The scooters account for one-third of the total two-wheeler sales in India now. That’s significant growth from the 11% share in 2011. While India’s Honda has been behind the growing popularity of scooters so far with its Activa, the next wave will be far from the utilitarian approach taken by the Japanese two-wheeler maker. The new launches will not only bear larger engine displacement but also popularise maxi-scooters in the country.
Here are the top 5 upcoming scooters in India in 2020-21:
1. 2020 Honda Forza 300
While the previous iteration of the premium automatic scooter was limited to just 4 units, the 2020 Honda Forza 300 will be possibly sold in larger volumes. This tourer-centric scooter is powered by a 279 cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, SOHC four-valve engine which can squeeze out 25 PS of power and 27.2 Nm of torque.
The Honda Forza 300 gets an on-the-fly electronically adjustable windscreen which has a range of 140 mm. Also, the automatic scooter is fitted with smart key fob, 15-inch aluminium alloy wheel, Honda Selectable Torque Control.
We expect the BS-VI compliant Honda Forza 300 to be priced between INR 6.5 lakh and INR 7 lakh (both prices ex-showroom).
2. Hero AE-29
Hero Electric will be entering the high-speed electric scooter segment with the AE-29. Showcased first in concept form at Delhi Auto Expo 2020, it's not as advanced as the Bajaj Chetak, Ather 450X and the TVS iQube. However, the Hero AE-29 might compensate that with accessibility in terms of pricing.
The Hero AE-29 concept has a 1 kW electric motor powered by a 48-volt, 3.5 kWh lithium-ion battery. This setup helps the Hero it reach a top speed of 55 km/h and go up to 80 km on a full charge. This is a significant improvement for Hero Electric as a brand as most of its portfolio has a top speed capping of 40 km/h. Fully charging the battery takes a comfortable 4 hours.
This will be Hero Electric’s first smart scooter and will be backed by IOT technology. It will feature a digital instrument cluster with Bluetooth connectivity. However, the display is still not up to the mark in comparison to the other premium electric scooters available in the market.
Other features include LED headlamp, geo-fencing, anti-theft alarm and a nifty pillion backrest. Brakes are drum at both ends. The thin telescopic fork up front does not inspire much confidence. Let’s hope Hero Electric uses a slightly beefier setup in the production model.
We expect the Hero Electric AE-29 to cost around INR 70,000 (ex-showroom).
3. Suzuki Burgman 150
One of the most anticipated products from Suzuki this year is a bigger capacity version of their popular maxi-scooter Burgman Street 125. This new scooter, the Suzuki Burgman 150, will look similar to the small capacity cousin but will possibly have different colour options and decals.
In terms of powertrain, the Japanese two-wheeler maker may use a re-bored version of their 125 cc mill which does duty in maxi-scooter as well as the Suzuki Access 125. We expect the upcoming Suzuki Burgman Street 150 to dish out around 12 PS of power to make it competitive to the existing crop of 150 cc and 160 cc scooters by the Italians (Vespa and Aprilia).
Suzuki’s new flagship scooter will get all the bells and whistles including the likes of LED headlamp, digital instrumentation, and hopefully a taller windshield. Also, we would love to see if Suzuki follows the trend and introduces connected instrumentation.
4. Aprilia SXR 160
The Aprilia SXR 160 maxi-scooter will be the company’s flagship model which will help it rival the upcoming Suzuki Burgman Street 150. It flaunts typical maxi-scooter characteristics with sporty and aggressive design.
The triple headlight setup of the Aprilia SXR 160 is something that only Aprilia could flawlessly pull off. While it gets mean and angry looks, the front apron of the maxi-scooter is quite simple and features some graphics and minimal chrome embellishments. Cycle parts will be shared with the Aprilia SXR 125 save for ABS instead of CBS.
Powering the Aprilia SXR 160 will be the same engine as the Aprilia SR 160. The 160 cc fuel-injected, three-valve engine delivers 11 PS of power and 11.6 Nm of torque.
The Aprilia SXR 160 is expected to be launched with the SXR 125 and will carry a sticker price around INR 1.25 lakh (ex-showroom).
5. Aprilia SXR 125
The Italians sure do know style. Aprilia is set to introduce a 125 cc variant of its maxi-scooter which it had unveiled at Delhi Auto Expo 2020. The Aprilia SXR 125 will look identical to the SXR 160, save for maybe a decal job.
Rivaling the Suzuki Burgman Street 125, the Aprilia SXR 125 will likely be pricey maxi-scooter. It will use the BS6 version of the current Aprilia SR 125's 125 cc single-cylinder, three-valve unit that produces 9.5 PS of power and 9.9 Nm of torque in the BS4 version.
Features will include a digital instrumentation, LED headlamp, and a tinted windshield. The instrumentation will have smartphone connectivity as seen in the Vespa and Aprilia range of scooters already on sale in the country. Also, the Aprilia SXR 125 will have a telescopic front suspension, front disc brake, large seat and CBS (combined braking system).
The Aprilia SXR 125 is expected to be launched in September this year with a price tag around INR 1 lakh (ex-showroom).