Aprilia SR 125
The Aprilia SR 150 may have been a hoot of a scoot, but it’s fair to say that it didn’t set the scooter market on fire. Will the downsized 125 achieve what big brother couldn’t?
Will the downsized 125 achieve what big brother couldn’t?
cooters in india are often seen as versatile, convenient, and familyfriendly. a jack of all trades that dad can take to the barber’s for a shave, mum can take to the market for a shopping stint, and the kids can take to college. reliable, dependable, and typically boring even when dressed up in a youthful and urban guise. aprilia flipped the script with the sr 150, though — a scooter that is flashy, dynamic, and in your face. But, maybe, also a little ahead of its time — from what the aprilia india team said, the 150 may have been a little too fast, a little too fuel-thirsty, a little too on the nose, according to customer feedback. the sr 125 is the brand’s answer to all these concerns. as the name suggests, the sr 125 comes with a smaller engine, but that’s not all that’s changed. Looks wise, you’d be hard pressed to find these differences that set the two apart, though. the sr 125 has the exact same platform, body, and styling cues as the 150. those sharp lines and lithe, aggressive approach are classic aprilia, and still pack as much appeal as before. the sr 125 comes in two exclusive paint schemes that set it apart, though — the shiny silver one i rode and an equally eye-catching blue option. the sticker job on the new 125 is also ever so slightly subdued as compared to the 150.
The big change, however, is the seat. This again is a result of customer feedback as per the Aprilia reps at the ride. They said that there were complaints about the seat, particularly pillion comfort, and that this new design should address those. As the picture indicates, the seat on the 125 is narrower in the front, wider at the back, and slightly longer than the one on its elder sibling. The narrow front end means that riders whose heels couldn’t quite make contact with the tarmac may now see their feet planted flush, and the wider rear end will allow for, er... wider rear ends of pillions to fit comfortably too. The seat is now monochromatic as opposed to the dual tone on the 150 and comes with a seat strap for pillions to grab on to. The split grab-rail has been removed and now a more prominent one-piece grab-rail is available as an optional accessory. There’s also a new sariguard incorporated into the scooter’s aesthetic. Leg space is still a little cramped, especially when riding two up, same as its sibling.
Start up the bike and both the layout and switchgear will look familiar, and the quality of said switchgear, which was a complaint on the 150, is carried over to this model too. Thumb the starter and fire up the engine, and the first thing you’ll notice is that it isn’t as loud as its predecessor. Borrowed from its Vespa cousin, the air-cooled 124.7cc single produces 9.52 PS at 7,250 rpm and 9.9 Nm of torque at 6,250 rpm. Interestingly, the Vespa 125s produce 10.06 PS and 10.60 Nm of torque, so the Aprilia appears detuned on paper. However, one twist of the throttle is enough to confirm that what it lacks in outright figures over the wasps, it sure makes up for in punch off the line. The Aprilia 125 hasn’t lost any of the pep and zip that made the 150 so popular among enthusiasts, but what has changed is the exhaust note, which is less gruff, and the refinement, which is much improved. I’m itching to compare the 125’s 0-60 km/h time to its elder sibling, because they might just be closer than we think — it was that impressive in the acceleration department. It also pulled comfortably to 90+ km/h and seemed to have more legs on it too; sadly, traffic and traffic lights played spoilsport.
The 125 is no slouch in the handling department either. Since it sports the same chassis, has 14-inch wheels wrapped in sticky Vee Rubber tyres and suspension set up as that in the SR 150, its behaviour around corners is exactly identical to the bigger SR — and that’s a very good thing. The 125 corners like a champ with the scooter staying planted even when cornering at speed. That taut front telescopic fork/rear monoshock setup still feels a little too much on the firm when taking on road undulations and sudden potholes, though. Braking mechanicals, too, are identical, with a ByBre unit consisting of a 220-mm disc with twin-piston caliper up front and a 140-mm drum brake at the rear. The SR 125 is sharp to a standstill and its braking performance leaves no cause for complaint.
Aprilia reps also claim that the SR
125 offers significantly greater fuel efficiency, although you’ll have to wait for our road test for official confirmation of that. If it is more frugal, though, then that, coupled with the generous 6.5 litres of fuel holding capacity should offer up a sizeable range. Under-seat storage is limited to the point where a half-face helmet will fit, but not much more. Overall, the SR 125 is a slightly more practical variant of its sibling with the meatier engine and has quite a few improvements on the 150 without losing out on what makes the range fun and sets it apart from the throng. And priced as it at Rs 65,626 (ex-showroom), it should definitely form part of your consideration, should you be in the market for a 125-cc scooter.