When you imagine a motor-scooter, you might conjure up an image of a lightweight two-wheeled motor vehicle that's useful for commuting through busy traffic or zipping to the shops and back. But the Aprilia SRV850 is an entirely different kettle of fish. Because far from being lightweight, it's the heaviest, longest, fastest and largest scooter the world has ever seen! The bike is based on the GP 800, the maxi two-cylinder launched back in 2007 by Piaggio Group, which established itself as the most powerful scooter in the world.
Powered by a 90-degree 839cc V-twin engine, the Aprilia SRV850 reaches a maximum power of 55.9 kW at 7,750 rpm. It has an instant throttle response, and gets from 0-62 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds. But not only does the Aprilia SRV850 have a powerful engine, it also oozes strength through its superbly rigid chassis. The double cradle frame of the scooter is made of steel trellis pipes with reinforcing and rigidity plates. On the road, the scooter leans into turns in the same way as a sports bike, reaching 45-degree angles while maintaining a fantastic grip on the road. It's a heavy machine, weighing in at 249kg, but it is also sleek and unintimidating.
In addition, it's equipped with a range of accessories, including a gel sport saddle, which provides maximum riding comfort, a quick release top box kit, which can hold a flip-up helmet and a full jet helmet with visor. On top of all that, the Aprilia offers a smoke-effect tinted windshield, an electronic alarm, a mudguard and a TomTom GPS navigator installation kit.
The advantage of owning a scooter is that it's often cheaper to run than a car. For a start, your initial outlay will be smaller as you can pick up a basic scooter from around £500. Secondly, because scooters are kinder to the environment thanks to their reduced CO2 emissions, you'll pay less road tax and benefit from lower insurance premiums. Scooter insurance is a legal requirement but you can choose from different levels of cover. To keep costs to a minimum, you could opt for third party scooter insurance which is the most basic level of cover you can get.
But the downside is that if you were involved in an accident that was your fault, this level of insurance would only cover the costs associated with the third party and it wouldn't pay out for damage to your scooter or yourself. In other words, you'd have to pay for repairs to your scooter out of your own pocket. Third party fire and theft offers the same protection as third party cover, but will also cover your vehicle if it is stolen or catches fire. However, if you want the maximum level of cover, you should opt for comprehensive insurance. It will cover you for the above, but will also pay out for any damage to you or your scooter. It is often the most expensive option but is worth paying for peace of mind.
You can save money on your scooter insurance by upping the voluntary excess on your policy (making sure you can still afford to pay it if you had to make a claim), paying annually rather than monthly, and improving the security on your bike by adding an immobiliser, ground anchor and heavy duty lock. Keep your scooter in a locked garage at night if possible.
The dangers of owning a scooter
The downside of owning a scooter is that scooters can be far more dangerous than other vehicles. Scooters are often not seen by other motorists so it's vital you are aware of what is around you when out on the road and wear reflective and bright clothing. You should also invest in a decent helmet, good gloves and sturdy boots. Wearing leathers will also offer more protection should you fall off your scooter. Before taking your bike for a spin, it pays to check that your headlights, brakes and mirrors are all working properly. Once you are out on the road, avoid riding in another motorist's blind spot and always signal clearly when turning or changing lanes. Also avoid hitting road hazards such as potholes and bumps in the road so that you don't lose control of your scooter. And always keep a good distance between you and other vehicles.