Yamaha Aerox 155 first ride review
In Indian of late, there's been much flurry surrounding the electric scooter segment, but when it comes to internal combustion engine scooters there's not lot that's gone on in the premium performance-oriented scooter space. Now Yamaha caught us all by surprise in September earlier this year its new offering - the Aerox 155 - when it threw its contender into the ring. A Yamaha scooter powered by the R15 engine sounds like fun, doesn't it? And it is! But is it more than just fun? Let's find out.
With any premium two wheeler, looks play an important factor and that's something the Aerox 155 definitely has going for it. Now this scooter is very aggressively styled. It's got a very aggressively shaped front end as you can see from the design - the front apron protrudes and it has a split head lamp unit with very menacing looking DRLs. Also this paint scheme is the grey vermillion paint scheme which one of the three colour options that you can have the scooter in. This one in particular comes with orange 14-inch alloy wheels which includes a 110/80 front and chunky 140/80 section rear tyre and this adds to the imposing stance of the scooter.
Now move behind the apron and this is the section that really sets the Aerox apart from any other scooter currently sold in India. Now this is a maxi-style scooter so what that means you have a central spine located here which basically implies that you cannot mount the scooter as you would a normal conventional scooter, so you'll really have to swing your leg over this one to get on. And it has a heavily contoured knee recess area, foot space is at a premium because the fuel tank is in between your feet. And this will stop you from ferrying stuff like, say, a gas cylinder across town for a refill. Also if you have a niece or nephew who'd like to go for a spin standing up in front, well, this scooter isn't going to help you there..
Moving back towards the seat area, this stepped seat is massive and the x-shaped panel on the spine give this Aerox a very unique sense of appeal and also adds a nice solid flow back to the scooter's tail section. Things out back are quite basic with a simple designed LED taillamp unit, but there's a lot going on here as well but it all appears to be done nicely and tidily. While the turn indicators up front are nicely infused with the apron, the rear makes do with motorcycle- style LED blinkers. Another unique bit of the Aerox is its twin rear springs and its radiator that sits just ahead of the exhaust can with its sharp design heat shield on the right side of the scooter while the rather large airbox on the opposite side.
The Aerox may not be the most practical scooter around with the centre spine eating away at footspace, but in terms of features, the scooter comes with a good amount of the premium stuff like the Bluetooth-enabled instrument cluster, which gives you a good amount of information like speed trip, average economy, battery voltage and a lot more. There's even a twin odometer which showcases this scooter's emphasis on performance. Then there's bits like the multifunction key, a glovebox with 12 volt charging socket, an automatic start/stop system that works brilliantly, a side-stand engine cut-off function, the obvious external fuel-fuller lid, single-channel ABS by virtue of its displacement, heck, there's even a generous under-seat storage space of 24.5litres which can easily swallow up a large size full-face helmet, which is brilliant.
So in terms of practicality, the Yamaha fairs a lot better than you think. If you asked me to bring out my magnifying glass and try to find fault with this scooter, well, I'd say that it doesn't come with turn-by-turn navigation or a brake lock. Also the glovebox can't be locked, and if you were to opt to keep your phone to charge via the 12V socket, the box would have to be kept open on the go because there's not enough space for your phone to fit inside with the box closed. Not real deal breakers if you ask me considering the amount of fun you'll have riding this scooter, it overshadows any or all of the points I've just mentioned.
Engine and Performance:
The most outstanding feature of the Aerox is its 155cc motor. It's the same liquid cooled four-valve engine that powers the Yamaha R15. Now it's a motor that just loves to be revved. It's been tuned to produce 15pS of power and 13.9Nm of torque which makes it the most powerful scooter in this space. The Aerox's motor also features Variable Valve Actuation tech that generously distributes torque all across the powerband.
In short, performance is the Aerox's trump card. It's like no CVT scooter that's currently sold in the country. It doesn't behave like a scooter at all. A slight flick of the throttle will propel you forward with serious intent. The VVA tech distributes torque brilliantly all across the powerband. If you're travelling at 40, 60 or even 80kmph for that matter, it just takes a little flick of the wrist for this scooter to blow everything else on the road into the weeds. It's like it has some sort of underlying vendetta with every other road user on the road and it just wants to relegate everything into its rear view mirrors. Even those boy racers who pull up to you at the signal, let's just say they'll be picking your dust out of their teeth every time the lights go green. Every. Time. Just when you think that it's going to begin to wheeze and run out of steam, the Yamaha pulls out performance from its 155cc bag of tricks and takes you by surprise. It's only around the indicated 110kmph mark when it finally feels like its running out of breath. And that in its own right is phenomenal feat. It's been a while since a 'small-capacity' Yamaha made me feel this exhilarated. In fact I'd go so far as to say that the Aerox 155 is to scooters what the KTM Duke 200 was to its segment. To put it simply, the Aerox is disturbingly brilliant!
The shocking part is that when I just got my hands on the scooter and didn't really try to be at my efficient best, riding the Aerox how I'd ride it had I owned it, the Yamaha returned a very respectable 38kmpl. Once I actually did try to ride conservatively, the scooter returned an impressive 48kmpl in a combined city and highway cycle.
Ride and handling:
While it looks like a scooter, the Aerox 155 certainly doesn't behave like one. And I mean that in a good way. As you would expect from any two-wheeler that's built for speed and performance, comfort takes a step back. It's setup so stiff it'll put some other performance-focused motorcycles to shame. The normal every-day rider will find the ride quality to be very harsh but if you're of the enthusiastic sorts you'd like to rephrase the term to it being communicative. The front end isn't as light as the conventional scooter out there but then again, this isn't your average scooter at all. Not by a long shot. It's easy to get used to quick turn-ins. One tricky bit about the scooter is with regard to the knee room it has to offer. It is quite tight with this scooter in this regard and I who am 5'9 just snug with all my riding gear on. If you're 6-feet in height chances are you'll hurt yourself if you hit a bump at speed. Also, you can pretty much rule out the possibility of safely about charging your phone on the go ot you'll hit your knee on the glovebox flap and send your phone flying into oblivion if you're not extremely careful. The 14-inch wheels clad in 110/80 section (f) and 140/80 (r) reads provide a commendable level of traction.
To sum it up in short, is the Yamaha Aerox 155 as comfortable a scooter to ride around on as the average commuter scooter? No it isn't. But then again, this isn't your average commuter scooter. It's all about a fun ride experience and looking good while you have a go. Is it practical scooter to own? Well, that depends on your definition of practicality. It's got some phone connectivity options, an external fuel filler cap, a generous boot space, decent seating accommodation, and more. Does it have the capacity to cripple you if you're not too careful or just tall for that matter? Yes, indeed it does. Is it worth buying and owning? Yes it is, worth every penny! If you're looking to the market for a scooter that primarily focusses on performance, you don't have many options to choose from. Before the Aerox came around you only had the option of a couple of scooters from the Piaggio umbrella. But now that the Aerox is here, and it's given us a more powerful albeit a little more expensive option. Considering the amount of Aprilia SR and SXR scooters I've seen flying about in the cities, there are definitely takers for this breed of performance-focused scooters. And as a complete, sporty package, it looks like Yamaha definitely have a winner on its hands with the Aerox 155.
Starts Rs 1,29,000