The Vespa VXL 150 and the SXL 150 are the 150cc avatars of the 125cc Vespa siblings. The space for 150cc mass market scooters, in India, was once empty and Piaggio with its latest offerings is the first to take up that spot.
How does it ride?
When you ride the Vespa VXL 150 and the SXL 150, it feels different. Unlike the other scooters available in the market, VXL 150 and the Vespa SXL 150 (also the 125cc siblings) have lot of leg space and doesn’t feel cramped up. The overall ride quality is good and the credit goes to the monocoque chassis and the single-sided front shock and mono shock at the rear. The ride quality is not stiff, at the same time, it isn’t very soft. The scooters eat up the potholes and bad roads pretty well. They are the lightest scooters available and their city worthiness is proved by the comfortable riding position.
Both the scooters are powered by a 150cc single-cylinder engine. This engine produces 1.4bhp more than the 125cc sibling at 11.4bhp at 7000rpm and just 0.09Nm peak torque more at 11.5Nm at 5500rpm. While we appreciate Piaggio’s efforts in bringing in the new engine, we would have been happy if the company worked more on the engagement time of the CVT gearbox. This would have made the scooter really fun to ride.
There isn’t a huge increase in the power delivery. In fact, you will hardly notice the increase in acceleration and speed, thanks to the wider Maxxis tyres at the both front and rear. However, they offer very good grip, also on the wet roads. Team this up with the incredible 200mm disc brake at the front and 140mm drum at the rear and you get unbelievable stopping power. There is more than enough bite on the levers to come to this judgement.
Anything else I should know?
Dimensionally, the SXL 150 and the VXL 150 are exactly the same size as its 125cc versions. And not just that, cosmetically too, both the engine displacements share the same clothes. However, they are slightly different and better than the outgoing versions. Differentiations come in the form of new glossy and matt colours, which I really think suits the Italian.
The scooters now get digital instrument cluster along with an analog speedometer. This tiny little screen shows time, odometer and two-trip meters which could be operated using the new mode button on the switch gear. Piaggio has equipped both the scooters with black alloy wheels that looks very appealing.
The easiest way to differentiate the VXL 150 from the SXL 150 is by looking at the headlamps. Other ways are observing the front apron, rear view mirrors and also the external storage space. The VXL gets a lockable unit, whereas the SXL gets cubby holes. You should also know that these scooters come with chrome accessories that add more bling to this retro modern scooter.
Why should I buy one?
Let’s agree to the fact that Piaggio has injected good looking scooters in a segment where everyone is chasing volumes. With the new VXL 150 and the SXL 150, it has once again shown the world that the Indian market deserves more. But it failed to show the same attitude towards the pricing. With an ex-showroom price of Rs 88,696 (for SXL) and Rs 84, 641 (for VXL), both the scooters are expensive , even over their 125cc models. Basically, you are paying almost close to Rs 7000 for an additional 1.4bhp as compared to the 125cc version, for certain colours and that’s it. The Vespa is sure to attract a lot of attention on the road, but it makes more sense to settle for the 125cc versions. You could use the saved up money to deck up your scooter through the official accessories provided by the company at their showrooms. And if you choose to buy the SXL 125, make sure you buy the retro visor.
Where does it fit in?
There is no real competition for the Vespa VXL 150 and the SXL 150. It sits on the top of the scooter chain and will have to create its own road. However, if you are in the market for a 150cc two wheeler, you could also check out the Suzuki Gixxer SF and the Yamaha FZ 16 V 2.0. Both these motorcycles will cost you the same amount of money.