The SR150 Race edition uses the same 154cc single-cylinder, air-cooled motor as its stock SR150 sibling; there is no change in power output at 11.4hp and even torque remains the same at 11.5Nm. The mechanical upgrades are restricted to tweaked gear ratios. On this first ride, we did feel a slight step up in power, but a proper road test will confirm just how much.
Cosmetically, the Race edition of the SR150 looks a lot sportier than the standard version. The metallic grey paint scheme, inspired from the RS-GP motorbike, lends the SR150 Race a fresh appeal. Small touches like the front disc caliper finished in gold add to the sporty look of the scooter as well. And adding to the Race theme are body graphics similar to Aprilia’s MotoGP bike. The striking red rear mono-shock and the five-spoke alloy wheels make it all the more attractive. The instrument console remains unchanged from the regular SR150 variant, and retains its very basic feel; an area we feel a few well-placed, sporty decals could have really livened things up.
The SR150 race feels quick to respond to the slightest twist of the throttle and moves forward with enthusiasm. It gets up to 60 or 80kph without a flutter, even on the steep hills on the outskirts of Pune. However, the rear brakes lack strong bite and that can be a bit of a bother especially when it gets up to speed so easily. Thankfully though, the 220mm ventilated front disk does a good job of slowing down the scooter down and whilst braking, the contoured lever offers a firm grip. However, even this edition misses out on a brake lever lock which would have been a handy addition.
The SR150 always had our vote where handling was concerned. In fact, it was so good, we felt it had the soul of a motorcycle in a scooter’s body. The Race edition is a hoot to ride hard as well. It darts into corners effortlessly and allows you to lean in much further compared to other scooters. The ride, on the other hand, is on the firm side and feels a bit edgy on uneven surfaces. That said, it still manages to take the rough stuff fairly well.
The dual-tone seat is well cushioned and has a good balance between soft and firm. The riding posture, although a bit upright, is a comfortable one. The legroom on offer is good for someone with the same 5ft, 10in height as myself, but taller riders might find it slightly cramped.
Aprilia is also planning to introduce add-on upgrades for the scooter in the future, which will include a Race Boom exhaust for a sportier exhaust note and improved performance. There are carburettor upgrades in the pipeline as well, which will have bigger jets. These upgrades are expected to come at an estimated premium of Rs 3,000 to 5,000.
The Aprilia SR150 Race edition might not appeal to those looking for a practical scooter for their everyday commute, but on the other hand, there is no arguing that this is one of the most fun-to-ride scooters on sale in India today. And at Rs 70,288 (ex-showroom, Mumbai) it is good value for money as well. So if you are in the market for a scooter that’s great fun to ride and something that stands out from the rest, look no further.