I feel scooters are misunderstood in our country and it is completely NOT our fault. We have grown up being taken around on our dad’s, mom’s, uncle’s and aunty’s Bajajs and LMLs. Tuitions, offices and grocery shops were the places the scooters attended and then travelled back home like an honest student. But then, there were some examples who strived to create a niche. The Kinetic Honda being one of them. The Kinetic Blaze was the real performance scooter with a 165cc motor. As soon as the scene of enthu scooters appeared to get better, the wave of fuel efficient offerings made them vanish away.
With the changing times and broadening of options and mindsets of customers, India has been witnessing many interesting automobiles. We have got one such oddball of a moto-scooter to spend a couple of days with. It is the Aprilia SR150.
The Aprilia SR 150 truly does not resemble anything that is sold in the market. It bridges the gap between the scooter and the motorcycle and is more inclined towards the latter. Firstly, it gets interesting flow of Italian colours all over the bodywork. The apron holds the twin headlights while the bottom gets slits. My favourite bit about the design has to be the side profile where you can see a mix match of different sorts.
Starting from the front, there is the 32mm telescopic front holding 14-inch wheels. The footboard might not be wide enough to hold gas cylinders, but it was not meant to. The rear portion gets a lot more interesting with the upwards flowing profile teamed with the model branding. The red-black colour combination on the seat gives an illusion of the SR 150 being a single seater as the red looks a part of the bodywork.
Then comes the rear swingarm that holds that motors and the 14-inch wheels. Here, I would like to point out that chunky alloys might put some of the best looking performance bikes to shame. And that not just because of the design but also the wide section rubber layered on those wheels. The taillight and the indicators don’t do justice to the interesting build up that the front and the side initiate, however, that is just nitpicking some issue in the design.
The instrument cluster has been kept simple and it displays the only two things that an enthusiastic riders wants to see. Speed and fuel left in the tank along with the odo meter. The background gets the three colours – white, red and black that is seen on the whole body. The only bits that we did have an issue are the finishing of the edges, which appeared a bit rough. Also, the cut section for the disc brake oil on the head assembly and the passenger footpegs, looked a bit too plastic-y for one’s liking.
Get the seat up and there is ample space for general knick-knacks. But saying that, it didn’t provide enough room to fit in our helmet. A problem that? Yes, indeed unless you want to walk around with your helmet.
So what makes the pint looking motorscooter race ahead of all is the air-cooled single cylinder 150cc motor that also does duty in the Vespa 150. The performance of this motor has been left unchanged and this can be seen with its output 11.5PS/11.5Nm. But the Aprilia SR150 is much more than just performance numbers. Straddle on it and give the throttle a hard twist, and you realise this is not your daily grocery spec scooter. It will jump with zest and there is lots to play around with, thanks to its nimble handling. We were testing the scooter in pune traffic and that is a situation known how the bikes and scooter are ridden in this city.
To our rescue was the sprint-y 150cc motor with an impressive lower end grunt. You are practically sitting on the chunky power band when the motor starts which is a good thing. You can easily reach higher speeds of up to 80 kmph without much effort. Our heavy duty road tester was seen gleaming with a smile as this is the first time that a vehicle of this size has crossed the 100kmph mark with him aboard. Yes, we were mighty impressed by the motor. However, we do expect Aprilia to improve it further on the refinement level.
Once the SR150 is in its element, the Aprilia tag on it feels justified. The Aprilia SR150 handles like a motorcycle. Its nimble handling paired with that motor is a fantastic package. The tarmac is gripped properly with those 14-inch wheels and sticky tyres. Yes, 14-inch they are.
The only scooter to have it in its segment. Riding over potholes is fun as the tyres barely enter it. However, you do have the option of chucking it with a slight maneuver. The suspension has been rightly kept at the stiffer side. The ride quality might not be as comforting as your grocery-spec scooter but the potential to have fun is phenomenal.
Dreamt of buying an Aprilia all your life and find the Tuono V4 1100 Factory and the RSV4 RF a bit too premium? Get the Aprilia SR150 for Rs 67,200, ex-Mumbai. This moto scooter is way more fun compared to the Vespa 150 that is priced at an unjustified premium price. If you are looking for a machine that can be your daily ride and also a tool that will shake you with its potential to do wheelies, the Aprilia SR150 is the machine to get. Yes, there are minor niggles but c’mon nobody is perfect. Not even Denzel Washington.