Aprilia launched the SXR 160 in India some time back and right from the beginning, it was a crystal clear fact that this scooter is not for everybody. It’s a bit exclusive in that sense and not everyone will go ahead and buy this product. The Italians are well-known for manufacturing some seriously good machines on 2 and 4 wheels and the Aprilia SXR 160 is no different. We got to spend some time with the Italian maxi scooter to figure out its target audience and does it justify its premium price tag.
Design & Styling
Italians are also popular for producing aesthetically appealing automobiles. In terms of aesthetic sense and appeal, the SXR 160 takes the pole position amongst all other scooters ( maxi scooters included ).
It gets performance-oriented looks. Burgman is a good looking machine too, but its proportions and streamlining play a spoilsport.
Upfront, you get an-LED lighting upfront with the high beam lamp in the centre and 2 low beam lamps on either side. The cluster upfront is completed by LED DRLs on either side of the headlamp unit. You get a set of 12″ 120 section alloys which further enhance its performance-oriented looks we previously mentioned. The spokes are very sportily designed and you get a tiny red highlighting on the tyres which signifies it’s sportiness.
From the sides, it looks very proportionate. Aprilia branding, cladding and aggressive graphics on the sides further aggravate its appeal. The rear gets an all-LED tail light cluster along with LED blinkers as well. Aprilia has not compromised on quality and features on this one.
The length, width and height of the SXR 160 is more than that of other 125cc scooters, including Burgman. But, in comparison with SR 160, the SXR 160 is less long, less wide and shorter as well but the wheelbase on both these Aprilia twins is similar.
The handlebars are a bit closer to the rider than usual than other scooters, hence, very tall riders might feel the handlebars being a bit too close for comfort. Speaking of the handlebars, it’s not something that you’d usually see on other scooters. It’s a very chunky unit, but on the downside, the panel gaps and overall fit & finish on the bars could have been better. The switchgear quality too, could have been better although they function accurately.
You also get a fully digital instrument cluster that can display numbers according to your needs. The cluster displays more than enough info to the rider like a tacho, speedo, ambient temperature, distance to dry ( empty ), instantaneous fuel efficiency etc. Although, we would have appreciated average fuel efficiency reading and bluetooth connectivity. Further down, you get a lockable space and a USB charger.
The seats are very comfy as well, despite the fact that it is a sporty scooter. The seats neither too firm nor too soft and are an ideal mix of the two. The seat height is very good as well and it has an anti-slip surface at the front, to prevent you from slipping ahead under heavy braking. For the pillion as well, the comfort is not compromised and the grab rails at the back at very practical as well. To provide a sporty touch, the seat has a contrasting double stitch. Underneath the seats, you get a decent storage space and the fuel lid.
The SXR 160 is powered by a 160cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, fuel-injected engine that delivers 11 PS of peak power @7100 RPM and 11Nm of peak torque @5750 RPM. In comparison with SR 160, the peak power & torque are available a bit lower in the rev range, hence, the low-end grunt and tractability of this scooter should be slightly better than the SR 160. In terms of performance and cubic capacity, the SXR 160 is not extraordinary. The Burgman and NTorq both produce slightly lower peak power outputs despite being 125cc scooters. Hence, the extra 35cc on the SXR 160 don’t bring in a world of difference, at least in terms of numbers and since this is heavier than both Burgman & NTorq, a bit more oomph from the engine would have been better. Although, it sprints from 0-60 kph in an impressive sub-8-second time and it can clock around 100 kph on the speedo flat out.
The SXR 160 shares its chassis with the SR 160 and the SR 160 has always been a great handler. On the twisties as well, it feels quite confidence-inspiring. It sort of feels like a motorcycle sometimes, in terms of handling and had it had bigger wheels, the handling would have been even better. As an enthusiast, it is an absolute delight to ride this scooter.
The engine is a refined unit and hence, the vibrations are hardly felt. Even on the top of its rev range, all you can feel is a mild buzz underneath the floorboard and nothing as such on the footpegs and handlebars. It is a smooth, smooth machine.
The brakes are quite stellar as well. The braking of the SXR 160 is the best in its segment and it gives you a very reassuring feeling when you brake. The suspension is nicely set up as well and you get a 5-step adjustable mono shock at the rear, which you can adjust according to your needs.
The official figures haven’t been shared with us but you can expect around 35 kmpl of mileage on a day to day basis and out on an open highway, with light inputs, it can return up to 40 kmpl. But, if you drive it too fast and enthusiastically everytime, the mileage can drop to around 30 kmpl too, which overall is significantly lower than other 125cc scooters. The performance here is impeccable but you hence need to compromise on fuel efficiency.
The 125cc performance scooted range starts from around INR 74,000 and goes all the way up to around 84,000 ( all prices, ex-showroom ). On the other hand, the Aprilia SXR 160 starts from around INR 1.28 lakhs ( ex-showroom ), generating a difference of almost INR 45,000.
For the difference you pay, the SXR 160 is not very differentiated from 125cc performance scooters by quite a margin. Sure, it does have a bit more pep, but overall, the difference in performance could have been more, to do justice to the extra engine displacement and the price difference you pay. But, that apart, Aprilia hasn’t made the SXR 160 for everyone. It’s for those who highly prioritise performance supplemented by good, aggressive design. There is absolutely no doubt that it is one of the most premium, smooth and overall, one of the best packages out there. If you can compromise a bit on the VFM quotient, and desire a fast, aggressive, performance-oriented machines that are very motorcycle-like, test ride the Aprilia SXR 160.