That’s what this scooter is. It’s not a maxi-scooter, let’s get that checked first. Its best categorized as a premium scooter. We don’t have many being sold currently, the Burgman Street would be the next best option but there are a lot of cues that set them wide apart. So, the Aprilia SXR 160 technically doesn’t compete head to head with anything out there, and that makes it very unique to begin with.
And with its sharp design comprising a series of kinks and creases does make it rather distinctive. From the minute you set your eyes on this Italian, you’ll begin appreciating many bits. The front resembles the brand’s RS series of supersport motorcycles and the extended windscreen adds to the visual bulk and the tri-element headlamps are instantly likable. The rear features a massive yet neatly integrated grab handle, revealing a tail that seems a bit disproportionate in comparison to the overall presence. Also, the Aprilia SXR 160 is the only scooter on sale that gets an all-LED light setup, including the turn indicators. It does feel premium.
Scrolling down the side, you’ll notice how large it actually is. The footboard isn’t too cramped, there’s a nifty glove box on offer that can also charge your phone, and the seat is not only wide, but also adequately long to seat two comfortably. It also offers a slightly lower riding positing than the SR. That’s coupled with a lowhandle and although it’s a large scooter, the riding ergonomics are very welcoming and suit a wide range of riders. I absolutely love how the exhaust has been finished and how neatly the rear foot-pegs merge in. Total flush! And if that wasn’t enough, the 12-inch alloys on both ends are a compliment to the overall design. There’s no doubt then, this is the most attractive scooter out there.
What doesn’t match the overall zeal is the quality of plastic on the handle and the glove box. What’s more, while the LCD display does offer a lot of information, including an rpm meter, I long for a multi-color TFT display with more engaging graphics; something to match the looks and the price.
Familiarize yourself with its riding dynamics and the Aprilia SXR 160 comes across as an easy scooter, despite what its size or visual bulk would suggest. It’s a large commuter and to accommodate the extra dimensions. Aprilia has lengthened the rear sub frame, reinforced the subframe and tweaked the suspension to make it more suitable for larger runs with two astride. The suspension damping is softer than the SR’s but still remains on the firmer side. That’s certainly a joy when the tarmac is windy and well-laid out, but on a series of potholes, the ride is rather unsettled.
What keeps you entertained is the engine. Don’t expect a 160cc motorbike performance from the engine; it’s marginally quicker than 125cc scooters. What you’re offered, however, is a strong and punchy low-end response, making it sprightly in city traffic. The air-cooled 3 valve fuel-injected motor is identical to the SR’s but comes with a slightly different state of tune, resulting in a smoother and more linear power delivery. The refinement levels are great; the engine feels smooth and unstrained even at higher speeds. That’s the zenith of the Aprilia SXR 160. With those meaty tyres, large windscreen, comfortable seating for two and a focused chassis, it can double up as that occasional out-city commuter. And if that’s something on your list, you might be interested in a top-box that’s offered as an accessory.
It’s a great scooter and like all good things, it comes with a price. A hefty one, infact. At Rs 1.26 lakh (ex-showroom), it sits in a price bracket above many 150cc/160cc bikes but doesn’t offer the performance to match what the engine would suggest. What you pay for is a stylish scooter with unmatched appeal, a comfortable ride for two and performance that’s punchy and responsive for those city runs. It’s also the only scooter that none will mistake for an Activa, and that’s one strong reason to consider the Aprilia SXR 160.
FOR – Looks, comfort, true Italian appeal
AGAINST – Expensive, misses out on basic tech
To read our launch story and know the price of the SXR 160, Click here.