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Old 09-10-2008, 06:18 PM   #1
Neducati OP
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Aprilia Scarabeo 500 / Piaggio BV 500 vs. Vespa GTS 250

I'm still kicking around the BV 500 vs. Scarabeo 500 decision (recent discussion in the Piaggio BV 500 thread) and have added the Vespa GTS 250 to the mix to make things a little more interesting (and maybe to prolong having to decide since shopping is part of the fun). I've bought some new bikes at local dealerships, but most of my bikes were purchased used on eBay. But there are so few late model scooters on eBay right now, probably because of the recent run on scooters by cagers looking to economize. And prices are sky high for used scooters (on eBay and craigslist), to the point where you are better off buying new, getting the warranty, etc.

So I'm calling around some of my local dealerships today and find out that one of them has THREE new Vespa GTS 250s in stock, two 2008s and one 2009 (for $300 more). I can't believe it! I'm going to test ride one on Saturday morning.

So what do you think about the GTS instead of one of the 460cc maxi-scooters? My typical use will be to commute to the office (12 miles) or running to the local Wegman's grocery store (2 miles). I'm thinking a 500 cc scooter might be a bit of overkill. I won't be touring on it - I have a Honda ST1300 and Triumph Sprint ST for that. But I want to be able to get on the highway if needed and keep up with cars, so the smaller LX -series Vespa scooters probably won't suit.

Is the Vespa GTS as much fun as the more powerful and better handling Scarabeo 500/ Piaggio BV 500?

Ned
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:20 PM   #2
redhandmoto
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Faced the exact same situation, but i wanted to add touring into the mix, so I looked at the same 500s as you.

I've done Interstates on our '08 GTS, getting an indicated 83 (probably an actual 77-79), and reached it efficiently. I have had no problem keeping pace - when riding one-up - on the Interstates, but, that said, there's not a lot left after that "83".

For non-Interstate solo riding, the GTS 250, is everything I'll ever need. It can take me a long way on the superhighways if I need or want to, but I usually don't. It has solid power & acceleration, and gets great mileage as well.

In routine usage with the topcase, underseat storage, bag hook, and front rack in play, I've had six bags of groceries on board.

The 500s are BIG and powerful enough for two-up superhighway touring, but you can't carry jack in the underseat on the BV. I can't move back on the seat and stretch my legs out on either. The GTS allows me to get my feet planted on the back of the legshields, providing relief for knees and a good stretch; it's very nimble, just like the little scoots; the 500s less so.

The GTS will take me and my bags on a tour, and handle all my local needs at little cost in gas. Because you won't use whatever bike you choose for cross-country, your instinct that they're "too much", will little return but sheer power, is spot on. Off the Interstates, will you ever need 98mph muscle?

There's a nice '06 Honda Silverwing 600 locally we're looking at for touring. You've already got x-country covered. The GTS itself in a hefty scoot, yet manuverable and light on its feet. The 250cc (actual 244) has lots of power; the new 300 GTS Super (actual 278?) will be more. They're probably just what you're looking for. Topcase, windscreen, front rack, and Stebel horn, and you're good to go.

Good luck with your decision - the 500s do appeal for sheer power alone. And thanks for helping me clarify my own thinking!
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Old 09-11-2008, 06:40 PM   #3
Canuman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neducati
I'm still kicking around the BV 500 vs. Scarabeo 500 decision (recent discussion in the Piaggio BV 500 thread) and have added the Vespa GTS 250 to the mix to make things a little more interesting (and maybe to prolong having to decide since shopping is part of the fun). Ned
Ned,

(Who does not like his little bed. It is not good, it is not right, his feet stick out of bed at night.)

Sorry, I have a 7-year-old.

In my opinion, the Italians do a superb job on the larger scooters. I put 300+ miles on my Scarabeo today, and am still walking straight and thinking semi-clearly.

If you are looking at 250cc and below, the Taiwanese own the market. (Strangely, their scoots above that are gas hogs.) You could be well served looking at Kymco and Sym, both of which make superb scoots with large wheels in the 175-300 range. They are dead reliable, comfy, and handle well. Not to mention the cost is a packet less than the Italian product.

My two cents.

Dr.
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuman
You could be well served looking at Kymco and Sym, both of which make superb scoots with large wheels in the 175-300 range. They are dead reliable, comfy, and handle well. Not to mention the cost is a packet less than the Italian product.

My two cents.

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Old 09-15-2008, 10:55 AM   #5
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500 cc is the way to go! My buddy got a 250 excitin Kymco. He has ridden her 2k and already wants a 400 or 500cc scooter.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:16 AM   #6
Neducati OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuman
Ned,

(Who does not like his little bed. It is not good, it is not right, his feet stick out of bed at night.)

Sorry, I have a 7-year-old.

In my opinion, the Italians do a superb job on the larger scooters. I put 300+ miles on my Scarabeo today, and am still walking straight and thinking semi-clearly.

If you are looking at 250cc and below, the Taiwanese own the market. (Strangely, their scoots above that are gas hogs.) You could be well served looking at Kymco and Sym, both of which make superb scoots with large wheels in the 175-300 range. They are dead reliable, comfy, and handle well. Not to mention the cost is a packet less than the Italian product.

My two cents.

Dr.
Thanks for your 2 cents, Dr. I enjoyed the Dr. Seuss poem too, and if you continue with that for a few more lines, you even get a somewhat relevant reference to what we all love in this forum . . . bikes!

"Who am I?
My name is Ned
I do not like my little bed
This is no good
This is not right
My feet stick out of bed all night
And when I pull them in.
Oh dear!
My head sticks out of bed up here!
We like our bike
It is made for 3"

He must be talking about a bike with a sidecar???

Ned
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuman
....
If you are looking at 250cc and below, the Taiwanese own the market. (Strangely, their scoots above that are gas hogs.) You could be well served looking at Kymco and Sym, both of which make superb scoots with large wheels in the 175-300 range. They are dead reliable, comfy, and handle well. Not to mention the cost is a packet less than the Italian product.

My two cents.

Dr.
Who currently has a 300cc scooter for the US? The only thing I could find from either Kymco or Sym is the Sym 300i. The 300 IMO is misleading because it is 263cc which even the most agressive tax accountant couldn't get to 300. Call it a 275 with the usual displacement fudge factor, but 47cc short? That's a whole moped of difference.

I have and love my GTS. I just sold my Scarabeo 500ie because there wasn't a clear enough distinction between the two. The GTS was a lot more fun around town, and the Beo was great on the freeway, but 400 miles a day wasn't unpleasant on the GTS, and it is fine on the crappy Bay Area freeways, and the Beo wasn't a pig around town. I'm doing the same edit with two motorcycles right now too.
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:04 AM   #8
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FWIW...

I've owned a BV500 for a couple of years and have put about 5000 miles on it. The larger (16") front wheel makes a big difference in stability in comparison to the 250s.

My wife and I two up local tour (house hunting) and have taken the scooter on a group trip and had no problems keeping up even the creek crossing and the 20 miles of fire trails...

Service has been oil changes ... getting ready to do a valve check and adjustment in the next 1000 miles or so.

It's a great scooter!

Rick

06 BV500
72 Eldo LAPD
97 Centauro (The original 4 valve Guzzi)
07 Norge (longer distance 2 up tourer)
08 F800GS
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:26 PM   #9
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I would get a Aprilia Mana 850 for the highway and a 100 or 150 for town. Something like the Zuma 125 or Scarabeo 100 or maybe a Ruckus 50 with performance mods. Also, an alternative to your 500s is the TMax at $7999.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:44 PM   #10
ritchj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebirdforever
I would get a Aprilia Mana 850 for the highway and a 100 or 150 for town. Something like the Zuma 125 or Scarabeo 100 or maybe a Ruckus 50 with performance mods. Also, an alternative to your 500s is the TMax at $7999.
Yup - that's what replaced the Scarabeo for me - the Mana. Enough difference between it and the GTS - to make sense.
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:24 AM   #11
Neducati OP
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riding impressions: Piaggio BV 250 vs. BV 500

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to take out a 2009 BV 250 yesterday afternoon at the local dealer for a nice 20 mile loop that included interstate highway riding (the 18 wheelers really look when you're passing them doing 75 mph on a scooter!), some twisties and some in-town riding with congested traffic. I liked the handling of the 16" wheels compared to the 12" wheels on the 2009 Vestpa GTS 250 Super I rode last Saturday, although the Vespa has a larger more comfortable pilot's seat. The BV 250 forces the pilot into a smaller section of the seat, while the Vespa gives a more generous portion of the seat to the pilot.

While I was riding the BV 250, I wondered whether the BV 500 would be more satisfying in terms of acceleration. Upon returning the BV 250 to the dealership, I noticed a recently traded 2007 BV 500 in the lot, so I took that out for a spin. Much to my surprise, the BV 500 didn't feel as good as the 250, the engine didn't spin up to speed as quicky (the CVT felt sluggish), and the 500 was clearly heavier and (to me) was less satisfying to ride. When I shared these impressions with the salesman, he noted that the BV 250 and Vespa GTS 250 share the same 244cc Piaggio engine, but that the BV 500 uses the 466cc Aprilia made engine sourced from the Scarabeo 500, which is a different engine - not just a larger version of the 244cc Piaggio made engine. The BV 500 also tended to jackhammer a little bit at 50 mph, as though the front wheel was out of balance or something. That may have been unique to this used BV 500, however, although it only had 1100 miles on the clock.

Based on this comparison, I've dismissed the Scarabeo 500 and BV 500, and narrowed the choice to the Vespa GTS 250 and Piaggio BV 250. I like the classic look of those two scooters, and am not interested in any of the more modern looking Asian scooters, regardless of engine size. If I want more power, I'll just ride one of the seven motorcycles in the garage.
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuman
If you are looking at 250cc and below, the Taiwanese own the market. (Strangely, their scoots above that are gas hogs.) You could be well served looking at Kymco and Sym, both of which make superb scoots with large wheels in the 175-300 range. They are dead reliable, comfy, and handle well. Not to mention the cost is a packet less than the Italian product.
I would agree with that, I have a Kymco People S 250 and it serves me well and is very enjoyable to ride! :)

I have put over 1K miles on it, use it for commuting, country rides, and a couple times a week a 40 mile (one way) interstate ride to visit family.

Unless you are going to do any touring, a Kymco or SYM 250 is a great bike.

Not only cheaper than the Italian 250s, but, cheaper than the Japinese 250s also and IMHO has better features than either compaired side by side and are just as reliable.

Just my 2 cents on 250s.......
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:27 AM   #13
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Hi Neducati,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neducati
I I wondered whether the BV 500 would be more satisfying in terms of acceleration. Upon returning the BV 250 to the dealership, I noticed a recently traded 2007 BV 500 in the lot, so I took that out for a spin. Much to my surprise, the BV 500 didn't feel as good as the 250, the engine didn't spin up to speed as quicky (the CVT felt sluggish), and the 500 was clearly heavier and (to me) was less satisfying to ride. ....The BV 500 also tended to jackhammer a little bit at 50 mph, as though the front wheel was out of balance or something. That may have been unique to this used BV 500, however, although it only had 1100 miles on the clock.
While I have no desire to change your mind I would like to express that, one you are talking about a 39hp motor in a 437lb bike verses a 22 hp motor in a 328lb bike. It would seem to me that if the BV500 was as you say sluggish and slow to respond it was an issue with that machine and not hte breed as awhole. I can tell you that if I say go to Big Bev (my BV500) she doesn't argue she just goes. Is she heavy, only when sitting still. There also is no front wobble or jackhammering on my bike. I would have to wonder if the salesman was trying to get you into the new 250 because the profit margin and commission is generally higher on a new bike, and also affects their new bike allotment for the next model year, than on a trade in.
In any case I hope you find what you are looking for and that you have many enjoyable miles.
Ride safe, Ride long.

preachp screwed with this post 09-25-2008 at 10:32 AM
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Old 09-28-2008, 06:47 PM   #14
Canuman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neducati
Thanks for your 2 cents, Dr. I enjoyed the Dr. Seuss poem too, and if you continue with that for a few more lines, you even get a somewhat relevant reference to what we all love in this forum . . . bikes!

"Who am I?
My name is Ned
I do not like my little bed
This is no good
This is not right
My feet stick out of bed all night
And when I pull them in.
Oh dear!
My head sticks out of bed up here!
We like our bike
It is made for 3"

He must be talking about a bike with a sidecar???

Ned
Well, that bit was extra fine. I like fellas that know the Dr. (Where the hell did ya think the monniker came from? Yes, I could be a doctor of Journalism, like the late HS Thompson, but I also know what Ooobleck is) The scooter/chair connection needs must be examined more closely. I suspect it can be done elegantly 'though putting an Earls fork on a scoot could be God's Own Wrath.

Personal, experienced views on scoots.

Definition of terms: I am obsessive/compulsive, a bit too educated, and in the current downturn of the US economy, I find myself without the cash to fund all my whims.

Having grown up bumping up and down on the arse of a Lambretta (my prick uncle was a Vespa/Lambretta/Triumph/Norton/Ducatti/Vincent et al dealer in the Village, NYC in the late 50's/early '60s. He once told the newly late and much lamented Paul Newman to do something physically difficult if not impossible, according to family legend. Paul did better than Prick Uncle ever did.) I offer this:

Early this year, having been off two wheels for a goodly time while flying ancient airplanes, I decided a scoot would be a damn good form of transport. I purchased an exceptionally low-miles SYM HD200 as a leftover from a dealer who decided to go with Mainland China over Taiwan.

About a month later, having had a hell of a time twisting the throttle on the SYM, I felt the Need For Speed. I also felt I could visit my current lady friend, 200 miles away in Quebec on a larger machine. Heck, sez, I, I can finance the pig on long terms and get up there and maybe? get down.

So I purchased, for $140/month, on payments, an '07 Aprilia Scarabeo 500ie.

Now, this pig hauls ass. It will, with gentle stroking, do The Ton. The seat is comfy. The tires are grippy, the suspension and brakes are excellent, and the machine will vindicate your rep among the sport bike crowd if you spend less than $50 on Dr. Pulley variator weights and have the courage to put them in. Email me privately if you need the spec.

The 500ie has a fuel problem. A bad one. All of the Piaggio products using the Master engine have it. Piaggio used the wrong hose and clamp set-up on the injection pump. Although my dealer claims it could not be that "fuel issue" I experienced a dozen stalls on the way to and back from the dealer -- 200 miles. As my dealer -- a really hot shit, who cares about this stuff "could not replicate the problem" I turned home. I nearly got ass-packed four times. I would be shit out of luck, except that that I have my goodly SYM to fall back on. MY SYM ALWAYS STARTS first pop. The fasteners don't rust, as they did on the Aprilia. The revs at low idle on the SYM seem a bit high after 5000 klicks, but when I pull the Tupperware off to put the new variatior weights, I'll take a twist or two on the low-idle screw. For $2800 paid, it will do 75mph at 72 mpg. It's treating me well.

I spent a lot of time at the dealer looking at the Moto Guzzi bikes, and drooling on all that kit I could not afford. Yes, I'd like a Norge with THAT styling and shaft drive -- as I'd also like to make mad, passionate love with an Italian Super Model. Don't think that's going to happen right away.

For the moment, my SYM makes me grin, my Aprilia is looking for a truck, and I'm still afraid of the Pale Green Pants With No One Inside Them.

Hope you are also.

Dr.
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:06 PM   #15
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That was a hilarious post, Can.
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