The Indian traffic, be it in the Metro cities, or the smaller towns is chaotic. Very, very chaotic! A small ride for grocery shopping seems more like a war than anything else. Add to it the woes of using the clutch and gear and suddenly the variomatics, or the scooterettes seem like heaven descended angels.
The automatic scooter(scooterette) market is dominated by the Honda Activa and the Honda Dio. Other manufacturers have tasted little success but none have been able to dethrone the Hondas. Suzuki though hit a jackpot with the 125cc Access – it easily pulled in customers tired of waiting for a Honda product and most importantly, the 125cc engine felt lot punchier and peppier than the 110cc unit of the Hondas. Realising further potential of this segment, the Japanese manufacturer (Suzuki here) decided to pull up its socks and launch the Suzuki Swish125. Showcased at the AutoExpo in Delhi, earlier this year, the Swish runs on the same platform as the Access but with a funkier and more importantly, a younger visual appeal.
Gaadi.com rode the all new Swish 125 and here is the detailed rider impression:
The Suzuki Swish125 is a funky and trendy looking scooterette and seems to have done everything right, which the Access could not. While the Access was a commuter, big look scooter, the Swish is clearly accentuated towards the younger generation. The design is almost neutral and would appeal to both the sexes. Top points for Suzuki on this!
The Swish125 is neither too big, nor too small looking. The panels are clean and have both sharp lines and neat curves. The dual colour options just add more appeal to the already young looking scooter. The sharp front headlight and the clear lens indicators give the scooter a premium feel. The plastics are of top quality and the switchgear console feels very upmarket. The Swish is available in 5 colours namely; TritonBlue/Sparkle Black(dual colour), Pearl Mirage White, Sparkle Black, Pearl Mira Red, Metallic Flint Grey.
The Access was known to be a keen performer and the 125cc engine does put a smile on the face every time the throttle is wrung. The same engine does duty here and produces a decent maximum power of 8.5bhp(@7,000rpm) and a maximum torque of 9.5Nm(@5,000rpm). This means that the low and mid-range of the scooter is brilliant and it pulls up effectively even with a pillion on.
The empty stretches of the road were covered in a jiffy and the Swish managed to reach its top speed of approximately 90kmph with 0-60kmph coming up in around 8seconds. Although the scooterette struggled a bit to go beyond 70kmph with a pillion, most users wouldn’t really go this fast, owing to the general usage of automatic scooters. The Swish handles amazingly well and is stable even at high speeds. The Swish comes with 120mm drum brakes on both the wheels and they are more than enough to provide it with adequate stopping power. We however feel that given the speeds it can manage, a front disc should be provided as an option.
The Swish125 returned a decent fuel efficiency of around 42-43kmpl and the 6litre fuel tank would be enough for a couple of trips to the college and the coffee shop.
This is one department where the Swish truly shines. Im 5'8" and the Swish just felt perfect. The reach to the handlebars is comforting and the riding posture is very relaxed. The seat is huge and cushiony and I didn't feel stressed even after riding the Swish for over one hour and a stretch. The pillion rider was happy too and the large aluminium grabrails were a boon to him.
The suspension is well setup and the front telescopic forks do not give up even after being tortured with potholes. Also, the 160mm ground clearance means that the potholes and the speed breakers are covered with elan without touching the underbelly of the scooterette.
The Swish weighs at around 110kgs and is very light and flickable. I came to know about its exceedingly well flickability when we were stuck in a chaotic traffic jam. The short turning radius and the light front end meant that we were out of the jam is no time (the responsive engine makes such antics a breeze!).
The Swish has a front opening mechanism for the seat and this is very convenient for fuel re-fuelling. The Swish comes with the general basic features like an electric start, main stand and an underseat storage that can store in a modular helmet.
It is never easy to dethrone a king – the Activa being the subject of mention here. It has been selling like a hot cake for donkey years but the Access did put up a good fight. The Swish simply improves on all accounts and looks like a serious threat to the Activa. It does almost everything that the Activa does but with more power. If Suzuki manages to market the Swish well and widens its sales / service network, they might have a winner at hand. The Swish 125 is light, flickable, comfortable and powerful and can easily give the competitors a run for their money.
The only thing lacking would be a list of features that include a disk brake upfront, front fuel filling mechanism and a digital speedo console but then again, I think I am asking too much!
That said, the other attributes of the scooter more or less cover up for the missing features. The Swish125 would be a major consideration if I am personally on the lookout for a powerful gearless scooter in the market.