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 2004 model year when Piaggio started selling scooters under their own name in the USA. Since then, the BV200 grew to the BV250, BV300 and now to the BV350.
It was also joined by the larger BV500 (2005 – 2012) which was an entirely different design but is still discussed here.
The original BV, the BV200, was sold from 2004 to 2007. Its successor (BV250) was introduced for 2006 and sold through 2010 in the USA (2009 in Canada). This means these two scooters were sold alongside each other for 2006 and 2007. This overlap let Piaggio 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 very similar to the BV250 it replaced, with the name change mostly required by the displacement bump from 244cc to 278cc.
The larger BV500 was launched for 2005. This scooter used Piaggio’s powerful 492cc MASTER engine and offered limitless highway capability. After a 7 year run, 2012 was the last year for the BV500 with the ever-growing smaller BV now at 330cc and leaving too little reason to buy this more expensive older model.
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. There are were no changes for the 2012 model year, as the significantly overhauled BV350 Sport Touring arrived in USA showrooms in spring 2012 as an early 2013 model. A year latter it did the same in Canada, with a spring 2013 arrival as a 2014 model.
The BV350 is a mostly new scooter that Piaggio updated heavily in both style and substance. Overseas its gets the longer title Beverly Sport Touring 350 (shown below left).
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. This engine was actually a larger (198cc) version of the 150cc LEADER motor used in Vespa’s LX 150. For 2006, the Vespa GT200 became the Vespa GTS 250 when it received a new 244cc QUASAR motor. Accordingly, Piaggio added the same motor to the BV for 2006 and called it the BV250.
The new motor was a nice set up with 4-valves (instead of 2) and liquid cooling (instead of air).
For 2010 the Vespa GTS 250 became the GTS 300 when its QUASAR motor was bumped to 278cc using a larger cylinder. The American market BV had to wait a year before getting this updated motor, but for 2011 the BV300 was introduced and it replaced the 250.
The original LEADER motor used in the BV200 was a fairly basic powerplant (ie. 2-valves, air cooled, carbureted) but the QUASAR motor used in the 250 and 300 models was a nice step up with 4-valves. 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 and 250 is about 75mph, while the BV300 is capable of 80mph.
The BV350 received a great new generation of Piaggio motor. This engine is a generous 330cc and boasts both fuel injection and 4-valves for the first time. The motor 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 (ie. Kymco People S 250 @ $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.
OWNER REVIEWS (7) – Browse the Piaggio BV Series Owner Reviews REVIEW – Add a Review of Your BV Scooter
– Great high tech motors (except BV200)
– Lighter than a maxi-scooter
– Single disc brake on smaller models
– Dated styling (BV200 and early BV250)
Submit Review – Own this scooter? Add your thoughts to this site.
MotorscooterGuide Forums – Visit the forums on this site to chat about this scoot.
First Ride BV 350 Sport Touring – Cycle World takes a ride on the BV 350 Sport Touring and discusses the new engine
JustGottaScoot Review – Best review there is on the BV 350. Read this one first.
2013 BV350 Review – Nice write up by Motorcycle USA
Key Specs – Beverly 200 / 250 / 300 / 350 / 500
* Engines: 198cc, 244cc, 278cc, 330cc or 492cc single cylinder, 4-stroke
* Valves: 2 valves (198cc) or 4-valve (244cc, 278cc, 330cc 492cc)
* Cooling: Air-cooled (198cc) or Liquid Cooled (244cc, 278cc, 330cc 492cc)
* Power: 21 hp (198cc), 22 hp (244cc), 32.8hp (330cc) 39hp (492cc)
* Transmission: CVT
* Bore Stroke: 72mm x 60mm (244cc), 75mm x 63mm (278cc), 78mm x 69mm (330cc) or 92mm x 69mm (492cc)
* Fuel Delivery: Electronic fuel injection
* Wheelbase: 57.9” (250 model) or 61” (500 model)
* Weight: 328 lbs (250 model), 390 lbs (350) or 416 lbs (500 model)
* Starter: Electric
* Seat height: 31” (250 model), 30.5” (500 model)
* Fuel Tank: 2.6 gallon / 10 liters (BV250), 3.4 gallon (BV350), 3.5 gallon / 13 liters (BV500)
* Front Brake: Single (250 model) or double (500 model) 260mm dual piston disc
* Rear Brake: 260mm (250 model) or 240mm (500 model) single disc dual piston
* Front Suspension: Telescopic fork, 4” travel
* Rear Suspension: Dual, pre-load adjustable shocks. 3.5” (90mm) travel.
* Tires: 110/70-16 (Front), Rear is 140/70-16 (250 model) or 150/70-14 (500 model)
* USA MSRP: $4299 (2004 BV 200), $4899 (2010 BV 250), $5499 (2013 Beverly Sport Touring 350), $6399 (2010 BV 500)
* Canada MSRP: $6295 (2011 BV 300)
BV 200: 2003 – 2007 (USA), 2006 – 2007 (Canada)
BV 250: 2006 – 2010 (USA), 2006 – 2009 (Canada)
BV Tourer 300: 2011 – 2002 (USA), 2010 – 2013 (Canada)
BV 350: 2013 – Pres. (USA), 2014 – Pres. (Canada)
BV Tourer 500: 2005 – 2012 (USA), 2005 – 2010 (Canada)
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