Say hello to the all-new Yamaha Aerox 155. What it essentially is, is a maxi-sport scooter as Yamaha calls it, with the engine of the R15. With the Aerox 155, Yamaha plans to conquer the sport scooter segment that is currently dominated by the likes of the TVS Ntorq 125 and the Aprilia SXR 160. Can the Aerox 155 with its 155cc R15-sourced engine and what seems to be a solid chassis successfully become our favourite thrill offering scooter? Read on to find out.
The Yamaha Aerox 155 is one bold looking scooter. It looks like it belongs in the MotoGP pits waiting to ferry Valentino Rossi to greet his fans. Upfront you have a massive split LED headlight setup with LED DRLs as brows above it. This setup does a good job of illuminating the road ahead of you at night. The turn signals like with the R15 V4 are still traditional bulbs and are placed on the sharply designed side body panels. The floorboard design of the Aerox is unlike other scooters on the market. Instead of a flat floorboard, you have a column that houses the fuel tank in the centre that separates the two footwells and that takes some getting used to. But that does aid in handling because of the lower centre of gravity thanks to the fuel tank being lower. The rear of the scooter continues with the sharp design with a neatly integrated LED tail lamp and that nice chunky 140-section tyre. The only sore spot while looking at the scooter from the rear are the blinkers. They’re available as an accessory but why does it not have sleeker LED blinkers as standard Yamaha?
Now if the scooter hasn’t excited you already, here is where it most definitely will. The Yamaha Aerox 155 packs in the same 155cc liquid-cooled, four-valve engine found on the Yamaha R15. The only difference being it comes mated to a CVT gearbox instead of a six-speed manual box. In the conversion to make the engine one that will work well in scooter format, i.e, adding the CVT gearbox, the engine has lost a bit of power and torque, 3.3bhp and 0.3Nm to be specific. The engine on the Aerox puts out 14.75bhp at 8000rpm and 13.9Nm at 6500rpm. Despite the lowered power outputs, it is still the most powerful scooter in its segment.
Thumb the starter and you’re greeted with a rather traditional scooter-like exhaust note, but twist the throttle and it is immediately apparent why the Aerox 155 is the most powerful scooter in the country. Well, in its segment. There is the BMW C 400 GT that makes significantly more power but it also does cost significantly more. It goes, unlike any other scooter with similar displacement. It will easily accelerate past the 100kmph mark and if you find a long enough stretch of tarmac, I think you’ll be surprised with the digits that the speedometer will throw up. The peppy engine in combination with the VVA tech from the R15 engine means that the engine almost never runs out of steam. That just makes the entire riding experience really stress-free considering you’re never hunting for the right gear and you always come out of a corner with just the right amount of drive. And corner, this bike... Erm.. scooter definitely can.
The Yamaha Aerox 155 for all the features and displacement it packs is relatively light. It tips the scales at 126kg with all fluids topped. And it does feel light on the go. The column in the footwell takes some getting used to but you have enough place to keep your feet and the riding posture is rather commanding. You sit upright and you have enough leverage with the way the handlebar is placed. Suspension duties are taken care of by 26mm forks up front and twin shocks at the rear. Overall the ride is on the stiffer side, but never uncomfortably so. That in tandem with the 14-inch wheels shod in thick rubber that is 110-section front and a 140-section rear leads to a very motorcycle-like ride. The stiffer nature does make taking taller speed breakers and undulations a little sharp but pick up the pace and the Aerox starts to wrinkle out the undulations rather well.
In terms of handling the Yamaha Aerox 155 definitely wins top honours. The combination of the taut frame, the stiff suspension and the chunky 110-section front and 140-section rear tyre translates to a scooter with motorcycle levels of handling. The Aerox is agile, quick to act on steering input and planted when cornering hard and the chunky tyres ensure that the line is held well. This whole setup is complemented extremely well by the peppy engine as well. For around Rs 17,000, Yamaha will also sell you a KYB rear shock setup if you want to take the handling of the scooter one step further.
Braking is handled by a 230mm disc up front and this does get single-channel ABS. However rear braking is handled by a 130mm drum brake and that is a bit of a bummer. The front brake is sharp and is very linear in the way braking force is applied. The ABS system is also well-calibrated and I didn’t feel it come on without reason. Rear braking however is a little compromised and feels rather spongy.
The Aerox 155 has a very smart multi-function key switch that has buttons to access the under-seat storage or the fuel filler cap. No need to struggle with turning the key wondering whether to push or pull. Speaking of the fuel filler cap, that is also located in a convenient spot — the column on the floorboard. The under-seat storage has a 24.5-litre capacity and Yamaha claims it can hold one XL sized full-face helmet plus some more stuff. It actually can, provided you keep your helmet crown side down. Then there’s also a compartment with a charger for the phone. Which will be a squeeze for the bigger phones that have now become so common.
The Aerox 155 is a feature-packed scooter. As I already mentioned this scooter gets LED lighting at both ends. Then there is a nice looking well laid-out LCD screen that packs in a bunch of information like a tachometer, trip meters, VVA indicator, fuel gauge/consumption and battery status. Apart from this, the instrument cluster is also Bluetooth enabled which displays incoming call/text notifications, app notifications and phone battery status. And the Y-connect app enables a plethora of functions like telephony, geo-tracking, malfunction notification, fuel consumption tracker, ‘Revs dashboard’ — which provides engine telemetry on your smartphone screen. Despite having all this, the Aerox 155 doesn’t get turn-by-turn navigation, a feature available in scooters that are much more affordable.
At Rs 1.29 lakh ex-showroom, the Aerox 155 is not cheap! But when you stop to think about what it brings to the table in terms of a sophisticated engine, a sorted chassis with kickass handling that can put some motorcycles to shame, a fat feature list and a brilliant overall riding experience, that price tag starts to make more sense. Now, in terms of rivals, the closest one on paper is the Aprilia SXR 160 which costs around Rs 1.26 lakh. Would I recommend this over the Aprilia? I certainly think so. It makes more power, is the better handler of the two and has more kit as well all for around Rs 4000 more. You’re also backed by the vast Yamaha dealer and service network too. So win-win. Has the Yamaha Aerox 155 managed to become our favourite sport scooter then? It might just have!