2021 Aprilia SXR 160 Review 33
Aprilia SXR 160 – Click here for high-resolution image gallery

2021 Aprilia SXR 160 Review

Bike tested: Aprilia SXR 160; Road Test No. 1268; Test Location: Mumbai

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1,50,000/- (est.)

Aprilia has finally introduced their first maxi-scooter in India, the SXR 160 and it packs a lot to impress

For years we’ve been hearing that Aprilia is planning to expand their portfolio in India, and it’s about time that it’s finally happening. The first entrant comes in the form of Aprilia’s first maxi-scooter for India, called the SXR 160. In first impressions, the scooter looks sporty, futuristic, and super-premium. It shouts Aprilia from all angles, and the scooter is impressive on paper too. It uses the same motor from the renowned SR 160 but in a BS6-compliant trim. Other than that, the SXR 160 is a completely new offering by the Italian brand, and here is our first ride report of it!

MotorQuest: Aprilia started off as a bicycle manufacturing company but then the first 50cc motorised 2-wheeler changed the game and now they are present in MotoGP too. In India, they started off with the SR 150, which was an immediate hit in 2016. While it is still on sale, Aprilia has launched their first maxi-scooter for India, the SXR 160, which we first saw at the 2020 Auto Expo. It has the same underpinnings from the SR 160, but it is a completely new scooter from head to toe.

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The SXR is one of the most premium looking scooters in India

Styling: The Aprilia SXR 160 boasts of an all-new design and let’s break it down from head to toe. At the front, the SXR gets a triple pod all-LED headlamp setup along with LED DRLs, which reminds us of Aprilia’s RS 660 and even the RSV4. The setup looks pretty radical and makes the scooter stand out from anything in the market. Additionally, the front end also gets a tall tinted visor, which looks purposeful and adds to the maxi-scooter appeal. Towards the middle, the scooter feels roomy and it has Aprilia badging on both sides of the footboard.

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The SXR looks like their superbike from the front

The SXR follows the signature Aprilia design language and looks amazing

The seat also has a slight scooped shape, adding to the sharp side look of the scooter. Finally, at the rear, we have a wide and sharp LED tail light. The rear end is one of the best in the business, and the grab rails look really sporty as well. Among other things, the scooter is available in 4 colour options and the paint quality is exceptional. You also get one of a kind Y-shaped alloy wheels in gunmetal finish, making the scooter feel even more premium. The only thing that looks out of place is the exhaust as it seems a little too bulky and out of proportion. All in all, the SXR 160 is one of the sportiest and most premium scooters money can buy in India.

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The instrument cluster is brand new with a ton of details on offer

Instrument Cluster and Switchgear: Like the scooter itself, the instrument cluster is brand new too. It is a fully digital LCD unit which is fairly big, especially for a scooter. The instrument cluster has tonnes of information on display including engine temperature, ambient temperature, average speed, average fuel consumption, instant mileage, battery voltage, engine malfunction light and a tachometer too, which is a first for a scooter in India. Apart from these, all basic information and telltale lights are present too.

There’s a lot of information on display and the layout is easy-to-read

If all this isn’t enough for you, Aprilia also have optional connectivity features on offer which let you locate the scooter, raise an alarm, raise service reminder, and post on social media too, all via a dedicated app. This is one of the finest instrument clusters we’ve seen in the market and it is the only setup that can take the fight to the TVS NTorq 125, if not beat it. Coming to the switchgear, the switches are of decent quality and in addition to the basic bits, you get a mode button near the self-start which lets you toggle through the instrument cluster on the move. An engine kill switch is absent here, which some of its competitors get.

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The seat has plenty of room but cushioning is quite hard

Ergonomics: Like any other scooter, the SXR 160 will be ridden primarily in the city, and its ergonomics suggest that as well. The handlebar is tall and the riding posture is upright and comfortable. The single piece seat is wide throughout and it feels roomy for both the rider as well as the pillion. However, the cushioning is hard, and there isn’t a lot of comfort on offer. Moving on, the footboard is wide and long enough for riders of average height, but tall riders will feel a little cramped. Another thing that makes the SXR 160 suitable for short riders is its low seat height at just 770 mm.

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Front storage is well put together, and it gets a USB port

There are many storage spaces to store your stuff on the go

On the storage front, the scooter has a front compartment which looks great but isn’t too big. A USB charger is present in it though, so you can charge your phone on the go. The lit-up under-seat storage is also just decent but there isn’t enough depth to fit a full-face helmet. Moreover, while Aprilia has taken care of almost everything else, the fuel filler cap remains under the seat, which isn’t too convenient. Attention to detail is high, though, as the pillion footrests are intelligently integrated in the bodywork and the seat gets red and white stitching.

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The 160cc motor is a direct swap from its sibling, the SR 160

Performance: The engine is the only thing that isn’t all-new for the SXR 160. The 160cc motor comes from the SR 160, and it is BS6 compliant. It makes 10.9 PS of power and 11 Nm of torque and has a linear power curve, like the SR 160. On the move, the low-end grunt is decent, the mid-range is strong, and the top-end feels the most lively. The scooter can hit triple digit speeds with ease and cruising around at 60-70 km/hr is stress free. The motor is pretty refined too, but very faint vibrations do creep in via the footboard and the handlebar, throughout the rev range.

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The SXR has good performance on offer

The SXR can reach triple-digit speeds with ease but its sweet spot is at around 60-70 km/hr

Like all other scooters, the SXR 160 uses air-cooling, but the fan noise here was a little too much. It was actually so loud that we couldn’t hear the exhaust note clearly, especially at a halt. That aside, the exhaust note is bassy and very likeable. Lastly, thanks to the 3 valve setup, the scooter is pretty efficient and during our short test ride, it returned around 37 km/l. If ridden sanely, the scooter can return 40 km/l with ease, rounding up the total mileage of the 7-litre fuel tank to about 250 kms.

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The SXR feels rock solid even at high speeds

Riding Dynamics: Till now, it’s pretty clear that the SXR 160 is a likeable scooter and the riding dynamics make its case even stronger. The SXR 160 gets telescopic forks upfront and an adjustable mono-shock at the rear. The tuning is different compared to the SR 160, though, and the front suspension has a softer feel to it. Underneath it all, the SXR 160 uses the same underbone chassis from the SR, and the overall riding dynamics are very likeable. The scooter tips into corners well and straight-line stability is excellent, even at triple-digit speeds. However, even though the front suspension is soft, the overall suspension setup is on the harder side and big bumps will definitely hit hard. The scooter won’t thud anywhere, though, as there’s ample ground clearance at 161 mm.

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The wide tyres enhance the cornering ability of the scooter

The riding dynamics of the SXR are excellent, but the ride quality is stiff

Moving on, the 120 section tyres at both ends use MRF rubber and there is good grip on offer, even in tricky conditions. This adds to the cornering capabilities of the scooter and the feedback is commendable. For braking duties, the SXR uses a 220 mm front disc brake and 140 mm rear drum brake, and the braking performance is average at both ends. It also gets a single-channel ABS for the front end, which makes it one of the safest scooters in tricky conditions. There are two things that will hinder the otherwise fun riding experience, though. One, the windscreen appears tall but actually fails to solve the purpose and there’s a good amount of wind blast at high speeds. Second, the SXR’s weight at 129 kg is one of the highest for a scooter and one can feel it at lower speeds.

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Everything considered, the SXR 160 is an excellent package

Verdict: Aprilia is yet to announce the price of the SXR 160, but we expect it come around the Rs. 1.24 lakh (ex-showroom) mark. At this price, the SXR would definitely be one of the costliest scooters in India today. Does it justify it? To some extent, yes. The SXR 160 is one of the most premium scooters in the market and has a lot to offer right from its excellent spec sheet to its fun riding dynamics. Considering all this, the only thing that will take it all away from the SXR will be its price. Otherwise, we definitely recommend the SXR 160 to anyone who’s looking for a premium, beautiful, sporty yet practical daily scooter. However, if budget is a constraint you should definitely look at other options like the 125s.

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The rear end is very sharp and the grab rail looks like it was made in a wind tunnel

What’s Cool

* Looks brilliant and has a premium feel
* Instrument cluster shows a lot of information
* Riding dynamics are likeable with great feedback to the handlebar

What’s Not So Cool

* Brakes don’t have rich feedback to the levers
* Suspension setup and the seat cushioning is hard
* Fan noise is loud and some faint vibrations keep creeping-in

2021 Aprilia SXR 160 Specifications

* Engine: 160cc, Single-Cylinder, Air-Cooled, FI
* Power: 11 PS @ 7100 RPM
* Torque: 11 Nm @ 5750 RPM
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Fuel Consumption: 35-40 km/l
* Frame: Underbone Frame
* Gearbox: CVT
* Tyres: 120/70/12 (Front), 120/70/12 (Rear), MRF
* Suspension: 30 MM Telescopic Forks (Front), Adjustable Monoshock (Rear)
* Brakes: 220 mm Disc (Front), 140 mm Drum (Rear); Single-Channel ABS

2021 Aprilia SXR 160 Dimensions

* Length x Width x Height (mm): 1963 x 803 x 1205
* Wheelbase: 1365 mm
* Ground Clearance: 161 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 7-litres
* Seat height: 770 mm
* Kerb weight: 129 Kgs

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Attention-to-detail? There’s plenty on the SXR!