Piaggio announced it will import its new Beverly 350 Sport Touring scooter to the U.S., though it may be missing its two most noteworthy features.
The 2012 Piaggio BV 350 (as it will be called in North America) is equipped with a new frame and a next-generation Piaggio scooter engine. Not mentioned however, but available in European models, is ABS and anti-slip regulation (i.e. traction control), both firsts for a production scooter. Some might argue whether those features are necessary for a 350cc scooter; Piaggio Group Americas doesn’t seem to think so, at least not at the BV350′s $5499 price level.
The BV350 is powered by an all new Single-cylinder four-stroke, four-valve fuel-injected and liquid-cooled engine. The engine uses new timing rockers with rollers to reduce noise and improve mechanical efficiency. At a displacement of 350cc, Piaggio claims the engine offers the fuel efficiency and lower emissions of a 300cc engine but the power of a 400cc engine. With a claimed peak of 33.3 hp, Piaggio is calling the BV350 the most powerful scooter in its class.
The BV350′s continuously variable transmission is also new, using a multi-disc automatic clutch in an oil bath with an automatic lubrication system to keep the CVT cool in different operating conditions.
Other features include a double-cradle steel frame, 35mm fork, 16-inch front wheel, 14-inch rear, and four-position spring preload adjustable rear suspension. The underseat luggage compartment should be large enough to hold two helmets while additional storage capability is enabled by a luggage rack with integrated passenger grab handles and a retractable bag hook.
The 2012 Piaggio BV350 will be available in dealerships in May in Shiny Black or Matte Silver.