2022 Aprilia SR 160 first ride review
At the launch of Aprilia India's SR range of scooters for 2021 earlier this November, we saw that the latest Model Year scooters had been on the receiving end of some fairly substantial cosmetic changes. And now, we were given the opportunity to check out the alterations first hand and see if they have affected the performance-focused scooter and how so, after a quick jaunt around town with the latest iteration of the SR 160. So without further ado, here's what the MY 2022 Aprilia SR 160 is all about.
Starting from the front, the latest SR 160 now sports a different expression on its face thanks to new LED Headlamp unit with its DRLs and the redesigned front apron. This is the next step in the evolution of the SR series of Aprilia scooters, having now moved on from the previous model year's SR 160's halogen setup. I'd like to think that it looks less sporty and edgy than before, but it does look a lot sleeker and definitely is appealing none-the-less. the carbon finished front mudguard is a nice touch too. The graphics all across the scooter are slightly different from before but compliment the overall minimalistic and sporty aesthetic. The SR 160 scooter looks unmistakably 'Aprilia' from the front and in profile, there'll be no guessing what scooter it is from afar, not with this one. The rear too has seen a fair amount of change in the form of a new design, solid-looking grabrail which sits over the new X-shape taillamp. The X-lamp looks really neat and very distinctive . Another visual cue that's unmistakably says that it's an Aprilia, then.
The instrumentation on the Aprilia SR 160 has been revised as well. Aprilia have done away with the older analogue unit and in its place have installed the all-digital readout from its flagship scooter the SXR 160. There's a good amount of info on display from engine temp and fuel level to max speed and battery voltage, heck there's even a tachometer, which is rather unconventional for a scooter, but I particularly like it (even though it's digital) because it highlights the performance aspect of the scoot. It's the little things that add up to that special feeling. The sad bit about the display is that it doesn't come with Bluetooth connectivity. Aprilia say that it is an option that'll cost an additional Rs 2,500 which will leave some scratching their heads in disbelief. The last and a very prominent cosmetic alteration comes in the form of the split-design seat which has replaced the flat bench on the older model. Aprilia say that this was simply done to give the rider's seat more prominence and also, the chunky grabrail out back was raised to provide the pillion with a bit of back support.
The SR 160 Carbon Edition, which is the mid variant, comes with a carbon finish on all its panels, while the most expensive variant the SR 160 Race Edition gets race-inspired graphics, coloured alloys, carbon finished knuckleguards and a dual-colour seat.
What stays the same
Aprilia hasn't made any alterations to the mechanicals of the SR series of scooters. The SR 160 continues to be powered by the 160.03cc, three-valve, air-cooled single-cyl motor that puts out 11PS @ 7,600rpm and 11Nm @ 6,000rpm. The new-look scooter feels as quick-off-the-line as it was before and if you're the sort who likes to get out in front every time the lights go green, this scooter will be right up your alley. The SR 160 Race Edition is said to have its CVT transmission unit tweaked a bit to offer a better low-end punch, but we'll have to have to spend more time with the scooter and have our equipment along to test it out a little more comprehensively to tell you what that is really all about.
The suspension and the brakes are carried over from the older design model which isn't a bad thing as it all works and comes together very well. But some bits like the tiny 11-litre underseat storage or the multifunction key which could have opened the storage have been given a miss. Aprilia say that the main focus of these scooters are on performance and performance alone. But I would have definitely appreciated them having given in, just a little - throw in a brake lock even, maybe.
What it's like to ride..
Once you step through, the SR 160 feels every part the Aprilia scooter. It feels well put together, sounds rather raspy which is nice and sporty in contrast to most of the other scoot out there. Just like the older design model before, the 2022 SR 160 feels light agile and really takes to speed well. It accelerates like it means it, even with a pillion, the SR 160 had no problem getting to 80kmph. Riding solo is when you'll have the most fun on this machine. Sure the low-speed ride is a bit stiff. But when you pick up the pace, you'll appreciate how the SR holds its own. You won't feel most of the minor undulations at speed thanks to the 14-inch wheels and the MRF/Ceat tyres the scooter comes with both provide a healthy amount of grip on even some loose dry surfaces. Which manufacturer's tyres you'll get with your scooter is all down to luck. I personally found the Ceat treads to be slightly better. The 2022 SR 160 still retains its nimble nature and really hangs in there in the bends and the brakes are very much on point. The seat, like before, is on the firmer side and I found the accommodation to be quite comfortable, however my pillion didn't feel the same way. Sumit, my photographer friend thought that it could have been a little broader in terms of size, and he's not as *cough* well built *ahem* as yours truly. But still, all-in-all, real fun stuff, this.
Should I buy one?
The SR 160 isn't the scooter you'll want to use to go buy groceries on at a leisurely pace to save from burning holes in your wallet on fuel costs. I mean, of course you can, but it's not built for doing that. It's the kind of scooter you'll want go to the grocery store and back just to clock how fast you can actually do it in. Planning on transporting your gas cylinder across town, well you'll have to tie it to the back of SR 160, because the shape of the foot recess area won't have it. It's all about having having fun, riding fast and looking good with this scooter, it's not meant to go slow, be comfortable, economical and boring. Sure this new 2021 model is around Rs 12,000 over the outgoing one which is a bit of a downer considering it doesn't come with a great deal of useful additional features. It comes at a premium cost, and it looks and feels the part. of course it has it's shortcomings, but the SR 160 is still a desirable scooter to own.
Also, there's another scooter that's just entered the 160cc arena and looking to pick a fight with the Aprilia the Yamaha Aerox and while the price of the standard Aprilia SR 160 (Rs 1.17 lakh ex-showroom, Pune) undercuts the Yamaha, the Race Edition, which is priced at 1.27lakh, is just 2 grand less than the maxi-scooter style Yamaha. We're soon going to get our hands on that scooter as well. So that should be a bout to look forward to indeed.
..lastly, can I still have the SR 160 with the older design?
The SR160 with the older design.. nope. The MY22 SR 160 model has effectively replaced the older scooter in showrooms across the country and won't be available for purchase, however Aprilia will keep the SR 125 Storm - which does sport the older design - on the menu for its customers out here.
Starts Rs 1,17,000
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