India is undoubtedly one of the largest two-wheeler markets in the world but it isn’t the same as it was before. The consumers here want much more from a scooter now than one with paltry features that will help them commute from one point to another and carry the least maintenance cost. And to cater to these buyers, Yamaha and Piaggio have launched their most desirable scooters – the Aerox 155 – from the land of the rising sun and the Aprilia SXR 160 – a product designed and developed specifically for the Indian market. We decided to bring both these aspirational scooters together and share some comparison notes.
Yamaha Aerox 155 vs Aprilia SXR 160: Maxi-Scooter Comparison Test Review
Looks & Styling
The Yamaha Aerox has brought in a concept to India that was never seen before. Yamaha calls it the power maxi scooter and honestly, at first, the Aerox doesn’t look too exciting, but as you spend more time with it in person, the scooter starts to appeal to you. The large and wide fascia, the bulbous side panels and the presence of a long single-piece seat make the Aerox look big and smart. Plus, this scooter doesn’t get a floorboard. That space is covered by a fuel tank and a lot of plastic panels around it. From the rear, the scooter gets a motorcycle like design – sharp, sleek and wide.
The Aprilia SXR 160 on the other hand follows a more practical design theme. The front gets a large headlamp unit that is flanked by wide turn indicators. Then there’s that tall windscreen with blacked-out treatment, which is possibly the tallest screen ever seen on any Indian scooter. From the saddle, you get to see a neatly designed and placed handlebar that gets chunky plastics on it. The seat on this Italian is large and wide too. The tail unit is quite aggressive which does manage to enhance the overall visual appeal.
Ergonomics & Quality
Both the scooters score similar points when it comes to riding ergonomics. The Aerox with its new power scooter nature has a floorboard that isn’t large and wide, but it’s enough to keep the feet rested. For taller riders like me, the riding position feels a bit aggressive as the legs get a bit bent. In the SXR 160, there’s a lot of floorboard space which gives the ability to move the legs around. But the SXR 160 with its wider handlebar gives more control. The Aerox on the other hand, has a narrower handlebar that might not prove too useful in the city, but does go well with the overall design language.
Now when it comes to the overall quality, the Aerox 155 has an edge over the SXR 160. A lot of parts on the Aerox is imported from Indonesia and that means these parts are a bit superior when it comes to feel, durability and finish. There are barely any panel gaps and the overall paint has been done nicely. The SXR 160 scores fairly well, but misses a few points on the plastics around the clocks. It doesn’t look premium and has a rough feel.
Features & Technology
The Aerox 155 scores the most when it comes to features and technology. It gets Yamaha’s famous Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) and the motor is liquid cooled. It is also equipped with the smart motor generator system that eliminates the sound of the engine starting up. Plus, there are other features like stop, stop system and a fully-digital instrument cluster with integrated Bluetooth system. In terms of utility, there’s a front pocket that has an inbuilt-power socket, a large 24.5-litre under-seat storage and external fuel-lid. To enhance the aesthetics, the Aerox is equipped with an LED headlight and tail light along with LED turn indicators.
The SXR160 being a modern maxi-scooter doesn’t get as many features as it is supposed to. But it does get a front pocket with a USB charging point. The under-seat storage is decently big and can carry a full face helmet. The instrument cluster is fully digital and shows lots of ride data. This data can also be accessed via the scooter’s smartphone mobile app which could be connected through the Bluetooth system.
Engine & Gearbox
The Aerox 155 and the SXR 160 – both are a part of the new and growing 160cc scooter segment. So in terms of displacement, they are both similar. But the main game is when it comes to the power these engines produce. The engine on the Aerox 155 is a famous one. It’s the same engine that powers the R15. So it gets liquid-cooling and also VVA that makes it churn out around 15bhp at 8000rpm and peak torque of 13.9Nm at 6500rpm. The SXR 160 on the other hand, makes 10.5bhp at 7100rpm and maximum torque of 11.6Nm at 6000rpm. There’s a massive difference between the two when it comes to the power numbers.
The Aerox 155 with its liquid-cooled 15bhp single-cylinder engine is quite addictive. This R15 engine is known for its performance and refinement at the same time. With the Aerox, things are quite similar. The scooter offers excellent city and highway performance. It manages to reach triple digit speeds with ease and can stay there for a long time, with barely any vibrations on the handlebar and floorboard. In the city, the quick acceleration of the Aerox does make it reach the next signal first and with ease. And in case there’s the need for top-end performance all day, the presence of VVA helps the Aerox maintain that composure. Interestingly, the brakes on the Aerox 155 doesn’t live up to the expectations. For the kind of speed this scooter does, the brakes needed more bite and feel. A disc brake at the rear should have been made available.
The SXR 160 with its sporty character does manage to churn out good performance. But the 10.5bhp motor takes a lot of time to reach the 100kmph mark. The scooter isn’t too quick off the starting line if compared with the Aerox, but has the grunt to overtake many vehicles in the beginning. It does have a peppy nature too that makes life a little easy in the city traffic. But on the highways, the SXR160 feels stressed and not at home. Plus, there’s a drastic reduction in fuel efficiency if the scooter is pushed at the top-end. Surprisingly, the SXR 160 offers a vibe-free experience throughout – something that wasn’t expected while testing it out. The brakes work really well- thanks to the presence of a two pot system at the front. The rear too, can work incredibly well, if the lever is pulled in a bit more than it is needed.
In the world of premium scooters, the handling capabilities define a product. And in case of the Aerox 155, this aspect is taken well care of. The scooter feels natural to handle in the city. With its motorcycle-like ergonomics, the Aerox makes things easy in fast corners. It tips in easily and with barely any effort.
The SXR 160, on the other hand, with its comfortable riding stance, isn’t too exciting in the corners. Well, it does a fair job in the city traffic, but for the enthusiasts, things aren’t really too electrifying.
The Aerox 155 has a fuel tank capacity of 5.5 litres. So with a fuel efficiency of 46
kmpl, the Aerox can easily be ridden for approximately 200kms on one full tank. The Aprilia SXR160 on the other hand isn’t as fuel efficient as its Japanese rival. This scooter returned around 35kmpl.
Price & Warranty
The Yamaha Aerox 155 retails at Rs 1.58 lakh (on-road Mumbai) and has a standard warranty of just two years or 30,000kms. The Aprilia SXR 160 is Rs 7000 cheaper at Rs 1.51 lakh (on-road Mumbai). It also has the best warranty figure at five years or 60,000kms.
Now everyone has a thing for Aprilias in the country. Its racing brand value has made it a desirable product in India. Plus, Aprilias always look nice. That is why the SXR 160 does look enticing and has the ability to turn heads. But the Yamaha Aerox 155 with a design language that is new for the Indian market easily overtakes the SXR160 when it comes to desirability. The Aerox 155 offers exclusivity, a premium feel, a brand that is known worldwide, but the most important aspect – it offers fantastic performance and riding experience.
The Yamaha Aerox 155 is a clear winner here. This scooter offers great value for your money. It looks extremely good, has an amazing road presence and with its maxi-sports scooter product positioning, it gets extremely aspirational. Plus it derives its power from a proven engine and the same engine churns out good fuel efficiency. The last but one of the most important aspects – the utility. The scooter gets a large under seat storage with light and the rider doesn’t have to get off the saddle during refuel.
The Aprilia SXR 160 is a great and a practical scooter. It has big body proportions and has the Italian brand association. However, the performance isn’t too exciting. Plus, during spirited riding, the fuel efficiency number drops down considerably. And then you will also have to look at the brand recall. If compared with the Yamaha, it takes a bit of time to trust. But at the end, with the pricing of the Aerox and the amount of features and aspiration it offers, the SXR 160 just fails to offer the same excitement and value.
Photography by Kapil Angane