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Thread: Considering The BV350

  1. #1
    apriliaforum expert Ricardo J's Avatar
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    Considering The BV350

    I recently spent some time on a couple Vespa 300 demos, including Vespa Motorsports’ “Vespa Everywhere” project rig that runs 13” wheels. The bigger wheels worked better for me in most every way but the pricetag starts to ramp up quickly!

    Perhaps the BV350 is a much better way to go? It’s designed for (much) larger wheels, has a small power advantage, bigger brakes, and without the marquis brand name a lower pricetag. I’m told there are not too many out there but it has a loyal following. It would be great to hear some owner feedback, plus or minus. Searching online, I do not see much criticism except its weight- the rest is largely positive!

  2. #2
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    Plan to be watching this thread. I am also considering a BV 350. FOund one, brand new 2017 model for $5500. Havent found out if thats a good price or not, but its in my budget. Everything I have read seems positive.
    2016 Piaggio BV 350
    2008 Yamaha WR 250

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    What disturbs me about the BV350 more than anything else is how quickly they weather and rust when compared to my 2009 Sport City. I was looking at a still new 2014 BV350 which being 5 years newer and sitting under the carport at the dealership (first 2 years it was inside the showroom) and not being ridden rain or shine had a crazy amount of rust on the fasteners and suspension components. The plastics were more weathered than my much older Aprilia too. That really sets off warning bells about the quality of the newer plastics and steel components.

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    the bv350 is a interesting bike, it all works but the build quality is ridiculous.
    It is put together by low quality parts and the whole bike wont last as long as the others.
    In my oppinion go for the sportcity 250, its a good quality italian made bike and in the price range.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jog View Post
    the bv350 is a interesting bike, it all works but the build quality is ridiculous.
    It is put together by low quality parts and the whole bike wont last as long as the others.
    In my oppinion go for the sportcity 250, its a good quality italian made bike and in the price range.
    Big difference in build quality between the old BV500 and the new BV350. Fuel economy is better with the 350 however for about the same money as a new BV350 you could get a 700cc Honda CTX-N DCT Automatic during Honda Sales Days and get overall better fuel economy than the BV350 along with Honda build quality.

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    apriliaforum expert Ricardo J's Avatar
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    Owner Feedback

    I used to work at a facility very near the Pacific Ocean and its parking lot was full of rusting motorcycles and scooters, including some pretty high dollar stuff. H-Ds were a notable exception, with so much chromed and stainless componentry. You could tell who washed their bikes frequently and who beat 'em like the proverbial borrowed mule.

    Today I will call the owner of Vespa Motorsports, Alex Cohn, and ask how his BV350 is faring in San Diego.

  7. #7
    apriliaforum expert Ricardo J's Avatar
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    Just spoke with Alex at Vespa Moto about his BV350. It's a 2014 and has 15,000 trouble-free miles on it. Corrosion and general cosmetic wear is not manifesting itself apart from what is normally seen on a used scooter (I do presume that they take good care of all their machines, being dyed-in-the-wool scooter tifosi!). Stability, tire wear, brakes, all better than the small wheel scoots. Alex said the biggest downside is the lack of accessories for it, no racks and crash bars. Nothing like that available for Vespa 300s!

    I asked if they are super rare in the San Diego metro area and he said no, there are at least fifty of 'em by his count. He added that almost all the staff at Vespa Motorsports have their own BV350s, they dig 'em.

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    I would take a look at the Aprilia Scarabeo 500ie's also....a sister bike to the Piaggio BV500.

    I've got three of the Aprilia 500ie scoots and have gone to check out and ride a couple of the Piaggio BV350 scoots I've seen for sale, but each time I walk away from the BV350 scoots.

    The Piaggio BV350 is about the same height as the Aprilia 500ie, but is not as torquey. The Aprilia 500ie scoots are lower priced in the retail market too.

    If I didn't have the Aprilia 500ie scoots I would definitely be in the market for the Piaggio BV350 though.

    Vernon

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    apriliaforum expert Ricardo J's Avatar
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    Thanks, Vernon. The Scarabeo 500 is a cool scoot, and I know a gent in SoCal who has a very well-hammered early example (2002?) that's used for long-distance two-up touring and also group sport rides...and he never finishes last, either. Most impressive.

    But those are getting long in the tooth. Super clean and well cared for units are mighty thin on the ground now.

  10. #10
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    The Scarabeo 500 was last sold in the US as a 2006 model. Then the lighter, more nimble, Scarabeo 500ie was sold until 2010.

    The Scarabeo 500ie was the one I was referring to. They are about the same height as the BV350, and of similar characteristics.

    Vernon

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    Ok so in alls wisdom, I have $5500 to spend on a scooter. I don’t want a super big scoot, the BV 350 seems about the right size I want, (I like the bigger wheels like on my scabby 150) I want to be able to ride 2 up, I will need a top box, and I want it to be able to take on Freeway. What would you buy? BV 350? Yamaha Xmas 300? Or whatever else?
    2016 Piaggio BV 350
    2008 Yamaha WR 250

  12. #12
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    My two Scabby 150's and three Scabby 500ie's work well together

    Vernon

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    Here are some pics I took a few years ago of a new 2014 BV350 sitting in the local dealership. Like they say a picture is worth a thousand words. This bike has never had fuel or a battery put in it so it has never been started and was a little over 2 years old when I took these pictures. Notice how the seat, glove box and upper console area are all fading at different rates just from ambient light. Look at the rust and deterioration of the epoxy coating on the springs. You decide how well they are holding up and the build quality of the new BV350 is compared to 5 and 10 year old bikes from various manufacturers that have seen actual road use and many hours outside in the sun, rain, etc.
    Attached Images Attached Images     

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    apriliaforum expert Ricardo J's Avatar
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    Signs Of Neglect

    Red plastic was a poor design choice by Piaggio because it fades quickly. But the scooter does not look like it was cared for, either: I'm seeing water spotting like it's been out in the rain, and with Clearwater being a marine environment you have salt air in the mix too- the perfect storm for accelerated corrosion and weathering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo J View Post
    Red plastic was a poor design choice by Piaggio because it fades quickly. But the scooter does not look like it was cared for, either: I'm seeing water spotting like it's been out in the rain, and with Clearwater being a marine environment you have salt air in the mix too- the perfect storm for accelerated corrosion and weathering.
    The spotting is from an attempt to clean off the dust from someone who sat on it with dirty boots. Shop is miles from the beach areas however in the same environment older Aprilias and even Piaggio bikes are holding up better. Some of the near to 10 year old bikes in the same shop many which are the shops beat up beach rentals which as you may imagine spend all day out in the sun and nights outside at beach houses and motels right next to the shoreline a stones throw from the Gulf of Mexico have less fading, rust and corrosion than this new BV350 which has never been started or been in the direct sun.
    Last edited by Rockynv; 02-16-2018 at 09:05 PM.

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