In the 1980s, when the first Indo-Jap collaborations shook up the Indian two-wheeler industry with a range of zippy, lithe 100 cc two-stroke motorcycles, Yamaha India was known for its performance motorcycles. The iconic Yamaha RD 350, and the Yamaha RX-100 cemented Yamaha’s image as a manufacturer of performance bikes in a market. In the four-stroke era, Yamaha has had some success with products like the Yamaha FZ series premium commuter motorcycles, as well as the Yamaha YZF-R15. But in the scooter segment, Yamaha has not had many exciting products. That is, until now, with the new Yamaha Aerox 155!
Yamaha calls it a maxi-styled ‘sports’ scooter, and the new Yamaha Aerox 155 sits in a unique position in the Indian scooter market. Powered by a 155 cc engine derived from the Yamaha YZF-R15, the Aerox 155 has sharp looks which complement its sporty intent. Does it have the qualities to shake up the ‘performance-oriented’ entry-level scooter segment? We swing a leg over the new Aerox 155 and realise that it does have all the qualities to make Yamaha India stand out in the scooter segment.
Design & Features
The Yamaha Aerox 155 has a striking design, and definitely has road presence. With a central spine running high along the floorboard, which isn’t flat, space is limited. You need to mount it like a motorcycle, swinging a leg over it. This isn’t something of a deal breaker, but gets some time to get used to. For riders of lower than average height, this could be a spot of bother.
There’s limited floorboard space, to carry groceries or hang a couple of bags there, but enough space for your feet. The x-shaped design of the central spine looks quite good in profile, but stepping your feet through is extremely difficult.
There are LED lights front and rear, but no LED turn indicators, but you do have the option of installing accessory LED turn indicators for around ₹ 1,750. Underseat storage is 24.5 litres and still won’t store a full-face helmet, but you can squeeze it in, with the helmet flipped up, crown side down, if you aren’t bothered about scratches on your lid. But there’s no LED light inside the storage space, or a USB charging socket. On the inside of the front apron though, there’s a small glove compartment, with a charging socket.
There’s an LCD instrument console, with even a rev counter, and there’s adequate information on display, including odometer, trip meter and fuel consumption read-outs. Bluetooth connectivity is offered through the Yamaha Motorcycle connect app, with features like parked location, fuel consumption tracker, malfunction notification and call alerts, but sadly doesn’t feature turn-by-turn navigation.
Engine & Performance
Performance is the Yamaha Aerox 155’s strong suit! On the move, there’s no instant surge of power from the get-go, but once you get moving, you realise the Aerox 155 is quite quick! Acceleration is linear and triple digit speeds are reached without any effort, and in no time. In the city, there’s ample power to keep ahead of other two-wheeled commuters from stop light to stop light. And out on the highway, it settles into a steady cruise, with more than enough performance to maintain decent highway speeds, and some more.
The 155 cc single-cylinder, four-valve engine is derived from the Yamaha YZF-R15, and it features variable valve actuation (VVA). So, there’s plenty of smooth power across the rev range. We clocked a top speed of over 110 kmph quite easily, and given enough real estate, it should easily go beyond 115 kmph. On the Aerox 155, the engine has been tuned to make 14.8 bhp at 8,000 rpm, and 13.9 Nm at 6,500 rpm. The radiator on the side underscores the liquid-cooling system, the first for any small displacement scooter sold in India.
Ride, Handling & Ergonomics
Ride quality is stiff, not uncomfortable, but somewhat stiff to complement its sporty handling. When a curve comes ahead, it retains its composure, and is up for some spirited riding across a twisty road, quite like a motorcycle. Overall, it’s well-balanced, and stable, both in a straight line and around corners, and there’s always ample power on tap. What could have been slightly better is the feel from the brakes; the 230 mm front disc brake with ABS, and 130 mm rear drum offer adequate stopping power, but a twin disc set-up, as well as better brake calipers would certainly have been welcome.
The seat is wide and comfortable, but knee room is at a premium. For my height (just under 5’10”), there’s no problem, but for someone over 6 feet, knee room could feel slightly cramped, if not uncomfortable. The pillion seat is also like a motorcycle, positioned higher up, and it’s going to take some time getting used to mounting it. And the lack of any grab rails or anything for the pillion rider to hold on to, will be a point of contention, if you do intend to ride it two-up very often.
All the negatives you will soon forget, as soon as you fire up the Aerox 155 and go for a ride. Yes, it’s that good! The Yamaha Aerox 155 isn’t what you’d call an affordable, or practical, everyday scooter. In terms of fuel consumption, it returned 33-34 kmpl during our test ride which mostly involved hard riding. With a steady right hand, the Aerox 155 should definitely return upwards of 40 kmpl easily under everyday use.
But if it’s performance and handling you’re looking for, the Aerox 155 offers a level of enjoyment and thrill, possibly not offered by any other scooter under 160 cc on sale right now. Priced at ₹ 1.29 lakh (Ex-showroom), the Yamaha Aerox 155 could well be counted amongst the very best scooters available in the market right now! So, go ahead, take a test ride, if it’s a performance-oriented scooter you’re looking for!