels painted in gloss black finish are one of the major highlights of the styling package.

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The off-road inspired beak at the front and above that there are two headlight pods for the first time on a scooter. The Apron is also busy with vents and decals. Coming to the rear you can see it is pretty much exposed. The round exhaust canister and the protruding small tail-light along with sharp-looking grab rails add to the edgy and purposeful design. The side profile is minimalist as there is small panel and the rest of at the front is the foot board continuing into the side panels. The fit-finish is good, plastic quality is good enough and it feels built to last. Overall, purposefully designed scooter signifies its performance credentials.

Ergonomics and practicality Typical of any scooter and this where it unassuming scores a lot of points. The upright riding position with low seat height should attract a lot of buyers of age and size. Seats are good and comfortable and should good enough for small to medium-sized riders. Wait for a road test and then we can pass an idea how comfortable seats are on long journeys.

If you don’t want place your foot on the well designed footboards, the wonderfully crafted rear set footpegs can make you feel you are on a motorcycle. Mirrors are small and surprisingly are enough. However, we would appreciate and recommend bigger rear view mirrors. Footboard is just about ok in size to carry tit bits and so is the medium-sized boot which cannot take a full-sized helmet, but it can yet again, take tit bits of rest of space will be occupied by papers and the tool kit.

Speedo and Switchgear
Speedometer is the most simple part of the scooter. A fuel gauge and a speedometer which is plain vanilla and there is not much to offer except normal tell-tale lights. Solitary turn-indicators are missing but you get a ‘headlight on’ tell-tale light just like cars. Switchgear on the other hand is quite. Chunky in size and very easy to operate with even thick gloves and they work really well. Pass light button is a boon and now seen on most scooters. Quality is really good with the switches and they are extremely tactile.

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Aprilia SR150 Engine

Coming to the best part of the scooter is the engine. The 150cc 3-Valve air-cooled CVT equipped motor makes 11.3 PS of power and 11.5 Nm of torque. The engine has been taken from the Vespa 150 and there are a few changes made to the engine. Over the Vespa, on the go you can notice there is torque throughout the rev band. 20-40-60-80 km/hr is done quite smoothly and when off the line instant acceleration is concerned, it is very impressive indeed.

Despite me, as the rider, weighs nearly around 90 kg mark and still managed to hit a top speed of 110 km/hr on a very windy stretch which is very serious performance indeed. Mid-range is very punchy, but only once it hits the power band which is around 85 km/hr. Aprilia says that they have seen 120 km/hr with a lighter rider, at the track!

City driveability isn’t going to be an issue, but immediate punch lower cc scooters offer can be missed by keen riders. The slightly better performance than the Vespa 150 seems to be because the kerb weight is lesser. Aprilia hasn’t released full-fledged numbers of the scooters so wait for that. However, what we can assure is that this is the best performing scooter in decades and there is no doubt this is the most enthusiastic scooter in the market today.

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Aprilia SR150 Handling

What has changed over the Vespa 150 is the largely the chassis. The monocoque chassis has been replaced with the down tube frame that we have seen with all scooters in the past and present. 32 mm forks which were last seen on a 200cc motorcycle can be seen here. The single sided shock at the rear is also a typical chassis-suspension affair with these kind of scooters. 14-inch wheels with 120 section tyre is all a recipe for great dynamics. Is it? Yes! The scooter ride is on the stiffer side and bumps can be felt.

However, they are in a positive way and it doesn’t crash in every single bump like the market leader scooter. Turn-in with those large tyres are scooter seems a tad bit lazy, but the short wheelbase makes up for it. Agility is high and so is the scooter nimble in the city. Highway stability is rock solid and is stable in the middle of the corner as well. It will do all your daily duties, but with a lot of fun which is guaranteed. What is surprisingly for the scooter is that it has a bit of off-road capabilities.

The high ground clearance, long travel suspension means it can do quite some off-road. Not recommended with tyres that come with the scooter now, but later we are sure it will be more fun to off-road with as well. Brake at the rear is a 140 mm drum unit and front has a large 220mm disc brake with brembo caliper and master-cylinder. The feedback isn’t great but stopping power is enough thanks to bigger tyres which provide fuss free and safe braking.

Aprilia SR150 Review, Verdict

Clearly, then the Aprilia SR 150 is the scooter that we have waited for. We all thought it would be priced much higher, but it isn’t, for now at least. The introductory price is set to go within a month and if you want, you should better hurry to put your deposit down. We think this is as high as praise gets. Aprilia has everything, the performance, the unique design, the decent amount of practicality and high quality components and materials to make sure the riding experience is everything you desire. SR 150 clearly stands for SupeR 150!

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Aprilia SR150 Scooter Price RS. 65,000 ex-showroom

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