Aprilia Scarabeo 50 - 4T Blue
Milage: 5000 - 10,000 Miles
Likes: 16” wheels, durability, appearance
Lack of storage (easily remedied)

I am the third owner of this spicy Italian. It has been through two college tours and is still reliable and actually looks good - albeit with a little patina. The components are still robust at 14 years old, which speaks well for original design and construction. I bartered for it, but it appears these models will hold their value if you don’t trash it.

This is not my daily driver. It can sit for weeks and will start without having to disassemble and fidget. If the battery drains the kickstart spools it up quickly. The cold start (choke) lever is there when I need it. It is kept inside protected from the elements, that helps a lot.

Maintenance is relatively easy and parts are available online and not outrageou$. I consider my mechanical skills and resources slightly above average. The dealership is long since gone, but Indy shops will be able to work on this scoot.

I live in the older section of an urban area. The Scarabeo 50 2T handles the brick street imperfections readily, and feels safe even on damp streets. The 30 inch seat height gives better (safer) riding vision. The 6 inch ground clearance keeps it from bottoming out and provides options other daschund like scooters can not use. If I get off the pavement it does rather well on softer surfaces. The brakes are good. The power is adequate for urban adventures. The fuel economy is great.

I fabricated and mounted a custom rack with an insulated topbox to solve the stowage/transport deficiency. It can fit two gallons of milk and a bag of groceries, safely behind me. My wife struggles to place it on the center stand and so she sticks with her Honda Spree instead. She could manage it well with a sidestand installed. The locking glovebox is trick. Phone & wallet easily stow in there. Almost every time I'm out on it I get positive comments and I think other scooters have wheel envy but won’t admit it. Don't you think envy is one of the most complex of emotions?

I have owned
Sprees and Metropolitans and ridden Vespas and Ruckus units. The Aprilia Scarabeo 50 2T fits my needs as a fun reliable affordable durable economic urban intermittent errand/occasional cruiser internal combustion smile inducer. Ride one you may agree and get past that envy thing!”

Milage: +30,000 Miles
Likes: Appearance, handling, reliability, economy, power

I purchased my 2002 Scarabeo 150 scooter new and proceeded to put 32,000 (yes, thirty two thousand) miles on it over 4 years commuting on San Francisco's highway 101 most days of the week. The bike is very well made with excellent fit and finish. My commute consisted of 17 miles each way of congested traffic running, on average, at about 55 mph. The Scarabeo 150 proved highly stable at the higher speeds and still very maneuverable around town.

Power is sufficient for a single rider and is ok with two up riding at 60 mph. Around town with two passengers you can easily keep up with traffic.

Mileage was about 72 mpg with a single rider on those daily highway commutes, less with more city riding or with a passenger, but the fuel tank ensures you will not have to fill up frequently. When you do stop, be prepared for people to come up and ask what the bike is, how you like it, etc. as it is a sculpted Italian piece of art after all.

Reliability: I meticulously maintain my possessions and routinely washed the bike, waxed it twice a year, and housed it in my garage. I did all the routine service, used synthetic oil and only had a few problems during that time: the fuel tank breather hose broke at its plastic fitting - a straight forward repair. Not so easy for me, and a problem for the earlier models: a piece of the carburetor's metal slide broke off and got sucked inside the cylinder. The bike dies when that happens but the mechanic was able to get it out of the cylinder, repair the carb and get the scooter up and running without too much down time. Other then that, the paint on the wheels and front forks failed after about 20,000 miles, but that is only cosmetic.

I foolishly sold it for a larger Piaggio BV 500, which, while reliable, was not nearly as well put together, and was poorly designed from a servicing standpoint. Luckily, 5 years later and after I sold the Piaggio BV 500 (only vehicle I ever sold without regret), I was able to track down the purchaser and bought the Scarabeo back. He'd had mechanical difficulty (damaged cam shaft bearings at 33,000 miles) and did not put anymore miles on after that. It is now (Aug. 2013) at the San Francisco Aprilia dealer undergoing a mild restoration. After a complete body repaint, all new hoses, cables, tires and replacing anything else that is needed, plus a full service, it will be as new again ready for another 32,000+ miles. And it will be even more rare that it was when I bought it. Considering the new Scarabeos from Aprilia, while good bikes, simply do not have the look or presence that these classics (too early?) do, this model will only continue to turn heads as its design ages gracefully. In truth, it was a classic the moment it touched our shores.”

Milage: 5000 - 10,000 Miles
Likes: Powerful engine; good fuel economy; roomy glove box; comprehensive gauge package; reliability; two-up comfort; parts reasonably priced (so far)
Clutch noisy & grabby; CVT noisy at no load; needs premium fuel

I purchased this scooter used (8,900 km/5,500 mi), my first scooter after 30 years riding motorcycles. I have been delighted with its power & economy, as well as its stability on the highway - I routinely ride on our 400 series highways, with traffic moving 110 kmh+. The scooter can accelerate even at these speeds, to an indicated 130 kmh (80 mph - probably 70-75, realistically). It carries both my & me in comfort & with sufficient power to accelerate up reasonable grades two-up, and gets between 80-90 mpg (65-75 US). The bike has run well in temperatures as low as 25F (I'm solo at that point!). With the optional top box (a must have) and cargo hook, it has great storage.

My main complaint is the clutch, which requires periodic deglazing. It is grabby & is noisy, as is the entire drivetrain at idle. Parts require a bit of a wait, but between the excellent dealer in nearby Toronto (Corsa Meccanica) and the AF1 website, forum, & on-line store (I recommend one purchase the service & parts manual), they are available & at reasonable prices.

I certainly can't think of a bike that hits the sweet spot for economy, practicality, and fun like our “Beo” 200 does.”

Milage: 10,000 - 20,000 Miles
Likes: Power, Stability, Quality, Ergonomics
Maintenance costs

I bought my 2009 Scarabeo 200 new from the dealer in 2011 and have used it both as a daily commuter and for pleasure riding. I chose the Scarabeo 200 for three reasons:

1. Power. I'm a big guy (>200#), I wanted to be able to ride with a passenger, I needed to be able to ride on the freeway, and I didn't want something that would bog down going uphill. The Scarabeo has been a dream. It is quick off the line and I can easily keep up with traffic on any city street and even on the interstate at speeds from 70-85 mph. I cannot think of a single instance when I have been disappointed or left wanting for power.

2. Big Wheels. I knew that I would be riding at higher speeds and I wanted the bigger wheels for greater stability. The big wheels also roll over potholes that could potentially catch a 9" wheel. The look of a big wheel scooter takes a little time to appreciate. I thought the Scarabeo looked really weird when I first saw it, but I became accustomed to the looks and then came to love them. I'm glad to have a scooter with a distinctive look. It is bigger than other scooters, but I've never had trouble maneuvering it, parking, or taking it on or off the center stand.

3. Quality. Aprilia is known primarily as a maker of world champion superbikes. The company is now owned by Piaggio. My Scarabeo was made in Italy and is the beneficiary of that heritage. It's first class all the way with front and rear disk brakes, a water-cooled engine, and very high quality fit and finish. The Piaggio LEADER engine is very reliable.

Over the years, as I have put 17,500 miles on my scooter, I have come to appreciate the bike's ergonomics. I ride very comfortably, even for extended periods of two hours or more. I like the flat floorboard. It allows me to shift my feet or place cargo there. The underseat storage is limited - not even close to holding a helmet - but I have a top case. Between the top case and the bag hook I can bring home the weekly groceries for a family.

The only negative I can think to mention is the maintenance costs. A few of my shop visits have been pricey. I'm still able to get parts without too much trouble, but I wonder how much longer that will last. The gas mileage hasn't been anything to brag about. I generally go about 90 interstate miles on a 1.5 gallon tank of gas, which works out to just 60 mpg. Of course, that's at 80 mph most of the way.

I can't think of a better choice for riders seeking a commuter that might have to go on the freeway - either routinely or occasionally - or for pleasure riders who want to carry a passenger comfortably. The Scarabeo 200 is a gem.

Also, I like the look I get when I first tell people I ride an Aprilia. They think I've got a superbike until I correct them.”


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