The Avenis is more than just an Access 125 in a race suit
When Suzuki revealed the Avenis, a lot amongst us, myself included, could not help but notice the similarities to the TVS NTorq 125. After all, as far as sporty 125cc scooters go, the NTorq 125 has been the one to beat. And what better way to take the fight to the reigning king than having a scooter boasting a design that looks as sharp and edgy? And sportier spin-offs based on the humongously successful Acess 125 have always worked for Suzuki, like the Burgman Street, no? Having ridden the Burgman extensively, I reckon the Avenis will become a formidable player in the 125cc segment too. The big question though is, does it pack enough to position itself as a unique proposition in the 125cc space that’s teeming with options already?
Let’s start with the scooter’s design first. Contrary to previous Suzuki scooters that feature smooth flowing lines, the Avenis gets an edgy silhouette with sharp lines and creases. Instead of being narrow near the front wheel, the front apron is wide and feels busy with a lot of design elements. The LED headlamp unit features vertically stacked LED DRLs. I would have liked a more focussed beam though, as the headlamp beam spread feels sub-par compared to other 125cc scooters.
Moving to the rear, the sculpted seat looks the part and impresses with its supportive cushioning too, ensuring comfortable rides. A flush-fitting fuel filler cap sits behind the seat which has to be opened via a separate keyhole on the side though, defeating the purpose of an external fuel filler cap, which is convenience. Split grab rails lead to split LED tail lamps that I feel, could be better executed. On that note, the 10-inch rear wheel surrounded by the chunky tail section and end can makes the rear look disproportionate. Also, the motorcycle-styled turn indicators look dated and a little out of place.
Our test scooter was finished in an eye-catching, dual-tone, ‘Pearl Blaze Orange and Glass Sparkle Black’ paintjob. (a Race Edition with MotoGP livery is on offer too!). I like the subtle Avenis logo at the back and Hayabusa styled logo on the front flank. As expected from Suzuki switchgear quality, paint sheen and overall fit-finish levels are top-notch.
Nestled below the sharp-looking tinted visor is a digital instrument console. It uses large fonts and is bright enough for easy viewability under direct sunlight. It features Bluetooth connectivity and paired with the phone, displays turn-by-turn navigation and message and call alerts too. It even gets a closed glove box at the front with an integrated USB charger.
The Avenis gets the tried and tested 124cc powertrain seen in the Access 125 and Burgman Street, in the same state of tune. It delivers 8.7PS and 10Nm which is lower than the competition but at 106kg, the Avenis is lighter. It may not be the quickest 125cc scooter out there thus, the performance is good. The Avenis is quick to get off the line but loses steam in the midrange, though it regains some of the gusto towards the top of its powerband. The power delivery helps in bumper-to-bumper traffic and on open roads as well. I like the way the Avenis can cruise at speeds of around 70-80kmph and also go on to hit a speedo-indicated top speed of 100kmph. More than the performance, it is the refinement levels that impress, especially at higher speeds.
Like the powertrain, the Avenis shares its underpinnings with the Access 125 too. This includes the 12-inch front and 10-inch rear wheels. Like the Access, handling is neutral and not as sporty as the competition. It does feel nimble while hustling through traffic and switches direction quickly as well.
However, the skinny tyres do not inspire as much confidence in the twisties as I would have liked. The tyres also rob the Avenis of some of its braking performance. While the front disc and rear drum setup offers a progressive feel, I feel the brakes could do with more bite. The Avenis impresses with its ride quality too as the suspension soaks up most bumps and ruts and two-up riding is comfortable as well.
Priced at Rs 86,700 for the Avenis Ride Connect edition, the Avenis is priced in the same ballpark as the top-spec TVS NTorq Race XP. It’s clear thus that Suzuki has no qualms in positioning the Avenis as a direct competitor to the Ntorq. While it ticks most of the boxes enthusiasts would want a sporty 125cc scooter to, it does not exceed any of those parameters. Simply put, the Suzuki Avenis feels like a dolled up family scooter which in itself could appeal to the conservative buyer who would want a flashy scooter but also does not want to compromise on factors like refinement or ride quality. The Avenis plays it safe but then this segment isn’t about that, is it?