Yamaha Alpha is a stylish new scooter that offers good value for money

Yamaha first showcased its new Alpha scooter at the 2014 Auto Expo earlier in the year. The Alpha is an upmarket-looking, stylish new scooter that lives up to its name by targeting the Indian male.

It’s built upon the Ray platform, but feels perceptibly larger from the moment you get astride, a good thing given the Ray’s low and petite proportions. Saddle height is 775mm, which sits you a full 15mm taller on the Alpha, compared to a Ray. The Alpha’s a light scooter, just like the Ray, weighs 104kg (kerb). It includes a neat set of instruments that display all the scooter essentials, including a speedometer, odometer and fuel-gauge.

As with all Yamaha two-wheelers in India, this is a high-quality scooter, with switches imparting a good feel, the mirrors feeling solid to adjust and offering good vision. Good-control levers are provided for both hand-operated brakes. But Yamaha has left out a rear brake locking clamp, essential safety kit on a scooter. Also missed are storage cubbies under the handlebar, which do come with the Ray. There is however a large, lockable under-seat storage bay that opens and shuts with nice, positive clicks.

The Alpha is a comfortable scooter for even tall, well-built adult males, accommodating large feet easily on its flat, nicely textured floorboard. All the Alpha’s rubber and plastic components impart a quality, built-to-last feel. The Alpha shares its engine with the Ray, a 113cc, single-cylinder, four-stroke and force air-cooled powerplant. It’s a button started, carburettor-fed, long-stroke (50x57.8mm) engine with gear-less, CVT-type transmission, making riding around in crowded, congested traffic conditions such a convenient affair. Maximum power is 7bhp, coming in at 7500rpm, and the Alpha feels sprightly enough for a scooter, accelerating off smartly from a standing start, with good throttle response and a reassuring, gossamer-smooth power delivery. The Alpha engine does well to feel every bit as refined and reliable as expected from every Yamaha-built two-wheeler.

The Alpha is constructed around an under-bone type steel frame, and Yamaha has done well to give this new scooter good suspension, with telescopic forks in front and a single monoshock allied to the engineat rear.

It’s a comfortable steed, with a well-padded saddle, nice upright riding position and well positioned handlebars. Light to handle, and neutral to steer, the Alpha rides on 10-inch pressed steel rims front and rear. It would be nice if the Alpha also offered alloy rims, with perhaps even a front disc brake, at least as a paid optional. Having said which, its 130mm drum brakes do a good job, stopping the scooter promptly enough with nice progressive feel at the levers.

Expect the Alpha to offer in the region of 40-45kpl, just as with the Ray. Priced competitively (Rs. 47,735. ex-showroom, Delhi), the Alpha offers good value-for-money making it a potential winner in its segment, right from the word go.