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Old 07-06-2013, 07:42 PM   #1
Dave92029 OP
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thoughts on citycom/downtown/bv350

I have been looking at getting a scooter that is comfortable on a twisty mountain road, as well as comfortable keeping up with freeway traffic doing 75 to 80 mph.

I'm looking at three scooters: sym city com 300i ; Kymco downtown 300 ; and the Piaggio BV350.

If I include all the fees associated with the Piaggio there is a large spread in Costs.

The sym @4700; Kymco 5600; and the Piaggio 5700+900

The sym citycom has the smallest engine and least HP, but still probably adequate.

Any thoughts and comments on the choices? Thank you
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:19 PM   #2
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Speeds

The Citycom is not the bike for you. A maximum comfortable cruise on that bike is 7000 rpm: between 65 and 70 mph, GPS speeds. Will the bike go faster? Absolutely, the question is; For how long? Ridden flat out like that, you would be lucky to get 15-20,000 miles out of it before it was thrashed.

Or you could ride it like a human and get 60,000 plus.

The other two bikes would be marginal for those speeds if long life was desired. The other two bikes have a sustained long life cruising speed about 5 mph faster. People will claim that they ride their Downtown or BV 80 mph all day, and it's true if you are spouting speedo numbers; but speedos lie big time.

Even 400's are going to be working hard at those speeds, although not as hard.

For what a midsize scoot costs, you could get one of the new CB500 Honda's and they are a bike that could handle the speeds you are looking for without strain.

Or if you want to spend the bucks; a full size Maxi-scoot could also handle it without strain.

According to my Father the retired Navy Chief engineer; the more stress you put on an engine, the shorter it's life will be. It's your money.

The short answer is: Running the snot out of a smaller bike isn't cost effective.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phipsd View Post

The short answer is: Running the snot out of a smaller bike isn't cost effective.
Thanks, I agree.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phipsd View Post
The Citycom is not the bike for you. A maximum comfortable cruise on that bike is 7000 rpm: between 65 and 70 mph, GPS speeds. Will the bike go faster? Absolutely, the question is; For how long? Ridden flat out like that, you would be lucky to get 15-20,000 miles out of it before it was thrashed.

Or you could ride it like a human and get 60,000 plus.

The other two bikes would be marginal for those speeds if long life was desired. The other two bikes have a sustained long life cruising speed about 5 mph faster. People will claim that they ride their Downtown or BV 80 mph all day, and it's true if you are spouting speedo numbers; but speedos lie big time.

Even 400's are going to be working hard at those speeds, although not as hard.

For what a midsize scoot costs, you could get one of the new CB500 Honda's and they are a bike that could handle the speeds you are looking for without strain.

Or if you want to spend the bucks; a full size Maxi-scoot could also handle it without strain.

According to my Father the retired Navy Chief engineer; the more stress you put on an engine, the shorter it's life will be. It's your money.

The short answer is: Running the snot out of a smaller bike isn't cost effective.
There are numerous high mileage Vespa 250 that are used routinely at those speeds ALL the time. They are quite robust. Theres a lady from Del Mar with 55k on hers...lshes been to DC, Ak, and across the country several times on it. My friend from Wa hit a deer at 61k on his GTS, and is now riding a second one home from Amerivespa in SD which he and his wife are two-up and fully loaded on for 24 days. He does several trips like this annually and cruises by GPS into the low '70's.

I have both a 2006 GTS250 and a BV350 and expect to have them for years (already have had my GTS 250...ridden to AZ, NV and much of Cali....) and I dont think your worries about the Piaggio engines are founded on fact.

And, what $900 in add'l fees does the BV350 carry that the others dont? That was NOT my experience...
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:19 PM   #5
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Most dealers are selling the Kymco 300's for well under MSRP. You should be able to get one for under 5K + tax.

If twisty road performance is important I'd also consider the GT300i. Is will most likely be the fastest down a twisty road due to superior ground clearance. Someone recently posted doing some long highway trips on it at 70-75MPH.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:52 PM   #6
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I just bought a new '13 BV350 today for $5249.00, no freight or setup fees. Got an ok discount on a Topcase too.

I don't think there is anything to suggest a properly maintained scooter in this size range will self destruct if it's run at highway speeds +, though I don't intend to run mine pinned every time I ride it. Since the BV350 is supposed to have a real world top speed of 86 mph, I wouldn't think extended running at 75 mph would hurt it.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogogordy View Post

And, what $900 in add'l fees does the BV350 carry that the others dont? That was NOT my experience...
Thanks for your insights and experience.

The $900 fees I was referring to are:
Delivery $350
Prep $300
DMV fee processing $250

Many folks on the forums refer to the very high fees that Vespa / Piaggio dealers pass thru, and charge their customers.

I was at a local scooter shop today who sells Syms and lists his fee on the bike as $100 ea. for Delivery and Prep, and n/c for DMV. These fees appear much more reasonable.

The $5250 price paid for a BV350 sounds good! Thanks for the info.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave92029 View Post
Thanks for your insights and experience.

The $900 fees I was referring to are:
Delivery $350
Prep $300
DMV fee processing $250

Many folks on the forums refer to the very high fees that Vespa / Piaggio dealers pass thru, and charge their customers.

I was at a local scooter shop today who sells Syms and lists his fee on the bike as $100 ea. for Delivery and Prep, and n/c for DMV. These fees appear much more reasonable.

The $5250 price paid for a BV350 sounds good! Thanks for the info.

Those fees have nothing to do with being a Piaggio dealer or not, and they do seem way out of line.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bueller View Post
I just bought a new '13 BV350 today for $5249.00, no freight or setup fees. Got an ok discount on a Topcase too.

I don't think there is anything to suggest a properly maintained scooter in this size range will self destruct if it's run at highway speeds +, though I don't intend to run mine pinned every time I ride it. Since the BV350 is supposed to have a real world top speed of 86 mph, I wouldn't think extended running at 75 mph would hurt it.
I presume you are talking GPS 75 and not speedo fantasy. It's probably possible with the 330cc BV in a reasonable fashion but that would be the limit for a bike that size if a long lifespan is expected.

However the original query was a bike that could cruise 75 to 80. There is a huge difference between 75 and 80. None of these bikes would live long at a GPS 80 mph. That's pushing things for a 400.

I grew up riding bikes this size and being young and stupid we pushed them hard. Lots of 250 to 500 bikes didn't make it to 20,000 miles. I had two 325 Honda's and a 450 and all of them were pretty thrashed by 30,000 miles.

Treated a little more gently, they were good for 100,000 miles.

There is no magic here. If you want to go 80 mph (GPS) and do it for a longtime you need at least a 500 and a 650 would be better.

If you do it on a smaller bike, they won't grenade today or tomorrow but you will get nowhere the miles out of it that is possible and that is true if it's SYM, Kymco, Honda or Piaggio.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Phipsd View Post

There is no magic here. If you want to go 80 mph (GPS) and do it for a longtime you need at least a 500 and a 650 would be better.
That's a fallacy.

(And young boys/men are equally as proficient ruining 500 and 650cc machines as they are at ruining smaller displacement machines. Displacement isnt the shortcoming in that equation)
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gogogordy View Post
There are numerous high mileage Vespa 250 that are used routinely at those speeds ALL the time. They are quite robust. Theres a lady from Del Mar with 55k on hers...lshes been to DC, Ak, and across the country several times on it. My friend from Wa hit a deer at 61k on his GTS, and is now riding a second one home from Amerivespa in SD which he and his wife are two-up and fully loaded on for 24 days. He does several trips like this annually and cruises by GPS into the low '70's.

I have both a 2006 GTS250 and a BV350 and expect to have them for years (already have had my GTS 250...ridden to AZ, NV and much of Cali....) and I dont think your worries about the Piaggio engines are founded on fact.

And, what $900 in add'l fees does the BV350 carry that the others dont? That was NOT my experience...
Into the 70's two-up on a Vespa is pushing it. I'm familiar with Vespa performance and I don't believe it. I think somebody's shining you on.

Even if it's true and vespa has built a scoot that can run that fast two up and loaded for 60,000 miles, you could gain much longer engine life by backing off and cruising along at 60.

Again it goes back to the basic engineering principle:' the harder an engine has to work, the shorter it's life will be.'
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:08 PM   #12
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That's a fallacy.

(And young boys/men are equally as proficient ruining 500 and 650cc machines as they are at ruining smaller displacement machines. Displacement isnt the shortcoming in that equation)
That example got used because we were running our 350's at 75 to 80 fairly frequently and for long distances.

The fact that a moron can wreck almost anything doesn't change the fact that for running at a given speed a larger low stress motor will usually outlast a smaller more highly stressed unit. If I run my Citycom and my V-Strom 1000 at 75 mph I know which one is most likely to make it to 100,000 miles.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:08 PM   #13
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That example got used because we were running our 350's at 75 to 80 fairly frequently and for long distances.

The fact that a moron can wreck almost anything doesn't change the fact that for running at a given speed a larger low stress motor will usually outlast a smaller more highly stressed unit. If I run my Citycom and my V-Strom 1000 at 75 mph I know which one is most likely to make it to 100,000 miles.
A large part of what determines engine wear is piston speed. You can't make a generalization based solely on displacement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phipsd View Post
I grew up riding bikes this size and being young and stupid we pushed them hard. Lots of 250 to 500 bikes didn't make it to 20,000 miles. I had two 325 Honda's and a 450 and all of them were pretty thrashed by 30,000 miles.
Treated a little more gently, they were good for 100,000 miles.
Shit broke when I was young too. Things are different today. Motor oil is exponentially better. Vehicle technology and machining is exponentially better. Air cooled motorcycle engines will run 200,000 miles with little drama. Some water cooled motorcycle engines will run up to 500,000 miles with little drama. I'm not convinced a water cooled scooter engine running on today's synthetics dies an early death simply because it is run at 80 instead of 75, particularly when the CVT keeps the RPM close to constant.

When I was an Auto Tech ( left the biz in 2002), I rebuilt engines that were fragged at 60,000 miles. Bearings worn to copper, scoring on pistons, and a ridge at the top of the cylinders. Conversely I saw the same engine that made 140 hp in stock form cranking out 500 hp with a massive turbocharger making 24 lbs of boost, and it spent a good portion of it's life at a drag strip. It was torn down at 130,000 miles because the owner assumed the wear had to be getting appreciable, but teardown showed the cross hatch still visible in the cylinders, no scoring, and everything still within specs.

I'm not suggesting the BV350 should or shouldn't be run at 80 mph. Since that is close to the true top speed I certainly wouldn't think it would be efficient at that speed. Since mine isn't broken in yet I can't tell you what will really happen to mileage at 75 vs 80, but I can tell you it cruises fairly effortlessly at 70 - 75 true speed (the speedo is a bit optimistic) and I have no worries at keeping it there for thousands of miles.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:52 PM   #14
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Into the 70's two-up on a Vespa is pushing it. I'm familiar with Vespa performance and I don't believe it. I think somebody's shining you on.

Even if it's true and vespa has built a scoot that can run that fast two up and loaded for 60,000 miles, you could gain much longer engine life by backing off and cruising along at 60.

Again it goes back to the basic engineering principle:' the harder an engine has to work, the shorter it's life will be.'
Nobody's shining me on....a friend of 30 years with hundreds upon hundreds of thousand of miles and more bikes than I can remember under his belt.

If my BS radar were to be alerted here, it would be from a poorly informed post about engine size and use being directly correlated to its longevity.

If that were true EVERY 4 cylinder engined vehicle on the road regularly driven on the same roads, at the same highway speeds would be outlived by EVERY 6 or 8 cylinder engine being used for the same duty. Oh, and the 8 bangers would outlive every 6 banger....

Thats simply not the case. Not even close. Believe what you wish, but buying a 650 thinking its going to outlast a 400 or 350 (330 cc in actuality) is a false economy.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:30 AM   #15
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One of my closest friends has put 60k mostly 70 to 75 Interstate miles on his Piaggio BV250 without a hitch. Runs as new to this day. He is still racking up the miles daily.

The Kymco GTi300 engine will be the engine in a major brand hybrid car coming out soon. That engine was designed to run at 80% full throttle 100% of the time. I have put 5500 Interstate miles on mine in the last 30 days at 75 mph all the time and bursts to 80 frequently. Changed oil at 3k and 6k and have not needed to add one drop of oil in between.

My opinion is both of these bikes are more than capable of living a long and happy life of 70 to 75 mph Interstate travel all the time.
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