Yamaha Alpha Review: A perfect utility vehicle for Indian families
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The pros: Appealing design, easily accessible, wide and comfortable seat, best-in-class under seat storage of 21-litre, excellent pick-up.
The cons: Provides quite stiff ride, tends to skid on hard braking.
The crux: A perfect utility vehicle for Indian families With excellent ride quality and an impressive design, at an affordable price of Rs. 47,735 (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Japanese auto giant Yamaha is better known for its performance products in India, however the company proved its excellence in designing small two wheelers with its first scooter in India- the Yamaha Ray which was specially designed for youngsters.
The company introduced the Ray in both male and female variants and it was well received by the target audience. The company has now launched its second product in the scooter segment – the Yamaha Alpha, which is positioned as a family scooter.
Yamaha says the Alpha has been designed as the perfect family ride, keeping in mind the requirements of most family members. However the true trait of any vehicle surfaces only post thorough testing, which we at Bike Dekho do. So let’s see how the Alpha fares.
The Alpha has a completely different styling from the Ray thought both share the same platform. The Alpha is demure in looks as opposed to the Ray and hence may appeal across all age groups thus emphasizing it to be a family ride.
The front apron has been ergo dynamically designed and gets clear angular turn indicator lights, which gel flawlessly with the panel. A sleek carbon fibre grill has been provided between the indicators featuring the Yamaha badge at the centre. The headlight and fairing are similar to what is seen on other scooters in the same segment.
The dashboard is basic and sports an analog system. The side panels are sportily designed and enhance the visual appeal of the scooter. In terms of graphics the Alpha gets 'YAMAHA' monograms near each indicator at the front and 'CYGNUS ALPHA' at both the rear indicators.
The Alpha comes with 10" steel wheels painted in silver metallic at both the front and rear while the exhaust muffler is borrowed from the Ray.
Switch Gear and Ergonomics
The handle bar feels a bit primitive, but the soft handle grip provides firm possession and both the clutch and front brake levers are easily accessible. The standard rear view mirrors provide a clear view of the surroundings.
Engine and Performance
Propelling the Yamaha Alpha is the same 4-stroke forced air-cooled SOHC engine of 113cc displacement, which also powers the Ray. Maximum power output of the mill is 1bhp lesser than the segment topper and it churns out 7bhp at 7,500rpm. Extreme torque of the engine goes upto 8.1Nm when the engine revs at 5,000rpm. Both the self and kick start systems are provided to crank the engine.
The 2-valve engine is powered by BS24 carburetor which uses Throttle Positioning Sensor (TPS) for a frequent response over acceleration. The system also helps the engine deliver better fuel efficiency along with lesser emissions. The company claims that the scooter returns a mileage upto 62kmpl under standard conditions. However the overall fuel efficiency of the scooter stands around 48kmpl.
The Alpha gets the standard V-belt automatic transmission with centrifugal clutch system which performs smoothly. Primary/secondary reduction ratio of the transmission is 1.000/9.388 and it certainly provides excellent pick-up. Initial torque of the scooter is impressive and takes this 104 kg weighing vehicle from 0-60kmph mark in 10-11 seconds. Although power output of the engine is not up to the mark, its aerodynamic design helps reduce air drag and it achieves a top speed of 90kmph.
Ride and Handling
Most of the automatic scooters are designed to serve on the urban roads and Yamaha Alpha is also one of them. Bolted on a steel pipe under-bone type frame the scooter has overall dimensions of 1,795 mm × 675 mm × 1,124 mm. The slim design helps the rider to pass through narrow passages, while a long wheelbase increases the stability of the scooter. It has a ground clearance of 128mm, which is the least in this class. A low ground clearance helps to improve the balance and handling of the scooter on downtown roads. However the lower platform could prove problematic on Indian roads adorned with abrupt speed-breakers and unpredictable pot holes.
The scooter gets conventional 10" steel plate wheels with MRF Nylogrip Zapper tyres of size 90/100-10 (53J). The tyre treads are well designed which provides impressive traction and grip even at the time of cornering. We can't avoid the skidding during hard braking, however, the quality compound material of the tyres helped Alpha to reduce it.
Excellent pick-up of the scooter helps to ride authoritatively in the stop-and-go riding conditions during traffic. To control the zippy ride, a drum type braking system of 130mm diameter has been equipped on both the front and rear wheels. The system provides sufficient braking force to handle the scooter and emergency braking.
With excellent ride quality and an impressive design, Yamaha offers the Alpha at an affordable price of Rs. 47,735 (ex-showroom, Delhi). Quality of the materials used in the scooter is quite satisfying. Stability of the scooter is better than many other offerings in the segment and pleases on every twist and turn. The best features of the scooter are its dimensions to suit every rider along with the large foot board and under-seat storage, which makes it a perfect utility vehicle for Indian families.