BV350 -- early thoughts!

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

  1. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

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    man, this thing can ROAR out of 45-60 mph corners. it's not the mana, no doubt, but DAMN you can put a little drama into the corner exit! :clap

    i should really not be having this much fun. ;-)
    #41
  2. TechFrog

    TechFrog Professional Amature

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    I too have the black one and have had it about um... 6 months maybe? Hmm... gotta think about that. Anyway, I have a few issues, but will first say it's really a GREAT machine. I currently also own a Honda PCX125, PCX150 (125 going up for sale) and besides my BV350, I will soon have a Honda NC700X since I usually always have a motorcycle around. Well, back to the BV... it's really the perfect mid-size commuter for me. Perfect balance of weight/power for half day commutes. I will probably always have a 150 around (like my PCX) because there is no better size for zipping around the local town, especially when there is LA traffic.

    As for my issues, yes I agree with the engine braking, but I've gotten used to it. That is no longer really an issue, but if I were Piaggio, I would pay closer attention to details like Honda does (gauges mostly). I mean, I know Piaggio is not all-in Stateside, but if they really do want this market, they should give us our own speedometer. Not only is the speed hard to read (small MPH vs. big KPH numbers, but the speedo lies more than a fat kid that knows nothing of the missing pie. I always have to sit there and do math to figure out my speed. I don't mean it is optimistic by 1 or 2 mph, but as high as 6 or 7 depending on speed. I know because my GPS is right there giving me the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me dog.

    So the speedo is my number one gripe (yes I know this is not the only scooter with this "issue," but this is not the only gauge that is bad). The fuel gauge may as well just be painted there with a random reading. It is only good to let you know the first half of your tank has something in it. After that, forget it, and forget the refuel light, because it comes on about 80 miles premature. It seems to be the perfect gauge if it were a 2 gallon tank instead of the actual 3.4.

    Last gripe is the lack of a parking brake. My beloved BV350 already fell on a slight downgrade. Yes, it was my fault for not using the centerstand, but it didn't seem that much of a downgrade for this to happen. Yup, $600 damage when the thing was less than a week old. Parking brake would have solved this. Can't park in gear like my motorcycles, so there it is, my gripes.

    So with all that said, I still think the pros far outweigh the cons. I ride in a scooter group, and even though I'm about 30lbs overweight, I have two vespa 300 gts' in the group and have them both burning an image in my mirrors, even when they are lighter than me by a good 20-30lbs. The only place it's pretty even is off the line. After about 25mph, there is no competition, I simply dust them. Burgman 400's have basically the same HP (32/33ish) but Burgs are about 90-100lbs. heavier, so you can do that math. Of course, these groups are never about racing, but when a few of us do our own balls-out riding, I'm just always waiting at the end of the road. Riding this thing is just fun. The powerband, the handling, the smooth engine. The bike is a stroke of genius. If they ironed out the gauges, I would have the perfect scooter. This is coming from a guy that has owned about 20 motorcycles over 30 years including a Yamaha FJR1300 which I sold recently. I know bikes, and I've found a really great one in this BV350
    #42
  3. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    Nice review.

    How do you and the seat get along? (Im having my bolster shaved...errr, my seat's bolster:lol3)
    #43
  4. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Thanks for the pics-I like that scoot too! Now that you've got it, clean up that corner of the garage before it burns down with the scoot in it:rofl
    #44
  5. Jaqen H'ghar

    Jaqen H'ghar Valar Morgoulis

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    #45
  6. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    #46
  7. Jaqen H'ghar

    Jaqen H'ghar Valar Morgoulis

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    gogo,
    Question: Did you remove all the tupperware yourself in order to paint it red?
    Could you elaborate a bit on the process involved in stripping it down and the cost to paint it that red color. Thanks, Jaqen
    #47
  8. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    The paint, and all the work involved in it was performed by the dealer we purchased it from http://www.vespaso.com/.

    He did a superb job and is a super-nice guy. David Meyer is the fellow to speak to.
    #48
  9. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

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    took the treefitty in for its first service. man, every time i ride it, i'm shocked at what an angry little wolverine of an engine it has. i've learned to adore the aggressive engine braking. i swear, it never stops being a blast -- in downtown or on exurban roads!
    #49
  10. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    They did my first service while I waited and I was floored by how much oil the final drive contains....darn near as much as the engine on my Vespa 250 holds.

    I'm sure that accounts for a lot of the smoothness of the power delivery and YES its a darn fine and capable scooter.

    I'm averaging just around 64 mpg on mine, quite pleased with that but that fuel gauge....I call it a "guess gauge".
    #50
  11. Jaqen H'ghar

    Jaqen H'ghar Valar Morgoulis

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    gogo,
    another one, I notice in the top pic that you had the seat re-covered in black and maybe you had the Ox blood colored plastic inserts painted black also? Is that correct?
    #51
  12. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    The seat AND the plastics are available, OEM from Piaggio. Those are OEM parts neither re-covered, nor painted.
    #52
  13. Jaqen H'ghar

    Jaqen H'ghar Valar Morgoulis

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    Thanks go, think I'll give your man there David a call and just order me up one just like yours, I'm over here in Irvine about 35 miles from you, maybe we could meet up someday at Hell's Kitchen and show those Harley guys what real bikes look like.:lol3
    #53
  14. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    That sounds good.

    I know Irvine....grew up in El Toro (yeah, about a hundred years ago when it was called El Toro) and the Ortega is a great ride!
    #54
  15. TechFrog

    TechFrog Professional Amature

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    Funny you should ask. I get saddle sore after about 150 miles, so I have been considering Airhawk or other solutions. I never thought about shaving the bolster. I would hate to commit to that without a guaranty that it would really improve things. I may just stick to the Airhawk idea. I'll be curious to see how yours turns out
    #55
  16. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    The shaved bolster is an 80% improvement, but I'm now taking it to the next level. Full bolsterectomy, and recover. (Have an 800 mile weekend on it coming up)

    Try removing the bolster completely (3 bolts underneath) and ride it. Oooh lala what a difference. Seriously, give it a try....cost zero and no commitment and you'll at least have a direction you want to pursue. The scoot's a mile-eater in every other respect IMO.
    #56
  17. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

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    my GOD this is a ridiculously fun scoot. it's amazing what a little extra hp can do for even a scooter :evil

    edit: i broke a personal rule ("never let anyone get on yer bike") and let an old-school gs-ridin' pal tool around on it for a spell after he refused to believe it wasn't "totally gutless." he came back after an hour with a HOLY SHIT, YOU FUCKER WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME THEY MADE SCOOTERS RIDE LIKE BIKES THESE DAYS to which i said "because you hate scooters and now you're totally a sissy too"
    #57
  18. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    That's funny and you're responsible for HIS sissification now.
    I hope you can live with yerself....
    #58
  19. craiger527

    craiger527 Been here awhile

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    This thread has been very helpful but I am on the fence between finding a used bv250 or a new bv350. Really like the new features and upgraded engine. Thanks for your input.
    #59
  20. TechFrog

    TechFrog Professional Amature

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    I just ordered an Airhawk, but I like the bolster removal idea. Removed it on my Honda PCX150, and it helped that scoot. My group rode to Mt. Baldy and he had an Airhawk on his Burgman and let me try it on my BV. Nice! Mine should be here by Wednesday. I also have a big weekend. I'm heading your way actually. Have a friend in Temecula, but my whole group is heading to AmeriVespa, but before AmeriVespa, 3 or 4 of us (all from LA) are heading down to Vespa Motorsports San Diego. I'd love to rendezvous with you at AmeriVespa if you're going. BV350 riders UNITE!
    #60