BV350 -- early thoughts!

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

  1. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    17,393
    Location:
    Hide Away Hills, Ohio
    One week into ownership and I'll be performing my 620 mile service tomorrow.

    I stopped by a local Kymco dealer and did a parking lot comparison to a Kymco People GT 300i and a Downtown 300I. I now understand why the People comes with a topcase, because if it didn't there would be very little storage. The Downtown was a little better. Both paled in the comparison of fit & finish, as well as the feel of the switchgear and seat release mechanisms. However, I think I liked the seat on both Kymcos a bit better than the BV 350. I did not ride either of the Kymcos, but I am sure I made the right choice. The BV has been a lot of fun, has plenty of power, and there are only a couple of very minor things I can find to pick on, such as the fuel gauge reading empty with nearly a gallon left in the tank. But once I figured that out it's not a big deal to compensate for.
  2. Gerg

    Gerg Cupcake

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2001
    Oddometer:
    8,524
    Location:
    Left Coast
    The fuel gauge is wacko for sure. I'm at a 1/4 left with only 110 miles. I'll fill it tomorrow for the verdict.
    And I have to agree with quasi about the Speedo with KPM on the outter circle. Just a minor nit and I've ridden/driven enough KPH rigs to be able to not have to think about how fast I'm going. The seat hump has to go. I'm 6'2" with long legs and that extra inch or so would be nice.

    The thing I couldn't believe was how smooth this thing is. Nice power to go along with it. I started with zero miles and I could feel the thing get better as I came home. The BV will probably have me kicking the TW200 to the curb.

    I probably paid a little too much but it was WAY down from the starting point of around $7k out the door. I'm happy and they made some money.

    Off to SoCal in the morning... with the BV as our "'round town" rig when we get there!

    Gerg
  3. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,040
    Location:
    Winchester, Southern California
    I ditched the windscreen, re-did the seat (twice) and otherwise, live with the funky gas-gauge.

    Those two nits aside...the BV-350 is one bad-ass sccoter. My wife has one too.
  4. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    17,393
    Location:
    Hide Away Hills, Ohio
    I just took off the seat bolster this afternoon. Definitely better. I picked up three plastic automotive trim pushpins that have 1/4" barbed shafts and convex heads around 1.5" diameter. I carefully opened the holes up where the bolster studs went through to 1/4", and used a rubber mallet to hammer in the plastic push pins. It's ok looking, and covers up the bolster mounting holes completely. This coming winter I may have the seat recovered.
  5. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    875
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    congrats! it gets even better as the engine breaks in. :clap
  6. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,040
    Location:
    Winchester, Southern California
    ^^^^This^^^^
  7. Globs

    Globs Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Cambridge, England
    It's deja vue all over again, I did a similar thing with my SYM GTS300 - the bolster was way too big. I ended up cutting a piece of 6mm ply to shape, covering it with foam and black vinyl stapled at the back, and two holes with some 8mm rope threaded in.

    This rope then goes into the seat and is held by those little rope-locks you get on clothes. So much better than the big bolster, but the next mod may be to make it even smaller and thinner!.
  8. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    17,393
    Location:
    Hide Away Hills, Ohio
    I completed the first service tonight and did a couple of extra things such as adjust the throttle cables and aim the headlight. A coupe of things to note:

    1) Taking apart the instrument cluster hood assembly sucks ass. Not so bad once I saw how it goes together, but the instructions in the service manual aren't very good. It would be very easy to break plastic tabs or mar the plastic if you aren't careful.

    2) Since my Piaggio dealer didn't have any Piaggio filters in stock they sold me a K & N oil filter. There is a spring that goes between the filter and the screw on cap. The stock filter has a flange that captures the spring. The K & N doesn't. The first time I installed the filter cap and started the engine I had some oil leakage from around the cap. I took it apart and determined the spring probably got cocked as I was screwing the cap on. I got it right the second time.

    Other than that I found it simple and easy to work on.
  9. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,196
    Location:
    Houston, TX/Breckenridge, CO
    FWIW, some of the longer legged folks who ride BV 350s are adding custom folding foot pegs for longer journeys see http://modernvespa.com/forum/topic113019 for info and pics.
  10. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    17,393
    Location:
    Hide Away Hills, Ohio
    After re-seating the oil filter spring and oil cap I noticed I was still getting some very slight seepage from the oil filter cap. I went online and ordered three oil filters and four oil filter cap O-rings from AF1. They came in today, so when I got home a little while ago I decided to replace the O-ring. The first thing I noticed is the replacement O-Ring is nearly twice as thick as the original. Additionally, it is a superseded part number. In other words, Piaggio knows it was an issue and has made a correction.

    I installed the new O-ring. The cap now has more resistance as it is screwed down to the fully seated position. I haven't ridden it yet, but I'm pretty sure there won't be anymore seepage.
  11. quasigentrified

    quasigentrified Ape Trumpet

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    875
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    ran the bv all over the olympic peninsula thursday through this morning -- worked like a dream, although i needed to bump up the rear tire pressure after about 500 miles. stopped off for gas at the 7 cedars casino, squid behind me remarked that "you keep a fast pace for a scooter" and i lol'd. (i did wind it up past 85 for a stretch.)

    i'll upload some pics inna bit.
  12. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    17,393
    Location:
    Hide Away Hills, Ohio
    One additional discovery:

    I checked the coolant level over the weekend and noticed the cap for the coolant bottle was rubbing on the lid. This was because the coolant bottle was loose. Getting to its mounting bolts required removal of the side plastics, footrests, passenger footrests, and front body panel. I found the large mounting bolt for he coolant bottle was not tightened during assembly.
  13. Chillis

    Chillis Land Barge Pilot

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,228
    Location:
    Spring Mountain Range
    Any updates on these beauties?
  14. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    17,393
    Location:
    Hide Away Hills, Ohio
    Yea - the price went down several hundred dollars two months after I purchased :bluduh

    Other than that I just rode it last week in a brief warm spell. 2400 miles now and other than dealer incompetence turning a historic lean O2 sensor code into a month long visit with no repairs performed the scooter has been great. I later figured out the lean O2 sensor code and momentary check engine light can be induced by disconnecting the battery and the injection system "relearning" fuel trim. It's no big deal and the scooter runs fine. I also figured out that repeatedly stuffing the tank with max fuel does eventually fill the rollover valve with raw fuel and can cause erratic idle and/or stalling. I took it apart and cleaned out the raw fuel. It's been fine since. I now don't fill the tank all the way, but I know for others the solution has been to remove the evap system. But most importantly I figured out I need to find another dealer if I have any issues in the future.
  15. Kenbike

    Kenbike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    772
    Location:
    South of the big lake
    I am considering a BV350 and selling my Blur 220i. My wife rides aVespa 300 super and want a scooter that is faster than hers but still handles well. Plan on using it for riding to work 90 mile round trip mostly eway and short rides. I have aTenere for my main bike so this is just an extra toy.

    So my question is how dose the BV350 compare to a 300 Vespa as far as ride, handling, braking and speed?
  16. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    17,393
    Location:
    Hide Away Hills, Ohio
    Considerably faster (more power) with the handling and braking benefits of big wheels.
  17. tclhb

    tclhb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    164
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I bought a new BV 350 three weeks ago and LOVE it! It's a great ride. Lots of power, it falls into turns really nice, has a good amount of storage, good fit and finish, very convenient access to compartments via push to access with no key required provided the ignition is not locked, and a nice optional top case and mount with using the ignition key. About the only thing I'm not too happy with is the horn. I'll probably replace it with a louder one.
  18. Chillis

    Chillis Land Barge Pilot

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,228
    Location:
    Spring Mountain Range
    Good to hear.

    I think this bike is one of the top choices on the market today. I still think they could take a powerplant like this one and drop it in a sporty styled bike with a giant luggage compartment under the conventional style top tank.
  19. aalegado

    aalegado Team Gear Whore

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    Lost Wages, Nevahduh
    What top-cases are owners running? Piaggio's OEM case, a Shad case, or what?
  20. Gerg

    Gerg Cupcake

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2001
    Oddometer:
    8,524
    Location:
    Left Coast
    OEM
    Holds an XXL helmet with room to spare.