Yamaha’s Mio line of automatic scooters have been taking the country by storm, the sportiest and fanciest of which is the Aerox, which flew off showroom floors faster than Yamaha Motor Philippines could get them in stock when it was first released three months ago.
Yamaha managed to do themselves one better when it introduced the Aerox S, an upgrade to the already feature-rich Aerox, which has both ABS and Yamaha’s Start-Stop II technology. Of course, the Aerox S was in high demand as well, especially with the initial release being limited to 155 units.
Now that the hype has died down a bit, Yamaha’s allowed us a couple weeks’ worth of saddle time with their range-topping Mio. Does the Aerox S really live up to the hype? Read the rest of our review to find out.
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I’m not a huge scooter guy myself, with sports bikes taking up most of the space on my laptop’s wallpaper folder. But when I saw the Aerox S in the metal, so to speak, I was impressed with how handsome and commanding it looked.
From the sharp lines to the wide-profile tires, it looked every bit the part of the ‘sporty scooter’ as Yamaha is saying in its sales pitch. The LED headlight is mean and intimidating, and the bodywork has enough angles that it wouldn’t look out of place in a geometry textbook.
The Aerox S comes in two colors: Matte Blue and White. Despite the rainy weather, I picked the white-hued one. Not because I’m a masochist or anything, but just because I thought it looked cooler and sleeker. Though Aerox’s Matte Blue doesn’t look half-bad.
One issue of the Aerox that has people talking is its frame, which offers tight space for the rider’s feet, so getting on and off is a bit more of a challenge. I tested this out myself, and I ended up swinging a leg over it as I would with a ‘regular’ motorcycle, in fear of hitting something with my foot by passing through the cramped middle area, which might cause the bike to fall.
Once both my legs were straddling the scooter, however, they felt relaxed. This is how a scooter should be. The seat is soft and extra wide and accommodates both me and a passenger, but with a little room to spare. The seat isn’t too high, but it is wide, as my feet weren’t flat on the ground during a standstill. I am 5’8.
Those I’ve taken on the back of the Aerox S remark how comfortable it is and how the passenger foot pegs don’t make legs spread too wide. But mounting and dismounting pose a challenge to passengers because of the scooter’s exceptional body width.
Body position is upright, and the rider’s feet can relax by positioning them on the side of the long footboard. As comfortable as the seat and riding position was, my butt eventually felt sore after a ride from home to Marilaque road and back.
The digital display was very futuristic, keeping in line with the aesthetics of this scooter.
Yamaha’s tagline for the Aerox is ‘Lead with Speed.’ This tagline does hold true as I had a lot of fun with the scoot’s 155cc single cylinder engine both in the twisties of Marilaque and around town. The engine accelerates pleasingly well from a standstill, especially when compared to the Mio i 125 S I’ve tested previously. The engine is smooth, and vibrations are dampened.
Even with sporty traits, the Aerox S’ engine stays economical, thanks to Yamaha’s Blue Core technology. My average fuel consumption was around 38km/L despite not being very gentle with the throttle.
Ride and handling
The Aerox S handles very much like a scooter, albeit sharper and more agile. The suspension isn’t anything fancy, with no brands being thrown around on the spec sheet, but it was enough to have a blast in the corners of Marilaque, especially with the wide, sporty tires. The suspension also does a good job of absorbing road bumps.
Braking is adequate, and the ABS came in handy in providing riding confidence amidst torrential rains on the mountains of Quezon. But how I wish the Aerox S had a disc brake at the rear to further boost its braking power, especially in wet conditions.
The Aerox S is chock-full of cool features, though some of them, especially the electronic doodads, take a bit of practice to master. These include the smart key that allows the rider to remotely lock/unlock the scooter, as well as locate it in a crowded parking lot by flashing the lights and emitting a ‘beep-beep’ sound A warehouse staffer of Yamaha was nice enough to teach me on how to use the smart key.
There’s also a dial assembly that lets you turn the scooter 'on' and 'off,' open the fuel door and seat storage, as well as lock the steering. Storage is bountiful on the Aerox S, with an under-seat compartment that can accommodate my school stuff plus takeout food, or even a full-face helmet. Though only size L and smaller helmets will fit, as my XL lid prevented the seat from closing. The Aerox S also features a neat storage cubby/glove compartment up front which can store small items, like the key, my phone, and wallet. The latch for this compartment is a little tricky to figure out though.
The Aerox S is a breeze to ride. It’s comfy, practical for daily use, and sporty enough to enjoy on twisty roads. The most stress I’ve felt while on the Aerox S was when I was frantically looking for a roadside fuel vendor along Marilaque as the low-fuel light flashed as if to nag me about my poor decisions.
Whether it’s just riding around town, taking my little brother to school, or going on a spirited ride, the Aerox S has proved itself to be an especially fun daily-able ride. Despite the niggles I’ve found with it, I do believe that the Aerox S is, indeed, worthy of the hype.
SPECS: 2018 YAMAHA MIO AEROX S
Engine: 155cc liquid-cooled, SOHC, single-cylinder
Power: 14.7hp at 8,000rpm
Torque: 13.8Nm at 6,250rpm
Seat height: 31.1in
Final drive: Belt
Price: P 122,900