If there is one two-wheeler that has stood its ground in the sporty scooter space it has got to be the Aprilia SR 160. After its introduction in the Indian market in 2016, the SR 160 has seen the segment evolve with a lot of new sporty scooters being added to the crop. And now, Aprilia has given the SR 160 a new lease of life with a bunch of minor updates. Well, not exactly minor, but sweeping visual changes to make the SR 160 cooler and more appealing than it was.
The updates are a part of the hygiene factor needed in today’s market in which buyers are spoiled by the features and tech being offered. I, for one, still like the look of the now-discontinued SR 160 as it depicted outright sportiness. However, the new one’s front apron has a slight bulge which looks nice and also allows the new LED headlamp to fit neatly in it. The handlebar cowl gets small air scoops while the switchgear and all-digital instrumentation has been lifted from its maxi sibling, the SXR 160.
The updates continue towards the rear section of the scooter with a split-seat design, an X-shaped tail-lamp, and a revised grab rail that while looking sporty also helps the pillion with lower back support. Under the seat, the storage space remains the same, but what has been added is a lamp and a USB charging port. To top it all off, there’s also a fresh decal job. The test scooter was the standard version, while Aprilia has also introduced a new Carbon variant along with the existing Race Edition. While the former gets carbon-fibre-finish surfaces on its body panels, the Race Edition gets a livery adopted from Aprilia’s MotoGP race bikes.
The mechanicals have not undergone any change and the SR 160 continues to be powered by a 160.03cc motor that is fast and peppy, especially when ridden solo. The scooter continues to ride on 14-inch alloys shod with 120/70 section tyres that offer lots of grip and cornering confidence. The scooter isn’t quick off the line, but post 30 kph it accelerates briskly and feels very alive till the 80-kph mark. Beyond that, the SR 160’s powertrain does breach the triple-digit territory, but one needs patience to get there.
The sporty riding stance remains unchanged which means tall riders won’t face trouble while taking U-turns. What has changed is the ride quality which has improved a lot. No longer does the SR feel stiff for city roads and it can now be comfortably ridden through undulations without breaking backs. Braking continues to be handled by a disc-drum arrangement with single-channel ABS for the front which does a decent job of shedding speeds.
While all the updates fall in the SR 160’s favour, the one thing that doesn’t is its asking price. Compared to before, the scooter now demands a premium of Rs 11,000 which feels unjustified for what’s being offered. And this bothers me even more as Aprilia already sells its scooters at a premium compared to its rivals. You might have already read about the Yamaha Aerox, and for its price and package it’s a better deal compared to the SR 160. While this updated Aprilia was much needed, the next update should be a complete revamp with more power, features and a fresh design. Before too long, at that.
Aprilia SR 160
10.87 bhp@7600 rpm
1.18 kgm@6000 rpm
Type: Tubular with open single cradle
F/R: 220-mm disc / 140-mm drum
F/R: 120/70 R14 / 120/70 R14
Rs Rs 1.17 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune)