Aprilia SR150 Review – First Ride at Piaggio India’s Baramati plant
We have all been at that place as youngsters, watching a superbike pass by and just go blank, thinking one day, I too will have a superbike. This phenomenon keeps happening a lot these days, thanks to so many of them on sale in India. And more so, buying superbikes in India is no longer as difficult as it was back then. Today not only brands have entry level bikes, they also have amazing EMI options which will definitely tempt you to take the bite.
When Ducati came to India they brought their much economical Monster. Harley Davidson also had its cruisers specially built for India, starting at approximately 5 lakh rupees. Now, it’s Aprilia’s turn who are doing something similar.
The makers of the monstrous RSV 4 and the Tuono, have started the production of its first ever two wheeler manufactured on Indian soil, the SR150. This MotoScooter (as we named it) is a crossover between a motorcycle and a conventional mcooter. The SR150 is manufactured at the Piaggio facility, the same plant as the Vespa scooters at Baramati which is 100 odd kilometers away from the city of Pune.
Aprilia SR150 is based on a light-weight tubular chassis rather than the conventional monocoque one. Married to a 154cc engine derived from the Vespa, firing 11.4 horsepower and 11.5 Nm of torque. The front cowl is angular and boasts a pair of ferocious looking twin headlamps. The seats are stepped and have a dual tone scheme done as standard. The seats are supportive and plush enough for longer rides. The footwell is pretty grippy and the bag hook, the flush type side footrest are very neatly placed.
The storage space below the seat is average and does not offer nifty features such as a charging point or remote release but Aprilia aficionados won’t be bothered. The twin pod dials look outdated, as Aprilia could have done away with an LCD unit. However, the quality of the switches on both the handle bars is top-notch, especially the dipper switch which is neatly tucked into the headlamp beam selector.
The wheels on the SR150 are 14 inches with 120 section tires and are not as per norm of scooters. On this, Piaggio’s CEO Stephano Pele says ‘As of now the tires are imported as per demand but as the demand would increase we would bring in indigenously manufactured tires for the SR150 to lower costs further”. The front disc brakes are the largest ever seen on any production scooter in India at 220mm.
Piaggio has achieved 90% localization for the SR150 that is produced here. Also Piaggio would be exporting the locally produced SR150s to the foreign markets very soon as the demand rises.
Press the brakes, push to start and off I went. The SR150 feels extremely light and does not feel underpowered whatsoever. Carrying a healthy 120 kilogram weight, this MotoScooter feels much quicker even when the engine construction is similar as the Vespa.
When cornering, the 120 section tires offer immense grip, helping lean a little further while pushing through corners. Aprilia SR150 feel super lively and ready to attack tarmac at all times. The acceleration is linear and doing a 100 kmph on their test track, the SR150 felt at home. Also the BYBRE front calipers are super sharp, giving excellent braking.
Priced at just INR 65,000, the Aprilia SR150 is easily one of the best deals you can ever dream of. Though it looks like a scooter, it does not ride like one. It feels at home on the road, and off it. The bigger seats offer good cushion when on a bumpy road. If you are one of those individual who always wanted a motorcycle, but either your parents, wife / husband, girlfriend / boyfriend, refrained you from buying a motorcycle, you should be happy. Your scooter is here.