Help me mellow out my BV350
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Member
Piaggio BV200, Yamaha C3
Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 44
Location: Salem, OR
Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:36 pm quote
I picked up a lightly used BV350 last fall to replace my aging/failing BV200. I was excited to have a couple of good used options to choose from here in the NW! After 14 months of daily riding, I have to say, I'm not in love with this bike at all.

Mostly, it comes down to the harsh ride that I categorize three ways: 1. Overly harsh suspension, 2. Twitchy throttle and slappy clutch at low speeds, and 3. Incredible turbulence from the stock windscreen.

I removed the windscreen this summer to alleviate the deafening slapping sounds around and about my head. I put it back on when the weather turned and have resumed riding with ear plugs.

I've adjusted the rear pre-load, but I suspect it's the front shocks that are causing most of the harshness when I ride. I've hit normal sized bumps in the road that have popped my feet off the floorboards! I have little confidence when taking a tight turn at speed because I worry what a bump could do me!

Lastly, the throttle is very hard to modulate at low speed and I can often feel the clutch/belt "slap" into place and jerk the bike forward. This is no fun in traffic.

I'm hoping there are some owners out there who honestly feel the way I do about the bike... and hopefully have come up with some solutions.

Like, would changing the roller weights and/or clutch springs mellow out the low speed twitchy-ness? Should I tear down the front end and have the shocks replaced/re-sprung?

If I don't want a windscreen that's almost as tall as the garage, what other options do I have to reduce the turbulence with the stock one?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 5979
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:43 pm quote
Check your fork oil and shocks, I love the BV350's ride.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Typhoon 125
Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 10189
Location: Oregon City, OR
Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:09 pm quote
My experience with the suspension and handling of the BV was also quite positive. I agree with WEB-Tech on a possible problem with your shocks. The stock windscreen is definitely too short for most riders. There are several threads here on satisfactory replacements - without adding a "barn door". I personally added a Laminar Lip to mine. About slower speed clutch and CVT - you can feel the wet clutch engaging and disengaging alright. I personally like the effect of the wet clutch on the BV as it gives you more engine braking effect than available on most CVT scooters.

Three BV 350 Windscreens Side-by-Side

Last edited by Dooglas on Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
Molto Verboso
Vespa GTS 250ie
Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 1033
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:08 pm quote
Most of the sensitive low speed throttle tip-in issue was a throttle cable needing adjustment. The cable stretches a great deal from new and it's nearly impossible to tip the throttle in smoothly. When the cable is tightened up, throttle tip-in goes away. It's all in the wrist...
Ossessionato
LX150, GTS300, BV350, EN650
Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 4379
Location: Home of the Alamo
Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:16 pm quote
I picked up my BV 350 earlier this year with less than 2300 miles on it. I am experiencing none of the issues you mention which may point toward things on your scoot being out of adjustment or worn, as mine is virtually new.

I have the same feelings toward the stock windscreen but earplugs solve the noise issue for me. Living in 100-105 degrees most of the summer, the wind is actually a godsend.

Good luck with your BV!

Last edited by Jet Peddler on Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
Molto Verboso
2014 Commuter BV350(34,000)/2015 Scoot Life BV350(9,000)/2010 El Diablito SH150i(28,000)
Joined: 27 Dec 2013
Posts: 1923
Location: Orange Park Florida
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:18 pm quote
One member posted about front shock issues but I'm not going to search for it. Maybe someone remembers it. I have no problem with the way my BV's ride. There's plenty of info on the windshield and it's easy to find.
The low speed twichyness is something I dislike but am use to it. My Honda clutch lets go at higher RPM's than the BV's. This way I can feather the clutch at low speeds better than the BV's. The 6 clutch springs are the only way to adjust when it engage/disengages. If you don't DIY, dialing this in can be costly.
I installed a malossi clutch in the commuter and I put the middle strength springs in. The instructions didn't say which springs matched stock. I'm hoping the clutch disengages sooner when I'm rolling up to red lights.
I FINALLY got the driven pulley parts today and will be riding the commuter by this weekend and will post the results in this post.
BV350 clutch inspection at 34,000 miles
Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 250ie, Scarabeo 500ie, SportCity 250, BV 500, Buddy 125
Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 7478
Location: Houston, TX/Breckenridge, CO
Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:44 pm quote
I'd definitely suggest checking your front shocks/fork. I thought our BV 350 rode very smoothly, better suspension than our other scooters. Handling at any speed was excellent though there is a bit more throttle play at low speed than I'd prefer.

The windshield is too short for me but doesn't seem to bother my son. I have to admit I'm a bit surprised he hasn't taken it off. He did on his previous scooter a Sports City 250. That and I didn't like the stock mirrors were my only real complaint. Both of which are easy enough to fix and would be changed if it was my primary ride instead of my son's. It's his daily commuter so he gets to decide what if anything should be changed on it.
Molto Verboso
Vespa GTS 250ie
Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 1033
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:27 am quote
Counterintuitively, when I increased the preload on the rear shocks the ride got better. My hypothesis is that the springs don't have to move from full extended to correct spring load during a momentary load and there's less movement all around. Smoother.
This has been true on two of my present scooters.
Hooked
2016 BV350 White
Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 189
Location: East LA County, CA, USA
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:32 am quote
Get the FACO windscreen. Its the tallest of the three aftermarket windscreens. It makes all the difference so that you don't hear the wind rushing noise on your helmet. It was unbearable to me before I put mine on. Its one of the first things you should do.

I don't have the other two problems. It is known that the BV350 is a little jerky at slower speeds, but I have gotten used to feathering the throttle so its no big deal anymore. In fact, I like it.

I haven't ever had an issue with the shocks, but I'm a heavy guy. If you're not a small guy, then either there's something that needs to be worked on or you just need to build up some more confidence in your riding skills. I've never had my feet lifted off my scooter from a bump. My rear end yes, because I didn't lift it up like I was supposed to before the bump, usually railroad tracks.
Member
Beverly 350 ST Primavera 125 3v Liberty ABS125
Joined: 06 Oct 2018
Posts: 16
Location: Sevilla, Spain
Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:54 pm quote
Iím relatively new to BV350 too. My background is all kind of vespas, and this time I opted (without previous experience) for the BV350 in favour of more power and more highway useability...
I was fortunate to get an almost new bike with two thousand kilometers in it just one month ago, as I said Iím still learning to drive it but I find the ride a bit harsh, even the smalllest bump in the tarmac is sent to you with fierce... maybe Iím too light for this bike at 152 pounds.
The throttle issue shocked me at first, but itís not difficult to get used to feather it to avoid the ďcloaking noiseĒ, and I definitely love the retention power of the bike when you throttle back, itís just awesome!
Although bigger than my old GTS I find it easier in the city traffic, the mirrors are higher so you do not hit the cars mirrors as easy as it was with the vespa.
Really my only complaint so far is the hard shocks... I have no preload. Should I increase it for a better ride.
Thanks!
Member
Piaggio BV200, Yamaha C3
Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 44
Location: Salem, OR
Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:20 pm quote
Thanks for the feedback, guys. I think I'll adjust the preload the other way and see what it does. Additionally, the throttle cable does seem very slacky -- is there a video on how to adjust it? I'm not too keen on taller screens. The BV200 I came from had more of a deflector than a screen, which is closer to what I like.

Last resort would be to tear it down and have the shocks looked at. Sigh... That's a lot of parts to remove to get to it!

Edit: What kind of tires would you recommend for this bike? I'm looking to replace mine in the next couple thousand miles. Maybe there's a "softer" variety that would help with the bumps.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 250ie, Scarabeo 500ie, SportCity 250, BV 500, Buddy 125
Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 7478
Location: Houston, TX/Breckenridge, CO
Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:50 pm quote
TJH132 wrote:
Thanks for the feedback, guys. I think I'll adjust the preload the other way and see what it does. Additionally, the throttle cable does seem very slacky -- is there a video on how to adjust it? I'm not too keen on taller screens. The BV200 I came from had more of a deflector than a screen, which is closer to what I like.

Last resort would be to tear it down and have the shocks looked at. Sigh... That's a lot of parts to remove to get to it!

Edit: What kind of tires would you recommend for this bike? I'm looking to replace mine in the next couple thousand miles. Maybe there's a "softer" variety that would help with the bumps.
If you like more of a deflector check out a laminar lip which will give you more of a curve to the top without adding much height.

Hopefully the preload will help. FWIW, my son is about 150lbs and he doesn't find the shocks harsh.
Enthusiast
Joined: 06 Oct 2013
Posts: 95

Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:58 pm quote
BV350 fork oil
Molto Verboso
Vespa GTS 250ie
Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 1033
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:16 am quote
There's a video on Youtube where Robot from ScooterWest adjusts the throttle from beneath the pet carrier. If you want to be more adventurous, the best way to adjust the slack out of the cable is to remove the handlebar covers and adjust the cable at the throttle mechanism. I found that I HAD to resort to this adjustment to get all of the slack out of the cable. There wasn't enough adjustment in the adjustment access beneath the pet carrier on my BV. I like VERY little slack in the throttle cable for tight throttle control...
Hooked
BV 350
Joined: 22 Nov 2016
Posts: 155
Location: Nebraska
Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:10 pm quote
Hey TJH
How much do you weigh? With a relatively light vehicle, rider weight makes a big difference on suspension settings. I'm big and heavy (230 lbs) and mine rides just fine. I set the preload on the rear up as well, as it felt like I was near to bottoming the suspension on big bumps. Haven't messed with the front at all. And it seems to ride well, although a trifle on the 'taut' side. But that just encourages me to ride it like a sport bike. Tires are showing wear nearly right to the edges. I might try the zip-tie trick on the front to see how much suspension travel I'm using, and up the preload and/or fork oil viscosity if I'm using most of it.

I imagine the same applies to the clutch. The engagement isn't excessively harsh when a greater load is placed on it. And I like having the clutch engaged almost down to a stop, as acceleration is immediate if you need it.

Ultimately, with not a whole lot of travel available, and that big honking engine being unsprung weight, it isn't going to ride like a car. I'm sure you could change springs and fork oil and get a 'plush' ride, but it'd probably wallow in corners.
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