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Old 07-28-2012, 10:13 PM   #16
gumshoe4 OP
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Yup...out of style, definitely. Practical and a good way to carry your personal belongings around on a motorcycle...most definitely.

But then I was out of style in the 80's also....

Pilgrim makes an excellent point about the Piaggio service. I happen to have a major Piaggio/Vespa dealer and service shop very nearby and I think my decision to get the BV might have been different if that were not the case...HOWEVER, my pre-purchase research suggests that the BV500 has a very good reputation for reliability, unlike some other Italian bikes...

Also, there's a guy named Sergei Belski in Canada who has ridden his GTS 300 Super, and his GT250 before it, all over Canada and the western US and shoots amazing photos in the process. I believe he's posted here in the photo section. Do a websearch and you'll find him...his Vespa seems to be serving him very well.

I'll continue to report on the status of the BV as I ride it and then folks will get some real-time debriefing about it...I don't mind sharing information about stuff like this, as I think that the more we all know, the better our purchase and service decisions, and ultimately, that causes manfacturers' feet to be held in the fire a bit...sometimes, they're not too responsive, but if they are aware that there are some problems with their products and those problems are being shared net-wise, it motivates them to clean things a bit. Hopefully.

Stay tuned.
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:44 AM   #17
gizmo309
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Thanks for the replies. Interestingly enough I can't find a Silverwing to even sit on! One dealer about 50 miles away does have one but it's in the box. That appeals to me because no one has been sitting on it, kicking it, and no kids have sat on it spinning the throttle making vroom vroom sounds- leave that to me! I can sit on a bv350 if I wanted. Three dealers - all about 60 miles away in different directions have them.. odd. I think the thing that I really need to see is how I fit on a Silverwing. The seat on the Reflex is just too low for me- that's what is causing my hip to lock. I took my bv200 out for about a 40 mile spin (between rain storms) and re-realized, after 7 years, just how well that scoot fits me. Today I'm taking the Reflex on an longer ride- it has much lower total mileage on it. I'm blessed to have a choice of two scoots to ride that's for sure. I think the Reflex is going to be traded on either a Silverwing -if I fit- or I'll wait to see if Piaggio sends over some bv350's with black seats/plastics. The bv350 is less expensive and harder to get serviced and the Silverwing is more expensive and easy to get serviced. Decisions..

Bob
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:25 AM   #18
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gizmo309" ...decisions...."The nice thing is that we do have some options, though they are much more limited than our European brethren. I sold my TMax (which I absolutely loved) because of the absence of ABS and that also influenced my trade-in of the MP3 on a SW as well.

My B**** is that Yamaha has offered an ABS TMax in Europe for several years. You can also buy a 125cc Honda there with ABS. The US is absolutely a 3rd tier scooter market for the major MFG.s, its really annoying. I even researched importing an ABS TMax from the UK - its doable if you want spend about twice the price of the scooter and expend a huge amount of time dealing with Federal certification issues.

My general riding environment (retired, pure pleasure riding) is polluted with "Bambies" and I've learned that ABS will save my butt, I don't ride without it. I avoid urban areas as a matter of course (dodging deer is easier than idiotic cagers) and have become an ABS fanatic. Hopefully the major MFG.s will someday offer their best stuff here in the US, until then the pickings are somewhat limited.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:03 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilgrim21784 View Post
gizmo309" ...decisions...."The nice thing is that we do have some options, though they are much more limited than our European brethren. I sold my TMax (which I absolutely loved) because of the absence of ABS and that also influenced my trade-in of the MP3 on a SW as well.

My B**** is that Yamaha has offered an ABS TMax in Europe for several years. You can also buy a 125cc Honda there with ABS. The US is absolutely a 3rd tier scooter market for the major MFG.s, its really annoying. I even researched importing an ABS TMax from the UK - its doable if you want spend about twice the price of the scooter and expend a huge amount of time dealing with Federal certification issues.

My general riding environment (retired, pure pleasure riding) is polluted with "Bambies" and I've learned that ABS will save my butt, I don't ride without it. I avoid urban areas as a matter of course (dodging deer is easier than idiotic cagers) and have become an ABS fanatic. Hopefully the major MFG.s will someday offer their best stuff here in the US, until then the pickings are somewhat limited.
The reality is that we are a third tier market for alot of their two wheeled offerings. The versys 1000 for example and pretty much anything with abs does not find its way over here because we don't buy the bikes when they get here. the fz6 has abs in Europe and the list goes on. People bitch and moan (not directing this at you) about certain bikes and how much they want and would buy them and when they make them and send them here they sit. Even the tiger 800 which people begged for are now sitting in the showrooms marked down, how many new tmaxs are still in the boxes, saw two used ones last week like new go for $4500. I too want a ride that has abs, it has saved my bacon more than once. ride safe all..
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:01 AM   #20
Brooktown Geezer
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The Burgman 650 has ABS, and though I've only had it kick in once, it is nice to know it's there.

Gumshoe, the sort of feedback you are posting here is really helpful. I don't know about you guys, but I really can't tell if I'm going to like a scooter for the long haul by sitting on it in a showroom, or even riding it a couple of miles on a test ride. It's after a long day's ride that I get to know the bike warts and all, and see if it would make a good partner for the kind of riding I enjoy.

My Vespa GT200 has stood the test of time, and I *think* the Burgman will (only have 1,500 miles on it so far.) I will be taking the Burgman out for a long shakedown ride soon. On shorter rides of up to 100 miles it has been fantastic so far.

Keep up the good reporting, Gumshoe.
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:23 PM   #21
JerryH
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If I were going to buy a new large displacement scooter, I would buy the BV500 on price alone. Honda has put the price of the Silverwing into orbit, far out of my reach. I also like the looks of the BV500 better, it looks more scooterish than the George Jetson like Silverwing. I own 2 scooters, a Vino 125, and a Stella 150 2 stroke. To me they look like scooters. I wish they made a 500cc scooter with the same basic look, just bigger.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:53 PM   #22
gumshoe4 OP
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I never responded to Bob.

Bob, I don't think you'd go wrong with either the SWing or the BV350. Both are good machines.

I was reviewing the thread and noted that I sounded a bit negative regarding the SWing. I don't want to portray it in a negative way...in comparison, there are some things the BV does better than the SWing, BUT there are also some things the SWing does better than the BV. The SWing has really been a great machine for me, particularly as the introduction into scootering. It's got good performance, very high reliability, great storage, decent handling, good comfort and it's not difficult to do the basic maintenance on, particularly with a service manual and help from the many SWing owners out there.

So I hope no one is thinking that I'm down on the SWing-not at all...in fact, the SWing is probably going to be the mount I use for the Pacific Northwest tour this summer...I know without question it'll get me there and back...
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:09 AM   #23
Cortez
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Is that a 2012 or older?
Sorry if I missed it somewhere.

I ask because that particular "edition" of BV500 has been discontinued
here (EU) for years, not wanting to guess really, but I'd say at least from
2008 or so. Replaced by the Tourer/Cruiser editions, and you can currently
buy only the Cruiser 500 with the 492cc twinspark engine.

You might want to check if you got the 460cc version of the Piaggio Master
since that engine is known to have some issues (mixing oil and fuel), which
you need to know about. Not all develop this issue, but if and when it does,
it will keep doing it, and if you don't check to oil level every few days, it
could go boom.


p.s. Look into Dr Pulley sliders, a cheap mod that will make that BV faster
from 0 to 60 then your SW (or at least as fast), and you can get lower
revs at cruising speeds = better MPG. Just need to go about 10% lighter
with the sliders compared to stock rollers.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:26 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo309 View Post
Interesting comparison. I'm thinking about a Silverwing to replace my Reflex. I also have a bv series Piaggio, an '05 bv200. I'd buy a bv350 in a heartbeat but I can't get past the red seat (though I have not seen one in person to really make a true determination). In comparing the bv to the Silverwing mainly on ride quality, how "jarring" is the ride of the Silverwing?
The red seat is more corodvan than really red. It actually looks pretty good on a black scooter, not so sure about the silver combination though. I have seen it in person and if buying a new scoot I'd get the BV 350 because of the longer service intervals and better underseat storage. I'd remove the evac since I'm not in California then it would have serious storage capacity.

Gumshoe, your BV will handle your Pacific Northwest tour easily. I did just over 4,400 miles on my BV 500 this summer going from Breckenridge, CO to Lake Geneva, WI for Amerivespa through the Black Hills. Returning by going around the southern tip of Lake Michigan then taking the Lake Express ferry back to Wi through ND down through Yellowstone, Tetons and Rocky Mountain National Park. I did replace a tire and get an oil change in Lake Geneva but that was just on the routine maintenance schedule. Had I done them before leaving it wouldn't have been needed on the trip. I probably had enough tread left to make it home without swapping out the rear tire but after having had a flat on my last 3,700 mile trip (Scarabeo 500, the BV cousin) I figured it was better to get a new one since it had 7,000 miles on it by the time I swapped it out.

cdwise screwed with this post 07-30-2012 at 10:32 AM Reason: added info for Gumshoe
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:03 PM   #25
gumshoe4 OP
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It's a 2009 Tourer. I think it's the 460 engine. I generally keep a pretty close eye on the oil...we'll see what happens, as I also got the 5-year unlimited mileage warranty...

Hopefully, non-issue...
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:03 PM   #26
Cortez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumshoe4 View Post
It's a 2009 Tourer. I think it's the 460 engine. I generally keep a pretty close eye on the oil...we'll see what happens, as I also got the 5-year unlimited mileage warranty...

Hopefully, non-issue...
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:47 PM   #27
gumshoe4 OP
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Thanks for the heads up, Cortez!

Cd, I've followed your BV voyages and am very impressed where and how you ride it. This summer, I'll probably take the SWing, as the BV won't be really broken in by the time I go...the BV might be next year after I pile some miles on it. I just got the Givi topbx mounting plate, which will go on tomorrow. Windshield is enroute, so we'll be good to go...
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:24 AM   #28
Cortez
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:49 PM   #29
gumshoe4 OP
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So here's the latest.

I discovered when I got the bike home from the dealer and later on the ride described above that the right rear turnsignal on the BV was defective and kept falling off its support stalk. "No big deal", thought I. Since I had the bike's first service already scheduled, I decided to wait until then and I etaped it in place.

Today, however, I happened to be near the dealer, so I stopped in to talke with the Parts Department and the Service Department. They wouldn't actually speak directly with one another, so I had to keep running back and forth, but it was finally hashed out that the turnsignal replacement would be covered under warranty. Unfortunately, there's a downside which I am just now learning about, and that is that Parts is telling me that Piaggio is not very efficient in getting parts shipped, so it could 2-4 weeks or more.

Not very happy about that. I love the bike, so my wish, I guess, is that it's reliable enough that parts (other than regular wear items) will either not be necessary or will only be minimally necessary. Judging by cdwise's report about the tour with the BV and other information I obtained before I bought the bike, I think it'll be OK, but the parts thing is kind of a bummer.
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:25 PM   #30
DandyDoug
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Another horror story about poor parts availability and service

Why on earth would a parts department and a service department not be able to talk to one another ( internal conflict, empire building, stupidity ??)

If it were me , I would be looking for another dealer and probably be trying to get out from underneath the product.

Just one more reason i am very cautiously approaching the idea of moving away from motorcycles to scooters , maxi or otherwise.

My first scooter dealership experience ( today) left me less than impressed.
They were ok , but i got the feeling that they would say and do anything to make a sale.
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