Joined: Jan 2007
I had a sportcity for two years then traded it in last year for a majesty.
Shortly after taking delivery of the SC i wrote a review for the "epinions" web site and then updated it a bit later on.
it's a rather long article so if you don't want to take the time to read it, okay.
[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']The Aprilia Sportcity is a new model in 2007. It came to the US to replace the Scarabeo 250. I’ve never even seen a Scarabeo 250, so I can’t provide any thoughts on the differences or similarities between the two. [/font][FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']
Since I have only the Honda Reflex to compare with the Sportcity my impressions of the latter have to be made with the former in mind.
When I took delivery the bike had 25 miles on the clock. The dealer explained that as they assemble each new bike they take them for a thorough test ride to check for squeaks, rattles, leaks, throttle response, brakes and so on.
The ride from the dealer to my house (about 15 miles) largely confirmed what I was told. It was rock solid, the brakes worked well, and the bike performed flawlessly.
My first impressions produced some mixed emotions:
The Sportcity is clearly smaller than the Honda Reflex. It is a bit shorter, has slightly less foot room on the floorboard, and is lighter by about 50 pounds. One issue is the seat height. It’s maybe two to three inches taller than the Reflex. As a result I can only flat foot one foot at a time. It’s close, but I would prefer to flat foot both sides. I’m 6 foot, with a 32 inch inseam, by the way.
The Sportcity does not have a side stand. What were they thinking! The lighter weight makes it easier than the Reflex to get up on the center stand.
The instrumentation does not include a tachometer. No tach will be no big deal for me. The speedometer is analog. The clock, fuel, temperature gauges, and tripmeter are digital. There’s also a digital volt meter.
There’s much less room under the seat than on the Reflex. My full face modular XL helmet won’t quite fit. The gas cap is also under there and feeds the 2.4 gallon tank. (The dealer claims it should be good for 70 mpg. I got 62 with my Reflex and a friend claims 65 on his. A gripe – the octane recommendations in the owner’s manual are in European ratings – not US. I’ve been using 87 octane gas and it’s been running fine.
The battery lurks under a panel at the front of the floorboard.
There’s a very small two-sided “glove box” inside the front leg shield. The skimpy tool kit resides there and takes up a goodly share of the space on the right side. For the smokers, you can squeeze a pack of cigarettes into the same area. However, that’s also the location for the cell phone plug-in, so pack accordingly. The left side is almost useless-maybe sunglasses?
Immediately above the glove box is a swing-out bag holder, but the owner’s manual almost discourages you from using it – swinging weight, you know.
The rear rack is a plastic/heavy vinyl-type material. The warning sticker places the weight limit at 15 pounds. I’ll probably get a top case for it because of the cramped under seat storage. Gotta have a place for the rain suit, walk-around hat, tire repair kit and such.
The next impression was the ride. Smooth, describes it very well. There’s a bit more spring travel, but those 15 inch wheels are really what does it. Much smoother riding than the Reflex.
The Sportcity is fuel injected and makes for very smooth throttle response. Even though they are both 250cc engines, the Sportcity is much torquier than the Reflex. My Reflex had the K-modification done to it, which made for a much better response from a dead stop and cured the dead spot between 30 and 40, but it still had a fair amount of vibration throughout the range. The Sportcity doesn’t. It’s really twist-n-go. Almost no vibration from a dead stop all the way to 50. After I get the break-in done, the real test will be performed – dead stop to my comfort zone top end.
Speaking of the break-in period, the manual is rather vague on the subject. For example, it recommends riding on lots of twisty roads for the first 60 miles. The reason? To get the steering, shocks, and brakes broken in. Then work up to about 300 miles at limited speeds and varying throttle usage to work on the engine and drive train. Then do moderate throttle usage up to about 600 miles at which point they want you back at the dealer for the first service.
And speaking of the manual, I won’t, except to say it’s in two languages, with side-by-side columns in English and French, no index (!), and so many bold face warnings and cautions that one is almost discouraged from reading it. What’s not boldfaced is in a tiny font. I found the manual as a PDF file on Aprilia’s site and downloaded that. I can at least enlarge it to make the tiny print a bit more legible.
Following the above comments by several days, I attended a meeting of our scoot club. After the meeting, we decided to take a ride. By the time I returned home I’d clocked another 75 or so miles. The weather was very hot and humid, and there was a wind of about 25 or so out of the northwest. Our ride was on both highways and byways. Speed limits ranged from 25 to 55.
That said, here are additional impressions.
- that lack of space under the seat is a real pain in the butt. And to open the seat there is a key lock on the side below the seat AND below a bulge in the plastic panel. Standing beside the bike (i'm a six footer) and looking downward, i have to lean over to see the lock. For me, an inconvenience, for shorter riders perhaps no big deal.
And on the subject of storage, I really need to get a top box. I’ve never been a big fan of them because of my sense of aesthetics – that is, I think they “spoil the lines” of scoots. However I feel about it, a top box is a necessary evil.
Since I’m still observing break-in mileage I cooled it a little on a stretch of highway we covered in the ride and I had a difficult time keeping up with the leader. Once I’m past the 300 mile mark it’s fairly obvious there won’t be problem. The scoot moves right out to my self-imposed 55 limit and there was a fair bit of twist left in the throttle. The Sportcity should be good for upwards of 70/75. I think 80 might be possible, but that would be well beyond my aforementioned comfort zone.
The ride, however, was as good as my initial impressions noted earlier. Those big wheels and the long spring travel make for a pretty comfortable ride. I think the seat might have a bit less padding than the flex, but I’m not really sure.
In addition to ride comfort I should mention the handling. It handles very nicely. It may be for a couple of reasons: the big tires, and the lighter weight. It goes where you point it and takes curves very nicely. I’ve always been leery of really tight turns but I’m finding the bike to be pretty easy to make those turns.
A comment on the weight: I find it very easy to move around in the garage. It’s only about 50 pounds lighter than the Reflex, but it just seems so much easier to push backwards while in the saddle or on your feet turning it around. The Sportcity is several inches shorter than the flex, so that may also contribute.
The bike ran very nicely without a hiccup anywhere along the line. It may be because of the fuel injection, but I couldn’t spot a “dead zone” anywhere through the throttle range – very unlike the Reflexes with the same size engine. The Reflex vibrates right from the git-go and has a dead spot between about 30 and 40 but pulls fairly well both above and below that range. Reflexes really benefit from the “K-mod”. While there is some vibration (all “thumpers” ((one cylinder bikes)) do that), the Sportcity’s isn’t particularly noticeable.
I still don’t know about the gas mileage. At the end of the ride I was down to two “bars” on the gas gauge and went ahead and filled it. The 1.75 gallons it took worked out to about 62 mpg but I hadn’t been careful of noting the mileage so I’m waiting for the next fill. (late 2008: with about 4000 miles on the Sportcity, the mileage has gotten progressively better – I’m now averaging 70 to 75 mpg.)
The Sportcity comes with a very small windshield (mentioned above) and is comparable in size to the one on the Reflex Sport model. Mine was the regular Reflex so the windshield was much taller and did an excellent job deflecting wind from your upper body and helmet. I was interested in feeling the difference and this ride (with the above mentioned northwestly winds) was a pretty good tryout. Lo and behold, we were well into the ride before I even thought about it. I wear a full face helmet, but I didn’t even really feel any undue wind on my chest. The only time I noticed the wind was when it was coming from the side and I had to lean into it a little bit.
at this point i'm satisfied with the Sportcity.[/font]
the balance of the first year went well and the second year just as well. the bike was rock solid all the time. no squeaks, rattles, or parts falling off. The bike never gave me a problem.
So, why did i trade it off? simeple really, i wanted more cc's and the majesty provided them.
ronnath screwed with this post 07-14-2010 at 07:38 AM