BV350 -- early thoughts!

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by quasigentrified, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    870
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    first off, pics, because that's all you jerks care about. 2013 piaggio bv350, SHINY BLACK. i was torn between it and silver, but i didn't want to be mistaken for a bmw :evil

    forward shot
    [​IMG]

    ass shot, don't mind the messy garage
    [​IMG]

    with the ol' mana
    [​IMG]


    anyway! impressions. i'm a n00b motorcyclist overall, and only put about 10K miles down on scoots (although i was a dirt rat in my YOOF), but, hey, i'm as qualified to remark as, well, maybe your average amazon reviewer. i traded in my aprilia sportcity 250 because i found i was riding it at 60+ an awful lot on the slab going in and out of seattle, and wanted a commuter/get-around scoot with a it more heft, comfort, and amenity. reviews of the bv350 indicated it would fit the bill.

    no, i did not want a majesty/burgman/silverwing/c650. i have the WORLD'S BIGGEST SCOOTER already: the aprilia mana 850 gt! (also i am only 39.) 33ish hp in a 390 lb. frame seemed like a good middleweight compromise between urban slumbike and slab crawler, and after a test ride: SHO NUFF.

    i've put about 300 miles on it, and have tried to be gentle breaking it in, but, uh, while it may not be the mana, it punches hard when i need it to. here's my plusses and minuses:

    GOOD:
    - really comfortable upright position with a decently cushy suspension.
    - AMAZINGLY low center of gravity lets me treat a nearly 400 lb. scoot like a 300 lb. one. brakes may not be abs, but they glide me to perfect stops even on nasty busted-ass seattle hill streets and grip well in the rain. (so far. i will test this one further. ;-))
    - AWESOME midband throttle experience. as noted earlier, it destroys cages at middle speeds, and makes passing smooth and secure-feeling.
    - good amenties. lighter socket for my gerbing gloves, large large LARGE underseat space (i also added a 40L shad topcase).
    - good fit/finish. gorgeous display. (awful display graphics have kept me away from great kymco scoots, which is lame, but there you go.) throttle grips are great, and both brake levers have perfect tension for me.
    - engine makes a nice, burry sound that says MANSCOOT. (is that an oxymoron?)

    BAD:
    - REALLY uneven and aggressive engine braking at low speeds, which took a little adjusting to. it's kinda motorcyclish, kinda not. it's not terrible, but it gets a little lurchy-draggy when pulsing/releasing the throttle in low-speed stop-and-go. (maybe there's some ducati in its blood? naaah.)
    - i still kinda miss the sportcity 250 :cry

    so far, the honeymoon holds. the lurchy low-speed engine braking is the really only rough spot, but it doesn't throw me off and is eminently tolerable. this might be due to the new wet clutch?

    any other owners have longer term experience with the bv350? anything i should look out for? i think i'll want a bigger windscreen at some point. any preferred saddlebags for it?
    #1
  2. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

    Joined:
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    ugh, those pics came out awful. i'll take some with a real camera laterz.
    #2
  3. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Winchester, Southern California
    I'm loving my BV-350, and have (had) only one gripe. The windshield. Now its gone and so is my gripe:

    [​IMG]

    Regarding cornering....I also have a Vespa GTS 250 and don't find my BV any less capable of aggressive cornering than my Vespa...maybe adjust the preload on your rear shocks a notch or two to keep the c-stand off the tarmac? Worth a try.

    I've actually come to like the aggressive e-braking...especially in the tight stuff where I prefer riding. I could see NOT liking it in city/stop-and-go traffic but then it IS marketed as a tourer. I wholeheartedly believe the GTS is a better urban commuter, and having never ridden a Sportcity figure its about the same. And since "city" is part of it's name....maybe thats it's sweet spot too.

    I rode my GTS yesterday in the hills locally and commented to my wife (also a GT/BV owner and relatively seasoned rider of 10+ years now) that I missed the heartier e-braking of the BV up in the hills of DeLuz.

    Enjoy it, it's a different animal but in my estimation one of Piaggio's best product offerings right now.
    #3
  4. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

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    i'm pretty sure i'll come to appreciate the aggressive engine braking; i was just really used to the sc250's smooooooth falloff.

    i'll muck about with the preload. thanks for the tip!
    #4
  5. andoulli

    andoulli CAJUN

    Joined:
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    2,114
    Does that camera have a de-clutter mode?
    #5
  6. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

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    it was an ipad. i'd just pulled in and mailed myself the shots.
    #6
  7. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

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    Location:
    central valley, california
    Niiiice!
    #7
  8. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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    Greenville, SC
    You have 2 very nice machines in that garage.:wink:
    #8
  9. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    haha, allstate is insisting that i can't get a collision/comp policy on it because their database insists this is a moped! wtf.

    "ma'm, this 'moped' costs more, and has more weight and engine displacement than so-called 'motorcycles' i've owned and insured with y'all"

    "WELL THE COMPUTER SCREEN SAYS THIS IS A MOPED SO I CAN ONLY DO LIABILITY"

    jesus h.
    #9
  10. GREY.HOUND

    GREY.HOUND Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    central valley, california
    Try GEICO.
    #10
  11. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    Location:
    Houston, TX/Breckenridge, CO
    Change companies, not even my Buddy 125 is counted as a moped and you can get collision insurance on mopeds in Texas anyway.
    #11
  12. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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    I had full coverage on my Yamaha Zuma 125 with Geico.
    #12
  13. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

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    went with geico. it's a motorcycle to them. :clap
    #13
  14. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

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    the scoot seems to need a few minute with the engine running when i start or it's kinda rough out of the driveway. i'm assuming that this is just a break-in period thing.

    the grippy engine braking is still a bit weird, but i'm accustomed it and have a good throttle technique with it now. also, sorta related: i rolled through a downhill corner in an intersection in the cvt equivalent of neutral (no throttle input) and when i rolled back on the throttle, it hitched and burped before kicking in. that was a little weird.

    lastly, the turn signal switch is obnoxiously bad! i think i have the requisite pressure on it figured out, but OI, there was some in-town navigation where i was constantly checking the instruments when i should have been watching traffic. i think i got the feel for it now.

    other than those nitpicks, it is AWESOME. did a commute into seattle with 12-20 mph gusts on the slab and it was smooth as butter regardless. backroads and city streets were like gliding on a little throaty cloud. turning and stability are a++ would ride again, and cornering is as fun as it was on the sportcity. man, this ride LOVES 35-60. despite some rain and gusts, it was a champ to ride and made mild inclement weather really pleasant. very happy overall!
    #14
  15. Chindog

    Chindog Old Guy

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    Nov 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Dallas, GA
    NIce new ride! I got to sit on a 2013 BV 350 last weekend. But not for very long, because I didn't want to get too attached to it, and have it follow me home. :)
    #15
  16. Yellow Jacket

    Yellow Jacket Been here awhile

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    Is that red a new color or did you have it painted? I've not seen a 350 yet but don't think I would like the silver and black isn't so hot either.
    #16
  17. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    the color Piaggio SHOULD offer it in.

    But thats just my personal opinion. And now my personal color. One of a kind.
    #17
  18. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    Location:
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    Any info on maintenance, especially the valves, and parts availability and cost?
    #18
  19. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    Location:
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    http://www.piaggiousa.com/scooters.html#!s=maintenance/bv-350

    Pricing, as is usual is set by each dealer. This extended service interval was a BIG factor in my selection of the BV-350 over say the Kymco 300 GTI. The bike is also a pleasure to ride. Powerful and smooth.

    Parts availability, routine ones anyway doesnt seem to be an issue.

    My pre-purchase, I-already-owned-a Vespa-and-have-had heartburn-with-Piaggio-before research showed a VERY satisfied group of BV owners to which I am now one. I monitored both Modern Vespa, and the motorcycling press carefully prior to pulling the trigger on not 1, but 2 of these.

    So far, no regrets whatsoever.
    #19
  20. Dabears

    Dabears --------------------

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    747
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Yours looks great, but I actually don't mind the black or the silver- it's the Red contrasts that make little sense to me. Gray would be ok, black even better, but that red is just not a good idea for places that get a lot of sun, which ironically is typically where you're going to find scooters! (Note: I'm talking about the seat and the glove box being red, NOT gogogordy's Red finish- which i love!)

    Ultimately I could still see owning one of these regardless- I like the overall look and the design just seems to make sense.

    My local Vespa dealer has a bunch of them in stock now.
    #20