Suzuki Avenis: Old wine, new skin

Life Style

Despite its striking looks and a price that does not burn a hole in the pocket, the scooter leaves much to be desired

Despite its striking looks and a price that does not burn a hole in the pocket, the scooter leaves much to be desired

The Suzuki Access has been one of the bestselling 125cc scooters in India, thanks to a perfect blend of performance, practicality and affordability. But, one thing stopping buyers from opting for it has been its conservative design. If you are one such person, the new Suzuki Avenis may be your answer.

It is quite similar to the Access, sharing the same engine and chassis, but comes with a far sportier suit.

The most striking aspect of the new scooter and how it differs from the Access, is its design with an edgy look full of cuts and creases. Throw in a MotoGP graphics scheme and it would not look out of place in a racing paddock. It is hard, however, to ignore its similarity to the TVS NTorq in overall design language, proportions and shape.

The engine is the same 125cc motor that produces a healthy 8.7hp and 10Nm on tap.

A little extra performance would be welcome from this sportier looking scooter. It is unsurprising that the Avenis feels quite similar to the Access and the Burgman Street in terms of performance – it is quick, and feels rather zippy in the city – backing up its looks to some extent. It can also sit pretty at 70-80kph on the highway, smoothly cruising along thanks to its almost EV-rivalling levels of engine refinement.

It is not as quick as the TVS NTorq Race XP, and it is a little disappointing that it is not quicker than other scooters in Suzuki’s stable. It is a good deal more fuel efficient than the NTorq though, and delivers the excellent efficiency levels that this engine is known for.

The Avenis rides quite well and offers an absorptive suspension setup that works well and keeps you largely comfortable on Indian roads.

The Avenis, however, leaves a lot to be desired in the handling department. Perhaps Suzuki would have done well to deviate from the Access’ blueprint here, by offering a sportier riding experience to go with the racier looks and intent. The Avenis still feels rather numb and vague when leaned over, and fatter rubber with a 12-inch rear wheel would have gone a long way in inspiring some confidence. As things stand right now, there is a rather large void between the rear tyre and the bodywork, and in terms of ergonomics, ride and handling, the Avenis feels nearly identical to the Access.

What that means is you get a similarly spacious riding position with a roomy floorboard and tall handlebars that will not foul with the knees of taller riders. The seat (one of the parts that is different from the Access) is quite wide too, and overall, you are in a pretty comfortable place. It is only after a few hours of riding that your back begins to feel some pain, which is alright — this is not meant to be a cross-country tourer.

There is a good amount of storage space under the seat, and a couple of gloveboxes at the back of the apron, too, one of which features a USB charger. Like the Access, while the fuel filler is external, it has to be opened using a keyslot near the grab rail, meaning that you will have to get off the scooter to fill up.

Other features include a Bluetooth-equipped fully digital instrument console, an LED headlight and tail-lamp, and a side-stand cut-off, but the lack of a boot light is a little disappointing.

In terms of price, the standard colour option comes at ₹ 86,700 making it a few thousand rupees more expensive than the Access, but still more affordable than the Burgman and costs almost the same as the NTorq Race XP, which is a good deal quicker.

Summing up, the new Suzuki Avenis is a good scooter, but it does not offer anything new besides the design. If the Access’ looks are too understated for you and the Burgman’s design is too unconventional, then you now have the option of a scooter that is priced between those two, and offers a sporty, but not outlandish design.

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