2020 Suzuki Access 125 Test Ride Review
We do a detailed test ride review of the 2020 Suzuki Access 125 Special Edition
Bike tested: Suzuki Access 125 BS6; Road Test No. 1219; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 92,440/-
The Access 125 might look similar to the previous model, but there are some key changes that have made it even better!
While Suzuki has been successful in almost all categories of two-wheelers in India, it is safe to say that the Access 125 is their highest selling product to date. The Access originally locked horns with Activa and it had an edge over it, thanks to the powerful 125cc motor. It has always been a fun-to-ride, peppy and likeable scooter. The BS6 update retains most of the aesthetic bits of the BS4 model, but there are some key changes to it. As expected, the changes have also resulted in a price hike of about Rs. 6500/-. We test ride the updated Access 125 to find out whether it justifies the hike!
MotorQuest: Suzuki launched the first 125cc scooter in India way back in 2007 as the Access 125. The successor was the Suzuki Swish 125 with the same engine. However, the Swish was discontinued soon but the Access 125 received a major physical update in 2016 and the overall design has remained unchanged ever since with little updates. It’s safe to say the Access has aged well over its 13 years of existence in the Indian market.
Styling: As we stated in the introduction, Access 125 retains most of the aesthetic bits of the previous model. However, the design doesn’t really feel dated. The scooter gives out a retro feel which is likeable. This is because the almost-square headlamp gets a chrome cover, the body panels are curvy, and the exhaust also gets a chrome shield. While all this comes from the previous model, the BS6 Access 125 gets a new LED headlamp, which is an excellent addition. Another distinct feature that will catch your eye is the chrome external fuel cap.
The front end looks a tad odd with the halogen indicators and pilot lights combined with the new LED headlamp
There aren’t any more aesthetic updates to the scooter, and the scooter continues to offer a good blend of modern and retro styling. We had the special edition of the Access for our test, which gets additional chrome mirrors, a stylish seat cover and a beige coloured footboard as well. All the extra bits enhance the retro styling even more. In conclusion, while the Access doesn’t look as radical as the other 125cc scooters, it still looks good and the majority of masses won’t find much to complain about it.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear: The Access 125 retains the overall semi-digital instrument cluster of the previous model but gets a few additions. The most obvious bit is the addition of Suzuki’s EcoAssist illumination, which changes colour according to how you’re riding the scooter. While this is a good feature, a simple small light like in the TVS Jupiter would have sufficed as well. Also, the digital display now gets an additional battery voltage meter. Again, a good feature, but not super practical. Moving on, the switchgear has remained unchanged. The plastic feels fine and there aren’t any unnecessary gaps. While the keyhole is multifunctional, it lacks the feature which lets you remotely open the external fuel lid. All in all, the instrument cluster is neat and easy to read, and there’s not much to complain about the switchgear as well.
Ergonomics: What do you want from a scooter when you buy it? Low seat height? Upright posture? Comfortable seat? You name it and the Access gives it to you. The riding triangle is upright and you won’t tire yourself even if you spend all day riding it. Suzuki claims that the footboard and the seat are both longer, but we didn’t notice much change. It used to be spacious and accommodating for two healthy riders, and it still feels that way. The under-seat storage has also gone up by almost 2-litres but sadly, still won’t fit a proper full-face helmet. Coming to the seat, it is one of the most comfortable and well-cushioned seats you’ll ever find on a scooter. Lastly, at 773 mm, the seat height is also pretty decent even for short riders. So yes, this scooter is ergonomically ready for family duties.
Performance: The Suzuki Access keeps the old motor, but as usual, it is now more environmentally friendly and BS6 compliant. The 124cc motor now gets FI as standard and makes 8.58 BHP at 6750 RPM and 10 Nm of torque at 5500 RPM. Surprisingly, there is a slight drop, while the torque has gone down by just 0.2 Nm as compared to the previous model. This means that the Access 125 still remains as peppy as ever. The BS6 model is actually faster than the previous model in initial acceleration. You could ride it at 60 km/hr and with the gentle throttle the eco-indicators would turn green, indicating the ideal cruising speed.
The BS6 engine feels more refined and is quicker than the BS4 version
On our VBOX test, the scooter could hit a top speed of 94 km/hr and that is a big number for a BS6 compliant 125cc motor. Further, the FI has made life even better. The engine now feels even smoother and vibe-free. Suzuki also claims that the scooter is now 10-12% more efficient than before and it felt so as well. During our test, the Access returned 47 km/l which rounds up the total range to about 250 km of city riding, if you consider the 5-litre fuel tank capacity which has decreased a bit. All in all, the Access 125 has gotten even better and cleaner without compromising on efficiency or performance.
Riding Dynamics: The Access 125 in its BS6 avatar has put on about 2 kgs, but the riding dynamics haven’t changed a lot. It is still very light at 103 kgs while the drum with steel wheels variant weighs at 104 kgs kerb. The Access 125 still rides pretty well and filtering through traffic is easy. Also, the scooter has always had telescopic suspension at the front and combined with the 12-inch front wheel; it feels very stable. The overall suspension setup is on the softer side, so the scooter will absorb almost anything you throw under it, making the Access perfect for city duties.
The ride quality is impressive and you barely feel the extra weight
The braking isn’t very impressive, though. While the 190 mm disc brake offers adequate stopping power, the bite is not sharp. However, the scooter comes with a Combined Braking System, which is a lifesaver in tricky conditions. Along with the riding dynamics, the scooter also retains the 90 section front and the 100 section rear tyre size (both MRFs). They provide enough grip for city conditions, and the wet grip is decent as well. Overall dynamics are very comfortable and go along very well with the nature of the scooter.
Verdict: So, is the Rs. 6500/- premium worth it? We think so. At Rs. 92,440/-, you get an overall improved and refined scooter, which is fun to ride and much safer for the environment. At this price, you get the top variant of the Suzuki Access 125 which is the Special Edition. It gets you chrome mirrors, coloured seat and footboard, alloy wheels and even a USB socket! All this makes the Access 125 a decent deal in today’s market. The price is just as much as the BS6 Honda Activa 125. But, you do get more variants and options while the no non-sense nature of the Access will always give it an upper hand for a 125cc scooter.
* Ergonomics and comfort are on point
* Performance from the motor is really likeable
* The scooter is reliable, practical and frugal too
What’s Not So Cool
* Design hasn’t been updated for BS6
* Brakes are not sharp and don’t have a strong feedback
* Instrument cluster is updated but still misses out on a complete digital unit
Alternatives – Honda Activa 125, Yamaha Fascino 125, TVS Ntorq 125, Piaggio Vespa 125
* Engine: 124cc, Single-Cylinder, Air-Cooled, FI
* Power: 8.7 PS @ 6750 RPM
* Torque: 10 Nm @ 5500 RPM
* Transmission: CVT
* Fuel Consumption: 47 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Frame: Under Bone Type
* Suspension: Telescopic Forks (Front), Single Sided Suspension (Rear)
* Tyres: 90/90/12 (Front), 90/100/10 (Rear)
* Brakes: 190 mm Disc (Front), 130 mm Drum (Rear)
* Length x Width x Height (mm): 1870 mm x 690 mm x 1160 mm
* Wheelbase: 1265 mm
* Ground Clearance: 160 mm
* Seat Height: 773 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 5-Litres
* Kerb weight: 103 kgs (Alloy, Disc), 104 kgs (Steel, Drum)