The 2020 Aprilia SR 160 and Aprilia SR 160 Race BS6 bring motorcycle-like road manners with the convenience of a scooter.
Story: Sarmad Kadiri
Photography: Sanjay Raikar
If performance is your biggest turn-on, then the SR is just the scooter for you. Aprilia have updated the range to meet the stringent BS6 norms with a larger-capacity engine, jumping from the earlier 154.8-cc unit to a 160.03-cc one with fuel-injection. The idea was to ensure that the power, the key ingredient for the SR range, wasn’t compromised.
The scooter is now available in three versions: SR 160, Carbon, and Race. There’s not much change in terms of design, apart from the slightly different colour scheme. If you look closer, though, you will notice a new single-barrel headlamp which looks better than the older dual-barrel unit. The standard
scooter is available in the familiar black-and-red combination and the Carbon follows an all-black theme with some red detailing.
Aprilia SR 160 Race
The Race is practically the same scooter with the exception of a slightly re-tuned CVT with different bearings for better low-down performance and a set of Ceat tyres. This sportier variant comes in matte black body colour with RS-GP 20-inspired livery and also the signature bright red paint on the wheels and the monoshock along with a gold-finished Bybre caliper. It’s probably the most aggressive-looking scooter in the market. (Also Read: Aprilia Storm 125 BS6 Review)
The SR range still feels fun and lively to ride but marginally less aggressive than the BS4 version — a common trait seen on many models trying to achieve cleaner emissions. During our short ride experience, it was difficult to judge if the Race, which is said to be the livelier of the lot, could actually live up to its promise. The difference is so subtle that we’ll need to test it with the DriftBox to get an answer.
Overall, the power delivery is linear and the scooters hit 60 km/h before you know it and effortlessly go beyond 80 km/h if given a chance. It will be interesting to see if the BS6 versions can match the less than seven seconds 0- 100 km/h time of the outgoing model.
Ride and Handling
Though there aren’t any changes in the chassis and other cycle parts, the SR 160 does get new MRF tyres on its 14-inch wheels, replacing the imported Vee Rubber tyres. These impressed us more with their superior grip as compared to the Ceats of the Race. Aprilia have been constantly working on the
suspension set-up, which, in the older model, was rather stiff. The retuned front fork comes with a 30-mm inner tube which promises a more forgiving ride. On the road, however, the change is barely noticeable and most of the broken path still filters through to your wrists. It’s on winding roads that the SR range truly shines, offering motorcycle-like agility and confidence.They also have spectacular braking, thanks to the large 220-mm disc assisted by ABS, which further boosts the rider’s confidence.
The combination of a peppy engine, excellent brakes, and nimble handling is something most other scooters can only envy. But for that you have to shell out a premium. Rs 1.03 lakh (ex-showroom) for the standard SR 160, while the Race demands another Rs 7,000. That’s practically what you’d pay for some extreme 160-cc motorcycles.
The only chink in the armour remains the value proposition due to the sketchy equipment list. It doesn’t include basic features offered as standard on smaller and more affordable scooters with no fully digital instrument cluster, external fuel filler lid or boot lamp, and has a tiny under-seat storage. Yet many Indians are willing to pay a premium without bothering about the minor compromises
because they love the motorcycle-like performance it offers along with the convenience of a scooter. Oh, and that aggressive Italian design!
(Also Read: Vespa SXL 150 and Racing Sixties 150 Review)