When I was a college student a long time ago, I would always hear my parents say how they wished they were back in college when life in general was simpler. Now that I’m part of the work force, I find myself uttering those very same words.
Ah, the college life. I can still vividly remember how uncomplicated life was back then. All you had to worry about were your class assignments, where to party on weekends, how cute your crush looked, and how to stretch your meager allowance for the week. I honestly don’t know how I managed to stretch five hundred pesos for a week back then even if I occasionally drove a car to school. But if I were a college student today, then I would probably do better by buying myself an underbone like the Suzuki Smash 115 here.
Why an underbone you ask? Well, it’s way cheaper than a scooter and slightly more fuel efficient. At PhP 56,400, the Suzuki Smash 115 with spoke wheels is a whopping PhP 10,500 cheaper than the least expensive Suzuki scooter, the Address, at PhP 66,900. While the difference may not be significant, it does add up on monthly installments when you finance it. An underbone is also cheaper to maintain when it comes to mechanical parts and easier on fuel with no less than 48 kilometers range per liter of fuel even with a heavy throttle hand.
The Suzuki Smash 115 has been around since 2010 but new colors and graphics keep it looking fresh. Late last year Suzuki added two new ‘fashion colors’ designed to appeal to young and trendy buyers. Now, I’m neither young nor trendy but I actually find the fashion colors rather attractive compared to the ubiquitous black. And if you want to know the reason why they say real men wears pink, you only need to ask your female friends. I must say, scoring a backride has never been easier with a hot pink ride. But seriously, if not for anything else, I’m quite sure any of these two fashion colors are easier to spot inside a crowded parking garage full of black underbones.
As a student in UP Campus in Diliman, Quezon City, we often went from one building to another for our classes. If you’ve been to UP Diliman, you’d know how far buildings are from each other. While there are plenty of IKOT jeepnies that go around the campus, they are sometimes far between and would still require you to walk a short distance to your next class, and that consumes a lot of time. But not with a Smash 115, I suppose. Not only would I have gotten to my classes faster, it would also have saved me a lot of money on jeepney fares. I surmise a full tank of gas, all 4.3 liters of it, would last me no less than two weeks even if I travelled 10 kilometers a day. At today’s fuel price of PhP47 per liter, that would only cost me PhP14 per day, leaving me with more money for food (and booze), and that’s never a bad thing.
What makes the Smash so frugal is its 4-stroke and air-cooled 112.8cc single-cylinder sohc 2-valve motor that utilizes what Suzuki calls a PAIR, or Pulse Secondary Air Injection System, that injects fresh air to help ignite unburned gases in the exhaust port. This not only reduces carbon emissions, it also provides responsive power while enhancing fuel efficiency. The motor is mated to a 4-speed constant mesh semi-automatic transmission for ease of use. Holding everything together is a slim and compact diamond-type frame that delivers a user-friendly combination of smooth handling and comfortable straight-line running in various riding conditions. Our test unit came equipped with front and rear drum brakes that provide decent, if not stellar, braking performance.
The styling may not send your heart into overdrive but at least it’s ageing gracefully and overall build quality is superb. I bet that with proper care the Smash would look just as good after you graduate from college. Another nifty feature that we like is a sport-watch-inspired speedometer with a useful gear position indicator and a fuel gauge. The seat is comfortable for two and there’s an 8-liter storage underneath for your rain gear and other small items. For added security, the Smash comes with a magnetic key shutter and steering lock.
If you’re in the market for a nice looking, robust and dependable commuter underbone motorcycle for school or for work, it would be a big mistake not to consider the Smash 115 from Suzuki. After all, it wouldn’t have lasted this long in the market if thousands of happy and satisfied Smash owners all over the country didn’t accept it. They even have a club dedicated to the Smash 115; just look them up on Facebook. Oh, how I wish I was back in college.
Engine: Air cooled, single cylinder, SOHC, 2-valves, 4-stroke
Displacement: 112.7 cc
Max power: 8 bhp @ 7500 rpm
Torque: 6 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
Seat height: 750 mm
Fuel capacity: 4.3 liters
Dry weight: 99 kg
Top speed: 95 km/h
Price: PhP P P56,400
Plus: Fuel efficient, robust and sporty body work
Minus: A front disc brake would be nice
C! Rating: 9 / 10