Monday, 20 July 2015 08:00

Aprillia SR Max 300

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It's powered by a four-valve, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected single with only 16kW of power, so it's not exactly a "GT. sports/touring styled motorcycle". And while it has a 155mm longer wheelbase than the Sport City 300, it's still no maxi scooter.

However, it does have big 15-inch wheels, a solid double-cradle steel frame and a sophisticated suspension system from a larger scooter. Up front is a 35mm traditional telescopic fork with a hydraulic shock absorber and on the back are twin three-position adjustable spring preload shock absorbers.

DESIGN
This scoot oozes Italian flair with taught lines, sporting heritage in the graphics, a compact nose and bold silver grille between the dynamic twin headlights. Even the boys on their sportsbikes gave me a nod as I rode past.

There is a big screen and a generous saddle with lumber support for the rider and big handles for the pillion. Under the seat is enough room for two open-face helmets and gloves. Our test scoot was white, but there is also a "factory red" model which is race inspired with the livery derived from the RSV4 Factory.

SAFETY
There is no ABS, but the brakes are strong with a 260mm disc up front and 240mm at the rear, not a drum. The 15-inch wheels prevent the familiar bump steer of most scooters and the wide tyres are tubeless.

RIDING
I went nowhere near emptying the 15.5-litre fuel tank which at 3L/100km is good for about 500km range. I also went nowhere near getting saddle sore or sick of this ride. It may only have 16kW of power, but it has instant torque and enough acceleration for all traffic duties and also for pulling out of low-speed corners or roundabouts.

It will hit 60km/h in about six seconds and 100km/h in a shade under 10. A pillion or a hill doesn't seem to make too big a dent on its performance, either.

This scoot may not increase the pulse rate of a sportsbike rider but it did startle a few when I rounded them up in the tight and twisty sections of my favourite mountain pass. The 15-inch wheel, grippy rubber and sophisticated suspension make it quick through corners while the longer wheelbase provides stability at high speeds.

The indicated top speed in the on-board computer reads 142km/h and while I didn't set it, I have no reason to dispute it. This scoot will travel comfortably at legal highway speeds all day. I found the screen a bit short for me, but it is wide and gives plenty of cold morning protection.