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Old 11-21-2012, 06:05 AM   #16
Domromer OP
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The people 300 is on my short list. Originally I thought a 125 would do the job but as I thought more about it in realized I'd like the ability to tour as well and I think my weight plus gear would be too much for a 125. So I narrowed it down to bv350, and the people 300. I'm a little leary of the BV as I've read in a few different places that parts can be difficult to obtain. I've heard a lot of good things about the kymco products in general but I don't know much about the availability of parts. Right now my top choice is the helix. Comfortable, much lighter than my current Silverwing and the great honda reliability. The downsides are that it's a discontinued bike and parts will be getting harder to find. I've started another thread specific to the helix, and I'm hosting some past and present helix owners can chime in and tell me a bit about the bike.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:10 PM   #17
cdwise
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I keep reading that parts can be hard to get for Piaggio scoots. Personally I haven't experienced any real propblem or at least no more than with the Burgman we used to have.

The primary issue seems to be that dealers don't stock parts and many of them won't order parts until there are enough to make it worth shipping. My dealer and other dealers can get parts from 1 day to a week in all but a very small percentage of issues. The only time I had to wait more than 3 days was when the speedo went out on a new scoot, replaced under warranty. It went out in July and by the time I got it to the dealer it was August. The part needed to come from Italy where everything shuts down for the month of August. First week of September the part came in. If it hadn't been a warranty issue the part was available online from another dealer (AF1 Racing).

I've seen reports of people waiting just as long for Honda and other brand parts. If you like the BV 350 I've heard only one negative report from all the ones I've seen which is a pretty small percentage. There is a lot of discussion about the BV 350 over on the Modern Vespa board if you have questions.

FWIW, we've got 2 BV 500s, an Aprilia Scarabeo 500 and a Vespa GTS 250. We have also owned a Vespa ET 4.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:28 PM   #18
chazbird
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I really love my BV250. To me its a mid-size. With the exception of it not being able to handle dirt roads and that whole segment of ADV'ing it does everything for me. And as much as I love my BV250 I really lust after the BV350. Others have mentioned the Aprillia Sport City 250, which seem to be on sale just about everywhere. It has the same engine I believe and most of the same running gear as the BV250 so to me that that seems to be a contender. It does have a slightly shorter wheelbase and has less leg room thus less leg movability/adjustability. I don't think you''ll regret a mid size scooter.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:15 AM   #19
JerryH
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I also love the Piaggio BV series scooters. Parts has been a concern, though I have never owned a Piaggio product before. The ones I checked out were a perfect fit. I've noticed that online places like bikebandit and cheapcycleparts have a few Piaggio parts, but not many. Perhaps they will eventually become more widely available. It has been years since I have gone to an actual dealer for parts. I have an extreme dislike for dealers, and avoid them whenever possible. Many years ago I went to a Honda dealer looking for parts, and they told me they did not stock or order parts for bikes more than 10 years old, and suggested they get a new bike. I told the parts guy where to shove it, then on the way out I was accosted by a salesman who again tried to sell me a new bike. Most Japanese dealerships are not nice places. But they are not alone. The Vespa/BMW dealer seemed to have pretty much the same attitude. I decided if I did buy a Piaggio, it would be used, to save money and prevent having to deal with the dealer.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:41 AM   #20
redhandmoto
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Not to threadjack, but parts for scoots of all marques in the Piaggio line can be slow to get. There are many exceptions to this, enough that lots of Piaggio owners are surprised to hear that anyone ever has a problem, but I know a local small dealer well enough that he breaks out of his professionalism long enough to hurl his clipboard across the room in pique because he has, once again, to tell a payimg customer that there will be more delay for his order.

Why is this? Because North America accounts for 1.5% of Piaggio's business (or so I hear). Now that's a damned shame, and kind of a puzzle. Lord knows Piaggio bikes - Vespa, Aprilia, et al, are in demand; one would think that conventional business wisdom would say that a company could really build-up sales over the present tiny percentage by making an investment in support infrastructure: happy parts customers improve the climate for one's products, and sales expand.

I don't know: maybe analysis would show that the cost of maintaining parts inventory truly has become too costly for this to be feasible...and so some unhappy American owner needing a part in August, when the entire nation of Italy shuts down for a month, will wait, not for shipment from some warehouse in North America, but from Italy, and only that when the lights get turned back on September 1st.

It's not a problem of the show-stopper class; few people are put off buying a gleaming new Vespa by parts stories they read about on the "Net, but one hears and gets confirmation of it enough that you would think some agile-thinking business types at Piaggio Intergalactic Headquarters would get on the stick and find a work-around. How else ever to get beyond a point-and-a-half? Do they care if they never do?

There's also something odd about the way that Honda has managed to capture major market share in Italy itself. We're talking about the people who pretty much made the scooter business what it is: you would think that they, having been so dominant for so long, would have evolved their line to beat - or at least equal - the Japanese in the technical innovations that made Honda so popular with Italians. I once read a socio-political treatise on why Italian culture does not permit of the corporate flexibility to bring innovation to market, and why therefore they are stuck doing what they have always done, albeit very well. The new 946 is a case in point - those are some really gorgeous lines in that classic Italian design, just beautiful. Why can't a company who can do that not be able to get me a drive widget in under six weeks?
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:41 PM   #21
gumshoe4
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Hi...most of you know what I've recently gone through with my BV500 getting a replacement speedometer and turn signal for it. I am told by the parts guy at the dealership that Piaggio's shipping philosophy is one of the problems...that is, the part may be in the warehouse, but it is not shipped until Piaggio has a full container going to a region or area...

In other cases, parts have to be ordered from Italy and there is sometimes no rush there to get the parts to us.

In fairness, I have sometimes had to wait for parts for the SWing, as well, but it never seems to take very long to get them. The BV parts generally took 3-4 weeks for the dealership to receive. Also, don't remember if I mentioned this or not, but after the dealer replaced the speedo, the new unit was also malfunctioning, so the tech started digging into it a bit and discovered that a component in the speedo had not been connected or was miswired...after resolving that issue, no more problem and the new speedo now works fine...

I think I've got the kinks worked out of the BV now (fingers crossed!). I'm glad CDWISE and others have had few issues getting parts for their machines, but my personal experience is different from that. It doesn't mean I love the bike any less, but it does mean I have to take this problem into account when I need parts...
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:05 PM   #22
Phipsd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Domromer View Post
The people 300 is on my short list. Originally I thought a 125 would do the job but as I thought more about it in realized I'd like the ability to tour as well and I think my weight plus gear would be too much for a 125. So I narrowed it down to bv350, and the people 300. I'm a little leary of the BV as I've read in a few different places that parts can be difficult to obtain. I've heard a lot of good things about the kymco products in general but I don't know much about the availability of parts. Right now my top choice is the helix. Comfortable, much lighter than my current Silverwing and the great honda reliability. The downsides are that it's a discontinued bike and parts will be getting harder to find. I've started another thread specific to the helix, and I'm hosting some past and present helix owners can chime in and tell me a bit about the bike.
The SYM Citycom 300i is a roomy bigwheel scoot that would haul you around effortlessly. Mine has been dead reliable for the past three years hauling my large self around. They are available again in the US and the parts situation has been sorted out. It would fit you better than the smaller HD 200, as wonderful as they are. The Com has proved so much fun to ride including on long runs in the mountains of British Columbia, that my V-Strom 1000 is mostly gathering dust.
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