When I was told we’d be ride testing the little sister of the Aprilia motor scooter we had ridden earlier (Motor’s April 2018 issue) I was keen to experience and talk about the similarities and/or differences between the siblings. And such close family resemblance was what I experienced. I said about the Aprilia SR150 that if you are looking for a scooter that spells Sport and spells Fun the SR150 is the bike for you; this is so true of the little sibling too, and for the rider who chooses 125cc over 150cc (or thereabouts) I’d say you are still going to enjoy the Sport and the Fun in your life on the Aprilia SR125.
The same 3 valve engine configuration (2 inlet, 1 exhaust) that produces rapid acceleration and eager horses on the older sibling is housed in the SR125 frame giving it almost the same torque and power outputs as the SR150. For instance, the power of the smaller Aprilia is a mere half horse down; hardly noticeable a difference on everyday roads. The rpm figures are up quite a bit now - max power @ 7250 and maximum torque @ 6250 (as against the SR150’s 6750 and 5000 rpm, respectively). At the sight of these numbers, any rider worth his salt will immediately recognize the eagerness, the free revving characteristic of the SR125. This characteristic, to me, translates into a heady, exhilarating, freedom-exploring motor scooter experience, where you leave the world behind in a joyous rush of a beautifully synchronized harmony of horses and newton metres and Fun, Fun, Fun. On the road the revs shoot you through the CVT to the next corner or traffic situation, and braking is so secure with the twin pot front disc (220mm diameter, same as on the SR150) that you will ride in this manner again and again and again.
To scale down to 125cc, the 150 Aprilia engine has been (according to manufacturer’s literature) bored down, the stroke remaining unchanged. This results in a ‘lazier’ engine, easier to ride and smoother in performance delivery. Cylinder compression, though, has been increased and at 10.1:1 is quite a bit on the high side for a scooter. But then the Aprilia is no ordinary two-wheeler.
Aprilia manufactures a range of motorcycles, and with the racing lessons learned from competition at national and international levels in a wide variety of motorcycle sports (for instance, their sophisticated MotoGP bikes have 4 liquid-cooled cylinders in V-configuration and 16 pneumatic valves, storming out over 270 brake horses!), the lineage, the sports DNA is evident here, too. It is probably due to this very DNA that the engine designers at Aprilia incorporated into their scooters - SR125, SR150 and SR150 Race - the Aprilia MAP Sensor system. This is India’s first scooter with this technology and what MAP (Manifold Absolute Pressure) does is electronically manages the spark timing, continuously on the run, to deliver higher power at all engine speeds and demand loads, optimizing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions.
The SR125 saddle, we are told by Brendon Ferdinand, Assistant Brand Manager at Abans Auto, is 1 ½” longer and is given extra padding. These additions would, no doubt, aid Indian and Sri Lankan riders and families in their personal mobility requirements. A streamlined single-piece pillion grab handle is smoothly incorporated into the tail-end styling, and up front the turn light indicators are neatly recessed into the steering fairing. Additionally, Aprilia’s SR125 meets the Indian regulations of Bharat Stage 4 (BS IV) engine design for reduced emission norms and Auto Headlight On (AHO), the same as on the SR150.
The lean sporty styling means that bodywork is kept to a minimum, but at no point did I feel a lack of it. The floorboard is wide enough for the rider’s footwear, and the foot pegs for the pillion rider swing out of their recessed positions for action, so from the moment of beginning our ride my senses were totally focused on the lively and cheery personality of the SR125. The 14” alloy wheels are stylish and are the largest in scooters from India; the advantage of the large tyres on the run distinctly felt. Going in search of road irregularities, as is usual in test riding of this sort, we find that the resultant larger air columns within the taller tyres provide an additional shock absorbent quality to the ride. Tyres are shaped with rounded shoulders, again a feature of the SR’s racing lineage, and riding the scooter more as you would a motorcycle seems quite natural, leaning her into corners with more body movement and less steering input than on most another scooter.
The all-analogue meter console is simple and clearly legible. 120 km/h is marked on the speedo but, because our test bike was still very much in its early stages of running-in, we could not let the sweep needle get anywhere near that zone of the meter face. The fuel tank filler cap is safely located under the locked seat. A mobile phone battery charging port is optional and, if selected, will also be fixed under-seat.
Many a time I’ve spoken about scooters that would make the ideal weekend scoot-about for mercantile board members and senior executives, and the Aprilia SR125, while being an excellent youth -oriented scooter would bring out the expression that lies latent within the heart of every young-at-heart person. Mr/s Board Member Senior Exec, have yourself a fun-day weekend aboard your Aprilia SR125; you will not want to get back to your desk come Monday! For you younger folk: Have yourself Excitement and Fun aboard your Aprilia SR125 all week long.
THE TRIO - APRILIA, PIAGGIO and ABANS AUTO
Aprilia is part of the giant Piaggio Company of Italy, the Company’s new production facility in Maharashtra, India, turning out the Aprilia siblings SR125, SR150, and SR150 Race, and the Vespa scooters. Both scooter brands follow the Italian design concept and styling philosophy of parent Piaggio. Piaggio has long expertise in varied manufacturing disciplines - among them high quality timber components for the marine and railway industry for over a century, aircraft engines, and complete aircraft. Famous motorcycling names such as Derbi, Gilera, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, and Vespa are members of the same family.
Abans Auto (Pvt) Limited, is the Sole Sri Lankan Distributor for Aprilia and Vespa scooters. Brendon Ferdinand, long a two-wheeler enthusiast, is the Assistant Brand Manager at Aprilia and Vespa, and informs that the Company’s Main Showroom for the two Italo-Indian brands is in Panadura. “The Aprilia SR125, SR150 and SR150 Race are available at all Abans Auto Showrooms and with the Dealers islandwide, as are the Servicing and Spare Parts, facilities. Similarly, the Vespa scooters and Servicing and Spares, too”. The Aprilia line-up is the SR125, SR150, and the Aprilia flagship SR150 Race (Rs 367,000/-), while Vespa offers the VXL 125 and Elegante 150.
APRILIA SR 125
Air-cooled 4-stroke single-cylinder SOHC 3 valve
Electric / Kick
CHASSIS AND RUNNING GEAR
Tyres Front 120/70 x 14 Tubeless
Rear 120/70 x 14 Tubeless
Brakes Front Disc, 220mm, hydraulic
Rear Drum 140mm
Front Telescopic fork
Rear Single shock absorber
DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITIES
Ground clearance 160 mm
Weight 115 kg
Fuel tank 6.5 liters
THE GO FACTOR
Max Power 9.52 BHP @ 7250 rpm
Max Torque 9.9 Nm @ 6250 rpm
COLOURS Blue Silver
Warranty 2 years / 24,000 kms
HOW MUCH Rs 309,990/-