2021 Aprilia SR 160 Race Review: Likes And Dislikes

Published On Nov 25, 2021 06:42 PM By Jehan Adil Darukhanawala for 2021 Aprilia SR 160

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Does the Italian sporty scooter justify its premium price tag?

It has been five years since Aprilia began delighting Indian teenagers with its SR 150. It was fast, fun and easy on the pocket too. The last bit, though, hasn’t been the case lately. An update for the scooter was much awaited and COVID-19 pushed its arrival even further to just a few weeks ago. So, are there more updates to the sporty Italian scooter than what meets the eye? And does it justify its premium tag? Here’s what we liked and disliked on the 2021 SR 160:

Likes

Looks Wholesome And Sporty

The sporty ethos of the SR 160 has been maintained. The beak is more pronounced, though, with the new LED headlight adding another layer of sportiness to the package. We had the SR 160 Race edition on test that gets the knuckle-guards and the RS-GP MotoGP racer-inspired livery, which makes it look quite smashing. And who doesn’t like carbon fibre-finish elements? 

Firm But Acceptable Ride Quality

The most surprising bit about the 2021 SR 160 is just how well it rides over road imperfections. Don’t get me wrong, the suspension is still tuned to be on the firmer side, and the rear shock does toss you off the seat over the larger bumps. However, it soaks those smaller ripples and ridges beautifully and stays composed even over broken tarmac and gravel roads. The ride is nowhere as jarring as it used to be and we can surely say that the new SR 160 is the most comfy Aprilia scooter on sale.

Handling Is Still Quite Charming

Despite running a softer suspension tune, the handling of the SR 160 remains on point. The point-and-shoot attitude of the SR 160 isn’t diluted in any way whatsoever, as it stays planted through the bends. There is a bit of vagueness to the steering in the initial tipping-in phase, which could be down to the new MRF tyres. This handling trait wasn’t present when the SR came shod with the super grippy Vee Rubber tyres from Thailand. However, you will get accustomed to this feeling in a jiffy. Directional changes require minimum effort and the high-set handlebar gives you great confidence while filtering through traffic.

Dislikes

Lacks Modern And Convenience Features

Despite finally getting an LED headlight and taillight, a full-digital dash and an underseat USB charging socket, the features list on the SR 160 isn’t really that impressive. The turn indicators are still bulb units. The console, lifted straight from the SXR 160, gets Bluetooth smartphone connectivity only if you pay an additional Rs 2000, and still doesn’t get turn-by-turn navigation.

Convenience-wise, it does continue to be rather underwhelming. The underseat storage space isn’t generous, there’s no external fuel-filler cap and unlocking the seat cannot be done via the ignition key slot, all which are pretty much staple ingredients on any Indian scooter nowadays. So it’s really disheartening to see Aprilia didn’t integrate them with the new update.

Performance Doesn’t Feeling As Exciting

Not to construe 11PS and 11.6Nm as less, but the SR 160 Race doesn’t quite get off the line, or have that lightning-quick feeling of rocketing off the line that the TVS NTorq 125 Race XP does. The initial throttle response feels dull, even on the Race edition, which is supposed to be running a quicker CVT tune. It only gets going post 30kmph, speeds up happily to 85kmph, but then again struggles to go faster beyond that. 

Also, having recently sampled its chief rival, the Yamaha Aerox 155, the Aprilia doesn’t manage to leave a lasting impression. You might say the Aerox has spoiled us, but it has set a new benchmark for performance scooters, pushing the envelope far beyond what Aprilia can manage in its current avatar.

The High Asking Price

Aprilia has hiked the prices of the SR 160 by Rs 11,000 on an average across its variants. The most affordable one costs Rs 1,18,864 (ex-showroom, Delhi), with the Carbon variant coming in at Rs 1,21,345 and this Race trim costing a whopping Rs 1,28,006, which is just Rs 1000 less than the Aerox 155. And justifying these price tags seems difficult, if not impossible.

Verdict

Yep, paying Rs 1.28 lakh for the SR 160 Race seems a tough ask when you can get the Aerox for just Rs 1000 more. The standard version does make better sense that way, but the performance gains would hardly be felt from the saddle and can only be quantified when we strap our VBox equipment to the two versions of the SR. And still, it will not be as quick as the Aerox or as thrilling as the NTorq. Where it excels over the Aerox is its light steering, helping out in effortless overtakes while commuting and, surprisingly, offering a pliant ride over most bumps. Plus, the RS-GP livery looks much cooler than the Aerox’ Monster Energy graphics.

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