2020 Yamaha Aerox 155

Super Mini-Max?

Published on 31 Dec 2021

Yamaha’s Mio Aerox 155 VVA S-Version could well become the benchmark by which sports scooters of tomorrow will be recognized. The bar has been raised - and super-high - for the scooter world by Yamaha Motor Company Japan. This Yamaha is, as recent bikes from this two-wheeler maker have been, so loaded with engine technology that immediately places these machines on a higher plane. Yamaha Motor has, from what we see of recent offerings, decided to go high-tech across the board. Result is that the Mio Aerox is at the high-tech sport / luxury end of the scooter world.

We first met Yamaha’s Mio a long while ago, possibly as much as a decade ago. We were given the Company test sample to do our usual ride test and review; then the plug was pulled. Prohibitively high landed cost the reason. I recall that the Mio was a scooter a cut above most of the rest of the availability in our market. I also recall the impression I had that if it were to establish a foothold on the Sri Lankan market it could enjoy a strong position among scooter offerings to our riders. Back in the day, there were only a few scooter makes and models available in Sri Lanka - indeed scootering was still in its early days here in our country.

As good as the Mio of that far off day was, the Mio we ride-tested in the current day is a greater result. Today’s Mio Aerox 155 VVA S-Version is a complete two-wheeler, a cross between a motorcycle and scooter, which is now the trend for mini-maxi-super-scooters… and, largely, or so I feel, the Yamaha engine development program - Blue Core - is the reason. Yamaha has over the last many years introduced to the enthusiast riders a range of two-wheelers with powerplant technology that was not available even to many motorcycles not long ago. And now:  now we have that formerly high-level high-end engine technology in a scooter!

The Aerox comes in 4 versions - the S-version is the scooter imported from Indonesia and purchasable from Associated Motorways Pvt Limited (AMW) and the Yamaha Dealer network across the island.  Yamaha and AMW have a long and reliable collaboration going back into the early 1980s, well over three decades now, and during that time a vast number of Yamaha two-wheeler models has been successfully introduced to our riders. Today’s Yamaha comes close on the heels of the two models most recently brought to our country by AMW, the MT-15 and the NMAX.  Both are single cylindered, the first a 155cc, the other a 125cc (as we tested).  Also both share the Yamaha Blue Core technology and are liquid cooled, fuel-injected, and enjoy Variable Valve Actuation (VVA), hemi head (hemispherically shaped cylinder head), and Die-cast Aluminum Silicon (‘DiASil’) all-aluminum cylinder lining which cools three times more effectively than the conventional cylinder lining material.

The 14” diameter wheels and the super-wide rear tyre (140mm wide, same section as on the Yamaha FZ series motorcycle), sporty tread pattern, together with the chassis geometry and the maxi-scooter (longish) wheelbase (1350mm) provide Aerox with ride stability that is solid and rider-encouraging. I tried shaking the Mio Aerox 155’s head while leaned into corners and the bike did not seem to even notice it. I hung off the bike in the early cornering stages of our ride (hanging upper body into the corners) to further test out this stability and found the Aerox as comfortable riding this way as it was riding conventionally.

Talking of comfort: that famous screen star Robert De Niro quoted:  “If it’s the right chair, it doesn’t take long to get comfortable in it.” And obviously the Aerox and yours truly fit in well because within a couple of car lengths of my getting into the saddle of the Aerox and the bike and I taking off from standing, I found that the Aerox and I were already buddy-buddy. Instantly. Not almost, but instantly. Having ride-tested about a century and a half of varied two-wheelers (and ridden a few outside of my ride tester occupation), I was so amazed at the prompt, repeat prompt, open arm embrace the Aerox gave me. I remembering saying into my crash hat “Man, that was so so quick!” 

A great start this. Of course, no genuine Yamaha comes without Blue Core. The Blue Core technology is so firmly part of the Yamaha brand of motors, this Mio Aerox sharing this more-power less-fuel techno-design. Added to the Blue Core is the Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) system that operates so efficiently on the brand’s 4-stroke products. Going back a while, I recall the Yamaha Power Valve System (YPVS) on the hot hot 2-strokers flowing off of the Yamaha assembly lines back in the 1980’s (as I recall; YPVS buffs please correct me if I am mistaken). And that was absolute magic. But, as we said that was on 2-strokes.

In some ways similar to the present day 4-stroke VVA, the then 2-stroke machinery provided the rider a wider than could be thought of torque band. As we know, 2-strokers, by design, generally offered narrow torque ranges. Yamaha overcame this with the patented home-designed variable power band system. And now, in the case of the current 4-strokers Yamaha’s VVA offers the rider an amazingly wide torque range, from low rev to high, always ready to accelerate and never seeming to run out of breath.Variable Valve Actuation spreads the available ‘pulling power’ throughout the rev range. Thus the torque output available to the rider is linear and this brings with it huge amounts of stability, too. Because the torque feeds in ‘gently’ the Aerox does not catch the rider unawares with snap, fierce reactions at the rear end. For example, from a trailing (totally shut) throttle situation in a corner and while leaned over, I abruptly banged open the throttle and our Aerox remained so unfazed by this unorthodox treatment. She just added acceleration and resultant speed but absolutely no naughty tricks in the drive train or at the rear tyre. When we met was a dry day, and I would be interested to try this manouvre on a wet road; I feel pretty confident the Aerox will conduct herself in similarly exhilarating manner as in the dry. Smart Stop Start (SSS) enables the ignition to cut out with 5 seconds of idling (such as traffic lights); merely twist the throttle open and the quick start Yamaha Smart Motor Generator instantly fires up the engine and off you and your Aerox go.

The smart key is an immobilizer and does not need to slot into a switch, instead electronically enabling access to multiple features found on a single manually operated switch.  Ignition, seat unlock, fuel filler flap unlock, steering lock, are all activated by this switch which is in turn set off by this single smart key. 

Raise the stepped saddle and be amazed.  25 litres of ‘parking’ is on offer here.  More than sufficient for the rider’s crash hat; pop in your riding gear, too, within this vast space.

Yamaha pitches the Mio Aerox 155 VVA S-Version as a racing city commuter. The Aerox is most certainly a brisk city runner. Normal road traffic is simply moving, easily dissolve-able, chicanes. A biker’s joy. Those who wish to feel what open-air motoring - read true motoring - is all about… apply here. Those who are satisfied with climate controlled boxes on four wheels, do not apply.

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