The Suzuki Access 125, in its previous generation avatar earned a reputation for being one of the quickest scooters around without appearing like one. It was a zingy sleeper of sorts in the midst of scooters which looked boring and felt boring. So when we heard that Suzuki had upped the torque on the practical yet potent machine in its newest gen version, we really wanted to have a go at it. In addition to the changes made to the powertrain, the scooter has been completely overhauled aesthetically too. So we took it out on Pune streets for a review, and then we took it off them, and ended up going bonkers! Here’s what it felt like.
Images : Chirag Mondal
2016 Suzuki Access 125 Design and style
Suzuki have changed every single panel on the Access 125 for the new gen model, though the overall proportions and basic shape remains relatable to the previous gen model. The only element that would make you think that it isn’t probably an Access is the new headlamp, replete with a chrome ring, and bringing a vaguely retro look to the face. While some have their reservations about that new headlamp, I quite like it personally – that subtle hint of chrome distinguishes the Access in a sea of painfully similar looking machines.
The front apron and the associated elements including the flanking panels and the blinkers have a vertical orientation. The upswept side panels look snazzier as compared with the treatment meted out to the front panel, though the chrome covered exhaust still traverses a horizontal trajectory. As what seems to be a new trend among scooter designs, the rear is dominated by an exceptionally large tail-lamp unit flanked by blinkers which somewhat resonate the frontal design.
The Access 125 still comes across as an understated design, a well-proportioned one at that though. It’s always been a fast scooter with a conservative appearance. The Access retains that template in its new version.
Styling apart, the scooter comes across as a solid built unit. The paint finish and the panel assembly is as good as it gets, though the switchgear could have been better built and finished. We also found the plastic fuel filler cap to have disintegrated, which was a bit of a surprise. In all, while the overall build is solid as far as the panels, body and the mechanicals go, the plastics could have been better in some places
2016 Suzuki Access 125 Engine and Performance
The new Access is powered by a 124cc single cylinder engine with SEP (Suzuki Eco Peroformance) tech, which, like Honda’s HET is meant to offer more efficiency. Power is rated at 8.7 PS, which is similar to the previous gen model, though the torque, now at 9.8 Nm. What’s more important, though, is that the weight has reduced by about 10 Kg (112kg kerb weight), which is a huge gain from a performance and efficiency perspective.
The Access feels sprightly and eager to accelerate as ever with a distinctly perceptible extra shove off the block and through the revs. Acceleration is linear as ever with the CVT transmitting the power smoothly enough. Throttle response is a cut above similar scoots and the Access feels playful even with the mildest twists of the wrist. Top speed falls mildly short of 100kmph on the speedo, though we think the scooter is capable of a realistic 95 km/h true top whack.
Fuel efficiency during our day long run in and around Pune surprised us as we were literally ravaging the bike buoyed by its bubbly character. Despite all the brusque treatment meted out to it, the Access 125 returned a fuel efficiency figure upwards of 45 kmpl. We believe that number can easily be taken well above the 50kmpl mark by treating this scoot with a bit more love and care.
2016 Suzuki Access 125 Ride and Handling
The Access rides on twin telescopic forks up front with a large 12 inch wheel. This helps matters greatly when it comes to both ride and handling, and a big reason why bouncing it around in the unfriendly conditions, in a desert, was so much fun was its capable chassis and an equally amazing suspension setup. The Access manages to find a nice balance between assured handling and ride comfort for the rider, though with two-up riding, we did hear our photographer Chirag moaning after a while as the roads turned rough.
The Access gets a 15mm longer wheelbase than the model it replaces endowing it with great straight line stability and a more planted feel on sweeping curves. The seating position is upright and comfortable, underlining the fact that Suzuki knows its target audience – an everyday commuter who needs the extra zing. The brief here isn’t to be the ride of choice for the hip college kid. No sir! The Access, however, lends its soberly dressed, father-of-one rider the power and the dynamic ability to surpass anything of its ilk on the road. And that’s a fantastic thing to have, an idea we looked at with some scepticism when it was first introduced a few years back, but it has worked rather well, surprisingly.
The grip from the rubber, the brakes (disc variant), the suspension, the chassis – everything works beautifully well to make the Access 125 one of the most sure footed scoots out there.
2016 Suzuki Access 125 Features and Details
Let’s go through the salient (and not so salient) features of the Access 125 through the images and captions below
The overall build quality is great, though the switchgear, and a few other plastic parts could have done with better finish
The instrument panel is simplistic with a white dial, hi beam and turn indicators. The speedo is an analogue unit with an ‘economy’ zone marking between 30-50km/h. The digital unit comprises two trip meters and an odo along with fuel gauge and oil change/service indicator.
Mobile charging point
And a hook … all three elements sit on the panel under the handlebar
The horizontally oriented chrome plated exhaust doesn’t follow the upswept lines of the side panel
The 12 inch, 5-spoke alloys look stylish
The under seat storage though cavernous cannot accommodate a full face helmet
Nope, it doesn’t shut with the helmet inside
There’s also a small bottle holder in the front panel to beat the heat during those scorching summer days – turned handy for us too!
2016 Suzuki Access 125 Verdict
At a shade over INR 53k ex-Mumbai, the Access 125 seems terrific value to us. Be it the Hero Duet, Honda Aviator or Yamaha Ray ZR – none of the rivals offer the engine size and the zing of the Access at the price. It’s a well built, smartly styled scooter which has the punch, the practicality and the prudence – a sumptuous blend the Indian consumer perennially seeks. For those who aren’t wholly after style, and appreciate quiet, understated power, this one here is a fantastic choice.
2016 Suzuki Access 125 Tech Specs