Scarabeo 500 Review Scooter News and Reviews Scootersales | Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions

Scarabeo 500 Review Scooter News and Reviews Scootersales

3 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Scarabeo 500 Review Scooter News and Reviews Scootersales
Aprilia Scarabeo 400

A maxi in a commuters body. We take a run on largest of them all, the Scarabeo 500 from Aprilia.


The Aprilia Scarabeo has long been regarded an icon in its hometown of Italy. A traditional style, all wrapped in a big wheeled chassis, this has been the Scarabeo trademark for over 20 years. Actually it was back in 1990 when Aprilia first put pen to paper on the concept.

Today the Scarabeo has grown into a range of models that spans from 50 cc right through to 500 cc, its become a part of Italian culture. This time we take the 500 out for a spin.


Aprilia’s Scarabeo 500 is no bigger in size than the 300 model, this means dimensionally the Scarabeo is quite small for the capacity it represents. Though being a 500, you do get all the benefits of a maxi scooter as well.

Firstly the brakes are two large 260 mm discs on the front, and a single 240 mm disc on the rear. The brakes are linked, which means pull on the left hand brake lever and you get front and rear working in unison. Means you really don’t use the right hand brake lever all that often.

A small adjustable screen at the front protects you from the elements, and this combined with the front fairing does a good job of shielding the rider. The rider sits snug on a wide well padded seat, very upright and very comfortable. The rear passenger gets an even better position, nice and wide with large rubber mounted foot-pegs.

The gauges on the dash are simple and easy to use, well laid out with a mix of analogue and digital to get the job done. Fuel is located between your feet and the tank holds a whopping 13.2 litres of fuel with a 3 litre reserve.

Storage is a ripper, under the wide long seat we have enough room to fit a full face helmet on its side and more if required. The bay is wide and whilst not overly deep, you can still fit a fair bit in. The rear rack is extremely sturdy and box ready at any time.

If you need more storage space, Aprilia also sell an optional tunnel bag that will fill the space between your legs.

The engine is a ripper, Piaggio’s twin-spark 492 cc Master engine. A heap of grunt everywhere and quite a bit smoother than the first 460 derivative. This one has twin-spark, produces 29 Kw of power and the vibes are nowhere near as pronounced as they once were.

Up the back we have twin adjustable shocks on the rear, a side and centre stand are both present. Like all Scarabeo’s, the wheel combination is large in size, thanks to the family tradition. The wheel combination is 16 Inch on the front and a smaller 14 Inch on the rear.

Our test mule was shod with Sava rubber.

Should also make note of the alarm that comes fitted standard, the keys have a remote for turning the alarm on and off and a separate push button for opening the seat. Open the glovebox and you have a manual seat release also.

On The Road

The Scarabeo 500 has the capacity to be a maxi tourer, in the body of a city commuter. And really it can do both fairly easily, though for me its probably better suited to the commuter role first, the touring role second. I had owned a Scarabeo 500 for a few years and in that time I rode Sydney to Phillip Island return without a hitch.

Actually my travelling companions were amazed of the Beo’s ability to maintain speed.

Aprilia Scarabeo 400
Aprilia Scarabeo 400

Nothing has changed since those days, the Beo is still quick thanks to the size versus capacity equation, it tackles freeway speeds with ease, hills offer no resistance. Top speed would have to be in the vicinity of around 160 km/h on the speedo, so I would think that we may have seen around 150 km/h actual. The Scarabeo is claimed to have the shortest wheelbase and best power to weight ratio in its class.

So it does move off the mark in a brisk and rapid rate, especially once moving, the mid-range punch is impressive.

The key though is the Scarabeo’s thin stature helping it to become a very practical commuter, and because it’s not big and bulky, it’s actually very easy to manhandle. This is something we don’t normally associate with larger capacity scooters. The real benefit is that when it comes time to hit the motorway for the last leg of the journey home, the Scarabeo just streaks away.

Handling wise the Scarabeo can sometimes suffer from short wheelbase, big heavy motor syndrome. So over rough surfaces it can get a little twitchy. Keep it locked onto any form of smooth blacktop and the Scarabeo handles like a well controlled bullet train on rails.

Fairly good ground clearance helps, its difficult to get anything scraping whilst cornering hard.

The brakes are very good and something I would expect from a brand with this kind of sporting heritage behind it.


So that’s our rap on the Scarabeo 500, a bit of a hybrid machine, part tourer, part commuter. An option for those looking for a short wheelbase, larger capacity scooter with full maxi power, yet easy enough to handle around town.

Things can get a little twitchy from time to time, though the flexibility of this format is probably its biggest positive. Build quality is as you’d expect, and price wise the Scarabeo offers a significant amount of scooter for under 9 grand.

The Scarabeo 500 is well worth a look, especially if the daily commute requires some extra herbs.

Aprilia Scarabeo 400

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