Aprilia is one of only a few companies who understand that scooters are about more than just economical transportation. Too many manufacturers treat scooters as a cheap stepping stone to a motorcycle and thus miss the opportunity to excel in the scooter segment. Like Vespa, Aprilia is a company that caters to enthusiasts and thus offers top notch designs and awesome technology right down to their 50cc models. Aprilia got their start in 1945 making mopeds and small displacement motorcycles and they’ve never strayed from making great small displacement machines even as their line up has evolved to include many fantastic motorcycles.
Aprilia formed a USA subsidiary in 1998 called Aprilia USA and began importing their scooters and motorcycles in time for the 1999 model year. It would be several years before Aprilia expanded their presence to Canada. Finally for 2003 Aprilia entered the Canadian scooter market under the direction of the Canadian Scooter Corp. (CSC). In 2004, Aprilia was in dire financial condition and Piaggio (parent company of Vespa) ended up purchasing them. Thankfully Piaggio is also company that also understands that market for quality scooters and thus Aprilia scooters have remained technological and quality leaders. In late 2009 Piaggio’s contract with the Canadian Scooter Corp. expired and Piaggio begin importing scooters themselves to the Canadian market.
Aprilia arrived in the USA with their popular SR50 (top) and Scarabeo 50 (left) scooters.
During 1999 Aprilia was still establishing their dealer network, so availability was limited. At this point Aprilia scooters were only available in Florida, New York and California.
Both of these initial two scooter models would be very successful for Aprilia, with the SR50 and the Scarabeo body styles enjoying long runs.
Aprilia finally achieved a nationwide presence, with an estimated 80 dealers covering almost all 50 states. The combination of additional dealers plus two new models (Scarabeo 150 and Atlantic 500) resulted in a huge increase in sales.
The Scarabeo 150 and Atlantic 500 were added to Aprilia’s USA lineup for 2001 to compete in the mid-sized and maxi-scooter segments. The under appreciated Atlantic 500 was the first real maxi-scooter to be introduced in North America, beating Honda’s Silverwing and Suzuki’s Burgman to the scene. The Scarabeo 150 introduced here was the first generation (Rotax/Bombardier powered) model that was popular in Europe and it added another dimension to Aprilia’s line up in the form of their first mid-sized scooter.
In time for the 2003 model year, Aprilia showed up in Canada with their large wheeled Scarabeo 150. Canadian dealerships were scant in 2001 and so were sales, but Aprilia grew their dealer network fairly quickly by inking deals to sell their scooters into a number of car dealerships.
Aprilia USA did not make any changes to their scooter lineup for 2003.
Aprilia dramatically expanded their USA line-up from to ten scooters (from four) by adding three Mojito models (left), the Rally 50, Atlantic 200 and Scarabeo 500. The three Mojito models were the Rally 50, Custom 50 and Custom 150. The Rally 50 was short lived in the USA, as 2004 was the only year it was offered.
The other big news for 2004 was an all new generation of SR50 (below). This sporty scooter would go on to sell very well.
For their second year in Canada, Aprilia ramped up their lineup by adding the new SR50 to their showrooms. Aprilia also replaced the Scarabeo 150 with smaller (Scarabeo 50) and bigger (Scarabeo 500) offerings. Aprilia Canada also added a little diversity to their line via the retro Mojito 150 and the highway devouring Atlantic 200 and 500.
Aprilia USA introduced the Scarabeo 100, which replaced the 50, 150 and 250 models in the USA.
American’s also got their first look at Aprilia’s SportCity scooters, with the introduction of the SportCity Cube 250 (left). The Scarabeo 500 got some updates to the motor including fuel injection. In Canada, Aprilia restored the large wheeled Scarabeo 50 to the lineup after a one year absence in 2006. They also offered the Scarabeo 200 to Canadians for the first time.
The big news for 2009 was the addition of the 50cc and 125cc SportCity One scooters. Both USA and Canada began receiving the new SportCity One (right). The larger SportCity 250 was updated and introduced into Canada for the first time. To clarify that the 50 and 125 models an entirely different machine from the larger 250, Aprilia called the smaller scooters the SportCity One, while they added the ‘Cube’ suffix to the 250 model.
Aprilia Canada dropped the aging Scarabeo 50 and bumped the SportCity Cube to a 300 model. In the USA, Aprilia added a 2-stroke ‘Street’ version of the SportCity One 50. The SportCity Cube 250 took a year off in the USA.
In late 2011, Aprilia (global) announced their new ‘SR Motard’ would be launched in the USA market in both 50cc (2-stroke) and 125cc sizes for 2012. Reality didn’t quite play out that way however, as the SR Motard was never officially announced for 2012 by Aprilia USA and it would be two more years until it arrived. Parent company Piaggio did introduce their version of the SR Motard – badged the Typhoon 125 – for 2012.
In August 2012, Aprilia has announced a 2013 Replica SBK edition of the SR50 for sale in the USA and Canada. The special edition honors Max Biaggi and the World Superbike Championships with its superbike inspired graphics. With the minor revisions, Aprilia is offering this special edition at no additional charge.
After several years of waiting, Aprilia finally announced the 2014 SR Motard 50 for the USA & Canadian markets in June, 2013. North Americans got the 4-stroke 50 motor version of this scooter, which is largely the same machine as Piaggio’s Typhoon 50. MSRP is impressively low at $1999 ($2095 in Canada) which is an impressive $1200 less than Aprilia’s higher end SR 50 model.
The rest of Aprilia’s lineup didn’t fare as well, with everything but the SR50 getting the axe. The long running Scarabeo family (100, 200 & 500) was dropped despite being an Aprilia mainstay since 1999. Similarly the SportCity models are gone after a 7 year run. Essentially this is a move out of all scooter segments except for the higher volume 50cc class.
Aprilia took things easy for 2015 after scaling back their line up for 2014. Both the SR Motard 50 and SR50 have returned without any changes except in Canada, where Aprilia tossed their 2-stroke 50cc motor into the SR Motard instead of the 4-stroke mill offered the year prior. American market SR Motard’s still uses the 4-stroke 50cc motor.
Aprilia’s line up got even thinner for 2016 with the North American demise of the SR50 after a fantastic 16 year run dating back to Aprilia’s USA debut in 1999. The only remaining model is the SR Motard 50, which is a shared platform with Piaggio’s Typhoon.
The only news for 2017 was that Aprilia Canada reverted back to their 4-stroke motor in the SR 50 Motard after selling the 2-stroke 50cc engine for 2015-2016. This is the same engine sold in the USA and in Canada back in 2014. Pricing in Canada is up $250 to $2445, while remaining at $2099 in the USA.
For 2018, the MSRP rose $100 in both markets, to $2545 (Canada) and $2199 (USA).
After five years of offering the SR Motard with no changes, Aprilia updated the SR Motard 50 with new instrumentation, revised passenger pegs and handlebars and new graphics. The model also comes in new color options, with matte black offered in Canada and “white lucido” in the USA.
Pricing rose another $100 in Canada to $2645, while staying at $2199 in the USA.