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Old 1st August 2017, 12:05   #1
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Default Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150

Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170715_102652.jpg



The breeze ruffled my hair as I admired the view. The sun had properly risen by now, and was peeking through a small gap in the clouds.

"Here's your tea, son."

"Thanks", I mumbled and walked towards the tiny stall.

I took a sip, feeling it warm up my insides. "Where are you coming from?", he asked.

"Kochi"

I could see the disbelief in his eyes, and he looked again at the teeny little scooter I had arrived in. I had to suppress a grin. He didn't enquire further, and tended to another bloke who just pulled up on a Bullet.

Tap, Tap, Tap, Tap...

The rain had started to fall, and I took a seat under a small canvas sheet the stall owner had put up against the rain.

As I sipped the piping hot tea, I reflected on how quickly I had changed in the last few months. It was early morning on a Sunday. I would usually be lazing around at home, but here I am, more than a hundred kilometres away.

I looked at the little scooter that brought me here, and my mind wandered to how it all began...

Last edited by Speed.Demon : 7th August 2017 at 13:39.
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Old 1st August 2017, 16:48   #2
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Default re: Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150

The story

I was always a car guy. Sure, I would also get excited by the sound of a fast superbike, but I never yearned to own one. In fact, my bedroom wall posters were all cars like the Ferrari F40, the Jag XJ220 and the rally spec Delta Integrale. Oh yeah, and one of Monica Bellucci.

All that began to change however, when I was in my college years. I still loved my cars, but there was a certain something I felt when I watched my peers whizzing about in their bikes and scooters. We didn't have a bike at home, so those borrowed rides on my friend's bikes were all I had to experience the world of two wheels.

Those small rides opened my eyes. It didn't matter what sort of bike it was, the feeling was wonderful. It gave a great sense of freedom quite similar, yet different to those first car drives I so loved when I had just received my license.

So that was how I found myself on a random weekend in the kitchen, about to ask my Mum for a bike.

"Hi Ma."

She gave me an enquiring look.


"I.." I hesitated.

She turned around and started doing the dishes.


"So, Vishnu got a new bike last week. He brought it to college today. It was nice."

She gave a non committal shrug, and didn't say anything. So I ploughed right on.


"I had a go on it, it was quite smooth and comfortable. He says it gets great fuel economy as well."

More silence. Uh-oh, this isn't going well. Oh well, its too late to go back now, I'm going for it.


"So, I was thinking, maybe I could have one of those.."

I had to duck as she aimed the soapy frying pan directly at my head. She had a look of pure rage on her face. I backed away immediately.


"It doesn't have to be a new one!", I said in sheer desperation. "A small second hand bike will do!"


"ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Since when are you too good for the bus? Your father and I are allowing you to drive the car when you ask for it, aren't we? Is that not enough?"

I had absolutely no chance. This battle was lost. I beat a hasty retreat, and that was that.


My Dad found the whole thing very funny when he heard about it in the evening.

"This is a battle you're never going to win, let it go."


Arrgh, such is the life of an only child with a paranoid mother! So I heeded his advice, and let it go.


Forward a few years later...


I got my first job, and the daily grind was taking its toll on me. The long hours, the overcrowded buses and the walk from the bus stop to my house would leave me absolutely exhausted by the end of the day. I could drive to work, but parking was an issue at the office and the high fuel bills weren't something I fancied either. No, I needed to do something about this.

It's time I get a bike.

Last edited by Speed.Demon : 7th August 2017 at 21:14.
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Old 1st August 2017, 18:03   #3
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Question re: Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150

The hunt began

I knew I wanted a bike, but which one? I was a complete noob when it came to bikes. All I knew was that I wanted something nice, something that can do the daily commute, and do an occasional ride. But above all, it had to be fun.

I have always said this when it came to cars. I really didn't care how much power a car had, but if it didn't connect with me I wouldn't buy it. I was looking for that connection when it came to my new bike.

As any noob would do when it came to such things, I reached out to my friends for help. And I was overwhelmed with the replies I got.

"Get a Bullet!", was the chorus of many. "It will fit all your requirements and more."

"Forget bullets, get a Duke man. Nothing else in India is more VFM than that."

"Get an FZ. Great bike for beginners like you."

"New FZ isn't that good, try the Gixxer, its the best 150cc bike you can get."

"You want something comfortable for the office runs and long rides, right? Try my Avenger. In black it looks like a Harley!"


All valid replies, and just a few from the many I got.


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-reclassic350white.jpg

A bullet was something I had considered before. There are so many of them on the roads, there must be a reason for that, right? I had easy access to my uncle's Classic 350, and would take it out for some local runs from time to time.

I like the way it looks. The Classic looks really, well classic. It has that old school charm about it, and I like that.

But the old school charm isn't so charming when you realise its got a very crude engine, no features at all, and it always breaks down. One particularly annoying problem is the self starter motor keeps breaking, and its quite difficult to kick start. No, no RE for me. I completely understand why its got such a loyal fanbase, but it's just not for me.


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-fz-2.0.jpg


The FZ next. Now this was a bike I rode and liked. It looked good, had a good amount of power, handled well, and was perfect for my 5'6" height. The new FZ with its fuel injected engine was a bit down on power, but it compensated by being even smoother and more refined than its predecessor. There's also the legendary Japanese reliability and Yamaha's good service network.
Yeah, I'm having a look at this.


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-suzukigixxersfindia15.jpg

My friend was right. The Gixxer is very much like the FZ, but better. I only had a short TD with this one, but I could immediately feel the better throttle response, and the sharper handling. The ride was a bit better as well. Good job there Suzuki.


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-avenger-220.jpg

The Avenger was a surprise. I hadn't really considered it, since it was a pure cruiser. I had assumed that it really wouldn't be much fun in the bends and would be setup for straight roads, and I was right. But what really took me by surprise was how comfortable it was! The ride is so good, that it just completely obliterates road irregularities. Heck, its got a much better ride than my car does!

That ride quality, coupled with the comfortable seating position, low seat height and its sleek looks all made the Avenger a rather surprise last minute contender.


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-ktm390dukeabs2013.jpg

The duke next. I hadn't considered it at all since the 390 was way out of my budget and even the 200 was a good stretch. But what really put me off it was a ride on the pillion seat of a friend's Duke 390. The thing is INSANE. You are just not prepared for the sheer ferocity with which it accelerates. Within seconds I was howling at him to slow down, but he kept going faster and faster. I finally had to bang him hard on the head to make him stop.

My legs were shaking after I dismounted. No no no. How could I ride a bike which scares the living daylights out of me? Maybe later, once I'd put some miles under my belt. Getting a Duke as my first bike would send me heavenwards the moment I took delivery.


So these were the few bikes I had tested, and after each TD, I would collect the price list and the brochure to take home. I was of course, keeping all these test rides and the whole 'getting a bike' thing to myself, since I knew my Mum wouldn't approve at all.

So it was on the day I had ridden the Avenger and had come home with the price list in my bag, that I was greeted with a look of pure venom on her face.

My heart stopped for a second, and somehow I knew my worst fear had been realised.

She knows.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 13:35   #4
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Exclamation re: Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150

The plot twist


Well, that put an end to the bike research and test rides. After what seemed like an eternity of arguing, I finally managed to convince her that I needed a new bike. And she managed to convince me that I didn't.

No, she convinced me that I should get a scooter instead. Scooters are just better, according to her. I can see where her thinking comes from. You see, to her scooters are the piddly little machines that the neighbours use to get to the shops while doing no more than walking pace. In her mind, me getting a scooter will satisfy my bike urges and keep me safe, because she thinks no scooter can go fast enough to have a crash.

I reluctantly agreed with her. Later, I mulled over the decision. I am still a complete rookie when it comes to 2 wheels. There is so much I have to learn. Maybe getting a scooter now is the right choice. I can upgrade later when I've learned how to ride properly, right? Maybe I can retain the scooter for local runs once I've bought a bigger bike. I went to sleep on it, and in the morning I had made my peace with the scooter decision.

If you guys thought my bike knowledge was appalling, my scooter knowledge was even worse.


Let's go hunting, again


"Why is this even a question? If you want a scooter you get an Activa. THE END."

"But I.."

"THE END!"
"The only question that remains is what colour Activa you should get".


Well, that's the response you get from pretty much everyone. Can't really blame them I guess, the word 'Activa' is synonymous with the word 'scooter' in the public's eyes. They are EVERYWHERE. New ones, old ones, shiny ones, rusted ones, turn your head in any direction in an Indian city and you will spot atleast 3 Activas.

So that was how I found myself standing at the entrance to a Honda showroom, looking at all the Activas kept outside. I walked inside, and it was chaos. There were families walking in and out, kids running around the showroom, sales executives running around with sheets of paper in their hands. I was standing there quietly looking at the display vehicles and reading through a brochure I picked up from a chair near me. There was so much activity happening in there that I don't think anyone would have noticed if I had stood there naked and started singing at the top of my voice.
It was at that moment a tall bloke with his family walked in and he asked loudly, "Which one of these is the new Activa?" A sales executive pointed vaguely to one displayed on the side. The dude nodded, and said, "Very good, I'll take one in black." And that was that. The booking was made, and he walked out. He could have been buying a bar of soap for all he cared.

It was then it hit me - like the bar of soap, the Activa was designed just to do its job in as unassuming a manner as possible. This shows when we ride it. There's absolutely nothing that stays with you once you've ridden it. It was designed to get you from point A to B without any fuss, and it does that job brilliantly. Don't get me wrong, its not a bad thing to have a reliable commuter bike which you can rely on to do your daily runs without fail. The famed Honda reliability is the single best feature of the Activa. But its just not for me. I want some more zing from my bike. So I turned and walked out of the showroom. Nobody noticed.


What next? I turned to TBHP for advice, and what I found was that all the other manufacturers just make their scooters as Activa like as possible in order to get sales. Which means they'll all be just as dreary to ride. Sigh..


I was mulling over the various options available in the market. Not finding anything that I particularly wanted, I was feeling rather glum. It was around this time that I told my close buddy and BHPian rajoy123 that I had stopped my plans to get a bike and was looking for a scooter instead.

"Aunty found out?"

"Yup."

He chuckled. I could only scowl at him in response.

"Maybe it's for the best man. So, got any in mind?"

"I don't know man, all these scooters are more or less the same to me. Can't really make up my mind. Maybe I should get a Vespa. Atleast it looks good."

"Did you check out the Jupiter?"

"I knew you would mention the Jupiter. No I didn't. Just because you have one-"

"Just check it out. I remember you telling me you liked the Avenger purely because of how comfortable it was. Well, this is the Avenger of the scooter world. Trust me on this. You've got nothing to lose."

"Oh, all right."



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So, a few days later I visit a TVS showroom to check out the Jupiter. It was quite a different experience to the mess at the Honda showroom. Its quiet, there are no crowds, and a sales exec walked upto me almost immediately to ask me what I was looking for. I am liking this so far.

He points me to a Jupiter finished in a striking matte grey paint finish. I climbed on, and fiddled with the switches and controls. Rajoy's right, this thing is comfy. The seat is just oh, so soft.

"You like it, sir?" The exec had returned with the brochure.

"Yes", I grin. "It's very comfortable, the seat."
He nods, understanding.
"Many of our customers bought the scooter after they realised how comfortable it is. But comfort is not all sir, the Jupiter has many features including retractable hook, best in class boot space...."

As he droned on, I looked down at the dials. Clean and simple. The buttons were also clearly marked. A no nonsense machine, just like the rest of the commuter segment. Hmmm.

"LED tailight, a parking brake, best in class fuel economy..."

"Hold on. Did you say parking brake? You mean like the handbrakes in cars?"

"Yes sir, exactly like that. All scooters.."
He stopped himself just in time.

"The Jupiter offers a first in class parking brake sir, here." And he proceeded to show me how it worked. Wow, TVS has thought of everything!

FYI - I genuinely at that time did not know that this was a feature which all modern scooters had. I actually believed him when he said the Jupiter was the only one to have it. Goes to show how advanced my scooter knowledge was. Anyway.

I asked him whether the Jupiter came with a disc brake, to which he replied that only a 'millennium edition' came with the disc brake.

"But it's purple! I don't want that. Can I have a disc brake on a grey scooter?"

I couldn't. Oh well. I said my thanks, and left. The exec promised me a test ride as soon as one was available.

I did get my test ride, albeit a short one. The Jupiter really surprised me with the engine response. It was almost immediate. Off the lights, this will leave pretty much everyone else behind without having to try very hard. It pulls strongly till the 65kph mark, after which it starts to run out of steam. The handling is not too bad either. It's light on its feet and is quite flickable through low speed traffic. Couple the light handling to the low end grunt of the engine, and what you're left with is a point and shoot machine which can happily dart through the small gaps in traffic. I couldn't help but smile at the ease with which I was able to zip around town. And yes, it is comfortable. The ride is simply magic carpet like. How did TVS manage to make it this comfy when its riding on those tiny 12" wheels? Witchcraft!!

I returned to the showroom, and told the exec I'll get back to him as soon as I'd made my decision. A month had passed, and I still hadn't made my mind. I was casually browsing through YouTube when this caught my attention.




WHAT! Where did this come from? I didn't even know Aprilia made scooters, let alone release them in India! I am definitely waiting for this. And thank God I did.

The next few months passed by in a blur of YouTube video reviews and Internet research. Pretty much all the reviews praised the Aprilia's handling prowess and its engine. Could this be the one? No no don't get hyped, DO NOT get hyped. Remember Batman v Superman. Calm down. It was some time in October that the showroom in Kochi started accepting bookings for the SR150. So I headed to the showroom, and the first thing I noticed is that almost all the sales execs there were pretty girls. +100 points to Aprilia.

A test ride was quickly arranged, and when I returned I was grinning from ear to ear. I could scarcely believe it. Here was a scooter that actually felt alive! Yes, this was the one.

"I want one, in black!"

Last edited by Speed.Demon : 4th August 2017 at 12:40.
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Old 4th August 2017, 13:02   #5
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Default re: Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150

Booking and delivery

There's only one showroom in Kochi that deals with Aprilia, the Jey Motors MotoPlex showroom at Palarivattom. I made a booking by paying a token amount of 2k. Delivery was slated for sometime within the next two months. And that was that. No follow up messages, no phone calls, nothing. It was towards the end of December when I got the call:

"Sir,I'm calling from Jey Motors. I see that you've made a booking for a black SR150?"

"Yes, yes I have. When can I get my bike?"

"Well, you have been allotted a bike in the next shipment. It should be here in a week."


Brilliant! All the remaining processes passed by in a blur of excitement. As soon as the bike landed I rushed to the showroom, did a cursory PDI and then made the payment. Speaking of which, the final OTR price for my SR150 came out to be Rs 78600/- . Only registration remained. The delivery date was fixed at January 4th.

D-day

I didn't get a wink of sleep the night before. I reached the showroom at 10:30AM, a whole 2 hours before the scheduled delivery time. :P I whiled away the time looking at the expensive superbikes on display. Those Moto Guzzis are massive! Before long, BHPians BigBrad and aswin.ajith turned up to join me on my big day. Come delivery time, and the keys were handed over to me by the exec in a very simple ceremony. I think she was trying to explain some of the basics of the bike, but I was much too excited to listen.

Once she'd handed over the keys to me, I was walking all around it, admiring it from from every angle.

"Hey there little fella, I shall call you Midnight."

"Come on man, you've been staring at it for long enough. Let's hit the road!"

I've been looking forward to this moment for a very long time. Don't rush me.



Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170104_1240052.jpg

Just delivered!!


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170104_122847.jpg

Odo at the time of delivery


The ride home was nothing short of magical. I was riding my own bike!! This was something which I thought will never happen. I actually pinched myself twice on the way to make sure it was really happening. I reveled in the scooter's handling prowess. I had to remind myself from time to time to take it slow as it was still running in. Finally, after all this time of uncertainty and doubt, I got my first 2 wheeler. Midnight was home.


Meet Midnight, everybody!


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170311_1008072.jpg

Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170311_1358252.jpg

Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170311_1358392.jpg


He really looks quite smashing, doesn't he? The proportions are just right. Those large and chunky wheels, those racy graphics, the flush fitting pillion footrests, those dual barrel headlights, they all come together to make this little fella a hell of a a looker. At first, I thought all those racy stickers were a bit much, but people like it. This thing turns eyeballs everywhere. I think it appeals to everyone's inner 6 year old.


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170802_1438542.jpg

Even the seat looks good, with its dual tone red and black colour scheme.


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170802_143902.jpg

The seat also has this lovely white stitching. Very tastefully done!


Up close and personal



Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170311_135437.jpg

The view from the saddle.


Everything you see, everything you touch is all plastic. Hard scratchy plastic at that. There's no metal here, like in the Vespa. The quality of the switchgear isn't terrible, but it has to be seen whether they'll last the distance. One thing I like is that the electric start and the horn buttons have a damped action. The rear view mirrors look good and have a nice design, but they are not very good at what they do. The problem lies with the mirror stalks, they are not long enough. As of now, almost half of the mirrors are covered by my arms. The SR150 seriously needs some sort of mirror extenders.

Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170802_145152.jpg


As instrument clusters go, it doesn't get simpler than this. There's a speedo, a fuel gauge, lights for the indicators, the parking light and the high beam. And that's it. There's no clock, no tripmeter, no service reminder, nothing. Back to basics then, eh Aprilia?


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170317_115938.jpg


As the Italians say: "It's more important to look good than to look where you're going!"


This is especially true when we talk about those yummy dual barrel headlights of the SR150. It's certainly eye catching, and there's nothing else quite like it in the market. One major plus point is that its DC powered. No flickering headlights when you're riding at low speeds. But when it comes to the actual lighting of the headlights, they are crap. And I really mean that. The low beam lights up the area immediately in front of the scooter, which is OK when you're going slowly, but at speed this is a serious problem. The high beam is even worse, its like a pencil torch. Seriously, who at Aprilia thought this was a good idea? You sort of get the impression that the designers concentrated on making the lights look as good as possible, then stood back, congratulated themselves on doing a fine job, and then went home. How Italian is that?! Alright enough ranting.


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170715_104756.jpg


the front cowl is made of glossy black plastic, and is a nightmare to keep clean. The Italian flag takes pride of place right in the middle.


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170802_143745.jpg

The SR150 has dual telescopic forks up front,


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170802_144359.jpg


And a single monoshock at the rear. The air filter housing is also visible. More on the suspension later.

Last edited by Speed.Demon : 7th August 2017 at 22:24.
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Old 4th August 2017, 22:40   #6
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Default re: Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150

Getting down to the nitty gritties


Practicality

I thought I would cover this first because this is the primary reason why most people consider getting a scooter. Well to put it simply, the SR150 is NOT a practical scooter. Now this isn't an issue for me, but I only came to realise how impractical it is after I bought it.

Let's start with an important one: the seat height. I am 5'6" tall, and I do struggle with it sometimes. OK, some of it is due to my seating position, I admit. You see, I am used to sliding the driver seat quite far back and really stretching out when I'm in my car. I do the same when I'm riding too. Because the front footboard is quite small, I sit far back(where the pillion would sit) when riding the scooter. The pillion seat is higher than the already high rider seat, and hence I do struggle to even get my toes onto the ground. I make use of a 'slide forward during braking' manoeuvre so that I can plant my feet on the ground when I come to a complete halt.


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170802_144138.jpg

The under seat storage area. Apologies for the dirty state it's in


As for the other aspects of practicality? Well,

"The boot space doesn't look very big. Can you fit a helmet under there?" No, not a full face one anyway.

"Dude, the footboard looks cramped. I'll bet you can't keep a gas cylinder there." Well, seeing as me legs hardly fit there, carrying a gas cylinder seems unlikely.

"Does it have an external fuel filler?" Erm, no, not really.

"The seat doesn't look big enough for my family of four." No sir, it doesn't. It just about accommodates me, let alone an entire family.

"Surely there's a plug to charge your phone in there?" Nope, haven't got that either.

As you might have guessed by now, the SR150 loses out on pretty much every feature that makes a scooter a scooter. It doesn't even get the parking brake that I liked so much. All you're getting for your money is an engine, two wheels and a handlebar.



Tires


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170104_122937.jpg


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170802_143734.jpg

The SR150 comes shod with 120/70 - 14 Vee Rubber tires at the front and rear. These tires are bloody brilliant. Once they're upto temperature, they offer leech like grip even when you're doing insane lean angles. The amount of confidence the tires give to the rider is truly astonishing. you can corner hard and brake late. The rounded profile is similar to the tires seen in big bikes, and they behave that way too. All the grip is on the sides, rather than in the middle.


However, for all their brilliance on dry roads, things are quite different when the going gets wet:


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170805_083648.jpg


Gone is the vice like grip and the confidence. The Vee rubbers can't seem to be able to disperse water quite as effectively as regular tires can. Go over a puddle of standing water too quickly and you can feel the front start to get light and floaty. In the corners, you can feel the tires struggling to find grip and I keep getting rather close to the limit, which can be quite scary. It's a similar story with the brakes too. You have to be very gentle with the brake application else the tires will lock up. All in all, the keyword when riding in wet weather is 'careful'.


Brakes


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170802_144020.jpg


The SR150 comes equipped with a 220mm Bybre ventilated disc up front and a 140mm drum at the rear. Braking performance is simply superb. Atleast the front disc is. The front brake has a sharp bite and plenty of feel, which really gives a rookie rider like me lots of confidence. You can brake really late into a corner and the brakes will slow you down in time. The rear drum tends to overheat after a few hard braking sessions, so a cooling down will be needed to get it back in order.

FYI - The SR150 doesn't have the option of a 'combi brake' system like in all other modern scooters where the left brake lever applies both front and rear brakes equally and at the same time. I do believe that system can be of great help to rookies who have no idea about brake balance.


Performance and handling

Ahh, and now we come to the pièce de résistance of the SR150. The scooter is powered by a 154cc engine which churns out around 11BHP and 11Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a CVT transmission, just like in all other scooters. Now I've split this section based on the different types of roads I usually ride in.

The urban jungle:

The city is where Midnight spends most of his time. Just like any typical Indian city, there are potholed roads, narrow lanes and choc a block traffic. Midnight doesn't really like any of that. Unlike say an Activa, the SR150 is NOT designed to be brilliant in town. The only city friendly feature it has is the automatic gearbox. In the city, you will be either idling or at low rpms for lots of the time. The engine really jiggles about and makes a rough tappety noise at idle. The engine vibration is so bad, the whole handlebar and your palms will be shaking as well. Not a nice feeling.

Also, when you set off at low speeds, you can definitely notice that there is a lag before the scooter actually starts moving. Its due to the CVT, which isn't particularly efficient at these low speeds. You can remedy this by wringing the throttle, but if you do that the scooter will rocket forward and you will crash into whatever's in front of you. Another problem is heat. I've noticed this on those local grocery runs, when I'm just wearing shorts and sandals. My left foot will get roasted if I'm idling for a while. Then we get to the biggest problem of them all, which is the ride quality. It's unbearably harsh at city speeds. It's like your spine is the actual shock absorber. We can feel every single pebble on the road, and the scooter crashes through any pothole, no matter how small. The only way to improve the ride is to go faster. I still wouldn't call it comfortable at speed, but atleast it doesn't break your back anymore.The one advantage to having such a stiff suspension setup is the handling. It's nimble and light on its feet, which makes darting through those small gaps in traffic so easy.

The open road:


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170715_073547.jpg


The SR150 is a capable long distance cruiser. Maintaining 3 digit speeds all day long is a piece of cake, and the scooter is absolutely planted at these speeds. In fact, you won't be aware of the speeds you're doing unless you look down at the speedo. I usually cruise at speeds of 80-90kph, and at these speeds the engine isn't stressed or vibey at all. The only issue is the lack of any type of windshield. The constant windblast can be tiring after a while. The ride is much better at these speeds, and most small road irregularities are dismissed with ease. Overall, I like the SR150's highway manners. It's such a shame that we really don't have proper expressways here in Kerala.

The backroads:

If you really want to know what the SR150 is truly capable of, you have to come here:


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170805_104402.jpg


Kerala's backroads. They are tight, twisty, technical. A perfect playground then, for what is perhaps the most dynamically capable scooter ever to launched in India. It's very hard to explain, but the SR150 has this 'tight' feeling that I've not experienced in any other scooter. It's something that's missing in some commuter motorcycles as well. It's like the SR150 is made from one piece of metal, that's how rigid the chassis is. In comparison, other scooters feel like the front and rear are connected to each other by some jelly. Anyway!

The SR150 loves corners. And when you're riding one, you'll love them too. Its almost poetic, the manner the SR150 attacks corner after corner. Keep an eye on the corner and brake hard. Start to lean in, and then lean in some more. Lean in until you nearly fall over, and then clip the apex. Start to right back up, and power out of the corner before its time to brake for the next one. And on and on and on. The SR150 gives you so much confidence to take the corners hard. the front end is quite sensitive, so it really darts into corners when you want them to, its almost like you're controlling the scooter using telepathy. The tires have tremendous levels of grip, and the brakes have so much bite that you can really lean on them when you're hooning it. During all this, the scooter is begging you to go even faster! In capable hands, this little scooter can give some big bikes one hell of a surprise.


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170715_110634.jpg

You cannot help but smile when you see one of these signs.


In these twisty roads the engine has more than enough poke to keep you going at a rapid pace. Build up the revs as you are at the apex and the engine will propel you forwards just as you right up again. There is enough torque to make overtaking traffic as easy as pie on Kerala's single lane highways. The combination of that chassis, those tires and those brakes make the SR150 above everything else, great fun.


Fuel economy


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170802_144159.jpg


Midnight returns a average of around 40kpl. It does vary a bit sometimes of course, but 38-42kpl is what I've been seeing. All these calculations have been done using the tankful - tankful method. I always stick to either Reliance or the COCO BPCL at Kakkanad. I find that cruising at around 70-75kph seems to return the best fuel economy.

Last edited by Aditya : 8th August 2017 at 17:37. Reason: Typo
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Old 7th August 2017, 13:30   #7
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Life with an SR150


If you wanted something subtle to get you around, then the SR150 isn't for you. It grabs attention EVERYWHERE. Park it somewhere near a busy junction or something, and don't be surprised when people walk upto you and start asking you random questions about it. I've even had kids asking me whether they could take selfies when sitting on it. Maybe it's the way it looks, I don't know. Wherever you go, the SR150 has its admirers, who all respond with a resounding "Belissima!!"


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170130_131336.jpg

Centre of attention everywhere, even at McDonald's which is no stranger to exotic bikes.


When you open up the throttle, the SR150 has an exhaust note that is similar to the rough gravelly sound the Duke makes. Listening to the exhaust note echoing when riding through narrow bylanes makes you feel like you're doing a million kph!


Starting the SR150 in the morning is a hassle. So much so that I've had to add that to my morning schedule. You know, 10 minutes for breakfast, 10 minutes to get dressed, 15 minutes to swear constantly at the scooter while trying to start it, and then 45 minutes to ride to work. It just doesn't want to start up when the weather is cold, like it is in the monsoons.


The SR150 has a service interval of 3 months/3000km, whichever comes first. Oil changes are done every alternate service, and the SR150 drinks Agip ENI fully synthetic oil. The service quality is Jey Motors isn't too bad, though they are clearly struggling with the drastic increase in the number of bikes turning up for servicing. Service costs are quite reasonable I think. The average bill for the past 3 services have been around 300/- bucks or so.

Midnight and I have had our fair share of little adventures over the past 7 months, we've had our fun moments and not so fun moments. As I sit and write this, my mind is going back to the various experiences we've shared..


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170217_210310.jpg

The first 1000kms. It seems silly now, but I was insanely happy when Midnight hit this number. If you saw me by the side of the road apparently looking down at my crotch and punching the air in celebration, then this is what was happening. :P


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170429_165903.jpg

Just one among the many scenic patches along my daily commute. :-)


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170706_184643.jpg

This was the first monsoon ride I went on with Midnight. Sure I had to take it slow, but it was quite an experience.


Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170706_212916.jpg

A late night ride in Kerala is quite peaceful, because pretty much the whole state goes to sleep after 10PM. The serenity of that ride was ruined when I discovered that the SR150's headlights are beyond useless. Turned out to be one of the scariest rides of my life. Sigh..

Midnight - My Aprilia SR 150-20170715_111820.jpg

For better or for worse, this is just the beginning of a beautiful friendship. We are going to have lots of adventures together, Midnight and I.

Take care everyone, and ride safe.

Last edited by Speed.Demon : 7th August 2017 at 21:34.
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Old 8th August 2017, 08:39   #8
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorcycle Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th August 2017, 09:44   #9
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Great review and it is beautifully written. I myself am looking for a scooter for the family. The SR150 is one of the scooters that had my attention - but every review spoke about its bad ride quality and my wife already has a back problem and is going to be using the scooter more than me (I still have my 16 years old Pulsar 180 doing duty for me). So the ride quality of the scooter has to be the best among the ones available. I was also planning to wait until April 2018 to see if we will finally get any scooter with ABS. But wfe's Scooty is about to give up her ghost.

My friends all tell me the same - go and get an Activa 4G.
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Old 8th August 2017, 11:58   #10
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This is very very well written review. I went through the whole post with a cup of coffee.
Wish you loads of happy miles on it.
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Old 8th August 2017, 12:26   #11
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Amazing review buddy.. How I wish this was posted a week or two before. Why I say that is because I got the delivery of my SR150 last week and it's been hell of a ride so far. Not that your review would have made me hold back my purchasing decision, only that it would have aided it further since I was having last minute anxiety until I actually made the full payment and got the motoscooter then and there on August 1st.

I can relate with most of your listed pros and cons already from the online reviews so far and 200kms of personal riding experience. Its yet too soon for me to make my peace with the devil within this machine but I'm looking forward to that happening soon. This is absolutely not a machine for someone who wants comfort, hassle free and peace of mind daily scooter. This is something really different and generally does not go well with most of the buyers as I know now from short rides by my friends/relatives on my SR. It absolutely will reward you where its strengths are i.e. sharp handling mated with tremendous engine for a scooter and sharp edgy styling. For rest of the aspects, look somewhere else probably Jupiter or Access.

Some questions for you though,
1. Did you get the optional charger ?
2. Anything to improve the headlights ? surprisingly I felt they are adequate although a bit sub par but wasn't expecting much after the reviews
3. Any respite from the suspensions after 4k odd on your odometer
4. What is your starting and idling process in morning? Mine isn't behaving well on this count and it pains when I struggle to start a week old machine while my 10 year old Yamaha FZ starts with half a crank and idles well even if I start after a week.

Anyways, wish you many more miles on Midnight (Nice name, I'm planning to name mine soon as well). Ride safe
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Old 8th August 2017, 12:50   #12
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Superb review! truly the story of someone who enjoys the rides

loved reading it.

Please do update on the service when the free services are done.
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Old 8th August 2017, 14:47   #13
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Amazing review - Had thought of reading the thread later, but the opening post actually made me do it at one go. Enjoyed every bit - though am not going to run to showroom just as yet to buy a SR150, it has definitely made me yearn for outings more often

Entertaining yet detailed review - Rated five stars!

But you forgot to mention what your mom ultimately thought of the 'scooter'
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Old 8th August 2017, 15:36   #14
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Great review Speed.Demon and congrats on your Aprilia SR150 ...!!!
I am planning to retire my aging Activa but don't know what is the best replacement for my 3 days / week office commute. I am following up the Aprilia SR150 news from quite some time now. I even did a short test drive and was very impressed. But later when i read reviews (from xbhp forum) where many similar issues have been highlighted repeatedly. Isn't Aprilia trying to fix these ? Stiff suspensions, starting problems, inadequate headlights, etc are basic stuff which I think should be addressed immediately. Please let us know if you have figured out any workaround after your 1000+ kms experience
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Old 8th August 2017, 16:31   #15
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Thank you so much everyone for the kind words. Really, I'm very grateful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbiju View Post
Great review and it is beautifully written. I myself am looking for a scooter for the family. The SR150 is one of the scooters that had my attention - but every review spoke about its bad ride quality and my wife already has a back problem and is going to be using the scooter more than me...
My friends all tell me the same - go and get an Activa 4G.
Thank you very much. :-) Like I said, if ride quality is what you want from your scooter, then the TVS Jupiter is the one to go for. TVS has really done wonders with its suspension.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sathya.bhat View Post
This is very very well written review. I went through the whole post with a cup of coffee.
Wish you loads of happy miles on it.
Thank you! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by camitesh View Post
Amazing review buddy..

...
Some questions for you though,
1. Did you get the optional charger ?
2. Anything to improve the headlights ? surprisingly I felt they are adequate although a bit sub par but wasn't expecting much after the reviews
3. Any respite from the suspensions after 4k odd on your odometer
4. What is your starting and idling process in morning? Mine isn't behaving well on this count and it pains when I struggle to start a week old machine while my 10 year old Yamaha FZ starts with half a crank and idles well even if I start after a week.

Anyways, wish you many more miles on Midnight (Nice name, I'm planning to name mine soon as well). Ride safe
Thank you so much! And hearty congratulations on your new SR150, welcome to the Aprilia clan!

I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can:

1. No I did not. It wasn't available when I took delivery and I didn't bother after that.
2. I'll have to do something about it. But I really don't want to tamper around with the stock wiring too much. Maybe a set of aux lights? Let's see.
3. It's more the case of my back getting used to the hard ride rather than the suspension getting any softer. It's still as stiff as ever. :P
4. Kick start first thing in the morning. It never starts on the first try, I have to resort to a lot of swearing and constant kicking to get it going. Once it finally coughs into life, I hold the throttle steady and revv it a little to warm it up. Once warmed up its just fine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mafia View Post
Superb review! truly the story of someone who enjoys the rides

loved reading it.

Please do update on the service when the free services are done.
Thank you very much! Indeed, Midnight has transformed me from someone who never understood the appeal of bikes to someone who finds excuses to go for rides.

I will of course update all future service details in this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
Amazing review - Had thought of reading the thread later, but the opening post actually made me do it at one go. Enjoyed every bit - though am not going to run to showroom just as yet to buy a SR150, it has definitely made me yearn for outings more often

Entertaining yet detailed review - Rated five stars!

But you forgot to mention what your mom ultimately thought of the 'scooter'
Thank you! I had fun penning it down as well. Now that you mention it, things were very funny after I brought Midnight home. Mum went all Ooh and Aah and "It looks quite funky, doesn't it??"

It was later when Dad saw it and he turned and said slowly,

"That's not like any Activa I've ever seen."

"Well, that would be because it's not. Its an Aprilia."

"Looks quite quick, what sort of engine does it have?"

"150cc"

"Your mother has no idea, does she?"

"Not a clue."


We looked at each other, and then burst into laughter. We couldn't stop laughing for the next 10 minutes. Ahh, one of life's precious moments.

Last edited by Speed.Demon : 8th August 2017 at 16:32.
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