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Aprilia SR 150 First Ride Review

11 August 2016, 03:54 PM Ranjan R. Bhat

What is it?

“Let’s not use the term ‘scooter’. We do not like referring to it as a scooter. Let’s call it a hybrid crossover.” That was Stefano Pelle, MD and CEO of Piaggio defending the Aprilia SR 150. Fair enough, I will try to keep the scooter reference as minimal as possible. Let’s call it a motoscooter then.

There are two-wheeler manufacturers who are good at making mass market products, and there are ones who just stick to big bikes. Very few manage to give us the best of both worlds. We know that the Japanese are good at striking a balance, but what happens when an Italian superbike manufacturer, with 54 world racing titles under its belt, tries its hand at making a relatively small automatic scooter?

The Aprilia SR 150 is an automatic motoscooter from Piaggio group which promises to be a harbinger of a revolution in the Indian two-wheeler market. Sure, it wears an iconic badge which never fails to evoke a sense of excitement in motorcycling enthusiasts. But this only makes it even more difficult for the product to live up to expectations and do justice to the brand name. So is the SR 150 really worthy of the hallowed Aprilia badge? We took a brief ride around Piaggio’s facility in Baramati to find out.

How does it ride?

Like a dream. It didn’t take me long to brush aside all my apprehensions, once I started riding the Aprilia SR 150. Aprilia’s SR range is globally available with a host of engine options with capacities stretching from 50cc to 300cc. For a market like India however, Aprilia thought it best to introduce the 150cc version considering the scope and demand for this market space. This not only helps share the manufacturing costs with Vespa, but also fills in a void in the Indian two-wheeler market space, giving the company a monopoly in the market.

discontinued
Aprilia SR150 [2017-2018]

Aprilia SR150 [2017-2018]

  • Displacement154.8 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported35 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)10.25 bhp
  • Kerb Weight122 kg
  • ;

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 73,373

The 154cc single-cylinder engine gets the same power and torque figures as its supermodel sibling – 11.4bhp and 11.5Nm. And while these figures are quite sufficient to haul SR 150’s 122 kilogram weight around, Aprilia decided to tinker with the engine to offer sprightlier performance. The SR 150 feels quick on its feet right off the mark, and it keeps this momentum going right up to triple digit speeds. Though Aprilia claims a top speed of just 95kmph, a long stretch of empty road and some crouching should be enough to make the needle hover around the 120kmph mark. The sensation of speed is magnified by the lack of proper wind deflection and windblast. When it comes to refinement, the vibrations are quite pronounced at idle and low speeds, though these smoothen out as you reach higher rpms.

The Aprilia SR 150 has a stiff suspension setup which makes for a bumpy slow speed ride. The handlebar judders as it passes over the potholes and undulations, though the rear monoshock is better adept at insulating these. However as you attain higher speeds, the 32mm front forks start gliding over these undulations, offering a very smooth and composed ride. The SR 150 rides on 14-inch wheels which are shod with exceptionally good 120/70 profile tubeless tyres. These not only offer a good grip, but also serve as a styling element. The tyres and suspension help it hold the lines irrespective of the minor bumps you might encounter mid-corner, and go a long way in inspiring confidence on the road. The 220mm front disc brake is by far the best in the class when it comes to stopping power. 

Anything else I should know?

The Aprilia SR 150 comes from a segment, which is quite popular in Indonesia and Thailand. The underbone chassis of the scooter makes it capable of a lot more than your usual grind, and these countries even have dedicated one make racing series for these motoscooters. Italians are known for their attention to detail, and the Aprilia SR 150 is no different. One look at the SR 150 is enough to convey that practicality takes a back seat for this motoscooter. Even the functional bits are moulded into subtle design elements, like the rear footpegs which fold in and blend with the bodywork and the brake master cylinder which is submerged into the cowl.

Its sporty design elements, which draw inspiration from Aprilia’s superbike range, coupled with the sophisticated cycle parts give the SR 150 its unique personality. The sharp cut body lines, beaky front end, twin headlamps in the apron and the RSV4-inspired dual-tone livery give it the raw appeal of a streetfighter. The artistic single-sided swingarm, blacked-out alloy wheels, exposed rear section and the tall suspension further accentuate its exotic origins. The analogue instrument cluster, quite contrastingly, gets a very simple design.

Storage options in the Aprilia SR 150 are limited to a hook in the front and a decent sized underseat storage compartment. The fuel filler cap in located under the seat, which means you will have to get off the seat every time you fill up. However the massive 7 litre fuel tank (largest in segment) ensures that the frequency of these fuel stops is relatively low. The dual tone seat is on the firmer side, and might take getting used to.  The SR 150 has a really small turning radius which makes it really fun to use around the city. Also, the raised handlebar takes care that the wrists do not brush with your knees every time you attempt a U-turn.

Should I buy one?

Aprilia had a smile plastered on every enthusiast’s face when it announced the SR 150 for the Indian market, and these smiles only grew wider with the announcement of the price. Aprilia has done its homework before it stepped into the ring, and it now has a great product in its hands with a good price tag to go along with it. So, yes, it is definitely a steal! There are minor drawbacks, of course. It isn’t as comfortable in the city or as feature-loaded as other smaller family scooters. But when the rest of the package is this good, I’m pretty sure that I would be able to live with them.

Where does it fit in?

 

The Aprilia SR 150 is available at an introductory price of Rs 65,000 (ex-showroom, Pune), though we can expect a hike in the near future. Until the competition catches up (and how we wish it would!), the Aprilia SR 150 will brush shoulders with the likes the Honda Activa 125, Suzuki Access 125 and of course, the Vespa LX 125.

 

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