The new generation super-scooters all have one thing in common; they commute in comfort, sometimes luxury. But not all the models on the market have the sheer classy style of the Benelli Velvet.
Not only does this scoot look good, but its Yamaha engine pushes the city slicker along to an indicated 80mph, with outstanding braking too. Add practical touches like the roomy saddle, handy storage lockers plus the windbreaker front screen and you have a great all-rounder machine for urban living. Avanti.
Let´s be honest, there is only one basic reason why anyone buys a scooter; convenience. Cutting your way through the knots of traffic, badly parked vehicles, mobile phone jabbering pedestrians and the hundred other hazards in any modern city is becoming almost impossible in a car. The solution, as thousands of people in the UK are discovering – despite pitifully poor marketing by most manufacturers – is the humble scooter.
Except not everyone want s a nifty, thrifty fifty, even though they are without doubt the most cost effective answer to the gridlock that faces most commuters. If you want to travel with style, panache and a little bit of power, then a 125-250cc scooter is perfect.
Fact is, for all those traffic light GPs when a 50cc scoot simply leaves you revving desperately, whilst buses rapidly overtake you, there ain´t no substitute for cubes, and the 250cc Yamaha motor which powers the Benelli is a little belter. Quick off the mark, with plenty of torque, the Benelli Velvet can soon have you worrying about the location of the next Gatso in town, rather than being pinned in the gutter by a white van driver with a grudge against anyone wearing an anorak.
That´s a good thing, as speed can sometimes get you out of potential trouble in heavy traffic, allowing you to dodge hazards in a way that car drivers can only dream about.
Don´t get the idea that the Benelli Velvet 250 is a performance scoot, because this machine offers a luxurious ride in town, no matter how bad the pot-holes might be. The suspension is soft front and rear, which can make the Velvet feel a little bouncy if you hit a bump whilst cornering, or drag its centre-stand, but because of its sheer size and weight, the Benelli never feels as twitchy as some of the 50cc scooters.
If you settle back into the comfy saddle, back off the gas a tad and take life in a more relaxed manner, then the Velvet simply wafts along, making you feel de-stressed whilst others suffer road-rage attacks. Everything about this scooter is smooth and easy to use, it really feels like a quality product.
On the practical side of things, the Velvet has a handy little screen, which keeps most of the windblast off the rider´s upper body, up to around 70mph. There´s also two useful storage spaces on the Velvet, one under the seat – which sadly can´t quite accommodate a full face helmet and another little cubby hole in the front section of the bodywork. Another thing worth mentioning are the mirrors, which are well positioned, giving a much better view than on many rival scooters.
At 3575 notes on the road, with a two year warranty, the Benelli Velvet certainly isn´t a cheap option for commuters searching for an alternative to the bus or train. Instead, this is the sort of model that might make a great second bike if you have the spare cash, or a nice way to semi retire from biking, if the whole sportbike circus is leaving you cold.
You can tour on a 250cc four stroke scooter, as many people are discovering nowadays, and on that basis, the Benelli is a much cheaper option than say, a Honda Deauville, although it doesn´t quite have the two-up room that a proper motorbike has. The Yamaha 250 four stroke unit fitted to the Velvet is a proven reliable motor, and the package wrapped around it looks well designed and durable.
A very classy scooter.
Get Benelli motorbike insurance for the Velvet 250.
Engine Single cylinder four stroke, liquid cooled
Claimed power (bhp)
Chassis; Steel trellis, engine as integral swingarm
Brakes; 240mm front disc, 220mm rear disc
Dry Weight; 129kgs
Tyres; 120/70 13 inch front, 140/70 12 inch rear
Top speed 80mph ( Est )
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Current price £3,575 OTR 2 year warranty inc