APRILIA ATLANTIC 500
The Atlantic 500 was first introduced in the USA for 2001 shortly after Aprilia’s 1999 scooter debut into the North American scooter market. With its introduction, the Atlantic 500 joined Honda’s Silverwing and Suzuki’s Burgman 400 as the pioneers of North American’s maxi scooter market. Unlike its Japanese competitors, the Atlantic 500 did not enjoy a long run here. The Atlantic 500 was only sold for 2001 - 2004, so the total number sold was quite low. Accordingly, the owner community for this scooter is quite small.
The Atlantic 500 continued to be sold overseas after its withdrawal from our shores. The Atlantic 500 was redesigned for 2005 for the European market as the Atlantic 500 Sprint and continues to be sold there.
Design and Amenities
The Altantic 500 is physically a big scooter and fully deserving of its classification as a maxi-scooter. It tips the scales at claimed 425 lbs, and ends up being close to 500 lbs once you add fluids and the free top case. This is a bit heavy, but the Atlantic 500 hides it well. Storage wise, the Atlantic 500 has enough space under the seat for two helmets (47 liters). There is also a large glovebox with a power outlet and a smaller compartment at the base of the handlebars. All of these compartments are centrally unlocked by the ignition switch which is a nice touch.
Unless you count Honda’s Helix, the Atlantic 500 was really the first maxi-scooter to be sold in North American with its 2001 debut. The Honda Silverwing was second (2002), while Suzuki’s well known Burgman 400 and 650 were both introduced for 2004. The Atlantic 500 differentiated itself through the use of advanced technology, in typical Aprilia fashion. The Atlantic 500 featured a neat and very capable on board computer that provides more information than you ever realized you needed. This computer will tell you fuel consumption, chronometer, maintenance, battery charge level, average and max speeds, ambient temperature, engine diagnostics and more. The Atlantic 500 also bests the competition with the use of a steering damper and 15” front wheel (versus 14”) to make the Atlantic 500 a strong handling bike for its size. The front forks were also a larger diameter than normal (40mm) and the rear shocks were dual adjustable gas shocks.
In terms of performance, the Atlantic 500 lags most of its competition a bit by using a smaller (but more fuel efficient) Piaggio 460cc engine. That’s more displacement than the Burgman 400, but quite a bit smaller than the motors found in the Silverwing and Burgman 650. The 460cc motor used in the Atlantic 500 makes 39hp which results in a top speed close to 100mph. It’s hard to argue that you need more power than that, although serious touring enthusiasts may disagree. This motor has also been used in Piaggio’s X9 and it has lived on in recent years inside the Scarabeo 500 scooter. The good news with this engine is that it’s a proven reliable performer that achieves good milage. The Atlantic 500 is normally good for about 50 mpg, while its larger competitors typically achieve closer to 40mph. This can be a big difference if you’re covering a lot of miles.
Overall, the Atlantic 500 is good scooter for someone interested in an older maxi-scooter. The asking price back in 2004 was $6499 which is about what you’d expect. That’s in line with the offerings from the Japanese manufacturers which is impressive when you consider that Aprilia is a smaller Italian make. Used Atlantic 500’s are often sold for quite reasonable prices and they are long lived scooters, so if you can find one and you’re looking for something a bit different then pull the trigger. The owner community is pretty small for this scooter as it was only sold for four years and the maxi scene was tiny back then, but this scooter is well supported by Aprilia and the engine has lived on to present day so parts are easy to come by.
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OWNER REVIEWS - Browse the Aprilia Atlantic 500 Owner Reviews
- On-board computer
- Good milage
- Excellent Italian design
- Small owner community
- Somewhat heavy
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MotorscooterGuide Forums - Visit the forums on this site to chat about this scoot.
Atlantic 500 Write Up - Nice write up by Speed-Sports.com
Atlantic 500 Owners Manual - All Aprilia owners manuals can be downloaded here.
Atlantic 500 Workshop Manual - All the details for working on and repairing your Atlantic 500
ApriliaForums - Good info on the Atlantic 500 here.
Atlantic 500 Key Specs:
* Engine: 460cc, Liquid cooled single cylinder, 4-valve, four stroke
* Bore and stroke: 92 x 69 mm
* Compression ratio: 10.5:1
* Power: 39 hp @ 7500 RPM, 43 Nm torque @ 5500 RPM
* Fuel system: Electronic fuel injection
* Ignition: Electronic CDI ignition with automatic timing
* Starting: Electric
* Alternator: 12 V – 380 W
* Lubrication: Wet sump. Forced circulation with mechanical pump
* Gearbox: Automatic variator
* Clutch: Automatic centrifugal dry clutch
* Primary drive: V belt
* Front suspension: 3.9” travel telescoping forks
* Rear suspension: Dual adjustable gas shocks
* Front Brake: Dual 260mm discs
* Rear Brake: Single 220mm discs
* Wheels: 120/70-15 (front), 140/60-14 (rear)
* Weight: 439 lbs
* Wheelbase: 63.0”
* Seat height: 31.0”
* Fuel Tank: 4.5 gallons