Sporty but stiff

K Shivraj
Saturday, 2 June 2018

The newly launched Aprilia SR 125 is quick, but not as energetic as the SR 150

At a glance, it would be hard to differentiate between the Aprilia SR 150 and the SR 125 that has just been introduced. Borrowing all but the engine from the SR 150, the SR 125 looks almost identical. With much of the bodywork, frame and various other mechanical bits the same, leave for some difference here and there, the SR 125 looks as distinct and sporty as the SR 150. 

LONGER SEAT
Flaunting a seat that is slightly longer, the SR 125 comes with new colour schemes. The change in the seat is said to have been done to ensure better pillion comfort, and in consideration to the fact that this scooter will find itself in the company of other 125cc scooters that are quite ‘family’ oriented — for the couple to commute to work, dropping the kids to school and so on. The absence of the split grab rail that is found on the SR 150 is felt too. A conventional grab rail as an option is available, and should come handy. What looks like a stingy gesture is the need to buy a side-stand as an accessory.

PICKS UP SPEED WITH EASE
Riding on the smart looking 14-inch dia alloys finished in black (also found on the SR 150), the SR 125 draws attention with its unusual and attractive styling. The sharp lines, the twin head lamps, the turn indicators built into the handlebar shroud, the front telescopic forks, the single front disc brake, and the single rear damper with the engine and transmission doubling up as a swing arm make the SR 125 stand out. 

Not only does the scooter look sporty, it also looks quite European. If the basic dials feel a bit old-world, the switchgear has a good tactile feel to it. Borrowing the 9.5bhp 124cc single-cylinder air-cooled motor from Vespa 125, albeit in a different state of tune, the SR 125 feels quick. 

The engine sounds a bit gruff, but is smooth and free-revving. The scooter picks up speed well, and without any hesitation. The gearing being different than that of the Vespa 125, the SR 125 quickly gathers speed in the range of 60 to 80kmph with a firm turn of the throttle. Weighing 122kg, which is the same as that of the SR 150, the scooter could well be the quickest in its segment.  

If the scooter feels almost as quick or even a bit edgy at times like the SR 150, the difference between the two is felt when riding in town. It takes some time to notice, but the urgency with which the SR 150 moves is not to be found on the SR 125. It is quick, but not as energetic as the SR 150. Out on the highway, the SR 125 does a good job of munching miles. The top speed of the SR 125 is on par with the SR 150 at 120kmph. Expected to be 7 to 10 per cent more fuel efficient than the SR 150, the scooter handles very well. It displays very good stability whereas the tyres exert a good grip. Larger dia wheels support a good ride, but there is a firm edge to it. Feeling a bit jittery when riding over rough roads, the SR 125 can get tiring. The brakes exert a strong bite and help the scooter shed speed.

VERDICT
Priced at Rs 65,310 ex-showroom Delhi, the Aprilia SR 125 impresses with its sporty looks, good stability and dynamic abilities, but does not deliver a smooth ride over rough surfaces. Also, the under-seat storage space  is not the segment’s best. The price difference between this and the SR 150 is roughly Rs 5,000, and it may well be worth paying the extra sum to purchase the SR 150. 

Pros: Sporty styling, performance, dynamics
Cons: Stiff ride, price

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