2020 Piaggio Beverly 350
A Proven Highway Commuter Is Now Even More Capableby TJ Hinton, on LISTEN 09:44
Piaggio rolled into 2019 EICMA with a new 2020 Beverly lineup that covers a range of variants, but the only one that makes it to our side of the pond is the BV 350, a moniker only used in the U.S. market. This model is essentially a renamed Beverly 350 S ABS/ASR, so it brings the same level of rider protection and rideability to the table in a bid to grab some of the urban-commuter market. It also packs a wallop with a 30-horsepower engine that’ll push the scooter up to interstate speed making it a definite candidate for young urban professionals and well-heeled students alike.
2020 Piaggio Beverly 350
Top Speed:90 mph
2020 Piaggio Beverly Design
- Cyclops headlight
- LCD display
- Smoked windscreen
- USB charging port
- Remote-control seat lock
- Optional Bike-Finder feature
One of the things that sets this model apart from its siblings is the smoked windscreen that punches a hole in the weather for your torso.
The Piaggio & C. SpA is a rather expansive Italian umbrella corporation that’s largely responsible for mobilizing a paralyzed post-war Italy through its scooter development, and the Beverly line is a direct descendant and part of a natural progression of design from that point. A high-mount front fender controls the fling and leaves room over the front hoop to allow for suspension compression. It’s not as neat looking as a fork-mount fender, but this style is good since it adds its weight to the sprung mass instead of the unsprung mass, leading to more supple suspension action, and potentially, safer riding. The front of the leg shield bears that distinctive chrome “tie” with the Piaggio badge to finish the ornamentation.
Recessed turn signals also dress up the visage and contribute to the clean-looking front end, plus they also highlight the angular details at the front of the legguard for that finished, planned-out look we expect from Piaggio. The headlight housing carries a cyclops projector to split the night, set within a classic handlebar fairing that doubles as an instrument housing for the analog speedometer, fuel gauge and coolant temperature display. An LCD display covers the remaining bases with idiot lights to indicate the most crucial elements.
One of the things that sets this model apart from its siblings is the smoked windscreen that punches a hole in the weather for your torso. To be honest, though, it doesn’t matter what the weather is, you’re gonna’ get too much of it, but that’s part of the two-wheel experience, am I right?
The mirrors perch at the top of long thin standoffs so you can see behind yourself without your arms screening the view. Around the backside of the leg shield is a bifurcated glove box complete with a USB port so you can charge your phone under way and keep it dry, secure and separate from your other possibles you take with you when you’re on the go.
A short tunnel interrupts the step-through somewhat, not enough to interfere with mounting/dismounting, but plenty big enough to quash any hopes of carrying cargo betwixt your feet. The saddle is heavily sculpted so as to not put a bunch of bulk between your thighs and there’s a slight hop up to the p-pad to keep passenger and pilot segregated. Large J.C. handles and flip-out footpegs make up the remaining points of contact for your riding buddy. A remote-control seat lock lets you pop open the under-seat storage area from a short distance, plus the remote has a Bike-Finder feature that’ll flash the blinkers for you as optional equipment.
2020 Piaggio Beverly Chassis
- Double-cradle underframe
- Motorcycle-style hydraulic telescopic forks
- Manual spring-preload adjuster
- All around disc brakes
- Big wheels
Motorcycle-size wheels and forks gives more motorcycle-like handling.
Tubular-steel members make up the double-cradle underframe on the Beverly that provides the structure rather than relying on the stressed-skin method, so the BV 350 is arguably easier to repair after a fender bender. Hydraulic telescopic forks float the front end on fixed damping and preload values. They’re of the motorcycle style instead of the aircraft landing-gear type the factory uses on some models, so they convey a feeling of confidence that the other front end lacks.
Out back is the scooter-typical swing-mount drive that uses the engine and transmission as a stressed unit to replace the swingarm with dual coil-over shocks to support the rear and soak up the bumps. A spring-preload adjuster is the only ride-quality tweak to be found.
All around disc brakes provide the brakeage with a 300 mm disc up front opposite a 240 mm disc out back for dimensions that are close to that of a proper motorcycle and ample stopping power. ABS comes stock to help you keep the thing dirty-side down, even in inclement weather.
Cast rims mount tubeless hoops with a 110/70-16 and 150/70-14 on the front and rear respectively, and these tire sizes give the BV 350 better handling than you’d get from the usual scooter doughnuts.
2020 Piaggio Beverly Drivetrain
- Single cylinder
- 65 mpg
- 210-mile range
- Wet, multi-plate clutch
- 30.2 horsepower
- 21 pound-feet of torque
- Traction control
There's enough power that you can do interstate speeds with a little bit of acceleration still in the bank for passes and such.
Power on the Beverly comes from a four-cycle thumper that rocks a four-valve head for efficient aspiration. Electronic fuel injection meters the juice to deliver 65.4 miles per gallon for a potential range of around 210 miles, so you can count on economical transportation with this machine. That’s more miles than your butt can take at a time, and more than enough for an urban commute. It’s a relatively clean engine, as well, with EPA, California, and Canadian emission requirements all met.
As usual, the power filters through a continuously-variable transmission, but the Beverly is unique in that it relies on a wet, multi-plate clutch to couple engine power to the tranny rather than a dry centrifugal clutch as is the norm. This undoubtedly leads to a longer service life for the clutch.
The power figures are fairly impressive for the displacement with 30.2 horsepower at 8,250 rpm and 21 pounds o’ grunt at 6,250 rpm, and in a move to match the safety of the ABS, the BV 350 comes with a stock traction control feature so you can count on protection whether you’re cracking the whip or hauling it down. Top speed is somewhere around 90 mph, and maybe a little more if you had a light lunch and have a tailwind. Salient point is, you can do interstate speeds with a little bit of acceleration still in the bank for passes and such.
2020 Piaggio Beverly Pricing
MSRP is $6.6k and it comes in blue, green or silver.
The 2020 BV 350 rolls with $6,599 as its starting MSRP. You can score one in Matte Blue, Matte Green or Silver this year.
2020 Piaggio Beverly Competitors
ABS is standard across the board, though Piaggio gets a win in the fandanglery department as the Suzuki comes sans any sort of traction control to leave the BV 350 an arguably safer ride.
With such a professional finish, I had my work cut out for me to find a worthy competitor for the Beverly, but the Suzuki Burgman seems to fit the bill quite nicely. It brings an element of sophistication all its own with a sculpted front fairing, recessed lights, and windshield that is much larger than that the BV 350 carries.
Behind the fairing, the step-through is even more restricted than the Piaggio by a tall tunnel ahead of a similarly pared-down seat designed so as to not bite your thighs. Behind the pilot’s seat, a short lower-back pad gives you a bit more support than the soft-shouldered BV saddle.
Similar to the Piaggio, the Burgman has a proper underframe for the main structure and 41 mm front hydraulic forks, but it drops down to a single, preload-adjustable monoshock out back instead of two absorbers and I can’t help but feel like more is better in this case.
ABS is standard across the board, though Piaggio gets a win in the fandanglery department as the Suzuki comes sans any sort of traction control to leave the BV 350 an arguably safer ride. Suzuki uses the old-school dry centrifugal clutch to couple engine power to the CVT gearbox to cede another advantage to the Italian.
Power is more of a wash with 30.5 ponies from the Burgman’s 399 cc mill against 30.2 horsepower from the BV, and that kind of a difference isn’t liable to budge the heinie-dyno needle at all. The 2020 Burgman’s price is still TBA, but last year’s model fetched $8,199 and I expect that to be a good ballpark figure for this year’s model to give the edge in pricing to the BV 350.
Read our full review of the Suzuki Burgman 400.
“Smooth sophistication is the calling card of the Beverly line, and this model is certainly no exception. The largeish tires deliver improved handling for what is almost a big-bike feel, and they’re certainly capable of handling rougher roads in your urban jungle of choice. As for the naming convention, I don’t know why the factory doesn’t use the Beverly moniker stateside, unless it’s just too feminine sounding for our market.”
My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “If you’re looking for a commuter scooter, the Beverly, or BV 350, is worth a look. The engine is is large enough and has enough oomph for highway riding, and keep in mind, it’s not just a matter if getting up to speed, but also having enough in reserve for passing or doing some evasive maneuvers. It has traction control and ABS which are nice features at this price point. Big wheels and motorcycle-like front forks make it handle less scooterish. It might seem a bit heavy for a scooter, but its mass makes it feel solid on the highway. The engine is more reliable now than it was early on. Some of the quirks have been worked out, like coolant leaks and spark plugs arcing that plagued earlier versions of this engine.”
2020 Piaggio Beverly Specifications
|Engine & Drivetrain:|
|Engine:||Single-cylinder, 4-stroke, 4 valves|
|Bore x Stroke:||75 mm x 69 mm|
|Power:||30.2 hp (22.2 kW) @ 8,250 rpm|
|Torque:||21.4 lb-ft (29 Nm) @ 6,250 rpm|
|Fuel Injection:||Electronic injection|
|Transmission:||CVT continuously variable transmission|
|Clutch:||Automatic centrifugal multiplate wet clutch|
|Frame:||Double cradle in high resistance tubular steel|
|Front Suspension:||Hydraulic telescopic fork|
|Rear suspension:||Dual hydraulic shock absorbers adjustable in preload|
|Front brake:||300 mm disc with hydraulic control|
|Rear brake:||240 mm disc with hydraulic control|
|Front tire:||Tubeless 110/70 – 16”|
|Rear tire:||Tubeless 150/70 - 14”|
|Dimensions & Capacities:|
|Length:||87.6” (2,225 mm)|
|Width:||31.5” (8800 mm)|
|Wheelbase:||60.6” (1,540 mm)|
|Seat Height:||31.1” (790 mm)|
|Fuel tank capacity:||3.2 gal (12 liters)|
|Fuel Economy:||65.4 mpg (27.8 km/l)|
|Top Speed:||90+ mph|
|Color:||Matt Green, Matt Blue, Silver|
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