Overall, the BV200 - 350 scooters are nice powerful large wheeled scooters that stand out as having great advanced motors - especially the 350 - at a fair purchase price.
Great high tech motors (except BV200)
Good amount of storage
Lighter than a maxi-scooter
Single disc brake on smaller models
Dated styling (BV200 and early BV250)
PIAGGIO BV 200 / 250 / 300 / 350 / 500
The BV (or Beverly as it’s also called) was the first large wheeled offering from the Piaggio brand to the North American market. It was first introduced as the BV 200 for the 2003 model year, which was the same year Piaggio started selling scooters under their own name in the USA. In future years, the BV200 grew to the BV250, BV300 and now to the BV350 (shown below), which remains on sale as of 2019.
These mid-sized BV models were also joined by the larger BV500 (2005 – 2012) which was an entirely different design but is still discussed here.
The original BV, the BV200 (right), was sold from 2003 to 2007. Its successor the BV250 (below in navy) was introduced for 2006 and sold through 2010 in the USA (2009 in Canada). So these two scooters were sold alongside each other for 2006 and 2007, enabling Piaggio to clear out the remaining 200 models while offering the nicely updated BV250 at a premium.
The BV300 arrived in Canada for 2010 and in the USA for 2011. It was nearly identical to the BV250 it replaced with the main change being a displacement bump from 244cc to 278cc. Sometime around 2010 Piaggio started adding the word ‘Tourer’ to the BV’s name, so it became the BV Tourer 300 and the BV Tourer 500, but this ceased around 2012.
There were no changes for the 2012 model year, but the significantly overhauled BV350 Sport Touring (top image) arrived in USA showrooms in spring 2012 as an early 2013 model. A year later it did the same in Canada, with a spring 2013 arrival heralded as a 2014 model. The BV350 was a mostly new scooter in both style and substance. Overseas its used a longer title: Beverly Sport Touring 350, while in North America it’s commonly referred to as simply the BV 350.
Lastly, a larger BV500 (below) was launched for 2005. This scooter was an entirely different beast than the smaller BV’s. It used Piaggio’s powerful 492cc MASTER engine and offered limitless highway capability. After a 8 year run, 2012 was the last year for the BV500 with the ever-growing smaller BV now at 330cc – leaving little reason to buy the older and more expensive model.
The smaller BV scooters (200, 250, 300) received motor changes in parallel to the Vespa GT / GTS series of scooters, so the BV 200 used the same motor as Vespa’s GT200 scooter (and Aprilia Atlantic 200). This engine was a larger (198cc) version of the 150cc LEADER motor used in Vespa’s LX 150. For 2006, Vespa had a new motor ready for their large frame scooters called the QUASAR motor. With its introduction, the Vespa GT200 became the GTS 250, and Piaggio added it to the BV as the BV250 for ’06. The BV300 was introduced for 2011 and used a larger 278cc version of the QUASAR motor.
The QUASAR was an entirely new design that most notably, featured fuel injection instead of a carburetor. The QUASAR motors achieved solid power (ie. 22 hp for 244cc), great emissions and average fuel milage for a scooter of this size (around 60 mpg in the real world). Top speed for the BV200 is about 75 mph, while the 250 and 300 can do up to 80 mph.
The BV350 received a new generation of Piaggio motor. This engine is a generous 330cc and cranks a strong 33.3 HP and 23.8 ft lbs of torque, which is 50% more than the BV250 and within 6 ponies of the heavier BV500. The torque curve is low and flat, so this motor feels strong across the board all the way to 90mph. The CVT transmission is also new and uses a number of clutch plates in an oil bath instead of the traditional dry clutch pad setup.
If that’s not fast enough, the BV500 is capable of 100 mph with its 39 horsepower and 492cc. The BV 500 uses the same ‘MASTER’ engine as Piaggio’s MP3 500 and X9 500 models. This engine cranks out 39 horsepower at 7500 RPM, which is enough power for highway driving of any style and typically achieves 50mpg in the real world. The smaller BV models can hold their own on the highway, but the BV500 is the one to have if you’re not just looking to survive on the highway but to actually drive at whatever speed you want and pass cars at will
Design and Amenities
The smaller BV scooters (200 – 350) competed most directly with scooters like Aprilia’s Scarabeo 200 (also owned by Piaggio) and Kymco’s People S 250 and People GT in the market niche for a powerful and large 16” wheeled scooter. These large wheels give the BV scooters stable handling at high speeds and smoother ride on bumpy roads. The BV500 is in a fairly unique niche, with the Aprilia Scarabeo 500 being the only other large wheeled scooter of this engine size without getting into scooters with the maxi-scooter look. So the BV500 was really the only option at the time for someone wanting a large scooter (ie. greater than 400cc) without getting the maxi-scooter look.
The style of the BV scooter has changed over its life time. When it originally debuted as the BV200, the BV had a fairly modern headlight design (shown in silver). When the BV500 was introduced for 2005 it brought with it an updated look that was a less modern and more classic and timeless. The headlight became round and it was moved up to the headset. The front of the legshield area received a new look with some nice chrome work and vents. Both designs are nice, but the newer one is the nicer look. The smaller BV200 continued with its original styling until it was dropped after 2007. The BV250 also received this original style, but for the 2009 model year the BV250 was overhauled and it received the timeless look of its larger sibling. The BV300 and 350 also share this styling, as they are essentially a BV250 with a larger cylinder. The BV300 was updated for 2011 with a few tweaks like bigger brakes.
The BV scooters include a number of practical features, without taking things quite as far as some maxi-scooters. The Beverly scooters come with a modestly sized windscreen and a great amount of storage in the underseat and glovebox areas. There’s not multiple cubby holes or a center console like some maxi-scooters, but the main bases are covered and the BV scooters should be quite comfortable to live with. The BV scooters do have a handy 12 volt accessory socket under the seat. All BV models also have disc brakes front and rear, but the BV500 took it a step further with dual discs up front, which perform quite a bit better at highway speeds.
Overall, the BV200 – 350 scooters are nice powerful large wheeled scooters that stand out as having great advanced motors – especially the 350 – at a fair purchase price. You can spend less (e.g. Kymco People S 250 for $4499) but the BV’s offer good motors and other features to justify their price. The BV500 is for someone who really wants to spend a lot of time on the highway. With a 100 mph top speed and dual disc brakes up front, you should have no troubles enjoying yourself on the open roads. It’s a good choice for someone who wants a scooter with no power limitations, but they don’t want to go with a maxi-scooter style.