Gone are the days when the good-old Honda Activa was about the only option you had in the Indian scooter market. Automatic scooters in India have been witnessing a continuous rise in demand and as the trend goes, performance oriented scooters are also gaining traction in the country. Currently dominating the segment with their Aprilia SR 150, the Piaggio owned brand has made quite a reputation in the market. However, the launch of Suzuki Burgman last year saw the maxi-scooter segment in India gaining its first entry after a long time. Now there are reports coming in that Piaggio is developing its very own 160cc maxi-scooter to challenge the dominance of Burgman in the segment.
Maxi-scooters are rider-centric, that is they focus more on the riding experience and comfort of the riders rather than the performance and mileage part of the equation. Suzuki has tasted quite the success after launching its Burgman Street 125 in India. The maxi-scooter has appealed to the price and mileage conscious Indian market. Now sources in the scooter industry have revealed that looking at the success that Burgman has achieved, Piaggio wants to hitch on the same wagon and is already working on its own maxi-scooter for India.
The reports indicate that the Aprilia 160 Maxi Scooter has been developed in Italy and Indian engineers have given their valuable input in developing the new scooter. The reports also further suggest that the design of the scooter is inspired from Piaggio’s MP3 range while keeping the needs of Indian scooter customers in mind. This could mean that the new maxi scooter from Piaggio could very well come with lights on the apron and cushioning on the back seat, and various other features that are found on the MP3 line-up of scooters from the brand.
As far as the mechanicals of the new maxi-scooter are concerned, it will share the 155 cc engine and gearbox found on SR 150 and comply with upcoming BS-VI norms. This means that the new maxi scooter could develop around 10 Bhp and 11.4 Nm of power. However, the company may change the tuning of the 155cc SR 150 engine so that it matches the maxi-scooter’s persona. The reason behind the new maxi-scooter carrying the 160 badge despite featuring the 155cc engine could be the brand trying to distinguish its from its other models such as SR 150 or Vespa.
It is not just Piaggio that has been piqued by the success of Burgman, the Japanese brand Yamaha too is working on launching the N-Max 150 cc maxi-scooter in India. Looking at Burgman, and the upcoming offerings from Yamaha and Piaggio, the future of Indian maxi-scooter customer appears loaded with options.