The Piaggio Group has opened a new engine production facility in Vietnam as part of the company’s plan to more than double capacity of its Vietnamese manufacturing to 300,000 units a year. The new facility, located near Hanoi, will initially begin making 200,000 scooter engines a year, but production will scale up to 300,000 to […]
Aprilia SRV850 Maxi-Scooter Coming to North America – First Ride Impressions
The new Aprilia SRV850 V-Twin maxi-scooter is coming to North America, likely slated to arrive later this year as a 2013 model. The Piaggio Group presented the SRV850 alongside the Vespa 946, Aprila Caponord 1200 and Moto Guzzi California 1400 at its North American dealer meeting in Miami, Fla.
Piaggio announced it will bring all four of those models to North America, though as yet only the California has a launch date, set for fall 2012. The SRV850 will likely arrive at the same time, if not earlier, as the scooter has already been launched in Europe.
European correspondent Tor Sagen was at the launch event in Italy and he submits his first impressions of what Piaggio calls the world’s most powerful scooter:
I’m just back from Porto Ercole in Tuscany, Italy where Aprilia have launched its superbike styled maxi-scooter SRV850. It is the undisputed heavyweight champion in a segment no one else have dared thread yet.
Piaggio’s Gilera GP800 of course was the first with this 839cc V-twin engine but that project is now dead and Piaggio have shifted the engine completely over to Aprilia where its found in the Mana and now the SRV850. Claiming 75 horsepower on tap and 56.3 ft-lb. of torque, Piaggio is calling the SRV850 the fastest, most powerful scooter ever made.
The SRV850 handles like a scooter but with great stability. It takes a while to get used to though and I didn’t feel desperately eager to push it towards any sort of limit until the second half of the day.
When you get your head around just how much torque the engine develops at early rpm and get some feel with the tires and suspension the SRV850 is a great sports scooter. I have never left rubber out of fairly fast corners on a scooter before but today that happened!
There is a problem with feedback though and that’s why it took me a while to get fully to grips with how fast you can ride the SRV850. If you want to compare you could say that jumping straight on this from a 125cc scooter is the same as jumping onto a Hayabusa straight from a 125cc sportbike.
Despite its 249 kilo (549 lb.) dry weight the SRV850 carries hefty punch in a very smooth and sort of disguised way due to the very smooth variable transmission. It’s definitely both smoother and more powerful than the latest BMW twin engined scooters. The SRV850 is sadly lacking in the practical areas and I’ll tell you all in my full review.
[Source: Piaggio, photos by Piaggio and Milagro]