The last time we discussed an Aprilia scooter, it was when the company sent us the SR160. We were impressed with the overall performance of the machine but it failed to do the one thing that scooters do best – utility. To fix this, the company showed a maxi-scooter platform two-wheeler at the Auto Expo 2020. It was the Aprilia SXR160. While the launch was supposed to happen around September 2020, it got understandably delayed. Nonetheless, the scooter is now ready for a launch this month. We got our hands on one and took it for a spin around the picturesque Lonavla valley. Is it impressive, is the SXR160 the scooter packed with utility, and should you buy this one if at all you wanted a scooter from Aprilia? All the questions have been answered right below.
The maxi-scooter is one of the better-looking ones available right now. We, in India, saw the Burgman Street first but it looks like Aprilia has refined the formula and made the SXR look desirable. You get new D4-classified LED headlights, which the company officials claim deliver the brightest of lights. This is one claim, we will be testing once we get the scooter for a test. Apart from that you also notice the use of new colour schemes like blue, white and red. A tinted visor is available and while it is non-adjustable, it looks the part. You get also get new 12-inch grey alloy wheels shod with fat MRF rubber.
On the side you will notice multiple fins towards the rear. Speaking of which, the exhaust muffler is quite big and will even look proper on a motorcycle. Aprilia designers have done a fabulous job overall with the aesthetic value of the scooter. The rear too is done nicely with proper and chunky grab rails – the entire setup including blinkers as well as tail lamps being LED.
This time, Aprilia has given a proper fully-digital instrument console that will surprise you with the wealth of information available on-board. There is an average speed indicator, a top speed, range, average fuel economy and more dialed in. At the same time, there is also a Mode button on the right of the handlebar that lets you toggle the menu on the go. Heck, there is even an outside temperature as well as engine temperature display. Connected vehicle technology is available but it isn’t standard and is something which wasn’t there to experience on our test scooter. Fit and finish though could improve as the area around the handlebar had panel gaps which aren’t expected from a reputed brand like Aprilia.
Now on to the utility factor. A hook is provided on the front apron and it is useful to hang grocery bags. The place where this hook rests, opens into a bigger compartment. This compartment can be opened only when the ignition key (very awkwardly located) is in the off position. You need to slightly press the key and the cavity opens. It is divided into a smaller compartment that has the USB charging slot and a bigger one on the right that can house a 6.4-inch smartphone. However, what flummoxes us is why does Aprilia have the USB slot on one side and crevice to place the cellphone on the other. While boot space of the SXR160 is only 20 litres, it looked spacious and has a light now too. It still will not fit a full-face international-spec helmet. For the ISI-certified ones, this shouldn’t be an issue. You will also find your fuel-filler cap here and speaking of which, it takes seven litres of gas.
The Aprilia SXR160 uses the same engine as the SR160. It means a 160cc, 3-valve, air-cooled motor. This engine makes 11hp of power and 11Nm. The power is slightly higher than that produced on the SR160 – 0.2hp to be precise. The engineers claim to have revised the internals and the compression ratio to yield an even smoother power delivery. What everyone will appreciate is the smoothness of this powertrain right till the upper end of the rev limiter. The scooter is quick to race up to 60kmph but you will have to twist the throttle a bit more than what you will expect from a 160cc bike’s motor.
Average fuel efficiency we saw on the information cluster was 33.4kmpl. However, this can be attributed to the hard cornering as well as the general higher speeds we were doing in the twisties. The handling deserves a special mention and we will come to that in a bit. Aprilia officials confirmed that the rated fuel economy will be around 40kmpl though they are yet to get back with the exact number. On our part, we saw the scooter hit 72kmph on a, particularly straight stretch. However, with a long straight road, it is quite possible to hit a speedo-indicated 95kmph. This scooter is 7kg heavier than the SR160. The latter is one of the heaviest in India right now at 122kg. The weight could be one factor wherein the SXR doesn’t feel as fast.
The additional 7kg weight of the scooter is because of the new LED headlamp setup which is heavier than a conventional halogen bulb. The bodywork you see is also one of the contributors as is the chunky exhaust muffler. However, this heavy form doesn’t manifest while we are parking (a brake lock clamp was sorely missed) or riding the scooter. This will be appreciated by all genders. Stability is good till 70kmph and we will be able to comment on the top speed stability once the scooter is with us for a longer time.
Changing direction is very easy on this Aprilia even with the maxi-scooter design. However, anyone taller than 6ft is in for a time as the handlebar (raised by 15mm over that of the SR160) will hit your knees. Even with the maxi-scooter design wherein one can easily place their feet on the apron, this Aprilia comes short. The apron footrest is designed in such a fashion that only the toe portion remains at rest whereas the sole is nearly suspended in the air. This will be more tiring is one is wearing flip flops while riding. If a taller rider wants to sit a tad behind, seat design will eventually slide him/her back into the rider seat.
This again is from the perspective of an exceptionally tall reviewer who isn’t exactly the intended clientele for the SXR160. An average Indian rider will be comfortable with the vehicle, as was apparent from the testimonies of other reviewers at the event. There is generous space for the pillion this time. Ride quality is stiff but as was the case with the SR160, the telescopic front end is softer than the monoshock (ed) rear. This aids cornering to a great extent and the images will tell you that this scooter can really be leaned over. We would have liked the mirrors to be broader though. Ground clearance at 161mm is good.
There is a 220mm front disc and a 130mm rear drum. ABS is available on the front brake and while the lever pull feels a bit wooden, the scooter does stop on time and without any drama.
At the time of writing this story, Aprilia India hadn’t declared the price of the scooter. It is expected to cost Rs 1.24 lakh, with the on-road pegged slightly lower than Rs 1.5 lakh. That is a lot of money that one will end up paying. Aprilia, unlike what they did with the SR160, is offering goodies and the white backlit instrument console itself must be one of the bigger reasons of this price hike. This being said, the scooter is still the most value-for-money proposition in the Aprilia India line-up. Few missing bits like the panel gap issues, connectivity will all be taken care of soon – Aprilia officials told us this. While we aren’t cynical the way we were with the SR160, the SXR with a few additions could be one of the best in the market today.
Images by Donald Dsouza
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