Piaggio’s 2013 BV 350 ST (which, as we previously reported, is expected by late spring) provides a glimpse into the future of modern scooters. For the past two decades, most modern automatic transmission scooters have used variations of the same basic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and centrifugal clutch design. While there are a wide variety of scooter engines, there’s been little change in their basic design, with the exception of fuel injection.
The BV 350 touts an all-new engine designed to pack the power of a 400cc into a 350cc package. This is accomplished through changes in lubrication, the bore/stroke ratio, and the crankcase. The model will also be among the first scooters to offer ABS/ASR (anti-lock and anti-skid) brakes. However, the new transmission — different than anything else on the road — is the BV 350’s most innovative feature. The multi-plate wet clutch promises to be much more efficient that the centrifugal ones in current scooters, and will require far less maintenance.
Piaggio has been conducting BV 350 training sessions for dealers at its Technical Center in Costa Mesa, CA. Those who’ve seen had a look at what’s under the cowls are understandably excited. Alex of Vespa Dallas is among those who had a hands-on session with the new engine, and he’s generously shared his photos with us.