2012 Piaggio BV 350
Perfect Compromise, but not perfectBy (I am an Enthusiast) on Sep 05, 2012
As of this writing, I have about 700 miles on my BV 350. Please note, this site has it wrong. The American BV 350's are 2013's not 2012's.
Let me start with a few issues. Low speed throttle sensitivity is a bit tricky, so like an Olympic vaulter that takes a tiny step forward on the ... landing, it gets a small deduction. Also, the speedometer is not only hard to read in MPG, but it's so optimistic that it's hardly worth using. Once you spot the tiny numbers, you have to start doing math to deduct the proper speed. Lastly, the fuel gauge is horrible. I filled it up, rode 16 miles, and it indicated I used 25% of my tank. At FULL "empty" 25 miles past when the low fuel light first came on, it only took 2.4 gallons to fill it, meaning there was still a gallon, or nearly 1/3 of a tank.
So brush of the speed indication and start using one of your odometers to gage fuel usage and you'll be able to enjoy the great things about this scooter.
First off, this thing scoots. Oops, capital S on Scoots!!!! The scooter really is a perfect compromise between the nimble 125's and 150's that zip through traffic like a hot knife in butter, and the larger maxi scooters of 400 and 650 cc's. I own a 1300cc motorcycle and a Honda PCX125 and have ridden about 35 years. I can say here that in the smaller category, it's almost impossible to beat the Honda, but I won't get into that here. In this category of smaller maxi scooter, this little Piaggio with 330cc's really fills the sweet spot of being nimble enough to get through tight traffic and large/powerful enough to get on the open road. Let's add that the horsepower to MPG ratio is pretty sweet too. Look for this new engine design to populate the rest of the line of scooters soon. How can it not?
I've taken the Honda PCX on short hops on the freeway, but despite the top speed being just shy of 60, it's simply to light to make me confident even being there. The BV 350 is more like a motorcycle than a scooter at speed. It's just heavy enough and powerful enough (even with a passenger and I'm about 215lbs) to move gracefully along at a comfortable 70 or 80 mph with power to spare. What more do you really want?
It's easy to find shortcomings in anything and this Piaggio does have its few faults, but I'm happy to say, the pro's really outweigh the faults by enough of a margin that I don't think I could be happier with anything else on the market.
Best inn class valueBy (I am an Owner) on Sep 01, 2012
As of this review, no scooter in this class comes close to the BV 350 in performance, fuel economy or value. It's priced maybe $100 more than the Sym 300, and the Kymco People 300 but is much more bike for the buck. There are two Vespas in this class with smaller wheels and an older engine design ... that result in less performance and fuel economy, and they both actually cost more than the BV 350.
Even on the world market, the BV 350 stands alone, surpassing the highly touted Honda 300i, which is not available in the US.
If you're interested in a scooter, and you need it to go far and fast, this is the scoot for you.
In a word, AWESOME!By (I am an Owner) on Jul 14, 2012
I'm still breaking in my BV350, it's got only 75 miles on it now. The ride is beautiful and at the higher speeds it feels like a motorcycle. No problem tearing up a steep hill at 65+, and the engine breaking makes for a nice controlled descent as well. Though I found the engine breaking can make ... the bike feel a bit "lurchy" in stop and go traffic, the trick is to leave a little bit of throttle to let the bike glide to a stop. The foot plates are a bit confining but luckily I have a small shoe size. The bike is a bit on the heavy side, but for the amount of engine it really isn't. Nice saddle though the ride is a bit hard, hopefully it will begin to soften over time. Underseat storage is cavernous and with a 37 litre top box I can pretty much get all my groceries in. I especially like how quiet the engine is, it just purrs when you're cruising along but sings when you start to roll at higher speeds. DO have a better horn and clicking turn signals installed if you can as both on the bike stock are wimpy. Headlight is bright and blazes a beautiful wide path and the high beams focus straight out in front of the bike. This is my first big bike and I'm already beginning to play it like a fiddle.