The new Suzuki Let's scooter will debut at the Auto Expo. We take an in depth look
Scooter isn’t a class of two wheelers that’s sporty or a lot of fun or something anyone – owner or maker – would like to flaunt. But, these are practical and easy to ride. And these are an effective tool on our increasingly congested roads. But, the reason you hear about a new scooter every other month is because this is the only class of two wheelers that is registering both good growth and high sales.
But, having only one model at a single price point isn’t enough. To keep that consumer base growing every two wheeler maker needs a variety in it scooter line up. And, it doesn’t matter that underneath all those new nameplates, and the new designs, and of course, the new price and positioning, the scooter is in fact the same.
The Suzuki Let’s though is different. Not that Suzuki hasn’t used this formula – different name, different styling and different price and positioning for what is essentially the same scooter – that has worked wonders for Hero, Honda and even Yamaha, it has; remember the Access and the Swish? Exactly. But, the Let’s, Suzuki says is all new from the ground up. The underbone frame, the near 113cc engine, the telescopic front forks and even the rear monoshock are all new. So, is the positioning of the Let’s. Unlike the Access and the Swish which with their 125cc engines were targeted at the mature rider, the Let’s is more for the ladies and young college students. And therefore, the Let’s has been designed to be light and narrow, and easy to ride and fuel efficient. It has been designed, in short, to take on the Honda Activa i and the Yamaha Ray.
And to do that, the Let’s dimensions mirror those of the Honda closely. The two share exactly the same seat height of 765mm. Both scooters are nearly the same height as well with the Let’s being just 5mm taller. The Suzuki does sit on a slightly longer wheel base nonetheless, and is also overall the longer scooter. But, it is significantly narrower; at 660mm, it measures 45mm less than the Activa i. More importantly, the Let’s is also lighter.
The engine is a 112.8cc, single cylinder, and air cooled unit. It develops 8.7PS of max power at 7500rpm and a peak torque rating of 9Nm at 5500rpm. These figures are marginally better than the Activa i, but with lesser weight, the Let’s might prove to be a peppier scooter on the road. The transmission, as on the Honda, is a CVT unit and the Let’s gets its own efficiency boosting tech (SEP) like the Activa i’s HET. Suzuki’s fuel efficiency claim is 63kmpl for the Let’s while Honda claims 65kmpl for the Activa i, and even though both these figures would be difficult to achieve in the real world, the two scooters would remain closely matched in terms of fuel efficiency (no matter what the figure).
Where we feel the Suzuki might have an edge is dynamics and that’s mainly down to the different cycle parts the two scooters use. Compared to Honda’s trailing link front end, the Let’s uses a telescopic front for better bump absorption, better stability around a bend and no anti-dive artificialness. Now, we haven’t ridden the Let’s just yet and it is possible to get the spring and damping settings wrong even on a telescopic front, but knowing Suzuki and having tested its products over the years, it’s very unlikely that Suzuki will falter on this front. The Let’s might not be able to match the Honda under braking though. Besides having bigger brakes, the Activa i also gets combined braking which for less experienced riders is a boon to say the least.
We might not have ridden the Let’s, but we did spend some time in its saddle. And, the first thing that strikes you about the Let’s - much like the Honda Activa i and the Yamaha Ray - is how small the scooter feels once you sit on it. One doesn’t sit very high, the handlebar is a tad too close and it also isn’t wide enough. The floorboard is narrow too. This should, of course, bode well for smaller built people and when riding through tight spaces, but in terms of carrying stuff, the Suzuki might fall short. The underseat storage meanwhile isn’t great, but seemed adequate.
The Suzuki Let’s then will make its debut at the Auto Expo. And Suzuki says the new scooter will carry an aggressive price tag. This to us means an ex-showroom price of around Rs 42,000 in Delhi. If Suzuki can price the Let’s such, it will undercut both the Honda Activa i and the Yamaha Ray, and make a very sound case for itself. Over to you Suzuki.