The new Aprilia SR GT 125 adventure scooters have landed in Australia, we sent Zane down to Melbourne to see how they held up to Aussie conditions... Photos: Dean Walters.
Scooters… They’re not something that get the blood pumping or your heart racing, they’re a tool to get from A to B with the least amount of hassle possible. Aprilia have broken the mundane of scooters to make the SR GT 125 less of a tool and more of a best mate.
Adventure bikes have been all the rage over the past five years, they were always some-what popular but have exploded in popularity lately. With this, manufacturers have been looking to capitalize on such exploding popularity by doing “crossover” models. Adventure scooters have been the latest models to step up onto the main stage.
Check out Zane’s review of the KYMCO DT X360 here…
It was time to head back down to Melbourne to ride my second adventure scooter within the past two months! I recently had the KYMCO DT X360 which I found an enjoyable ride, but lacked some bits that would rightfully earn the title of “adventure bike”, so my standards weren’t too high for the SR GT but I had a benchmark to look to.
Pulling up to PS Importers in the morning, they had all the brand new SR GT’s lined up out the front. They’re such an awesome looking scooter, easily in my top five of scooters currently on the market. There’s clear styling queues from Aprilia’s Tuono range, how many scooters have you seen with aggressive aero fins off the side?! Awesome!
“There’s clear styling queues from Aprilia’s Tuono range, how many scooters have you seen with aggressive aero fins off the side?! Awesome!”
There was something missing however, and it wasn’t until I got home that I noticed Australia wasn’t getting the 200, or at least for this year, a strange move on Aprilia’s part with our small cities and long travel times between major towns.
The triple LED headlights look awesome and the tail light echo’s that of a supercar, despite being made in Vietnam it still has that Italian charm to it. Aprilia have released a “Sport” model which is just a different colour scheme, but it’s only an extra $100. You’re going to need some time to think about which colour you want as they all look uniquely good. I know I would struggle… I think I’d take the Red one…. no, the Yellow… wait maybe I’d prefer the Blue one…
After a jam packed tech presentation (check out the tech break at the bottom for all the in-depth model info) it was time to throw a leg over the SR GT 125 for the first time. Finally! A key you actually put in the bike and turn, an underrated feature in today’s time. The scoot itself is super simple, the ‘bars aren’t overloaded with a stupid amount of buttons and there is a clean LCD dash that displayed all the info you need clearly. Despite there being no TFT screen, Aprilia added Bluetooth to allow riders to connect their phone to the SR GT via the MIA system. We didn’t have enough time to set this up, but most of their range shares the same system, so it’ll work great!
Popping the seat up is easy, a few scooter models make it unnecessarily hard to find the seats release but there’s just a button and it’s open! Under seat storage is pretty good for a 125, Aprilia reckon you can fit a lid under there but it’ll really depend on your helmet shape and size, an open face should have no struggles to get the seat closed with it in there. The stands were awesome, the centre-stand is easy to put the bike on and click it off. While the sidestand is smooth and secure, not leaning it over too far. Perfect for a city commuter/delivery machine!
We headed off from PS Importers to the Port Melbourne go-kart track. Kicking over the i-get single cylinder powerhouse and I had to double check that it was even on, no vibrations and barely any noise at idle. Not to mention Piaggio’s clever R.I.S.S. System (more on this in the tech talk) that uses the alternator unit to start the machine and charge while it’s running. It is a seriously quiet system, no coughs and long crank time for the little engine either.
It had been years since I’d ridden a 125cc scooter, I’d forgotten how light and easy they are to ride. Obviously, you can’t expect too much in terms of power but Aprilia say they’ve managed to top their competitors in terms of power, getting the max amount on kW’s out of the SR GT that’s allowed for the European regulations for this class, making 10.8kW@8750rpm. Making linear power meant you could just twist the throttle on all the way, all the time.
I’m the sort of rider that keeps an eye on the lights like a hawk, taking off as soon as it goes green and is safe rather than fussing around in the car like everyone else seems to do. With this, I’ve found myself switching off the start/stop system in every car and scooter I’ve tested that has it, they’ve all just been far too slow. The SR GT was a different story, the R.I.S.S. wasn’t noticeable when pulling up to a red light, it takes no time at all to restart the bike and you just have to twist the throttle and go! Although, I’m not sure how much fuel/emissions it would save, seems almost pointless on such a small machine.
After dodging the Melbourne peak hour traffic, we rocked up at Port Melbourne Go Kart track just in time for the rain to hold off. Time to see what the RS GT could do when thrashing it. First thing I noticed was how the relatively soft suspension tackled heavy braking without diving too hard up at the front. In-fact the suspension as a whole is good.
The front and rear suspension are both SHOWA and you can really tell, it’s a comfortable and responsive ride. It doesn’t feel like it’s going to bottom out but doesn’t feel like you’re trying to steer the titanic, a happy and alert middle ground.
“The front and rear suspension are both SHOWA and you can really tell, it’s a comfortable and responsive ride.”
It didn’t take long before I was testing the limits of what this little machine could do. It also didn’t take long before I met the ground. It’s been a while since I had crashed, let alone on a media bike, but I had misjudged how far I could crank the little moped over, the centre-stand grabbed, rear wheel came off the track and next thing I know me and this brand new SR GT were sliding down the track.
Usually I wouldn’t mention a crash in a test but I have to give the Aprilia some praise for how it handled it, almost nothing was damaged, just a scrape on the lower plastic and some scuffs on the bar end and stands. It didn’t freak out from being on it’s side, the engine didn’t take a hit and the bars didn’t even bend! Even more learner friendly than originally thought. At no other times during the day did I feel like the bike couldn’t handle what I was throwing at it. To be honest, you’re not going to have the scooter cranked over when commuting.
Braking could be improved. Australian regulations require that all bikes 125cc and under must have at least a CBS (combined braking system) which Aprilia opted for instead of ABS, a real shame as I believe lever feeling could’ve been heavily improved with the use of ABS. Front brakes are vague despite the scooter’s minimal weight but the left lever which puts on both the front and rear was decent. It was pretty easy to lock the rear up by slamming the combined lever on, fun on the track but not what you really want in an emergency braking situation.
We didn’t get a long chance to take the SR GT off road, but PSI did mention that Aprilia had more of a focus on making the SR GT easier to hop up gutters and go down gravel roads to make deliveries easier for the rider. But on the gravel road around the kart track, the Aprilia was compliant and handles the loose surface with ease. It didn’t feel overly stiff and heavy, instead the suspension soaks up the bumps without complaint. In fact, you could preload the suspension and bunny hop it off bumps! It felt like scooter with mountain bike suspension on it.
Tyre grip is awesome, there isn’t really enough power to really get the rear spinning on the dirt unless you lifted the rear up and really dug the front into the ground and this is with essentially brand new hoops too. The Michelin Anakee Adventure style tyres didn’t make noise on the road and are compliant through the changing Melbourne conditions of sun, rain, sun, rain and then more rain…
The 14in front and 13in rear are the perfect choice for the SR GT 125. Allowing manoeuvrability with highway stability. Tyre choice isn’t limited in these sizes either so you wont be getting stitched up with price when it comes time to change them. Also, how good do those wheels look in red? Rounds the look of the bike up nicely.
The ergonomics, for the most part, are awesome. I’m 183cm tall and struggle to feel comfortable on low-capacity machines, but I felt at home on the SR GT. The “motorcycle style” handlebars sit higher than standard scooters, allowing for a pleasant arm positioning and overall feeling of more control. The leg positioning is a little cramped for me, I can see it getting uncomfortable over a few hours of riding but my knees weren’t hitting on anything which is a surprise due to it’s size.
Overall the build quality is awesome, everything feels solid, nothing rattles and that starter system sounds like it would start within half a crank every time! The seat is super comfortable and a surprisingly wide setup given the scooter’s micro size, adding to the already stunning build quality.
It’s no doubt you’re paying a bit of that “Aprilia tax”, $7,440 for the standard colours and $7,540 for the sport colours isn’t a steal but it’s not bad either. It’d be pretty easy to fall in love with the scooter while at the dealership but for the price, you’d need to really like the look of it.
My first impressions of the 2022 Aprilia SR GT 125 are mostly positive, it’s a great looking scooter with plenty of features to keep you feeling comfortable out on the road. Like I said earlier, it’s not the fastest, it’s not the coolest but it’ll be there for you when you need it and will go anywhere you ask it to, it’s the best mate of the scooter world and something to consider if you’re in the market for a comfortable daily commuter hack with a bit of style.
Sharing it’s heart with the Piaggio/Vespa scooter line-up, the Aprilia SR GT is equipped with the most powerful 125cc engine in this class – a result made possible by a development process focussed particularly on optimising engine efficiency.
The SR GT 125 features a 125cc i-get powerhouse. The modern Euro 5-approved unit with electronic injection, four valves and liquid cooling are the product of know-how at the Piaggio Group R&D centre for scooter engines. The 125cc i-get single-cylinder is accredited with maximum power of 11kW@8750rpm and torque that reaches 12Nm@6500rpm.
Aprilia have also moved the water pump into the head to allow for a more efficient cooling system in the 125cc. More clever head design comes from the overhead cam with roller followers and anti -friction bearings significantly reduce friction losses, combined with a compact radial valve format with a high efficiency combustion chamber and long intake tract.
All models in the Aprilia SR GT range are equipped with the Start & Stop system known as RISS (Regulator Inverter Start & Stop System). The system does away with the traditional starter, which is replaced with a brushless electrical device installed directly on the crankshaft. This translates into more fuel saving, with a WMTC cycle distance of 40km/l. When active, the start stop system will automatically stop the engine whenever the vehicle comes to a halt.The engine will then automatically restart allowing the vehicle to move off the instant the throttle is reopened.
The RISS system manages the operation of the start-stop system based on a number of parameters including engine temperature, time and forward speed reached since initial engine start and in particular, the battery’s state of charge. If for example the battery’s state of charge is below a certain threshold the system will not automatically stop the engine even with the switch in the active mode.
A CBS system uses an equalizer, or multiplier, to distribute braking force appropriately between the front and rear brakes. Front and rear brake circuits are combined via a passive distribution valve that transmits 100% of front master cylinder brake pressure to the front calliper and a proportional amount of rear master cylinder brake pressure to both the rear and front brakes with a rear wheel bias
The SHOWA fork and the twin rear shocks have (respectively +22 per cent and +7 per cent) longer travel than the nearest competitor. The longer travel suspension significantly improves comfort and safety, especially in case of poor road conditions, such as when riding over potholes, manhole covers and other imperfections.
The 5-spoke design of the aluminium alloy wheels reinterprets the styling cues seen on other Aprilia products in recent years. The wheels are fitted with Michelin Anakee tyres with an “all terrain” tread pattern ideal for all road surface types, from smooth city asphalt and cobbles to gravel.
With the focus firmly on fun, the Aprilia SR GT riding position is less rearward and more “active” with respect to a traditional compact GT scooter. But the rider can adopt a different position, with their feet further forward on the footpegs, for a more relaxed riding style that is less tiring over long distances.
Standing out at the front is the full LED three-element light cluster, as well as the double fairing that is seen on their Tuono range. There is also a clear enduro influence, with the suspended windscreen and wide handlebar. The handlebar is fixed to the bike with a refined die-cast aluminium riser that bears the Aprilia logo, while the ‘bars themselves are motorcycle inspired.
The instrumentation is fully digital, the large LCD display provides all vehicle data, as well as a wide range of travel information, which can be selected with the MODE button on the left-hand control block. If the Aprilia MIA connectivity system is present, once a smartphone is connected to the vehicle via Bluetooth, the instrument panel will also display notifications regarding incoming calls and messages.
Know-how in the frame field is fully exploited by Aprilia technicians in creating the chassis. A double cradle frame in high-strength steel tubing is paired with brand-new long-travel suspension developed specifically for this model.
The front boasts a Showa fork with 33mm stanchions and 122mm of travel, 22 per cent more than that of its closest competitor, while the rear features two double-acting Showa shock absorbers with coil spring and five-position adjustable pre-load, and travel equating to 102mm, which is 7 per cent more than the competition. The 125 has a weight of just 144kg with a full tank
The Aprilia SR GT also stands out for its minimum ground clearance of 175mm. This allows the rider to easily clear any bumps in the road. All these characteristics, together with “all-terrain” tyres with a slightly knobby tread, make Aprilia SR GT extremely flexible and suited to any type of use.
The Aprilia SR GT also offers a Sport trim, which boasts grittier, more sports-oriented graphics and finishes. Aprilia SR GT is available in three colours, Aprilia Black, Street Grey and Infinity Blue, each paired with silvery grey footpegs, sides and passenger grab handles.
2022 Aprilia SR GT 125 Specifications
Price: $$7,440 ($7,540 Sport) rideaway
Colours: Aprilia Black, Street Grey and Infinity Blue (Sport available in Street Gold, Red Raceway and Iridium Grey)
Kerb weight: 144kg
Fuel capacity: 9L
Engine: i-get 125cc four stroke, single-cylinder, 4-valves, 52 x 58.7mm bore x stroke, 12.5:1 compression, EFI R.I.S.S. single throttle body, Keihin integrated throttle body.
Gearbox: CVT, Automatic
Frame: Double cradle tubular steel frame
Suspension: 33mm Showa forks with 122mm travel (f). Showa dual rear shocks with 5 preload settings.
Brakes: Hydraulic with wavy disc, 260 mm – CBS (f) Hydraulic rear.
Wheels & Tyres: Aluminium alloy 110/80 – 14in (f) 130/70 – 13 (r) Michelin Anakee
Seat height: 799mm
Ground clearance: 175mm
Instruments: LCD Dash with Aprilia MIA Bluetooth system.
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The Verdict | Australian Launch: 2022 Aprilia SR GT 125 Adventure Scooter