I bought a 2022 Piaggio BV 400

Why I choose the Piaggio BV 400s

After three years of research, I (Randy Dreammaker) purchased this Piaggio BV 400. (2022 Scooter Research)
Interestingly enough, the black Piaggio BV 400s with the blue license plate beside my scooter is the same one used in the Motorcycle YouTube comparison video. They accidently left a "fun sized", Snickers under the seat. I was cracking up when I saw it, so was the person showing me the scooters.  I told him to stick in under my seat when it gets delivered.

I asked about buying it. It had 400 miles from the Motorcycle com review. Since it was used for the film shoot, they couldn't sell it as new. They were willing to sell it to me at a $500 discount, but as tempted as I was, I had my heart out on the orange Piaggio. The only regret I have sometimes had about buying my 2003 Honda Element car, was not getting it in the same color of orange.

If you are wondering which 400cc Scooter is best for you, their video below provides some valid points about the differences of the Piaggio BV 400 and Suzuki Burgman 400. In the meantime, I want to discuss why I ended up buying the BV400s.

Motorcycle. com Review - Suzuki Burgman VS Piaggio BV 400


Lets talk about my goals.

My Honda Element SUV-Car averages 24 miles per gallon. In 2022, the cheapest gas locally here in Los Angeles county is $6. So if I have to go to the farthest USPS office at 16 miles round trip. That costs me $4 in gas. The closest USPS cost $2 in gas.

In 2016 or 2017 I invested in a couple of Trek Bicycles and used them up until 2019. I love cycling, but they began costing a lot to maintain. Great exercise, but not great use of time.  Each year it seemed one of my bikes were down. It wasn't to bad, because I had four of them. In 2019 it seemed I couldn't keep them working.  Strange things were happening to my bikes.  

That is when I began researching scooters to replace the bikes, save gas and lower my car use.

The first scooters I looked at were the Kymco X-Town 300i.  Moderately priced for a 300cc scooter. But it felt uncomfortable when I sat on the seat. Plus I wear a size 14 men's shoe size, it felt cramped, heavy, awkward steering. It felt like it is made for smaller people.

I also looked at the Kymco 150's and 50 cc models.  Those scooters handle bars hit my knees so I couldn't fully turn the bike. The 150 had a $1,000 higher MSRP than the Piaggio Liberty 150. I didn't know it then, because I didn't know Piaggio made scooters until two years later.

The Kymco X-Town 300i had a $4,500 MSRP, but cost $6,800 out the door. I wasn't expecting such a large amount of fees and taxes.  So I went home and waited a year, and did more research.
I wanted a scooter that would be fast enough for the local traffic, and that wouldn't put me into debt.
I wasn't sure exactly what I needed, my goals were vague. I wanted a scooter that would be fast enough for the local traffic, and that wouldn't put me into debt. I wanted a scooter I could use shopping. I also had wanted a large scooter since 1998. I purchased my Honda Element instead of a scooter - No regrets.

I visited a few dealers, called a few dealers.  Most of the dealers were awesome, one totally sucked.

Ultimately, I thought I would buy either a 2021 Piaggio Liberty 150 or BV350 and suddenly it was discontinued and the 2022 Piaggio Beverly 400 S Euro 5 was released.

Even up until the moment I stood in the Vespa Dealership earlier today, I still hadn't completely settled on the Liberty or BV. I knew I wanted to stick with a brand that had a long history in the USA, so it had to be Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Vespa, Piaggio. My review of the LFPartS Black Motorcycle Stainless Steel License Plate Frame from Amazon that I purchased and use on my Piaggio BV 400 Maxi Scooter Motorcycle. It's made with 304 Stainless Steel so its perfect for use in Coastal states like California, Florida and Texas where the salt in the air is denser. If you prefer Polished Stainless Steel, instead of black, they have that available too at a slightly higher price.

I even looked at a BMW 300cc scooter I came across that only had 300 miles. It looked awesome, had really good reviews, but two things made me say no.  One, is the main advertising and selling point of BMW was it's Bluetooth music system that is built into its LCD and a handle bar scrolling device.  I figured, if a Bluetooth music device was it's best selling point, it probably wasn't the best bike. I want the engine, agility and speed to be the best selling points. Looks were important, but not as important. Also, when I looked at the service intervals for the BMW they were as frequent as Yamaha's Zuma 125 and former owners said BMW charges a premium price for servicing them.

Seeing Liberty 150 in person, it was big, but after looking at the BV 400, it also looked really small. I'm a bit of a big guy, my shoe size is 14. I can grip a basketball in one hand. I'm an inch shy of being six feet tall.
Up until the moment I stood in the Vespa Dealership, I still hadn't completely settled on the Liberty or BV.
After seeing all of the different scooters in person, I can tell you that YouTube videos and photos, really don't show a genuine perspective of a scooters size.
For example, Robot on YouTube for Scooter West is around my height and the Piaggio Liberty looked really tall next to him.  But when I saw it in person, it didn't look so tall.

The BV 400 looked really, really big on YouTube and in photos, but it looked a lot smaller in person.  That will probably change once I have it all by itself without hundreds of other scooters around.

The Suzuki Burgman 400 is the best touring scooter in the USA, but it costs $1,600 more in the MSRP. That puts it at around $12,500 out the door price. Even though it has the largest under seat storage, it was more than I could commit too, especially since I didn't want any debt.
2022 Piaggio Beverly 400 S Euro 5 Base

Yamaha Dealer First Impressions

I did a ton of research into the Yamaha XMAX 300. It had a low MSRP of $5,799. Next largest under seat storage, fast.  But several things turned me off to the Yamaha XMAX.
  1. When I went to talk with the official Yamaha dealer in Los Angeles county, the sales manager came across as though I might be bothering him, didn't come across especially friendly, didn't seem interested in talking to me, had no enthusiasm, wouldn't give me an out the door price estimate since he didn't have it in stock at the moment. It was opposite of the kind of environment I want to deal with for future maintenance and servicing. I could go on, but its enough to say that it was a major turn off. First impressions matter. Who knows what kind of day he was having. I wanted to talk to someone who had a passion for scooters in particular, but even for motorcycles. Scooters are not Yamaha's primary product, motorcycles are. Maybe it's just not the kind of powersport culture I click with. He might have been cooler if I were buying a dirt bike. Either way, I'm glad that was my experience, because the service intervals for Yamaha Scooters would cost a lot more.
  2. I talked with a lot of XMAX owners, all of them complained about the seating position, said the suspension was poor and that the LED headlights were horrible and barely usable at night. Many of them were having to invest additional money in third-party lights and upgrades.
  3. I reached out to other Yamaha dealers in Southern, California and none of them gave me an out-the-door price or estimate.  Additionally when I reached out to Yamaha Corporate by phone, it left me on hold.  So I tried to reach them via Social Media, was promised a reply but never received one.
  4. Yamaha's website said five dealers on the east coast had the XMAX. but none of them did. In fact, I was only able to track down five XMAX scooters, all on the lower east coast, except one in Colorado using a third party website.
  5. The key accessory upgrades like the top box and parts, or handle bar accessory mount  have been unavailable for over a year.
  6. It comes in one color in 2022 called Storm Gray, and its name fits it. Its the ugliest color I have ever seen on a scooter. I had already looked into replacement body cover parts to replace the Storm Gray OEM parts. That was going to cost around $500 and I'd have to do the work myself.  I thought I might order Yellow or Red if I ultimately went with the XMAX. 
  7. When I priced out service interval maintenance costs, Yamaha was higher than several others.
  8. Last but not least, a few dealers got a new XMAX available here in Southern California, the ADM (Dealer fees) on top of taxes and government fees made the XMAX only a little cheaper than the out-the-door price for my newer, more powerful Piaggio BV 400.
Ultimately, all my research was pointing to the Piaggio BV 400.

Ultimately, all my research pointed to the Piaggio BV 400s.

Things I Don't Like

  • The upright seating positioning feels close to the front. 
  • I have giant feet, shoe size 14, so the foot position is on the restrictive side depending on how I placed my feet.
  • The seat rises and narrows at the front and isn't the best. Like other scooters, there is limited ability to scoot back due to a lumbar support. I'll probably invest in a third party air seat cushion to help make the front of the sear more comfortable.
  • I have long arms, the arm length seems like it might become a little tiring over a long ride.
  • I have giant hands, and covering the brake levers was even a bit of a stretch for me.
  • There is quite a large hump in the center well. A flat scooter well, like on the Vespa line would be a lot more easier to get on and off.  That is a similar comment the test riders for the Motorcycle YouTube channel made as a differences between the Suzuki and Piaggio.
  • When it's standing still, it's heavy.
There were at least seven sold scooters, including mine in Vespa Los Angeles

Things I Like

  • It has plenty of under seat storage for shopping and groceries.  It's seems smaller than the Suzuki Burgman and Yamaha XMAN, but I haven't seen them side by side. A lot more trunk than the Piaggio Liberty I was looking at or the same priced Vespa GTS 300 which has less space.
  • It's fast, it's currently the fastest scooter in the US other than perhaps a 500cc BMW scooter.  I won't be going fast.
  • The Piaggio scooters have great service intervals. That means less money and less time sitting at the shop.
  • It has bright led headlights and hi-beam.
  • It can go on the freeway. I have a 2003 Honda Element SUV/Car. Honda stopped selling them in the USA in 2011.  My Honda has only 125,000 miles on it.  It's good for more miles, but I want to keep it for as long as possible.  It's an incredible vehicle, best I've ever owned and so versatile. So the Piaggio BV 400 is my option instead of investing $30,000 to $40,000 into a new car. Especially when almost all my trips are short local trips.
  • I needed something that can go on the freeway here in California. The BV 400 out performed the Suzuki Burgman 400 in freeway acceleration.
  • The BV400 has a top speed of 90+

The Vespa Scooter in the photos below are of a custom scooter. It has the giant spider web in front, an animal skin seat, rear carried and other custom features. I had to take a picture of it, because I'll probably never see anything like it again.
This custom Vampira Vespa was sold, really interesting. Even had a leopard pelt like seat.  This sold scooter was cool to see.

I'll update this more, once I have the bike, have time to get used to it, etc.  It's been quite a few years since I've ridden anything other than bicycles with two wheels.  

I am not encouraging you to buy one, but I have given you a lot of resources to help you make your own decisions here on my website in the 2022 Scooter Research tab.