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Scooter Review

Aprilia SR MT 125 Review

Aprilia's new take on sports. The SR MT offers a blend of individual style with the advantages of big wheels.

Allen Drysdale

 

Introduction 

Aprilia's Sportcity One has been a pretty popular scooter for the past few years. Race looks and a real brand identity made it a natural choice for sporting enthusiasts. Its ongoing replacement has just been announced and we introduce for the first time Aprilia's new-look, SR MT 125 - MT is short for Motard. Aprilia is relating the big wheels and long nosed attributes of the SR MT, to that of a motard motorcycle.

Specifications

When Aprilia announced it would replace the Sportcity One, there was many a nervous dealer questioning why. Visually and in the flesh they needn't of worried. The SR MT has been given the once over by Aprilia and when Aprilia performs a "once over", they rarely miss the mark. Gloss colours with racing graphics, Aprilia have set the SR MT apart from not only other Piaggio product, but also other scooters in the budget sector.

The SR MT shares the same platform as the scooter it replaces, so engine/frame remain the same. The SR MT is powered by a 125 cc, 4-stroke engine and features 14 inch wheels front and rear. The wheel size is the main point of difference between it and other budget class offerings.

The dash is fairly basic and caters for two key elements, fuel and speed. We'd like to see the addition of a clock if possible somewhere down the track. The mirrors have been given an update, shared with the SR MAX and Mana, they offer great visibility behind the rider. Whilst the seating position feels the same, the seat itself is now softer providing more cushion support for both parties. The passenger gets a solid set of pillion grab handles. Seat height is manageable at 775 mm, the seat itself looks pretty trick with red panelling.  

The SR MT gives the rider a number of storage options. The room under the seat is still enough to store most full faced helmets, even though the SR MT runs the larger 14 inch wheels. The flat floor can provide the answer for carrying larger items in an emergency (i.e. case of beer). A top box option with matching rack will help with additional storage duties if required. The bag hook is always handy. The glovebox will store smaller items only - keys, wallet and phone. 

We've seen this 4-stroke engine before. A 2-valve, 125 cc engine with an output of 7.1 Kw @ 8500 rpm. The peak torque output is 10 Nm @ 7500 rpm. Being directly related to Piaggio's leader engine, this one shares those same bullet-proof qualities. The fuel capacity is 7.5 litres.

Brakes on the SR MT are 220 mm, single disc on the front, and a 140 mm drum rear. The front brakes are enhanced visually by the use of a gold painted calliper. Alloy wheels mimic those as fitted to the superbike range. Suspension is by telescopic fork on the front and single adjustable monoshock on the rear. The SR MT has to make do with a centre stand only for parking. The package in total weighs in at 118 kg.  

On The Road

On the road, the SR MT displays the same competent qualities as the Sportcity One did before it. Thanks to larger wheels the SR MT has a real "throw me into corners" attitude, a real air of confidence that makes it a fun ride. It feels like you could thrash the SR to within an inch of its life, over and over.  
 
From a standstill, the SR MT takes a little while to reach its optimum revs, though once moving it accelerates away and builds momentum. For the 125/150 class it's competitive. The big plus behind this package is the amount of torque available. This helps the SR MT sustain speed, so keeping up with fast flowing traffic is no sweat. Even when faced with steep inclines the SR MT will pull and pull hard. The SR MT will maintain 80-90 km/h speeds regardless and for around hilly capital cities this is exactly what you need. The SR MT displays enough power and performance for city commutes and even enough for a quick motorway dash out to the burbs.   

The advantage of larger wheels is stability. Regardless of speed the SR MT feels stable. The chassis plays its part in keeping it all planted. There's enough ground clearance on either side to do some serious cornering. The only time you'll ever feel any flex in the frame is at the top end of town at full throttle. The brakes themselves do enough to feel strong, the front disc is definitely the stronger option out of the two.

Given our 500 k's of riding, we experienced fuel consumption somewhere in the vicinity of 30 km/l, this on a new tight engine. Given how most will ride the SR MT, this would probably make for a good average figure. Think around 200 km's from a tank. I've said it before, these leader based engines need time to run-in. Both efficiency and performance will only improve as as the kilometres build.  

 

Summary

Aprilia's SR MT will attract many a punter just on the account of its looks alone. The SR MT looks the part, especially in that dark charcoal colour scheme (my clear favourite). Additionally the appeal of bigger wheels will also attract many, they make a big difference in this format. Whatever the case, the SR MT continues to blend individual style with a robust, fun nature. Just as the Sportcity One did before it, the SR MT continues down the same road.

The SR MT 125 retails for $2990 (MLP). Find an Aprilia dealer http://aprilia.com.au/scooters/dealers.html

 

published 10/12/2012

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