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Aprilia SR 150 vs Suzuki Access 125: Comparison Review

13 October 2016, 07:00 PM Vikrant Singh

Introduction

The Aprilia SR 150 isn’t just another scooter. A 150cc engine, 14-inch wheels, and styling that’s reflective of sportsbikes. The SR then is a game changer; a motorcycle in disguise; a true race day companion. Well, at least that’s what its maker, Piaggio India, would like us to believe. Now we did put the SR 150 against a motorcycle – you can read that story here – and the Aprilia did surprisingly well. But, its real test has to be against another scooter.

So, naturally, we turned to our favourite fast scooter. Yes, it is down on capacity and power, and it is significantly cheaper to buy as well compared to the Aprilia. But, when it comes to a machine that’s practical, comfortable, convenient and quick, the Suzuki Access is the default choice.

Now, for the Aprilia to really appeal to the average Indian scooter buyer with its higher pricing and all, our take is, it must smother the Access. Time to find out if it does…

Looks & Styling

This one is a no brainer. The Aprilia SR 150 is a fantastic looking two-wheeler; scooter or otherwise. It is sharp, racy, futuristic and one you’d want to buy for its looks alone. The sharp beak, stubby tail and the tall stance, not to mention those lovely 14-inch wheels shod with racy rubber can actually lure you into siphoning off your holiday money just to buy one.

The New Suzuki Access is almost the opposite. Its design is governed by practicality, utility and comfort. It has some retro overtones, sure, but it is the sensible approach to what a scooter should be. It is like the sensible voice in your head going up against the red devil sitting on your shoulder which is the SR.

Between the two, we’d sell our soul any day.

Aprilia SR 150: 7/10

New Suzuki Access: 5/10

Ergonomics & Quality

The seating comfort on the two scooters is pretty close. One does sit higher and more upright on the SR giving the rider a higher sense of control. But the Access proves to be comfy over long commutes as well. If we had to pick, we’d take the Suzuki for it has the more comfortable seat and more room to move about.

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 Access is also the better-built, better-finished and the more thoughtfully designed scooter of the two. The quality of plastic on the apron, around the handlebar or the floorboard, looks and feels richer on the Suzuki. It has better functioning controls and an instrument cluster that’s both more upmarket and easier to read.

Suzuki bags this one quite comfortably.

Aprilia SR 150: 5/10

New Suzuki Access: 6/10

Features & Technology

In fact, the Access beats the SR 150 quite convincingly on the features front as well. Now, in terms of technology, the SR might have a slight edge – it has bigger wheels and much better tyres, and a twin pot front brake caliper against a single piston unit on the Access – but in terms of convenience features, the Suzuki is way ahead.

The Access gets a brake lock, digital instrumentation with two trips and a service reminder indicator, a 12-volt charging dock, a storage pocket on the front apron, and bigger, more usable storage area under the seat. It also gets more bag hooks, a more spacious floorboard, and one key slot operation for everything from ignition to popping the seat. The Aprilia, sadly, misses out on the ‘pop’ function too.

Aprilia SR 150: 4/10

New Suzuki Access: 6/10

Engine & Performance

With a 30cc advantage, an additional two bhp, and one extra Nm of torque, one would expect the Aprilia SR 150 to run away from the Access in a drag race. And if you blindly trust the over-reading speedometer on the SR, you are probably congratulating yourself by now.

But, the truth is, the Access is as quick and sprightly as the SR 150. Both scooters run neck-to-neck in the 0-40kmph as well as the 0-60kmph drag. It is only towards the top that the SR begins to pull away. And, of course, the higher capacity, more powerful SR also manages to register a higher top speed. But only just.

And it is easy to see why. On the new Access Suzuki has dropped weight. It weighs in at 102kg. The SR 150 in comparison is a good 20kg heavier. Two bhp isn’t really enough to negate a 20kg handicap. What’s more, the Access’ engine is also quieter, smoother and more responsive at low revs.

Aprilia SR 150: 6/10

New Suzuki Access: 6/10

Ride, Handling & Braking

On the ride quality front, the Access is king. Suzuki has done exceedingly well in tuning its front telescopic forks in particular. The Access glides over most surfaces be it bumpy, wavy, pockmarked or tiled. There is a hint of judder from the front but only when negotiating severely broken tarmac.

The SR 150’s front end on the other hand is like a ripple-enhancing machine. It amplifies mild ripples on the road you never knew existed. And if the scooter’s front end is subjected to poor roads, it turns into a vibration-training machine for your arms. It might help you burn the fat of your limbs, but it is also very uncomfortable and infuriating. The rear is setup on the stiff side as well, but it isn’t as painful as the front.

The good news here is, the SR 150 can handle. Give it a go-kart track, a flowing switchback or even your neighbourhood roundabout, and the Aprilia – with its eager front end, wholesome grip levels and neutral balance, makes for a tremendously fun machine. It makes the Access feel poorly balanced, wallowy and unsettled - which it isn't.

As far as braking goes, the SR has an outstanding front brake setup. But, it has an equally useless rear drum. The Access is well balanced in that sense and yields shorter stopping distances as a result.

Aprilia SR 150: 5/10

New Suzuki Access: 6/10

Fuel Efficiency

With its SEP tech, the new Suzuki Access had blown us away with its real world fuel efficiency figures. It had returned 60kmpl on our city test route. The Aprilia SR 150 on the same route only managed 41.3kmpl. Now, the difference in engine capacity does justify the lower FE figure somewhat, but a lighter SR would have helped here too; besides helping in clocking faster acceleration times.

Aprilia SR 150: 4/10

New Suzuki Access: 6/10

Price & Warranty

The Aprilia SR 150 retails for Rs 81,200 in Mumbai. This makes the Suzuki Access look like superb value for money. The Access is priced at Rs 71,000 in Mumbai, and with both scooters offering the exact same warranty of two years or 24,000km, the Suzuki wins this round as well.

Aprilia SR 150: 5/10

New Suzuki Access: 6/10

Desirability

One of the biggest reasons to buy the SR 150, and not just over the Suzuki Access, is the desirability of the Aprilia. Firstly, there’s the badge. Then, the way the scooter looks. And finally, being the only scooter that comes with 14 inch wheels shod in sporty rubber, the SR is also the only twist and go to hold its own against a motorcycle. And did we mention it is a hoot to filter through traffic with?

Aprilia SR 150: 7/10

New Suzuki Access: 5.5/10

Verdict

Suzuki New Access 125: Rank 1

Final Points: 59/100

Price: Rs 71,000, OTR, Mumbai

In our book, the Suzuki Access is one of the best scooters on the market today. And, it has proved itself yet again. It came into this contest with a styling handicap besides sporting a smaller engine and lower output figures. But, in the real world, it outscored the Aprilia on almost all parameters then be it comfort, utility, fuel efficiency or the value proposition. A deserving winner the Access most certainly is.

 

Aprilia SR 150: Rank 2

Final Points: 54/100

Price: Rs 81,200, OTR, Mumbai

The Aprilia SR 150 is extremely desirable, no two ways about that. So much so that it can easily claim to be the most stylish, fun-to-ride and attractive scooter on the market today, barring none. But, it is a little extreme for Indian sensibilities. Take comfort, price or even the value proposition and it struggles to meet the Indian mindset. But most of all, it fails to smother the Access…


Photography by Kapil Angane

Read our first ride review of the Aprilia SR 150

Read our first ride review of the new Suzuki Access

Read our comparison review of the new Suzuki Access 125 vs Honda Activa 125

Final Scores

 Parameters/Models  Max Points Suzuki Access 125 Aprilia SR 150
 Rank    1  2
 Looks & styling  10 5 7
 Ergonomics & Quality  10 6 5
 Features & Technology  10  6 4
 Engine & Gearbox  10 6 5
 Performance  10 6.5 7
 Ride quality  10 6 3
 Handling & Braking  10 6 7
 Fuel Efficiency  10 6 3
 Price & Warranty  10 6 5
 Desirablility  10 5.5 7
 Total  100  59 53
 Price (OTR, Mumbai)   Rs 71,000 Rs 81,200

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