Yamaha Aerox 155 review, review

Yamaha made a pretty courageous decision by launching the Aerox 155 in India. Is our market ready for this 155cc maxi scooter?

Not so long ago, a 150cc motorcycle was considered a performance motorcycle in India; today, a 650cc twin is an hourly observation in the subways. With scooters, too, the market has evolved from a preference for smaller 100cc and 110cc scooters to the acceptance and adoption of larger 125cc scooters. We even saw 150cc and 160cc sports scooters from Aprilia, but these were powered by fairly basic 3-valve, air-cooled engines. Is the Indian market ready to accept a genuine 155cc liquid cooled sports scooter? Well, Yamaha is about to find out, with their recently launched Aerox 155 maxi-sport scooter.

DESIGN

The Aerox innovates in the scooter segment, not only with a liquid-cooled engine, but also with its design. Its step-by-step format means it immediately stands out from the ocean of flat floors in India, and while it’s a unique form factor, it’s also sure to prove prohibitive for many buyers looking for a more practical machine. But even those who aren’t in the market for it will find it hard to deny that the Aerox is a super cool thing.

With a beautifully sculpted body and nasty-looking LED headlights, the Aerox has a perfectly nasty fairing to go with its sporting intent. 14-inch wheels at both ends wrapped in extra thick tires, a meaty exhaust system and twin shocks at the rear add to the substance, and the Aerox has a lot of presence on our roads, contradicting its weight at 126 kg thin vacuum.

When this presence draws you to take a closer look, you will find some room for improvement. Some areas like the switchgear and bodywork are quite pleasant to the touch, especially the double-layered bodywork on either side of the lower apron. But other areas, like the fragile fuel-filler hatch, passenger footrests that don’t rest against the bodywork, and uneven floor mats don’t feel quite up to the mark. There are inconsistent panel gaps and closed lines on the scooter as well, and Yamaha would do well to fix those flaws, given Aerox’s position in the market.

Despite all its volume, it is not the most spacious scooter on the market. Of course, there is no luggage space on the floor, but even space for your feet is scarce. The design of the front apron means that it constantly fouls the knees of taller riders, and you can’t step back too far in the seat due to the prominent step on it. In this situation, you might even injure your knees if you hit a bump hard.

One area where there is an abundance of space, however, is under the seat. With the fuel tank moved to that prominent spine section, you get a generous 24.5 liters of space under the seat. But with only 5.5 liters, the fuel tank is certainly smaller for a scooter with these kind of references.

CHARACTERISTICS

The Aerox occupies a fairly high-end market position, and while it’s not as loaded to the gills as a high-end electric scooter, it still packs its fair share of features. The tail light joins the headlights by being an LED unit (the LED turn signals are an optional extra at Rs 1,490 a pair), and you get fully digital instrumentation as well. We’re happy to report that LED headlights on mainstream two-wheelers are getting better and better, and the Aerox’s unit also performs quite well, with good brightness and diffusion. The digital cluster also displays a lot of information, with the usual data related to the journey and fuel consumption as well as a VVA indicator and tachometer.

Bluetooth connectivity is part of the kit, but like most other Yamaha systems in India, the functionality is quite limited. You don’t get on-screen navigation instructions or controls for playing music, but you get call and text alerts, and can also check your last parking spot and use your cell phone as auxiliary dashboard for the scooter, among other things.

Thanks to the location of the fuel tank, filling is, of course, external, and you do not need to get out of the vehicle during fuel stops. The opening of the flap is also quite transparent, thanks to a multi-functional key slot. To help reduce the frequency between these openings, Yamaha has also added an excellent stop and start system. The set is completed with a small compartment at the rear of the apron which includes a DC charging port, single-channel ABS and a side stand cut-off function.

It should be noted that the Aerox, which conforms to Indian specs, lacks keyless operation, which the international version gets. Many international markets also receive preload adjustable gas shocks as standard, while the Indian Aerox has to settle for non-adjustable shocks, with gas units being offered as an option that will cost you Rs 17,024.

PERFORMANCE

Okay, the heart of the matter. A heart that has been transplanted, because the Aerox’s 155cc 4-valve, liquid-cooled engine is quite heavily derived from the R15 engine and even benefits from VVA technology just like its sportsbike sibling. It might have lost a few ponies compared to the R15, but it’s still one of the fastest scooters in the country. The Aerox doesn’t quite have that instant rear kick you get from an EV, but once it starts up it’s properly fast and very linear, and doesn’t lose speed until ‘until the counter displays three digits. There isn’t much else in the scooter segment that can follow.

With healthy power (by scooter standards) of 15 hp, of course, it feels great around town, effortlessly grabbing gaps in traffic and shortening the distances between stop lights. But it’s just as comfortable on the highway, maintaining smooth speeds of 90 to 100 km / h. You even have a little bit of reserve for overtaking, even if you reach the end of its performance at this point. The highest we saw was 117 km / h indicated, and even at that speed the engine was absolutely smooth and refined, just like it does throughout the rev range. The throttle response is also nice and crisp, which helps you feel connected to the scooter, but without going so far as to get hectic or too impatient in city traffic.

But performance and refinement are two things you expect from this engine. What you might not expect is the excellent fuel efficiency it can deliver when you’re careful. Of course, when you’re riding hard, the efficiency drops well below the 40 kpl mark. But when you take it down a notch, things improve dramatically. The simple grunt of this one means you don’t need to use very large throttle openings to move around, and when driven with a careful right hand, the Aerox can even deliver up to 50 kpl in town. On the highway, at a steady 65-70 km / h cruising speed, you should get even more!

Part of the Aerox’s stellar fuel efficiency in town is due to its excellent stop and start system. Barely has the front fork finished bouncing after stopping, and the engine has already been killed. And even when you’re caught napping when the signal turns green, the Aerox has you going, bringing the engine to life in an instant when you turn the throttle, thanks to a built-in starter generator.

If there is one fault with this motor, it is the sound. The exhaust note is pretty ordinary, and a sportier soundtrack to go along with the rest of its sporty nature would have gone a long way to elevate the experience.

DRIVING AND HANDLING

Handling is another area where the Aerox is a massive departure from most of the scooters we get in India. Compared to the light, fast scooters we’re used to riding, the Aerox feels noticeably heavier and requires some effort to switch around corners. The advantage of this, however, is unruffled stability and poise. No matter what speed or lean angle you find yourself in, this scooter is safe and unwavering, generously nurturing your confidence. It holds the line perfectly, and stability and heavy steering are two functions of the large 14-inch wheels and wide tires. In fact, the Aerox almost looks like a motorcycle in the corners.

Pleasantly, the heaviness of the handling is less noticeable at low speed, and the Aerox is quite manoeuvrable in town. It’s more like its 126kg curb weight at low speeds, there are plenty of steering locks available, and even though its 790mm seat height is slightly higher than most scooters, it’s still quite accessible. .

However, all of this handling performance comes at the expense of ride quality. Unlike most gasoline scooters in India which use a single shock absorber, the Aerox has two shock absorbers at the rear and they are installed on the firmer side. The front fork is nice enough, but the shocks have a definite advantage, so the ride is definitely not what you would call plush or comfortable. But at the same time, it’s not hard or shocking either. At high speeds or on smooth pavement, there is nothing to complain about, but rushing over bumps at city speed is not the most pleasant affair. If you want a little more comfort, Yamaha offers KYB gas shock absorber accessories with preload adjustment.

But one area where there are no accessories to correct faults is braking. The 230mm front disc brake offers about adequate braking performance, but could do with a bit more feel and modulation at the lever. The real problem, however, is at the rear, where the 130mm drum brake seems really weak. A rear disc brake would go a long way on this scooter, and it’s something we think should be offered, at least as an option.

VERDICT

Yamaha made a pretty courageous decision by releasing the Aerox 155 in India, because it’s not the kind of scooter that’s going to set the sales charts on fire. And Yamaha probably knows it too. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the potential to be a success on its own. It allows fast and convenient urban transport, thanks to a powerful engine and the ease of a CVT. It’s also more practical than a motorcycle, thanks to the generous storage space under the saddle. It’s also comfortable on the highway and, of course, it’s a nice scooter around the corners. If these are the things that interest you, then the Aerox should definitely be on your shopping list. At Rs 1.29 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), it’s also quite reasonable.

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