Comparison: Piaggio BV500 and Honda Silverwing

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by gumshoe4, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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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.
    #21
  2. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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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...
    #22
  3. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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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.
    :cry

    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.
    #23
  4. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    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.
    #24
  5. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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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...:D
    #25
  6. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    :thumb
    #26
  7. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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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...
    #27
  8. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    :thumb

    :lurk
    #28
  9. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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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.
    #29
  10. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Been here awhile

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    Another horror story about poor parts availability and service :eek1

    Why on earth would a parts department and a service department not be able to talk to one another :eek1 ( 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.:huh

    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.
    #30
  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    There are good and bad dealers out there. I have lived in 10 different states, some of them more than once. I have had the chance to do business at a large number of dealers. The Aprilia dealer where I bought my Sport City (also Moto Guzzi & MV Augusta) is, based on my experience so far, the best dealer I have done business with, ever, period.

    I believe that the quality of the dealership is important. Too many people just go for the lowest price. When looking for that scooter, you should also be looking for a dealer you will be comfortable doing business with.
    #31
  12. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Been here awhile

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    Always have and always will.
    A good dealer , who values you as a customer can save you money and aggravation in the long run over a dealer who sells at the lowest price and will not help you when you need it.
    #32
  13. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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    No reason to believe that this dealer was a bad dealer and I don't think it is. I've done business with them before when I had the Beemer and at other times and they've treated me well. I think perhaps today was just a brain fart day, so I'm not upset with the dealer or dragging out the pitchforks and hot tar. They did not argue about it being a warranty matter...it was just a matter of transmitting a part number to the service writer. It's a good dealer and I always support local dealers until they prove their incompetency. In this case, it is also the only Piaggio dealer in the area.

    As I just bought the bike and I like how it runs and handles, I'm obviously not going to dump it...there is no reason to do so yet...or maybe at all...I understand that the emotional reaction is to go to general quarters, roast the dealer, dump the bike and get out from under it, but I think there is a more rational position and that's the one I'm taking.

    When I started this thread, I did so in order to pass information along, good and bad, warts and all, and that's why I provided the information above about the turnsignal. I don't mind passing along the information, because I like to share it for everyone's edification, but if I may politely point out that I only have 166 miles on the bike...I think I need to ride it more before I decide that it's a lost cause. Let's keep our heads about us, OK?
    #33
  14. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Been here awhile

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    Wart's and all are what many of us look for when we read and comment on these threads :ear
    #34
  15. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    Thank you though I'm not sure it is all that deserved. I have fun and for the most part it has been trouble free with the exception of the flat tire coming back from DC. I still need to get the Amerivespa trip written up on my blog.

    Thinking of a smal trip to the top of Mt. Evans Saturday if the forecast is accurate. Last time we rode up it was on the Burgman and Sports City not long after I injured my ankle so I couldn't walk to the top.

    As for Piaggio parts availalbility in most cases I've had the needed parts within a couple of days. The one exception was replacing the speedometer which had to be shipped from Italy in August. August is when everything in Italy shuts down. The good news is that Piaggio is stocking more parts in the US so if the part is here you shold get it soon enough. If not, well it maybe September.
    #35
  16. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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    I have a service availability for the BV's first service on 08-21-2012 and my goal is to put some miles on the bike before it goes in.

    Today, I took the BV up to Robinson Flat, about 27 miles east of Foresthill (~80 miles east of Sacramento) in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I live in the Sacramento Valley and it gets hot here in the summer (kind of cool right now...only in the mid-90's), so my default position is nearly always to head for the hills in the summer. I've done this run before on the SWing and have documented it, so just a few photos from today's run:

    [​IMG][/IMG]
    Foresthill Road eastbound near Iowa Hill Road...Iowa Hill is where the Department of Forestry just got finished knocking down the Robber Fire...those firefighters are very much appreciated up here.

    [​IMG][/IMG]
    Same location looking back west towards Foresthill

    [​IMG][/IMG]
    View from the cockpit. You can just see the canyon of the North Fork of the American River at the left of the photo.

    [​IMG][/IMG]
    In the big trees at about 5000' or so.

    [​IMG][/IMG]
    Made it to Robinson Flat. It's all dirt from here, so I didn't go any further.

    [​IMG][/IMG]
    Big hole on the north side of the road...

    [​IMG][/IMG]
    Here's what it is...the North Fork canyon.

    [​IMG][/IMG]
    An old burn..don't know when that fire was, but undergrowth is in good shape, so it's been awhile.

    The bike ran fine...oil level was good from the first run and didn't need to add any. It ran a little on the warm side when in traffic or idling at a stoplight in the heat, but the fan went on and kicked the temp down...I think it's just a different type of temp sensor. The SWing never indicates above about halfway on the temp gauge, but its fan also goes on in this weather.

    First full tank of fuel, the mileage looks like this: 137.9 miles/2.3 gallons = 59.9 mpg. That's pretty good, I think, because it's a brand new engine and I'm not babying it at all. However, I find that like the SWing, the BV is difficult to fuel well, or top off, due primarily to our stupid vapor recovery nozzles in California...rant on...these have been shown to accomplish absolutely nothing in terms of keeping gasoline vapors out of the air, and the California Air Resources Board has admitted it-we're still stuck with the damn things and they make it very difficult to fuel motorcycles, particularly bikes like the BV and SWing, whose fuel tank fillers are down on the floorboards and difficult to see. You have to pull back on the vapor recovery sleeve to get the nozzle to function, since most motorcycle filler necks are not compatible with the vapor recovery nozzles...this means you stand a pretty good chance of slopping gasoline out of the tank and onto your hands, or wasting some fuel...it's a stupid thing...OK, rant off. Since I don't think I completely filled the tank today, the mileage may be overstated...not sure...we'll keep checking and reporting.

    Ending mileage on the odometer today is 321.

    So I have two things to discuss with the dealer at the first service...I want him to check the cooling system...I'm sure it's OK, but better to ask than not...and fix the turnsignal.

    Incidentally, the Givi box is really nice to have on this bike, because, as I mentioned previously, it lacks much underseat storage.

    More to follow...

    Hope you got out on your bike, CD...sounds like a cool ride...
    #36
  17. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    We have the same accordian fueling sleeves and what I do is when I take the cap off I put it at right angles to the filler neck. That way the gas cap pushes the sleeve up and I don't need to do so with my hand. Others like the http://www.mccuff.com/
    #37
  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Nice looking bike and some great scenery to ride in:thumb
    #38
  19. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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    That's smart.

    Thanks for the link to the McCuff...just ordered one...
    #39
  20. gizmo309

    gizmo309 Adventurer

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    Got to sit on a Silverwing today. I fit nicely. I still think the best overall fit for me on any scooter is a Burgman 650 but it is not on my list. The Silverwing does feel like an exagerated Reflex. Just a little bigger/different in some areas. It would be very easy to get used to- it feels just like the Reflex except with a little higher seat (a good thing) and a better overall riding position. I would be comfortable with one as my main ride as long as the motor/trans is as everyone has said - smoother than the Reflex. I think I can even put up with a choppy ride (if it rides that way) as long as the drivetrain is smooth. I know these things are reliable and built (simply) like a usual Honda. They look pretty badass in black.

    I sure am thinking about it.......

    Bob
    #40