2016 Aprilia SR 150 First Ride Review
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2016 Aprilia SR 150 first ride review

Overdrive

Say hello to India's sportiest scooter

 / 
Principal correspondent

Being proved wrong is almost never a nice feeling but this case is the exception. When we first saw the racy Aprilia SR 150 at the 2016 Auto Expo, we instantly assumed it would be positioned above the Vespa 150. With that badge and those looks, how could it not? But Aprilia sprung one of the nicest surprises of 2016 by announcing the SR 150’s sensational Rs 65,000 ex-showroom price. Now, we’ve had a couple of hours with the scooter and can answer the all important question: Does the SR 150 live up to the hype?

Aprilia SR 150
Visually, it’s a clean knock out of the park. This is an awesome looking scooter, one that won’t be out of place dicing its way through the streets of Milan. The design is edgy, sharp and unique in a great way. Aside for the mirrors, there are very few extrusions in the design. The footpegs fold away into the bodywork, and even the front brake oil reservoir is neatly recessed into the cowl.

Aprilia SR 150 (45)

What immediately grabs the attention up front is the big 14-inch tyre wrapped around a gorgeous wheel, easily the best looking in the business. The wheel is sprung by a pair of telescopic forks that look a bit spindly but then you remind yourself this is just a 150cc scooter. The main headlamp is housed in the fairing and the SR 150 uses DC lighting. It has separate 35/35W bulbs for low and high beam. Both do not come on simultaneously, but illumination in the dark is quite good. Housed in the top cowl are the indicator lamps. Facing the rider is a simple analogue gauge that features a speedo with kmph and mph read-outs, an odometer and a fuel gauge. It’s easy to read, but the spartan layout gives you the feeling that the money was saved for more important bits. Plastic quality and fit and finish are up to the mark, and there are no glaring cheap areas. For the price, you couldn’t ask for more. If I were to nitpick, the mirrors could show more. There’s also no brake lock clasp.

Aprilia SR 150 (9)
The riding position is pretty traditional and you sit as you would on any other scooter. Unlike the Vespas, the SR 150 has a fully flat floor with two recesses in the front to house your feet. I’m 6ft-1inch tall and fit on it comfortably without any issues of my knees fouling with the handlebar. In fact, short riders will find it a bit tall. A friend who’s 5ft-4inch tall says he found himself on his toes at a standstill. The seat is firm but my bigger issue is that it slopes, which gets uncomfortable and should take some getting used to. Underneath it lies a decently sized stowage space as well as the fuel-filler cap.

Aprilia SR 150 (48)

 

A range of accessories is planned to launch along with the scooter and among these will be a USB charging socket. The rear section is also well executed with grab rails that fit within the body work. I only wish the exhaust didn’t hide the lovely rear wheel. I’d also probably hack half the rear fender off as soon as possible. The SR 150 comes in a white/black/red and a grey/black/red colour combination. Both feature the wild graphics scheme that makes this scooter such a standout. To my eyes, this is both the most unique and the best looking scooter on sale in India today.

Aprilia SR 150 (3)
Thumb the starter and the SR 150 starts with a familiar thrummy note. This isn’t unusual because the Aprilia borrows the 154.4cc engine from the Vespa. The air-cooled single engine makes the same 11.6PS and 11.5Nm at identical rpms, and it is also carburetted. For the SR 150, Aprilia has tweaked the engine. Aprilia won’t say how, but we assume it involves changes to gearing among other things. Whatever it has done, the result is a much more eager and responsive feeling engine.

The motor is peppy at low speeds and gets to 80kmph with the same ease it takes most scooters to get to 60. Even at 90kmph, the sense of acceleration doesn’t back off and I saw 110kmph on one long stretch. I have no doubt that with enough room, you should be able to max out the 120kmph rated speedo. That’s amazing performance for a scooter, but what really impresses is how smooth and stress-free the engine is at high speeds. There are some vibrations at idle, but it quickly smoothes out at speed. This scooter has enough poke for quick overtakes in city and even highway cruising shouldn’t be too painful.

Aprilia SR 150 (8)
What we were most eager to see, however, was how the 14-inch wheels boosted handling. It quickly becomes apparent that this Aprilia has great stability, both in a straight line and around corners. Despite the larger wheels, turn-in is very quick, and by feathering the rear brake, you can carry some serious speeds through the bends. Overall, the wheels give it a sense of confidence that other scooters would be very jealous of.

While the SR 150 uses plastic bodywork against the metal-bodied Vespa, SR 150 actually works out to be about 2kg heavier than its sibling at 122kg. That’s fairly hefty for a scoot, but the Aprilia masks its weight incredibly well and you’d never guess it weighs so much. In fact, at no time does it come across as heavy or unwieldy at all.

Aprilia SR 150 (14)

Also contributing to the SR 150’s exciting handling is its suspension set-up. Ride quality is on the firmer side, but it feels more motorcycle than scooter and doesn’t crash through bumps like many scooters tend to do. The front forks don’t bottom out on potholes, and while you can’t call the ride plush, its firmness has a sense of purpose that makes it understandable. Without this set-up, the SR 150 wouldn’t handle the way it does, and I believe that Aprilia has found a reasonable balance between handling and comfort, handling being the priority. At no point did any of us feel that the ride quality was a deal-breaker, but everyone agreed that it was fairly firm.

Special mention must be made of the brakes. The 220mm front Bybre disc is larger than the Vespa’s and offers much more bite and power but with a progressive feel. Ham-fisted riders will lock up the front, but I found that combined use with the rear drum produces exceptional stopping performance, easily the best in the business. The grippy Vee Rubber tyres from Thailand (no one currently makes this size in India) definitely contribute here. Aprilia is looking to localise the tyres shortly, and hopefully they will be able to offer similar performance.

Aprilia SR 150 (6)
The Aprilia SR 150 is a superb scooter. It looks brilliant and offers performance way above any of its rivals. What truly amazes though is its price. The Rs 65,000 ex-showroom tag is introductory, but we don’t expect it to go up by much more than Rs 5-7 thousand. Even then, it makes great value. The SR 150 will be retailed out of Vespa showrooms and Piaggio Motoplexes across the country, and the scooter should be launched in the next 20 days with deliveries starting soon after that. We can’t wait to run our full range of tests on it, but I can already tell you this — the SR 150 is an awesome scooter.

Images by Anis Shaikh



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  • Veerabhadra As

    Do you have the video of this review?

  • Vinod M

    what is the on-road city mileage ??

    • Dheeraj Yadav

      i heard it is from 40-45 kmpl not sure though

      • Ramdas

        Not More than 40… for city mileage im saying.. :)

  • http://www.makebitcoin.biz Mike

    Won’t this cannabalise the ever popular vespa? Wonder how they agreed to this!

    • Jeevan Chaukar

      Friend, let them handle that problem – we should be all cheered up that competition is hotter now in premium scooters and this is a different type of product than VESPA.

      Vespa is all retro-chic product while Aprilia seems to be aiming to be more of a unisex product that both men and women will like and won’t feel odd about riding it….Great to see a fast and stable riding scooter as an option is now available at a nice price point!

  • sampat

    Please post a video review. Can’t find any relevant video review in you tube.

    • Rishaad Mody

      The video will be up in a few day’s time

  • Balamurugan Jeyachandran

    How was the scooter handling at high speeds above say 90 kph?. usually that is too high and 125cc scooters are considered unsafe beyond 60 kph, well at least I felt that way. doing 100+ is unbelievable

    • Rishaad Mody

      The bigger wheels make all the difference. Stability is good and the scooter doesn’t feel twitchy or scary

      • Balamurugan Jeyachandran

        that’s more like a bike’s character. Great

  • Jeevan Chaukar

    Kudos to APRILIA for bringing a high standard product at a very good price point! Honda – are you seeing this!
    Now, I really wish Indian public put their money where their mouth is and give a solid response to this product. In return, APRILIA should ensure good after sales service and not let this become a FIAT among two wheelers (another company whose products I truly love and did own them in the past yet currently not owning due to fear of service issues)

    • Droid power

      Honda has just been bullshitting us with lame show-offs at auto expo and the products never make it to the market. Just when everybody in a sane state of mind was expecting pcx 150, they launched the laughable navi with disgustingly low specs. I mean they literally had my money on table like many others because market is ready for more powerful scooters. Same has been the story with cbr 250rr which never came.

  • Veeru

    No engine kill switch….really pathetic and shameful for an high end scooter….what a waste of fuel at every signal….!!

    • Jeevan Chaukar

      Well, they have to keep few things for updated versions in next 12 months may be :-) But let’s try to look at the positives…IF you get a great scooter which may not have engine kill switch versus you get a very ordinary scooter but it has that switch – at near about similar price point +/- 5000 – what will you prefer! Every product will have some negatives – but positives should far outweigh negatives – that’s what matters and the negative should not be deal breaking stuff.

      • JyotiPrakash Mishra

        Well said.. This one just has too many positive things that will make you forget the things missing on it.. I booked mine.. can’t just wait to get hands-on..

        • Ramdas

          same here….

  • K b

    I am planning to buy a scooter with good comfort for bumpy ride, I was planning for New Access 125 / TVS jupiter Zx. After reading this review, I am inclined towards APRILLA. How is the comfort when riding on bumpy roads? Can I go for it?


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