The Suzuki Access 125 is one of the most popular scooters in India. In fact, it's more popular than the Honda Activa 125, or the TVS NTorq 125, in the 125 cc scooter segment. With the upcoming BS6 regulations coming into effect from April 1, 2020, Suzuki Motorcycle India Private Limited (SMIPL) has decided to update the Japanese brand's most popular two-wheeler in India first. And while the design and overall silhouette hasn't been given the makeover to call it all-new, there are significant enhancements, including a new fuel-injected engine.
Design & Features
Suzuki has not played around with the design of the Access 125. In fact, at first glance, there seems to be no change at all in the design and bodywork, with the same silhouette and similar dimensions. What has changed is that the headlight is a LED unit now, and the instrument console has been updated. It still is a part analogue, part digital unit, but there are some new features added to it, to justify the new generation model. To start off with, there are now two strips of LED lights surrounding the analogue speedometer, which are sort of an 'Eco' indicator; when it lights up green is to indicate that the scooter is being ridden with optimum fuel consumption.
Then there are three separate warning lights on the dash, one for a fuel injection warning, in case there's any mechanical issue there, as well as an emissions warning, which is triggered from a sensor in the exhaust. There is also oil change reminder information, two trip meters, a clock, odometer, and a fuel gauge on the digital screen. The new Access 125 now gets a multi-function ignition key, with steering lock, remote underseat hatch opening. There's also an engine start button on the right handlebar, but no engine kill switch. On the left, there's a handy USB charger point with LED lighting and cubby hole for a mobile phone or other knick knacks.
There's no pass light switch but the left switches offer high beam, low beam, turn indicators and horn switch. There's an external fuel filler lid now, so need to lift the seat every time you need to refuel, but there's no remote fuel filler lid operation, so the rider will have to get down to move to the tail section to remove the lid. The space in the underseat storage hatch has been improved, to a class-leading 22.3 litres, but it's still not enough to store a full-size helmet.
Performance, Ride and Handling
On the move, the new Access 125 BS6 feels eager from the get-go, and acceleration is brisk and eager. The state of the tune of the engine has changed, with the addition of fuel-injection. While maximum power remains the same - 8.6 bhp at 6,750 rpm, peak torque has fallen marginally, by 0.2 Nm, and now arrives 500 rpm higher in the revs. Peak torque is now rated at 10 Nm at 5,500 rpm. The numbers aren't that different, but it's definitely how the air-fuel mixture is fed, which has somewhat changed the feel on the throttle. The new Access 125 BS6 feels smoother, and more refined, and the marginal difference in power and torque figures isn't noticeable and suitably compensated by the refined fuel-injected motor.
Ride and handling remains similar, and gives no reason for complaint, in urban usage, and even on slightly broken roads. The wide and broad seat is a comfortable perch to be on, and will be welcomed by riders of different build and stature. The combined braking system (CBS) works well, and offer decent stopping power. We will, of course, recommend the front disc brake variant for more confidence under hard braking. In all, the new Suzuki Access 125 remains a well-rounded product, and still comes across as a 125 cc scooter with decent performance, good ride quality and handling.
Suzuki Motorcycle India has updated the Access 125 with a fuel-injected engine, more out of compulsion to meet the new emission regulations. The outgoing model still comes across as a good product, and it's not difficult to see why it's a popular scooter. With the BS6 model, Suzuki decided not to go for a complete revamp, and has added some nifty features, to justify the new generation tag, along with the new fuel-injected engine. While those added features do add value and convenience, there are misses too, like the absence of a remote fuel filler cap, or a full digital instrument console.
At the same time, introducing a fuel-injected engine is likely to make the Suzuki Access 125, and all two-wheelers in India, more expensive. The Access 125 is available in four variants - a standard steel wheel, drum brake variant with combined braking system (CBS), an alloy wheel drum brake variant with CBS, an alloy wheel front disc brake variant with CBS, and the range-topping Suzuki Access 125 Special Edition, the one we are testing, with alloy wheels, front disc brake with CBS, a choice of matte colour options and the seat with contrast colours.
Prices of the current generation Suzuki Access 125 begin at just over ₹ 58, 323 (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the base variant, to ₹ 62,892 (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the Access 125 Special Edition. Production has already begun for the BS6 model, and as soon as stocks run out, or by March 31, 2020, only the BS6 model will be available, which is expected to be priced between ₹ 65,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi), and just under ₹ 70,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi). The catch is that other scooters in the segment are also slated to get a price hike of between 10-16 per cent, and even with the price increase, the Suzuki Access 125 still makes a commendable case as a very good 125 cc scooter.