One of the main duties of maxi scooters is to cruise on the highway while keeping the rider comfortable. Now, the SXR is not a full-blown maxi scooter and that's noticeable from the moment you hop on to it. You sit in an upright position, with the handlebar close to you making it more city-oriented than highway-centric. Also, the seat has a decent space but it should have been cushier. As for the floorboard, there's very little room to move your feet around. We would've loved to have more space like that on the Burgman Street.
Let’s talk performance now. The SR range of scooters, especially the 160cc iteration, is known for its peppy acceleration. The SXR feels the same on moving off the line and you have enough grunt for easy overtakes in the traffic. But as you progress higher in the speed band, the acceleration mellows down. Piaggio says the engine has been tuned to deliver power more linearly as compared to the SR 160 it is based on.
While the journey to 80kmph is not blisteringly quick, once you're there, the engine feels unstressed and you can maintain that pace all day long without much bother. The SXR is not excitingly fast, but it isn't slow either. Overtaking on the highway isn’t easy, but in the city, the SXR will surely be quicker than its lower displacement contenders.
And while on the move, vibrations are the last thing you would worry about. Not that it's completely vibe-free as there's a slight quivering on the footboard when you gas it aggressively, but nothing too bothersome. Also, we have always admired the throaty exhaust note of Aprilia scooters and the SXR retains that trait.
With a kerb weight of 122kg, it is not a very light scooter. But once you get going, the SXR feels extremely nimble and flickable. May it be switching lanes or going around tight corners, the scooter feels fairly stable which inspires oodles of confidence. It obeys your steering inputs without any fuss or drama.
The suspension of the scooter feels like it is tuned for sharp handling which results in a slight compromise in the ride quality. There's a bit of harshness in its ride while going over small potholes, sharp-edged undulations, and pebbles. However, you won't end up with a sore back whatsoever. And seldom does it feel to be losing composure, even if you cross large speed bumps at fairly high speeds.
The brakes of the SXR do a great job of shedding speed. The rear is progressive and rarely does it end up locking the wheel. While the front disc could do with more bite, the ABS works efficiently and it isn’t too intrusive.