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Old 08-09-2012, 06:07 PM   #61
DandyDoug
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Originally Posted by gizmo309 View Post
That is a Piaggio BV500. Piaggio is one of the biggest makers of two wheels in the world. They are the manufacturers of Piaggio, Vespa, Moto Guzzi, Aprila, etc. I have a 200cc version of this bike. Just turned 21,000 miles the other day. Great scooters.

Bob
While they may be one of the largest manufacturers in the world, they seem to have the poorest dealer/parts networks in the USA from everything i read ?
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:11 PM   #62
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I like it, someday I'm gonna have to take the scooter plunge.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:33 PM   #63
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I am fortunate to have purchased the BV from a large Vespa/Piaggio/BMW/Ducati/Triumph dealer near here. When I ordered the replacement turn signal stalk I talked about earlier, the parts guy told me that delivery time tended to be slow, compared to the other makes they sell...parts availability is evidently not a big problem, but slow delivery response can be.

The other part of the equation is...how often will replacement and repair parts (anything other than routine maintenance parts) be required? As I said, the BV500 and BV250 series machines have a good reputation for reliability and long life...

I guess we'll find out...I'm on a learning curve here and I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:42 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by DandyDoug View Post
Wow !!
That looks sharp.

Please pardon an old mans ignorance , what's a BV again ??
I like the looks of that a lot
The black scooter with the tan seat shown in the photo above your post. A fine Italian big wheeled scooter designed for touring as well as commuting.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:01 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Cortez View Post
Ignore list, people.

Those who are curious might find 2 minutes spent reading this enlightening. It has nothing whatsoever to do with riding skills, motorcycles or scooters, so please feel free to skip this post.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:12 AM   #66
DandyDoug
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Originally Posted by gumshoe4 View Post
I am fortunate to have purchased the BV from a large Vespa/Piaggio/BMW/Ducati/Triumph dealer near here. When I ordered the replacement turn signal stalk I talked about earlier, the parts guy told me that delivery time tended to be slow, compared to the other makes they sell...parts availability is evidently not a big problem, but slow delivery response can be.

The other part of the equation is...how often will replacement and repair parts (anything other than routine maintenance parts) be required? As I said, the BV500 and BV250 series machines have a good reputation for reliability and long life...

I guess we'll find out...I'm on a learning curve here and I'll let you know how it goes.
Since your signature or what ever you guys call them , does not say where you are. Where is this super dealer you got your machine from ???
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:04 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by DandyDoug View Post
Since your signature or what ever you guys call them , does not say where you are. Where is this super dealer you got your machine from ???
Your earlier comment about dealer support is worth noting. It's hit or miss, depending on where you live- I'm in Atlanta, and for a period of about 18 months we had no Vespa/Piaggio dealers after a multi store chain closed down three shops here after the owner died. Now we have two, and both are competent, but the Italians & Germans do not have the distribution commitment that you find with HD or the big Japanese brands. The same issue can be raised for SYM, which is another great scooter, but with a limited dealer network and slow parts distribution.

On a positive note, the new BV 350 is just about the best selling scooter in Italy, and it's catching on like wildfire here in the US as well. Higher sales will usually be followed with increased parts & accessories inventory and a healthier dealer network.

Facts are, however, that if you are looking at national dealer penetration and support as a key factor in a purchase, it'll be hard to stray far from looking at Japanese scooters. Much like car brands; Fiat support is very small, but you can get your Toyota serviced in nearly every town....
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:23 AM   #68
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I know and understand the lack of dealers or parts supply.

I was riding BMW's back when there were a total of 11 in the entire country if memory serves.
Until last year i was riding a New Triumph Bonneville as my main motorcycle. Triumphs network of dealers was a crap shoot at any given time, here today & gone tomorrow.

I bought a 1985 BMW R80 last year, there are a few good airhead shops around and the internet helps me with parts. Any new BMW dealer can access parts and most will, but they do not provide any service on them. Technicians are pretty good computer code mechanics/parts changers , since that's what they learn in their schools today.

The experience of friends who ride Italian machines is not so good from their comments. The dealer network is small and parts are mostly found via the internet from what I gather. Plus the dealers don't seem to last very long in any location. I put that down to low volume sales, high floor plan costs, and lack of distribution support.
Since i can only afford/justify one machine at a time now I want to buy as wisely as possible and the Italian brands , while very sexy/cool looking give me pause. I try and do as much of the service work as possible on my motorcycles , but I know zero about working on scooters , so a good dealer fairly close by is very important to me.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:55 AM   #69
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Something to be aware of since you're already a motorcyclist- Scooter maintenance needs seem to occur with more frequency than cycles. I'm not talking reliability, but rather service intervals and replacement of wear out parts- Tires is the biggest one.

Small scooter tires are always a topic of discussion. Next big maintenance point- drive belts; typical replacement in the 6-12k range. Drive pulley sliders are another thing which get lots of focus as well. None of these are high dollar items mind you, but they do require service, and therefore can be a problem for high mile riders. Oil changes/valve adjustments depending on model can be a frequent concern.

Not trying to put you off on scooters- they are great, but if you like to do big miles on your bikes, you should just be aware of some of the differences that you'll find coming from a motorcycle background....
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:00 AM   #70
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People are starting to avoid Piaggio scooters locally for some time now
because of the same issues you people are experiencing re: delearships
and parts availability.

The only difference is, Italy is just a few hours away from me, and I'm as
far as possible. We're right next door and it's STILL an issue sometimes.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:04 AM   #71
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Good comments !
I am still an above annual mileage rider, 7 --10k per year, and i ride mostly year round. But do allow for high and low temps, as I age i don't deal with the extremes like i used to

I like the idea of the step through design, but frequent maintenance and buying tires every year are certainly a turn off.

I might take a look at the new offerings from Honda with the dual clutch transmission. But I still need to get up on it and swing a leg over.

Dealing with a clutch lever has been an issue lately and has kept me off my bike for a while now, well the excessive heat also. I was just in my garage and tried to pull in the clutch lever, no go again today
It's getting better but the elbow and hand still hurt too much to ride.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:05 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabears View Post
Something to be aware of since you're already a motorcyclist- Scooter maintenance needs seem to occur with more frequency than cycles. I'm not talking reliability, but rather service intervals and replacement of wear out parts- Tires is the biggest one.

Small scooter tires are always a topic of discussion. Next big maintenance point- drive belts; typical replacement in the 6-12k range. Drive pulley sliders are another thing which get lots of focus as well. None of these are high dollar items mind you, but they do require service, and therefore can be a problem for high mile riders. Oil changes/valve adjustments depending on model can be a frequent concern.

Not trying to put you off on scooters- they are great, but if you like to do big miles on your bikes, you should just be aware of some of the differences that you'll find coming from a motorcycle background....
Bigger scoots have bigger intervals, up to 10.000km (Integra 700 for
example, 6k miles).

I've got a 13" rear tire with 6k+ mile on it, it's still good for another
2-3k at least, and at 400lbs+200lbs rider, and ~25rwhp, it's not that
light and/or slow.

That's about the same usable mileage out of a tire I got on a 72hp
Ninja 650.

The only difference is that for the price of the FRONT tire on my Ninja,
I can get top of the line tires for the scoot (14 and 13"), that's BOTH,
and still have $20 left over.

At 6k miles, my belt was fine, it'll probably be fine for 10k miles.
That's more then most get out of a chain/sprocket set on a "big bike",
and the belt will cost 1/3 or 1/2 of the price of that set.

Tire issues are really down to those Vespa 150 scoots with 11"/10" tires,
and 125-150cc GY6 based engines need new oil every 1500 miles or so.

Bigger scoots are 3k miles and up.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:08 AM   #73
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Thanks for the write up. I've got a silver wing and its always interesting to hear it compared to other scooters. My only complaint about the silver Wing is its suspension is soft and busy. I've set the rear shocks to a 5 setting and added PVC spacers to increase the preload. That has helped but not fixed the problem. That being said if I were to do a long trip without a passenger I'd chose the silver wing over my vstrom every time.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:10 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Domromer View Post
Thanks for the write up. I've got a silver wing and its always interesting to hear it compared to other scooters. My only complaint about the silver Wing is its suspension is soft and busy. I've set the rear shocks to a 5 setting and added PVC spacers to increase the preload. That has helped but not fixed the problem. That being said if I were to do a long trip without a passenger I'd chose the silver wing over my vstrom every time.
+1 on the bolded part.
That's what got me selling my 650R.

I've got the opposite problem with my DT300 though, it's too stiff/sporty,
and I'd like a softer/plush ride.

Can fix it with preload at the back though since anything below 3/5 makes
the front end wobble and I loose a lot of feedback, not to mention issues
when riding with a passenger.

I'd like softer forks.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:16 AM   #75
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Hopefully with more people buying scooters there will be more aftermarket solutions put on the market. From my research the only fix for the silver wing is custom air shocks. Which are extremely pricey unless you have the time and skills to fabricate these items.
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