APRILIA AXES THE SCARABEO & SPORTCITY

APRILIA THINS 2014 LINE TO JUST SR50 & SR MOTARD 50
If you’re after a 50cc, Aprilia’s got two great 2014 models to sell you. If you’re after a more substantial scooter you’ll need to look elsewhere. That’s the outcome of Aprilia’s recent move to drop all their scooters over 50cc.

Aprilia-Scarabeo-2013
From 1999 to 2013, scooterists could always purchase at least one large wheeled Scarabeo model (right) from Aprilia, with versions ranging from 50cc to 500cc over this impressive 15 year run. In recent years the Italian maker has fielded a three model Scarabeo line with 100cc, 200cc and 500cc machines. That has all changed for 2014, with this trio of Scarabeos’ getting a unceremonious deletion from Aprilia’s USA and Canadian websites.

A similar fate also befell their SportCity line (below), which previously filled the niche for sporty scooters at an affordable price. The large
SportCity Cube 250 model has been dropped outright, while the smaller SportCity One design has been replaced with the newer SR Motard model. The SR Motard utilizes the same frame and quite a few components, but thus far only the 50cc version of the SR Motard is being offered in America, which means buyers looking for a 125cc model will need to look elsewhere.

As a member of the Piaggio Group, the recent trimming of Aprilia’s line is likely part of a broader strategy. In Canada this new strategy is pretty clear: stop selling mid sized scooters. In addition to the truncation of Aprilia’s 2014 line, Piaggio Canada isn’t offering their Fly or Typhoon models with a
 Aprilia-SportCity-Cube-USA
motor bigger than 50cc and even Vespa only offers their 946 in the midsized segment, although the introduction of the Primavera may change that. Currently the 946 is the lone Canadian machine between Piaggio’s 50cc offerings and their full speed Vespa GTS300 and Piaggio BV 350 models.

Thankfully the situation is less bleak in America. Piaggio is reducing overlap and competition within their brands by prioritizing models sold under the Piaggio name plate, while still competing in all segments. In recent years Piaggio added a version of the SR Motard called the
Typhoon in both 50cc and 125cc sizes (which makes it surprising the SR Motard 50 has been introduced at all for 2014). The cancellation of the Scarabeo and SportCity Cube 250 models is disappointing, but Piaggio does have the Fly 150 to stand in for the Scarabeo 100/200, and Piaggio’s new BV350 is an outstanding machine that is a better purchase than the SportCity Cube 250 and Scarabeo 500 anyways.

The move to Aprilia’s emaciated scooter line is unfortunate, but the withdrawn models were aging designs and there may be a silver lining. By reducing overlap between their divisions in the mid-sized segment, Piaggio may find room to re-enter the maxi segment. This move might free up the capitol to bring in Aprilia’s promised SRV850 super maxi, or perhaps Piaggio’s X10 highway cruiser.


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