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First ride: Aprilia SR150 Race

The Aprilia SR150 is the best scooter in the country today. There's no doubt about this. Of course, it does come with a few niggles, but that doesn't take anything away from how fantastic this scooter is as a package. It is the most fun you can have in our country on two wheels, without a gearbox. But now, Aprilia claims they've moved the game forward a tiny bit with the SR150 Race – which, among other things, also gets the sweetest paint job I have seen this side of a factory racing motorcycle.

What is it?
Essentially, the scooter pays homage to the Aprilias that you see running around on the MotoGP circuit. The paint job is RS-GP inspired and uses shades of red, green, grey and black to create a combination that looks incredibly sporty and eye catching. And adding to that is a front brake caliper that is now painted gold and wheels that are now painted in “Flouro Rosso”.

But the changes are not just superficial. There have been minor mechanical upgrades too. The Race runs slightly different transmission ratios than the regular SR150. Piaggio claims that this makes the scooter accelerate quicker and also gives it better performance on gradients.

What’s to like?
Everything that was to like in the SR150 actually. It still remains the peppy, sharp handling scooter that the SR150 is. It brings full-size motorcycle feel to the scooter world and that is great. It also looks radically different to anything else in the market today. In short, it is the fastest, quickest, best looking scooter out there. However, the ride quality still remains painfully stiff and the scope of the seat still makes you slide down till your knees touch the front apron. But minor niggles compare to all that it does right.

Does it feel different?
It does. There is a small bump in performance around the mid-range that you can actually feel. It feels slightly quicker right from standstill when compared to the regular SR. Actual numbers will have to wait till we test the scooters back to back, but right now, I can tell you that the seat of the pants feel is of a quicker scooter. It also feels a lot less strained on inclines. Not that the regular SR ever felt strained. The Race just feels a lot happier accelerating up steep gradients.

Worth the money?
The SR150 Race is priced at ?70,288 (ex-Mumbai). This is just under two and a half thousand more than the regular SR. Is it worth the extra rupees? Yes. It is a quicker scooter and that quickness will come in handy in the tight urban situations in which this scooter is likely to spend all its life. And two and half thousand rupees isn't a lot of money for that rad paint job and the slight bump in performance. But I also feel that there might be a few who find the colours a bit over-the-top. And for them, the SR150 might still be the one to get. However, what I'm really looking forward to is the accessory line that Piaggio is bringing in to go with the SRs. I hear there's a performance exhaust coming our way and that's got my attention.

At just a few thousand rupees more, the SR150 Race brings some added performance and a racy paintjob. I do wish there was an option for the performance without the paint work.

Engine: 154.8cc, four stroke, single
Power: 10.26bhp@6750rpm
Torque: 11.4Nm@5000rpm
Gearbox: CVT
Price: ?70,288 (ex-Mumbai)

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