Aprilia SR 150 ABS – First Ride Review
Daily commutes on boring scooters can suck the happiness out of motorists. But the Aprilia SR 150 changed the game when it was launched back in 2016. The 150cc scooter immediately garnered attention from customers and road testers and remains the enthusiast’s choice. Its engine is peppy and the ride and handling is sporty. Not to mention the unmistakably striking design and styling of the SR 150 which turns heads and makes it stand out in a sea of 110cc commuters. But not much has changed since the launch three years ago, and some updates were overdue. Aprilia has finally sprung some action, giving the SR 150 the mid-life makeover, it needed.
The biggest change on the new SR 150 is that it now comes with single-channel ABS as standard, to comply with the new safety regulations mandated by the government. It also gets a retuned suspension and a new semi-digital instrument cluster. The tyres are new as well – the old V281 Vee Rubber gets replaced by a newer version named V432F. Although the new tyres are the same size, they do get a different tread pattern.
How different does it feel?
The 220mm front disc and 140mm drum brake at the rear provided great bite even earlier, but the addition of ABS now completes the equation. On slamming the front brakes, the ABS doesn’t judder and brakes in a smooth and composed manner. The credit also goes to the meaty 120-section tyres wrapped around 14-inch wheels. The new tread pattern on these tyres is denser and has a wide central groove, offering better grip on wet roads. When you’re snaking through the town riding the SR 150 you’re likely to go faster than you would on your average commuter. With the safety net of the ABS and better grip from the tyres, you can now have a little bit of added assurance.
Sportiness is in the SR 150’s DNA and it wouldn’t take much time for you to realise that once you’re on that saddle. However, the scooter’s stiff ride has always been a letdown. Aprilia has tried to address this issue by retuning the suspension. The ride is now slightly better than earlier but the difference isn’t ground-breaking. It still is very much on the firmer side and this can prove to be a little cumbersome on long rides. On the bright side, it aids handling, and in that department, we have no complaints.
Also new is the semi-digital instrument cluster replacing the old twin-pod analogue unit. The new cluster houses an LCD with fuel gauge, odometer and two trip meters. The display is crisp but I would have preferred a brighter unit as visibility tends to get a little poor under direct sunlight.
What’s still the same?
The SR 150 continues to be propelled by the sprightly 154.8cc engine that produces 9.92bhp and 10.9Nm of torque. The power delivery is smooth and linear and this engine likes to be pushed. The SR 150 breaches the 60kmph mark before you’d expect it to. Even at 100kmph, the scooter feels stable and solid.
Some of the points that it scores on performance are lost on practicality and rider comfort. The seat is still a bit cramped for taller riders and the under-seat storage space is quite small, with enough space only for essentials like small bags, a smart phone or a wallet. A full-face helmet won’t fit. Also, our test vehicle did not have a USB charging port, which is an optional extra despite the fat price tag.
However, this 2019 version of the Aprilia SR 150 betters its predecessor and still remains a unique and sporty offering amongst scooters in India. The addition of ABS gives you more confidence to use the engine and chassis’ performance, with its safety net. It’s much better to ride than the Vespa SLX 150 and much peppier than the TVS Ntorq 125 as well. The SR 150 is every penny worth its price (Rs 84,026 ex-showroom Delhi), and remains the most dynamic scooter you can get your hands on today.