I would like to highlight some small design elements which we tend to neglect. Also, some people are questioning if the scooter justifies its price of Rs. 74,000/- on road, Pune. I hope the things mentioned below might give them the answer. The Aprilia SR Motard 125 sold in the international market holds some minor changes like the graphics on the front fender, gold calipers etc. On the other hand The Aprilia SR Motard 50 comes in lovely orange colour, I Hope Aprilia brings this colour to India as well.
The front disc brake oil reservoir is neatly integrated in the front cowl. Go near and you can also see the oil level above the front right indicator. Cool. The SR proudly shows off its Italian lineage.
Mirrors are not good or bad, they are just okay. They do their job without taking away attention from the front design of the SR. Most importantly, they didn’t vibrate at any speeds. One thing I like is that there is no rubber cover near the top. It’s plastic so you don’t have to keep pulling it up as they don’t slip like the rubber ones on any other scooter or motorcycle. The body of the SR 150 tapers down near the floor board. This result in a narrow foot board area but you does get used to it with time. I’m using a Suzuki Access since a lot of years which has a broader foot board so maybe I felt it was smaller. Though when riding the SR, I didn’t find it to be uncomfortable. The best thing I liked about the Aprilia is its passenger foot rest. The foot rests have to be opened by hand. There’s a proper cavity where you insert your two fingers and open it easily. I personally don’t like to kick open the footrests on my bikes or scooter. I have always used my hand to open them whenever someone is going to sit behind me. Some might think it is dirty or unhygienic but c’mon, the Italians wouldn’t want anyone to kick any part of their passionately designed vehicles. One caution though, the glossy black footrest will incur scratches if some insensitive person will try to open it with their leg, so please make it a point to open the footrests on your own if anyone is going to sit behind. Also, observe how the footrests are not parallel to the ground but are tilted downwards from the back so that the rear passenger will feel more comfortable using them. Some scooters in India have footrests which are flat and you end up being uncomfortable as only a small part of your footwear is in contact with the footrest. The footrests when not in use, fits in neatly inside the body. Very neat and tidy. The rear gels with the rest of the body. The split grab rails fit perfectly and are positioned well and are easily reachable by the pillion. These will be used more than often as the crisp front brakes will make the pillion hold on for dear life, especially when the rider decides to test the top speed. For the first time, you can experience a proper bikes thrill on a scooter. The sharp indicators add to the sportiness. Notice how the tyre valve is pointing in the same direction as the spoke of the alloy wheel. Impressed by the attention the designers have given to detailing. Any other manufacturer wouldn’t have bothered so much. This level of detailing is unseen on any other scooters on sale in India. The best brakes in business. I’ve always had one complaint with scooters, though they could match up speeds with some motorcycles, they could never match their braking prowess. Aprilia have addressed that shortcoming with a brilliant 220mm front disc brake with two calipers. It is one of the best brakes I’ve used in my entire life and this brake is what makes the SR truly sporty. It gives you a lot of confidence under hard braking. The brakes will never disappoint the rider, especially someone like me who likes to brake late, Perfect. The round exhaust is hidden well by the exhaust cover. It sounds fantastic. I loved revving the SR just to hear that gruff sporty sound it produced. I’ve in fact grown a little addictive to that sound. The under seat storage can be accessed by inserting the key in the key hole located in the seat itself. Notice how the key hole has been positioned a little towards the front side to make it easy to insert the key. Small touches, which aid usability.
The sporty two tone seat is a delight to look at and without doubt the best seat on any scooter or even bike. It looks and feels premium. The white stitching is immaculate. The red and black colour scheme is bang on. Keeping in mind the sporty nature of the scoot, the seats are a little firm. Some people might find this uncomfortable. Even the key of Sr 150 is enough to get you noticed, it’s an APRILIA after all. The unique seat locking mechanism is also note worthy. Though it is a split grab rail, it is a single piece unit which can be seen when the seat is opened. One area I think where the SR could have improved is this. The dashboard! I’m perfectly okay with analogue speedometers as they have some old school charm about them. I wish Aprilia had provided a tachometer. The joy of watching the two needles race each other would have made you forget you are sitting on a scooter. It could have perfectly complimented the sporty nature of the SR. Thankfully, the face is white and you can live with it. The carbon fiber texture and Aprilia and SR lettering liven up things a little.
There are three warning lights for indicators, upper beam and also the parking lights. The plastics on the dashboard are of good quality. Not excellent, but nothing to complain of. They are two types of plastics used, the one around the meter and switches with less texture and the second one having an aerated bubble like texture which looks cool. Don’t know why Aprilia has not provided the dash with the gloss black treatment it has used in the international markets. It would have livened things up a little bit more. The key, though positioned a little lower than usual has a benefit that it doesn’t hurt your knee if you slip forward in case of hard braking. The switches are well within reach and very easy to use. The presence of the pass light is a boon. A same pass light switch can be seen on the TVS Jupiter, which is very easy to use. I mistook the green parking light to be a neutral light. Then realized I was sitting on a scooter. The low beam switches on the right side halogen, The upper beam activates the left side halogen. Both the lights are operated independently. They do light up together but only if you are in the lower beam and hold on to the pass light. All lights can be operated by turning the key to the on position without any need to start the bike.
Our team mate who is 6 feet tall and is slightly on the heavier side. He felt comfortable on the SR 150. Not luxuriously comfortable but nowhere near cramped. Though, the same can’t be said if a pillion was to be seated behind him. I myself am 5.10 feet and found the scooter comfortable even after a pillion was sitting behind me. No complain from the pillion too.
There’s one thing though, the rear grab rails are positioned below the seat height, if not holding on to them, you get a little nervous while sitting pillion as it feels you could fall down if the rider accelerates suddenly. Wish Aprilia had extended the length of the seat a little bit more, would have solved everyone’s problem. There is enough knee room as well as room for your feet. Remember, this is a sporty scooter, so please don’t expect it to have acres of knee room or space to keep your cooking cylinder on the footboard. The Aprilia SR 150 perfectly does what it is built to do. Even though a mass market product, it belongs to a premium brand like APRILIA. The design elements highlighted above are not cheap to manufacture. All these small things combined with the best of quality results in higher production costs and I feel the scooter totally justifies its price tag. The introductory price is a bargain and hope many people book it before the price is hiked. I personally love the SR 150 and if I was to buy a scooter today, I wouldn’t look anywhere else. Riding a motorcycle in the dense traffic causes a lot of stress. The Aprilia SR 150 can save you the hassle of changing gears while also being able to keep up and overtake some bikes and be equally fun to ride.
Review By: Akshay Tajbije
Photographs By: Upendra Kulkarni
Ride Courtesy: AK Motors, Pune