Aprilia Scarabeo 500 ie - Used bike test (2006-present): In theory a big scooter. Actually it is striving to resemble to the smaller ones!‘he scooter tested was a second hand 2011 model, with 10600 km (6600 mi) on the clock.
Engine: The single cylinder air cooled 493 c.c. engine delivers 39 bhp/7500 rpm and 4.5 kgm (32.5 ft lbs) / 5250 rpm torque, claimed figures.
Actually there is a small vibration on idle. Power provided is direct whatever the speed is, while the acceleration is linear. Top speed is somewhat higher than 150 km/h (93 mi) indicated figure.
Riding position: ‘he height of the saddle is average, the width is great though, thus short riders will not step a confident foot on the ground. Rider is seated in and over the scooter, riding position is neutral, the handlebar is high.
The pillion is seated higher than the rider, the saddle for the pillion is roomy, soft and comfortable, the knees form a natural angle.
The dimensions of the scooter are very reasonable given the character of the Scarabeo, that means slightly greater than a 300 c.c. scooter. The Scarabeo provides a relatively heavy feeling due to the 189 kgs (417 lbs) nominal dry weight.
On the road: A 40 mm fork is featured at the front, twin shocks at the rear. The shocks may be adjusted for spring preload in four increments. The suspensions are firm.
The tires fitted on the scooter tested were Savva Diamonds with dimensions 110/70-16 at the front and 150/70-14 at the rear. They are considered a moderate choice concerning grip especially in case of slippery roads.
In town the Scarabeo 500 is a neutral scooter which will help the rider on normal rides.
On downtown rides, usually the scooters of this engine capacity do not feel comfortable. However the Scarabeo is not an obstacle to the rider. Initially the weight is less than the expected, while the bulk of the scooter becomes an advantage on heavy traffic. Steering lock is moderate for a scooterĘs standards, it could be better.
Filtering is good, since the average width of the scooter is quite helpful. Otherwise speaking, the height of the scooterĘs handlebar and mirrors is the same with car and SUV mirrors respectively.
Comfort over street imperfections is moderate, the Scarabeo could absorb the bumps better. Suspension travel is 104 mm (4.1 in) at the front and 90 mm (30.54 in) at the rear.
On B-roads the scooter feels very stable and balanced. The acceleration provided is quite good at the exits.
At the fast pace some weave may be observed especially on sweepers, while on slippery roads the tires cannot provide adequate feedback to the rider.
On the highway the top speed of the scooter may result in high speed of travelling. However the weave that could be felt gradually at a speed higher than 120 km/h (75 mi), even on a straight line if the surface of the road is not decent, will discourage the rider at such a pace.
Thus normal travelling speed is between 130 and 140 km/h ( 81 - 87 mph) on high quality A-roads. Air protection is good then, the screen is adjustable.
There are twin 260 mm rotors at the front together with two piston calipers and a 240 mm rotor at the rear together with also a two pots caliper. Steel braided lines are equipped front and rear.
The brakes are combined, which means that actuating the rear brake the front is activated also. Thus the front brakes provide average power and feedback, while the rear one provides relatively good power and feedback to the rider.
Model history/versions/build quality: The first 50 c.c. two-stroke Scarabeo was introduced in 1993. The 500 c.c. Scarabeo was introduced in 2002. The scooter was substantially modified in 2006.
An alarm, immobilizer, screen and combined brakes are standard equipment. The gloves compartment at the leg shield may accommodate a pair of winter gloves. A 12V plug is provided. At the storage space under the seat two shopping bags or a small full-face helmet on its side may be stored.
The rack is very robust, ready to support a top box. The instruments are a mixture of classic clocks and an LCD display. A 45 l top box, a carrying sack for the tunnel and a bigger screen are optional equipment. The build quality is relatively good, the finish is very good.
Comments: The feet floor is not totally flat, however a step through design is provided, which is quite usable on everyday riding. Placing the scooter on the centre stand requires less power than what is actually expected.
Compared to the competition, that is the Beverly 500, the Scarabeo asks less compromises on downtown rides, although it is inferior when it comes to B-roads or highway rides. Confidence to the rider is also decreased then.
Thus, while the Beverly 500 is better on travelling, the Scarabeo recaptures the advantage at the beginning and the end of the journey, that means in urban areas.
It seems that the Group Piaggio has an answer for any potential requirement of the future customer, in case of course that she/he is determined to sacrifice one field of use and benefit the other.
Price new: 6300 Euros
Thanks to the motorcycle shop Baxevanis - Honda, tel.+302109237000, Kalirois 12, Athens, http://www.baxevanismoto.com/ for the test ride.