Twenty years after the first generation of Piaggio’s Beverly scooter was born in 2001, the Italian manufacturer unveiled the new Piaggio Beverly on their piaggio.com website as 2020 drew to a close. Large wheeled scooters have never really caught on in the UK, but in Europe the fashion-conscience riders appreciate that the increased diameter helps span potholes and cobbles in the road, thus reducing the risk of a tumble and resulting ruffling of image. And injury too of course.
For a while the British impression of the large-wheeled scooters were simply red ones used to deliver pizzas and fast food, whereas from Italy to France and beyond saw the daily postal delivery service using them amongst others, from police to couriers.
The Beverly began life as 125/150cc scooters ,joined by a 50cc for the 14 year olds and those without a licence in Italy, and in 2006 Piaggio broke the large-wheeled scooter mould with a Beverly 500, using their 460cc Master engine. This was the same motor they also used in their X9 maxi-scooter, but for those in the know the Beverly 500 (B500 in the UK) was the better ride. Having test ridden much of the Piaggio range over the years, I certainly concur. In fact the last versions of the Beverly 300 was a recommended ride too…
The 2021 range of Beverly scooters promises to be as competent and practical as the range has always been, justifiably boasting a regular place in the Italian charts of powered-two-wheeler sales. Piaggio say that “Beverly has now been completely revamped and evolved to become a true crossover, going beyond its category, combining the versatility, the dynamic features and the road-holding of a high-wheeled vehicle with the exuberant performance and comfort of a luxurious GT.” Which translated into it being redesigned and an even better commuter scooter than before.
The features include a LED headlight at the centre of the new handlebar, with direction indicators and position lights also featuring LED technology, as does the rear light cluster. The new, motorcycle-style license plate holder/ rear hugger is a nice touch, and the new seven-spoke wheels pretty funky too (in lightweight alloy, 16” on the front and 14” on the rear).
Making their début on the new Piaggio Beverly are two new and powerful Euro 5 motors from Piaggio’s ‘hpe’ family (High Performance Engine) – 300 and 400cc respectively.
Both engines are 4-stroke, 4-valve single cylinder, with liquid cooling and electronic injection and are “the result of the Piaggio Group research and development centre’s experience, working specifically to achieve better performance and improved rideability, reducing fuel consumption and noise.”
“The 300 hpe engine increases in power by 23% compared to the previous version of the same size, reaching 19 kW (25.8 HP) at 8000 rpm, whereas maximum torque increases by 15%, now reaching 26 Nm at 6250rpm.”
The 400 hpe motor replaces the previous 350 engine. The difference lies not only in a simple increase of cubic centimetres, but the Piaggio engineers have “further improved mechanical and thermodynamic performance, and further reduced the already extremely low vibration and noise levels. The result is a power rating that reaches 26 kW (35.4 HP) at 7500 rpm and a maximum torque of 37.7 Nm at 5500rpm, data which translates on the road into performance and riding elasticity.”
The new Beverly also features a new Showa fork with 35mm diameter stanchions, whereas at the rear are a new pair of Showa dual action shock absorbers featuring a coil spring with preload adjustable to five positions. The 400 hpe version also adopt wider tyres (120/70 instead of 110/70 on the front and 150/70 instead of 140/70 on the rear), “which ensure better stability at sustained speeds.”
Piaggio Beverly also boasts new technological features, adopting the keyless system so it switches on without having to insert a traditional key and thereby making it easier to start, open the seat and fuel cap, and position the steering lock – all operations that can be done with the fob in your pocket.
There is a brand new and fully digital 5.5” LCD instrument panel in the headset. The equipment is completed by the Piaggio MIA connectivity system, standard on the 400 hpe version, that lets you connect your smartphone to Beverly’s on board electronics system via Bluetooth, providing exclusive features.
The regular Piaggio Beverly is described as “the more elegant and refined one” while “on the other, that grittier and sportier one, is manifested in the Beverly S.” The colour options between the two are different and the S version also features a new black seat in two materials and dark grey wheel rims.
And if the Beverly isn’t your cup of tea (although we would recommend you test ride one), the other consideration is what Piaggio might be fitting their new engines into next?
For more details visit your local Piaggio dealer or visit www.piaggio.com
**ScooterNova is an independent scooter magazine published and printed in the UK every two months, by scooterists for scooterists. Edition 23 (Jan/Feb 2021) is available now from all good scooter shops. You can also subscribe or buy online via our web shop. For details visit www.scooternova.com