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POCKET ROCKET- APRILIA SR 125

POCKET ROCKET- APRILIA SR 125

Aprilia is sometimes regarded as “the other” Italian sport bike maker after Ducati. But any such second-fiddle reputation is undeserved. Aprilia’s motorcycle range has more sport bikes than some Japanese companies, including superbikes, naked bikes, adventure bikes and street fighters. Blend in eight different scooters, and Aprilia indeed stands tall on the street. Among those eight scooters SR 125 is the second entry of Aprilia in the Nepali market. After the success of its higher capacity brethren, the SR 125 aims to capture more of the market for those wanting a entry level sporty scooter without breaking the bank. We took the scooter for a spin around the valley to find out whether it can live up to the performance standards set by its older sibling.

STYLING

Take a quick glance and it will be hard to find differences between the SR 125 and its 150cc sibling. It seems Aprilia has taken a stance of “If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.” We aren’t complaining though, it is an impressive looking scooter and its design is dominated by sharp lines and it stands out from the competition. In the looks department, the biggest update of the scooter is the new paint schemes, with the metallic blue one being the head turner. The front has double barreled headlights that stays on the front apron. The graphics of the SR 125 is rather toned down than that of the 150, which will appeal to the more mature section of the audience. The seat is also changed, with it being longer and being an all-black unit. The split grab rail is missing from the SR 125 and is replaced with a belt-loop for the pillion to hold on to. There is also a new color on offer with a bright candy blue which can be popular among young buyers, as opposed to the much understated metallic silver of our review unit. One styling gripe we had is the all analogue instrument cluster which looks really outdated in front of the fully digital consoles that many new scooters come equipped with.

ENGINE

The SR 125 has a smaller heart as it is powered by an air-cooled 124.49cc carburetor single cylinder engine that produces 9.52hp @ 7,250rpm and 9.9Nm of torque @ 6,250 rpm. The new engine is lifted from the Vespa 125 and despite delivering a lower power output than the Vespa, it feels faster. This can be attributed to the SR125 being lighter than the metal-bodied Vespa and the acceleration is quite good. It reaches 60kmph with ease but slows down a bit thereafter on the run to 80kmph. The power is sent to the rear wheel via a CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission). The CVT tuning also helps considerably. This motor is quite smooth. It has its own set of vibes, especially when ridden hard and the throttle response is smooth and appreciable.

RIDE AND HANDLING

Suspension duties are courtesy of hydraulic telescopic forks with straight stanchions at the front. While the rear suspension comprises of a single arm with engine crankcase as swinging element, served by a single dual chamber shock with 4-setting adjustable spring preload at the rear. These suspensions are quite stiff which leads to it being sharp and agile when it comes to handling similar to that of the 150. This suspension setup may be harsh and tiring over bad roads, it is an absolute beast given a good snaking road. Aprilia is clearly focusing on handling rather than comfort with this setup which may deter prospective buyers. Another beastly thing for the SR 125 are its 14-inch wheels which offers great levels of stability and grip. The scooter is also great in tight spaces and one could easily maneuver it even in congested streets. Aprilia hasn’t made any changes to its brakes from the SR 150 and that’s a good thing as they are just excellent. With a powerful front disc and rear drum brake it offers a lot of confidence to the rider as it can stop this scooter from high speeds without breaking a sweat. This scooter has definitely the best brakes in its class. ERGONOMICS

Ergonomically speaking the SR 125 is roomy and comfortable for people of all shapes and sizes. The seat height for the SR150 is set at a slightly high 775 mm for a relaxed riding posture. Although the seat is high, you will feel comfortable enough. The front storage compartment seen on most scooters has been removed which allows for a much roomy seating position even for taller riders. However, the under-seat storage is not as roomy as one would like. With a fuel capacity of 6.5 liters and claimed efficiency of over 35 km/l the scooter is also suitable for longer rides.

VERDICT

The SR 125 is one hell of a scooter and undoubtedly qualifies as a sports scooter which focuses on performance and handling rather than outright comfort. The SR 125 is really very capable and isn’t any less enjoyable than the SR 150. However, with similar pricing, one could get confused about which Aprilia to buy. If you want out and out performance then by all means go for the SR 150, however, if you are on a slightly tight budget and want to buy a sports scooter which is also economical, then you may look at the SR 125.

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