An Italian maxi-scooter? Yes please
Here’s a fun fact: India’s first maxi-scooter, the Kinetic Blaze offered around 0.6PS more than the Aprilia SXR 160 with a motor displacing just 5cc more. Then again back in 2008, the Blaze wasn’t burdened by the far more stringent BS6 emission norms the Aprilia has to pass. Back to current times, though Aprilia India prefers the term ‘cross-max’ for the SXR 160, in our books it belongs to the maxi-scooter class more than anything else. When it comes to the looks, Italian women and automobiles both look stunning and the SXR 160 follows the trend like everything else Aprilia makes. In fact, the SXR 160 looks particularly good in the red you see here and matte blue as well. The large bodywork, smoked windscreen and RS 660 inspired LED headlamp unit really help the scooter stand out when viewed from the front. At the rear, it’s the wide LED tail lamp unit, wrap-around grab rail and fat rear tyre that do it for the SXR. Wheel size is down to 12 inches from the SR’s 14 inchers but the alloys look smashing and add dollops of visual appeal to the scooter. There’s lots of premium bits from end to end – all-LED lighting, massive 5.7 inch LCD display with readouts for speed, revs, engine temperature, a fuel gauge and more. In fact, there’s enough information to put premium sportbikes to shame! The information can be accessed on the fly via a mode button, while Bluetooth connectivity is available as an optional extra. What you do get as standard is a USB charging port inside the lockable glovebox. Overall build quality is good and panel gaps consistent, while the textured plastics and paint finish exude a premium feel.
For its size and styling, the SXR 160 disappoints with its lack of storage space though. Its lockable glovebox has two tiny storage compartments that can’t hold more than your phone or wallet and the underseat storage is also a little too small by maxi-scooter standards. The latter is due to the larger, 7-litre fuel tank, which is not a bad trade-off given the lesser number of trips to fuel stations. The seating is such that you are seated on the scooter and not in it, due to the low-set handlebars and high floorboard. The floorboard also feels cramped though the saving grace for taller riders is that the seat allows you to sit back comfortably, while also letting the pillion sit in comfort. Cushioning is firm but is not a bother, while seat height is 10mm lower than the SR 160 at 770mm. The powertrain is of course straight off the SR 160 though it has been tuned to offer more linear performance here.
It still offers 11PS and 11Nm. Despite the 11kg weight gain over the SR, the SXR is quick off the line and I also reckon it will do 100kmph easily. Overall, performance is such that you can have a good time in the city and on open roads as well. One concern with Aprilia’s scooters has been the stiff ride in the interest of sporty handling and the good news here is that the SXR’s ride quality is better than the SR. The suspension setup is still firm but will not make you wince in pain if you were to hit a pothole hard. Another reason behind the SXR’s more pliant ride are its higher profile tyres on the smaller wheels. Effectively, the SXR has lost some of the SR’s agility but handles well enough to enthral, despite its larger dimensions and higher weight. The 120-section MRF Zapper N tyres offer lots of grip while the brakes offer a strong bite like the SR’s and both elements add to the SXR’s sporty feel. The SXR only gets single-channel ABS, which is not too intrusive thankfully. At Rs 1.26 lakh ex-showroom New Delhi, the Aprilia SXR 160 costs almost half a lakh more than the Suzuki Burgman 125, the only direct rival. While that is a hefty premium, the SXR 160 does have a lot going for it, being an Aprilia. And it’s Italian, after all!
Aprilia SXR 160
Engine: 160cc, single-cylinder, 3-valve SOHC
Power: 11PS @ 7100rpm
Torque: 11Nm @ 5750rpm
Price: Rs 1.26 lakh ex-showroom New Delhi