Comparison: Piaggio BV500 and Honda Silverwing

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

  1. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    IMO, all scooters should come with sliders as standard, and as far as I know,
    there's just one that does (the gp800/srv850).
  2. Brooktown Geezer

    Brooktown Geezer scooter guy

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    Piaggio has started incorporating Dr. Pulley sliders branded for Piaggio on some new models this past year. Good move I think.

    [​IMG]
  3. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    +1

    The great thing is, they work well in any CVT, just gotta figure out the weight.
    On smaller engine scooters loss of top speed is sometimes an issue.
  4. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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    So the temps here today are in the 70's...couldn't pass up the opportunity to ride, so I took the BV up towards LaPorte, in the Sierra foothills. I got all the way past Clipper Mills, but there was too much sand on the road from the snow plows, so I gave up and came back. It was a beautiful day and the BV ran very well indeed...70-75 mph on the freeway back and I goosed it a bit up to 85 (deserted road, short time) just to see how it would do. Did fine.

    Here are some photos:

    [​IMG]
    The BV next to an old school near Brownsville

    [​IMG]
    The Woodleaf Hotel

    [​IMG]
    Commemorative sign outside the Woodleaf Hotel saying that the hotel was built in 1858 and that US Grant and Black Bart stayed there

    [​IMG]
    LaPorte Road in front of the hotel looking west towards Brownsville

    [​IMG]
    The BV with all my gear stacked on it while I'm taking break

    [​IMG]
    The BV in front of the Woodleaf Hotel

    Came back home on 70 to Ferrari Ranch (yep, that's the name!) Road and down Sierra College back to the 'burbs. The BV ran effortlessly and did well...until I got home. I'll be darned-that stinkin' right rear turn signal is BROKEN AGAIN. It's been fine for the last two or three runs I've done on the bike and I haven't touched it or crunched it.

    I'm now convinced that there must be a harmonic vibration at highway speeds which is just too much for the turn signal stalk. It always breaks in the same place and, now that I think back on it, it breaks after I've been on the freeway.

    :muutt

    I love the bike, but this turn signal thing is driving me GAZANGA!!!
  5. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    We've had no problems with either of our BV 500s turn signal stalks not even when I slid a bit down an embankment of road grit after being run off the road on Colorado 9 by an asswipe in a jacked up 4x4.

    Maybe alternative turn signals would be worth looking into, something like http://www.jcwhitney.com/turn-signa...PC&id=27616G&gclid=CM-9-fH63LUCFQwFnQodA38ANQ
    [​IMG]

    or perhaps these Admore http://admorelighting.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=63&product_id=130 placed along the chrome/textured plastic which should be far enough apart to be DOT legal.
  6. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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    I looked at the right side photo I took at the Woodleaf Hotel and magnified it.

    The turn signal was intact at that time. By that time, I had ridden no more than 15 miles of freeway and speeds were around 60-65. I was on my way home, so it broke sometime between the time that photo was taken and my arrival at home. The trip back was almost entirely by freeway, with a good portion of it at or above 70. Since it's ALWAYS the right rear turn signal, I'm wondering if there's a fender or hugger brace under there that's loose. I'll have to check that out.

    I can't explain it, CD. I am aware from your previous posts that you have had no such problems with yours and I'm glad for you. For me, this is a major discrepancy, a significant flaw in an otherwise great machine. It's very aggravating.

    I appreciate the links you provided, but they are for front turn signals. The problem I'm having is with the right rear turn signal stalk.

    Carrying on...
  7. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    Ah, rear signals, wonder why I always thought it was the front ones? Rears are even easier especially if you put them in your topcase. I just put the Admore kit in my Givi 470 but they also make a plain strip you can put on either your topcase or along the back. I've seen several people who have upgraded to it. It has really improved the visibility of the brake and turn signals on my scoots.

    I think you are on the right track to check for a lose bracket or something rubbing, hope you can track it down.
  8. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    I can't believe this is happening to you.
    The 500 does vibrate like a beyotch, but it's not that bad after 4000-4500
    revs, damnit (my sister's had a tach).

    You're obviously riding 1) too slow or 2) too fast, you need other revs. :D
    Might I suggest Dr Pulley sliders?

    I'm probably getting on top of some people's heads with them, but they
    have transformed my scooter, and it will do the same for yours, even if
    you think you don't need it.

    I got a friend who went for them in the Nexus 500 (same engine as yours),
    we went about 10% lighter then stock, and he gained about 500 revs
    at "around town" speeds which was enough to reduce the vibrations by
    half, he got better acceleration from 0 to about 70mph, but he did loose
    some indicated top end (it would actually do 110mph indicated (I know), and
    it dropped to 100mph), but everything after 65 or so MPH was at lower
    revs.

    His fuel consumption is lower then mine (on a 300cc scoot).
  9. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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    So today, I got motivated and pulled the turn signal apart to see exactly what was happening. Here's an overall view:

    [​IMG]

    You can see that the lip on the support block which fits into the frame on the inside of the turn signal assembly is what fractured. It's a pretty thin lip. What I don't get is why the left rear doesn't do the same thing.

    Here's a closeup view showing how it sheared:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a view showing how the block fits into the turn signal assembly:

    [​IMG]

    Looking at this closely suggests strongly to me that the turn signal stalk is not breaking because I accidently shoved it into something...the turn signal itself would also have been crunched. The break here suggests to me that the lip is shearing due to some sort of harmonic vibration or other which is expressed on the right rear side, perhaps due to different bracing on that side of the hugger. I'll order a new turn signal assembly from AF1 and see what happen...again.

    Thought you might be curious..
  10. Warney

    Warney Been here awhile

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    Hi Bob: Is this the 3rd broken right rear turn signal on the BV500? There must be a technical reason for the failure; the stalk seems pretty short to develop enough resonance to get flopping and break off. Might be worth the effort to fashion an aluminum L bracket to give additional support on the replacement.
  11. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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    Hi, Warney. If you compare the overall length of the stalk against the depth of the lip, it seems to me that there's enough mass there to do the job.

    Yes, this is the 3rd time it's happened since I bought the bike...which now has about 1200 miles on it.

    Your idea about an aluminum brace is a good one, but I'll have to have a care to ensure all sharp edges are separated from the bulb wires.

    I'll give this some thought and see what I can come up with...
  12. andoulli

    andoulli CAJUN

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    Just another idea, JB weld the lip back onto the block, it might actually be stronger than it was originally. For additional strength you could then JB weld the block to the white plastic piece.this would all look ugly, but I'm assuming it would all be hidden inside the turn signal housing. Of course the correct way to fix is to order new parts, but since that method of repair has not worked three times, you need a new idea. Do you know if the other signals fail in the same place?
  13. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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    I am told by other owners and by folks at my dealer and AF1 that no one knows about this...this problem is a first.

    The JB Weld is an excellent idea. I may order a new turn signal assembly and reinforce it with JB Weld...
  14. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    FWIW, JB Weld is just one of many epoxies out there. Take a look @ an autobody supply list before you decide as JB might be OK but there are many others that pro's use for repairs.:D
  15. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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    So I ordered a replacement right rear turnsignal, got it and put it on. Fit fine...appeared to be working well.

    Today, I took a run into the mountains to see how things would go. I went backroads to Highway 49 to Plymouth, then out Fiddletown Road to 88, then down Mormon Emigrant Trail to Pollock Pines. Except for 88 these were all secondary roads with lots of twisties and widely varying road surface quality...speeds varied from 30-70+, but not much time at the higher speeds. Checked the turn signal at various points along the way and it was fine, even though some of the roads were shaking us up pretty well.

    Did notice that the trip odometer stopped registering at 100 miles...1/10s only. This is a new bike, mind you, and the speedo has already been replaced once and repaired once under warranty.

    At Pollock Pines, I hopped on the freeway (Highway 50) and jammed down the hill through Placerville to Cameron Park. Speeds were 60-75 or so. Exited the freeway at Cameron Park (about 20 miles on the freeway) and pulled over to check the right rear turn signal. Broken. Again. Yes, this is the fourth one. The bike now has an estimated 1200 miles or so on it.

    I think I give up. The Silverwing has never given me one iota of a problem...you start it and go and it runs and runs. Nothing falls off. Nothing breaks. Nothing malfunctions. The SWing is a 2002 and has 28K miles on it.

    Time to dump the BV500 and chalk it up to experience. I'll take a significant loss on it, but I can't abide a machine which falls apart and has multiple component failures within the first 1200 miles. It's ridiculous. I'll have to give some thought about what I'm going to do with it...I don't want to dump these issues on some unsuspecting person. Will consider the matter and develop a solution.

    Sheesh...
  16. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

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    Sorry to here this. I've been following this thread. At the very least maybe this will make summertime think before buying an piaggio.. Not much of a consolation I know. You just can't beat a Honda.
  17. gumshoe4

    gumshoe4 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the kind thoughts, Dom. If anything I've reported here helps anyone, that's very cool as far as I'm concerned.

    No Piaggio/Vespa again for me, ever.
  18. Warney

    Warney Been here awhile

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    Wow Bob, that really sucks! Three speedometer and four unexplained turn signal stalk failures in 1200 miles would be enough to put anyone but a masochist over the edge! :eek1 I quit the Piaggio-Aprilia-modern Vespa cheerleader squad two years ago over a host of quality issues on my 250 original mile Piaggio MP3 and have not looked back. There are legions of former Piaggio-Aprilia-modern Vespa owners for good reason.:deal
  19. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

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    Any idea what might be next in the garage? Any interest in a Burgman 400? I'm thinking they might be in my short list for a getting to work solo runaround. I like the idea of a helix but I've become spoiled by fuel injection and I was sorta surprised when I see how small the trunk storage was.
  20. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    Sorry you've got a lemon. They happen in every product line occasionally. I've owned 7 Piaggio/Vespas and the only one that has ever had serious issues was the one I bought used from a guy who installed a stereo, changed to after market chip that was supposed to let him use regular gas without losing anything and a couple of things which developed electrical problems.
    Your dealership and AF1 Racing reports that they've never seen the number of issues you've had especially the tail light one. So you may want to check your state's vehicle lemon laws. I don't know in your state but I know in California if you have to take something back 3 times for the same issue and the manufacturer is unable to fix it they have to provide a new vehicle.