Published on June 26th, 2022 | by Boris0
2022 APRILIA SRGT REVIEW – “IS JOINING THE MAFIA AN OPTION?”
I approach scooters with equal measures of hilarity and terror. Especially these smaller ones, and this one, the Aprilia SRGT, is 125cc. Actually, I need to confess this is the smallest-capacity scooter I have ever ridden. Prior to this, my descent into hilarious terror was capped at 300cc.
Please understand I have a great deal of respect for the big scooters. You only have to ride Aprilia’s insane SRV850 or Yamaha’s beaut TMAX to understand why.
But this smaller stuff? OK, I get it. As my brother Nick Cruth observed: “They great when you’re drunk, helmetless, live in Naples, and your girlfriend is an Italian hottie…”
I’m not, I don’t, and I have none of that. But I understand, just as you will if you go, how much sense scooters make if you live in a cramped European city, are able to ride at the age of 14, and you don’t mind kissing a girl whose mouth tastes like cheap Chianti.
Does this understanding render me incapable of sitting in objective judgement upon Aprilia’s SRGT? Not at all. Just watch me. You can decide for yourself if the SRGT is what you might enjoy fanging around a crowded urban environment.
Firstly, Aprilia (Piaggio) knows how to build scooters. It’s the Valentino Rossi of scooter-making. In Italy, Mafia wars are conducted almost entirely off the back of scooters, children are sired, police are evaded, and they are generally much loved by hot-blooded Europeans for their ease-of-use, insane fuel economy, and overall practicality.
Here in Australia, we look down our noses at scooters and those who ride them, because we see ourselves as way too manly for such things. But I’m sure you’ve noticed our cities are getting far more crowded, the traffic is getting heavier, and more and more people are actually choosing to live in or every near the actual CBDs.
It’s an environment where scooters excel. It’s also an environment where electric vehicles will find a strong foothold. So that’s the prism you must see scooters through, I reckon.
I also reckon the SRGT is the first scooter I’ve seen that doesn’t look like it belongs in Barbie’s dollhouse. It actually has handlebars, and they sit behind what is an unmistakable Aprilia “face” (that’s the front of the bike, sweetie), so it’s quite a devilishly handsome thing. A man could ride it and not feel his manhood to be overly imperilled.
The riding of the SRGT should – and will perforce – largely take place in an urban environment, but – and this is important – it’s made in a way that allows it to cope better with the rubbish that passes for our roads. It has longer-travel suspension (120mm up front, and 102mm at the back) than any other scooter in this class (and the class above it, in fact), and the tyres are jazzy enough to deal with an uncertain surface, but hang on just fine on smooth bitumen. And it’s wheels aren’t those tiny fall-into-potholes bastards on scooters of this capacity, either.
It makes 11Kw at 8750 and squeezes out some 12Nm of torque at 6500rpm. Yes, I realise a motorcyclist will look at these numbers and blink in blank-eyed incomprehension. Off you go, champion. This is not the droid you’re looking for.
But people who are looking for this droid will be pleased to know it sips two-litres of fuel for every 100km. This is a good thing now and will be a better thing when petrol hits three dollars a litre before Christmas. It has a nine-litre tank, so you’ll be able to do some 450km before you have to dance another sexy dance for the petrol station man.
So it’s automatic, of course, and seamless from what I can tell. It also has this thing where the engine shuts off when you come to a halt. It starts up again (entirely smoothly and with no starter motor clunk) as soon as you twist the throttle. This is a fuel-saving thingo, just like in all the new cars which turn themselves off when you stop.
I hate this. Like, deeply. I hate it in cars and I especially hate it in a 125cc scooter. Entirely new depths of terror were plumbed as I rode over the West Gate Bridge in Peak Hour – a crawling stop-start affair. In this situation I need and want my bike to always be on. It makes me feel better about stuff.
Aprilia must know this in its bones, and it offers an option. There are people like me who want their vehicle to always be on even when they’re not moving. A drag race may be called for at any second, or something. So a man can turn this auto-stop thing off with a button on the SRGT. And I did just that after first confirming that yes, the re-start was smooth and trouble-free as I was asked to confirm. I need my bikes to be on all the time, OK? Let’s move on.
I belted it around a go-kart track for a few hours, which was fun, in a strange and almost shameful way. And it went around corners probably better than most scooters. I would need to ride a few more to make a more authoritative call on that, but it didn’t do anything weird. I was hosed quite effectively by Kaz, a beaut lady who is Cam Donald’s missus. She weighs maybe half of what I do, and possibly less, and rides like a demon. So there was that.
Weight is clearly a factor when you’re on a 125 scooter. You bigger folks need to be aware of this. But, and this is very important, the suspension was really excellent. The rear is adjustable for pre-load, but my 110kg didn’t need any of that. It felt very non-scooter like in that area, because the suspension on small scooters is usually rather…um, frail.
What I also liked was that you could put your feet into three different places. You could do the traditional I’m A Nice Girl possie with your knees together, your pencil-skirt snug, and your Jimmy Choos side-by-side in a most lady-like fashion. Or you could move your thighs apart, and your feet under you, like a bike. Or, if you were feeling a bit zesty, like those fine and honourable killers on that beaut Italian Mafia TV show Gomorrah, you could plonk your feet on the pillion pegs, and go the full rat.
And there you have it. My first, and possibly last, 125cc scooter review. Despite that, I’m sure Aprilia will sell a heap of them. And rightly so. They are a very classy and well-built iteration of what is for me, an alien life-form.