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Have you been smitten every time you came across an Aprilia SXR 160, but raised your eyebrows on seeing its premium price tag? Well, if that’s the case, you can now breathe a sigh of relief. No, the scooter hasn’t gotten any cheaper, which we would love, but rather has been downsized. Aprilia has introduced a smaller displacement version of its dashing SXR 160 maxi-scooter, the SXR 125. This is not the first time Aprilia has done this; it has been implemented with the SR models, too, and it has worked in Aprilia’s favour. But could the same strategy work for the SXR as well? Let’s find out.

The SXR 125, in simple terms, is an SXR 160 powered by a 125cc motor. The design and the overall equipment remains almost the same, which is a small sacrifice for a more affordable price tag for a superbly sporty-looking scooter. Barring the stickers on the side panels that say ‘125’, only the sharp-eyed will be able to spot the differences. Out of the four colour schemes, Aprilia offers the SXR 125 with a matte finish for the black and blue ones, as opposed to only glossy finishes on the SXR 160. And while the red colour scheme still looks the best, this matte-black finish does look equally dope. Italian Batman, anyone? Okay, that was probably a bad one.

All-digital unit is well-spaced and feature-loaded

Jokes aside, the SXR 125 is one heck of a looker. The three-pod headlamp design takes inspiration from Aprilia’s supersport RS660. The wide dimensions, large windscreen, full-digital instrumentation, radical-looking LED tail-lamp flanked by the grab rail on top, all add up to showcase how good Italians are with design. And then there’s the sportiness which, along with design, can make things a bit uncomfortable. What I mean is, maxi-scooters are known to be very comfortable, with soft cushioning and a relaxed riding stance, but it’s kind of the opposite here. The floorboard feels confining, the handlebar is positioned high but closer than what you would want, and the seat cushion doesn’t absorb much of the bumps transferred by the stiff suspension.

Wraparound LED tail-lamp unit looks uber cool

But, it is that last bit that makes this Aprilia such an agile scooter. Once I had found my sweet spot on the SXR 125, flicking the scooter around corners or filtering through traffic by changing lanes was an absolute pleasure. Once at cruising speed, it was all great until the time came to shed speeds. Not that the brakes are bad, even with the combi-braking system, but it was mainly because the 125cc powertrain took too long to build back the lost speed. At 9.38 bhp and 0.93 kgm, the power figures are in the same ballpark as the competition, and Aprilia also claims that the transmission is tuned for fast acceleration. But it’s the weight that’s the issue; tipping the scales at 129 kg, the SXR 125 is close to 20 kg heavier than its rivals which make a huge impact when it comes to initial acceleration.

Now coming to the real question, does the SXR 125 still make sense over the SXR 160? If you desire the kind of performance to match Aprilia’s sporty styling, look no further than the SXR 160. You won’t be disappointed, trust me. But then, who is the SXR 125 for? Well, to keep matters simple, if it’s more about the show than go, the 125 fits right in, and you also get a smaller price tag and better economy. Which isn’t a bad idea at all once you read the numbers on petrol-pump dispensers, no?

Aprilia SXR 125

Displacement: 160cc, single
Max power: 9.38 bhp@7600 rpm
Max torque: 0.93 kgm@6250 rpm
Transmission: CVT

Type: Underbone frame

F/R: 220-mm disc/ 140-mm drum

F/R: 120/70 R12/ 120/70 R12

L/W/H (mm): 1963/803/1205
Wheelbase: 1365 mm
Ground clearance: 161 mm
Seat height: 770 mm
Kerb weight: 129 kg
Fuel capacity: 7 litres

PRICE: Rs 1.16 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)