Piaggio’s Big-Wheeled Sport-Touring Scooter

The BV 350 from Piaggio, sold as the Beverly Sport Touring in other markets, is win-win as far as scooters go. With a big 16-inch wheel up front, monster-size brakes usually seen on full-size motorcycles, an assortment of tech acronyms, and an ample touring windscreen, the Beverly is a downright proper little touring scooter. As a commuter in the city or suburbs or for your weekend getaway, the BV 350 fits right into the niche that Piaggio intended. With a lively throttle response and plenty of power and torque to back it up, the Beverly puts “sport-touring” into scooter vernacular.

  • 2015 - 2019 Piaggio BV 350 ABS
  • Year:
    2015- 2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    330 cc
  • Top Speed:
    86 mph
  • Price:
    6599
  • Price:

Piaggio BV 350 Design

2015 - 2019 Piaggio BV 350 ABS
- image 677052
The Beverly is an Italian scooter and it looks like it. The graceful lines mean lots of aerodynamics.

The Beverly is an Italian scooter and it looks like it. The graceful lines mean lots of aerodynamics. LED running lights molded into the fairing and LED taillights molded into the fender mean a nice, clean flow over the body panels without interruption by light stand-offs.

If you’ve ever fueled up a scooter and spilled gas on your gear, you’ll appreciate that the fuel filler is between the feet on the Beverly. The downside is that you lose the flat step-through that frequently doubles as a between-the-feet storage platform.

On that note, let’s talk about storage. The BV 350 has a nice big glove box up front that has a charging station in it so you can stow your electronics and charge them up while you ride. The front tower has a pull-out bag hook to hang your handbag, man-bag or grocery bag and the under-seat storage is big enough to stash two open face helmets or a big modular skull bucket and there’s plenty of room for a backpack, book bag or briefcase, depending on what you’re carrying.

Instrumentation is ample. The scooter has a nice big instrument cluster with large analog gauges. I like dials better than a digital display since my ol’ lady eyes can take in the info at a glance. Younger folks may prefer a digital display; it’s a personal preference so you can decide for yourself if the instrumentation is a hit or a miss for you. The cluster has an LCD display for the fancy techno stuff.

The two-up seating is wide and comfortable, wide enough to support even an ample derriere, but the front of the seat narrows enough that short folks like me can scoot forward and put our feet down at stops. Big grab handles and pull-out passenger footpegs will keep your pillion-person secure and comfortable and the big rear rack offers plenty of room to bungee some gear or mount a top case from the accessories catalog.

If there’s a negative to report, it’ll be for tall folks who might have a problem with foot room. The curve of the lowers prevents you from putting your feet forward on the floorboards. Being a short person, I was okay because I had to really reach for that curve, but you tall folks might not be as comfortable with your foot position.

Piaggio BV 350 Chassis

2015 - 2019 Piaggio BV 350 ABS
- image 826828
The BV 350 comes equipped with a massive 300 mm front brake disc, larger than some full-size bikes out there, with a 240 mm disc in back.

Although the body shape and high-rise tunnel in the step-through suggest a monocoque chassis, Piaggio runs a proper, double-cradle frame made of high-tensile steel tubing instead of going the “stressed-skin” route on the BV 350. This feature makes the scooter somewhat more durable since damaged body panels can be replaced, and the scooter saved, in the event of a wreck where a unibody might be looking at a “totaled” classification. Plus, the shop can repair said damage without touching any cutting or welding equipment, and that’s a bonus in my book.

Frame construction leaves us with a 31-inch seat height, and the 35 mm, telescopic front forks push the wheel out for a 60.6-inch wheelbase and 87.6-inch total length. Dual, coil-over shocks spring off the swing-mount motor assembly, and they come with a four-position preload adjuster so you have a little bit of adaptability for changing conditions and variable cargo and passenger loads.

Piaggio didn’t mess around with any of the teeny-tiny, lawn-cart wheels we see all too frequently on little rides, but instead used a full-size, 110/70-16 front hoop and a still-fatter-than-usual 150/70-14 in back. Not too shabby for a scooter, and the wheels certainly inspire more highway confidence than the usual 10- to 12-inch fare.

Speaking of confidence, the brakes certainly inspire loads of it, and I’m not kidding. The BV 350 comes equipped with a massive 300 mm front brake disc, larger than some full-size bikes out there, with a 240 mm disc in back, equal to same. This represents quite a bit of braking power, perhaps a little much for a ride with a 390-pound dry weight, but a standard ABS feature prevents loss of traction due to overbraking, so you can use those big ’ol brakes with confidence.

Frame: Twin cradle tubes in high tensile steel
Front Suspension: Telescopic fork, 35 mm stanchions
Rear Suspension: Dual hydraulic shock absorber, with 4 settings adjustable preload
Front Brake: 300 mm disc with combined ABS & ASR Traction Control
Rear Brake: 240 mm disc with combined ABS & ASR Traction Control
Front Tire: 110/70, 16"
Rear Tire: 150/70, 14"

Piaggio BV 350 Drivetrain

2015 - 2019 Piaggio BV 350 ABS
- image 826829
The torque curve is low and flat, so the BV 350 feels strong all the way to 86 mph.

In spite of its name, the 78 mm bore, 69 mm stroke and combustion-chamber volume actually add up to a total displacement of 330 cc. The factory managed to shoehorn four valves into the head, run by a SOHC system, and liquid cooling carries off the waste heat. Dyno numbers for the BV 350 speak to a fun little ride with a claimed 30.2 horsepower at 8,250 rpm, and 21.4 pound-feet of torque at 6,250 rpm, sufficient for a lively ride around town or for short hops up the highway.

Piaggio stuck in a few features that are interesting, indeed. First, it used the data from the ABS wheel speed sensor to feed an anti-slip regulation (ASR) function that brings big-bike traction control to the scooter world. Next up, we have the centrifugal clutch that drives the continuously-variable transmission (CVT). Nothing unusual in that, but the factory used its multi-disc centrifuge that runs in an oil bath for an improvement over the old style clutch. Nice touch and something to note when price-shopping scooters.

This mill comes EPA and CARB approved, and it drives the Beverly up to 86 mph with fuel consumption in the neighborhood of 65 mpg.

Engine: Piaggio single cylinder, 4-stroke, 4 valves
Displacement: 330 cc
Bore x Stroke: 75 mm x 69 mm
Max Power at Shaft: 30.2 hp (22.2 kW) @ 8,250 rpm
Max Torque: 21.4 lb-ft (29 Nm) @ 6,250 rpm
Cooling System: Liquid
Lubrication: Wet sump
Starter: Electric
Transmission: CVT with torque server
Clutch: Automatic centrifugal multiplate wet clutch

Piaggio BV 350 Pricing

2015 - 2019 Piaggio BV 350 ABS
- image 826834
It's a lot of scooter for $6.6k and it comes in black or any color in the Italian flag.

MSRP on the BV 350 is $6,599 for 2019 and it comes in black, white, red, or matte green. Piaggio covers your ride with a two-year unlimited-mileage warranty and throws in one year of road side assistance for free.

Colors: Red, White, Black, Matte Green
Price: $6,599

Piaggio BV 350 Competitors

2016 - 2018 Lance Soho 50
- image 714395
2018 - 2019 Yamaha XMAX
- image 733833
Unless you're up against a very definite budget, the extra safety from the traction control makes a very compelling argument for the Beverly.

Gotta love these big-wheel scooters, but it adds a whole dimension when looking for an apples-to-apples competitor for the BV 350. The Lance Soho 50 has 16-inch wheels, but the engine size is too small to go up against the BV 350. So, with that in mind, I compromised and went with the Yamaha XMAX that rolls on a 15-inch hoop up front and a 14 out back to almost match the BV 350.

As far as looks go, the Beverly carries itself with class and poise, but to be honest, the XMAX hits fairly close to the mark in that category as well. Neither offer much in the way of a step-through, but that’s a regular feature in the maxi-scoot market, and the overall look is similar across the board. Yamaha matches the Piaggio product’s ABS feature, front and rear, but falls short of the traction-control we find on the Beverly. Yamaha surrenders some cubeage to the Eye-Tie ride with only 292 cc hidden away in its swing-mount drive unit, but still claims a total of 30.5 ponies at the shaft to more or less break even.

The $5,599 sticker places the XMAX in a very competitive market position relative to the BV 350 ABS, but unless you’re up against a very definite budget, the extra safety from the traction control makes a very compelling argument for the Beverly. Oh and of course, Piaggio’s fit and finish is superior to most other scooter builders, so there’s that to consider as well.

He Said

My husband and fellow motorcycle writer, TJ Hinton, says, “I’ve ridden a few scooters, and not once in my life did I ever think it would be a good idea to actually hit the highway on one, primarily because of the rinky-dink wheels, with lack of power running a close second. The full-size wheels on this ride certainly inspire more confidence than usual. Of course, I know someone who had a Cushman Eagle that would do over 70, but I’m not convinced he was completely sane, and I’m not comfortable spinning up the bearings on tiny wheels that fast. Oh, and traction control on a scooter? Kudos Piaggio.”

She Said

“These big-wheel scooters are getting more plentiful, and honestly if you want to commute on any public artery with vehicles at speed, you really need the big wheels and plenty oomph to get you — and keep you — with traffic.”

Piaggio BV 350 Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Piaggio single cylinder, 4-stroke, 4 valves
Displacement: 330 cc
Bore x Stroke: 75 mm x 69 mm
Max Power at Shaft: 30.2 hp (22.2 kW) @ 8,250 rpm
Max Torque: 21.4 lb-ft (29 Nm) @ 6,250 rpm
Cooling System: Liquid
Lubrication: Wet sump
Starter: Electric
Transmission: CVT with torque server
Clutch: Automatic centrifugal multiplate wet clutch
Chassis:
Frame: Twin cradle tubes in high tensile steel
Front Suspension: Telescopic fork, 35 mm stanchions
Rear Suspension: Dual hydraulic shock absorber, with 4 settings adjustable preload
Front Brake: 300 mm disc with combined ABS & ASR Traction Control
Rear Brake: 240 mm disc with combined ABS & ASR Traction Control
Front Tire: 110/70, 16"
Rear Tire: 150/70, 14"
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 87.6"
Width: 31.5"
Wheelbase: 60.6"
Seat Height: 31.1"
Dry Weight: 390
Fuel tank capacity: 3.2 gals
Gas mileage: 65.4 mpg
Max speed: 86 mph
Details:
Colors: Red, White, Black, Matte Green
Price: $6,599

Further Reading

Lance Soho

2016 - 2018 Lance Soho 50
- image 742644

See our review of the Lance Soho.

Yamaha XMAX

2018 - 2019 Yamaha XMAX
- image 733831

See our review of the Yamaha XMAX.

Piaggio

ALLYN IMAGES - DO NOT DELETE
- image 828957

Read more Piaggio news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: piaggio.com, lancepowersports.com, yamaha-motor.com

Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Motorcycle Finder: