I got an Habana custom 125 in july 2002, and 7 miles after first riding, the engine died. 3 weeks in the dealers hands (the shape of things to come). Since then, it has been claim after claim on the warrenty. 4 speedo cables, 3 mud guards, 5 spark plugs and a lot of train tickets later, I'm currently without a bike again. This time it went in for new tyres and brake shoes/pads. Simple job until they find a crack in the casing of the gear box. 3 weeks later and aprilia have yet to send this small part from italy. The fact that if this were a japanese bike it would take hours rather than weeks and months for repairs is very annoying. When this bike runs, it's a dream. But for me it is very rare that it does. The riding position feels more like a cruising bike than a scooter, with wide handlebars and the massive seat, I can ride it for ages and not have to walk like a cowboy. One recomendation is that you get the rear tyre changed regularly, as this bike handles like a dream even on tight corners with a lot of tread, but feels like a bar of soap when worn past 3,000 miles. As with most bikes, you'll use two rears to one front tyre on this bike. Drum brake on the rear has lasted nearly a year and the front hydrolic disk brake on the front is sharp and strong. Expect to change your front brake pads at the same time as your rear tyre. A tank costs no more than £5 and runs for 120 miles without flashing the fuel low light. I love this bike when it works, but I cant help but feel a bit cheated by aprilia over parts and the fact that it was so poorly built. From what I gather, my bike is an exception rather than a rule and I can imagine most people loving this bike. I'll be buying a real bike next, something with parts that dont have to be flown from italy. Maybe a suzuki sv650s. :D
I've had this bike for 6 months now and am very pleased with it. To give you some idea, I use it for a 40 mile work roundtrip whenever I can (a mix of very rural B roads and A roads through a large town), and also leisure at the weekends. I've covered almost 3,000 km's on it. It's not the cheapest scooter you can buy, but the extra cash is well worth the extra size and sheer good looks the Habana provides. The retro styling was the first thing that attracted me to the bike, that and the fact that my knees didn't feel like they were around my ears when I was riding, like some scooters! Personally I love the wide handlebars and 'harley' type riding position. Some would say that the extra width is a hinderance in traffic - I disagree, and do plenty of runs through traffic without any problems. In fact, the wide handlebars mean that the mirrors are in a good place and give good visibility. The bike provides plenty of space, both riding and storage. The under seat storage compartment however, whilst big and accessible, is not big enough for a uk full face helmet. The fuel filler is under the seat too by the way. The scooter has a glove box for your wallet/mobile/can of drink, but it's chopped in half by the steering column so it's not quite as big as it looks from the outside. There is also a hook at the front of the saddle for you to pin your carrier bags to! As for riding space - there is loads of it - the seat is long, wide, soft and very comfortable. The 'running board' area is huge and gives you plenty of room to shuffle your feet during long rides. The handlebars are wide and at a nice height but are also swept back to even a short arm rider shouldn't have any problems. Although the 125 features rear passenger foot rests, I would personally have problems carrying a pillion as I sit about midway on the seat whilst riding, not leaving much room! (i'm about 6ft tall). As for performance; T
he 4-stroke 125 engine will zip you up to 60 mph on the flat and will then get up to 65 mph with a little encouragement, 70 being about flat out, depending on the wind conditions. The bike performs well on hills and doesn't drop much speed at all. Fuel consumption is excellent, I've been getting a steady 85 mpg running on supermarket petrol. The bike takes 8 litres from completely empty, so you're looking at £5 to fill it up, it'll then do about 130 miles on that (wow! I still can't get over how much money I save on petrol compared to my car!). The brakes are excellent too - the rear cable drum brake actually feels just as powerful as the front hydraulic disk brake, and they work well together. As for pitfalls; the 'chrome' on the bike, is actually just chrome coloured plastic, which has been done for obvious weight reasons, but having said that, it still looks very realistic and with some care will probably last a long time. The glove box seems a little weak and you worry slightly that it will ping open at 70mph and spread your belongings all over the road (although mine hasn't yet!). The only other negative thing I have to say is that accessories are both hard to get and expensive. I enquired about the side stand and luggage rack and was told that they were £50 and £55 AND had a 2 week lead time. I even checked whilst in Italy recently and the prices are, suprisingly, the same as the UK. I don't know about regular parts for the bike, although I have been assured by my dealer that they aren't a problem. I bought the bike from new, and got the Aprilia free third party only insurance (which can take up to three riders). One point to note, is that Aprilia do not cover the cost of the first service (500m) like most bike manufacturers, this will cost you about 60 quid.
Mine is Aprilia Habana Custom. Same mechanics as the Habana Retro seen in pic but even more stylish. Pros: Style. Great fun. Really pleased with bike. Cons: My experience of service and warranty has been poor. The Bottom Line: Buy it if you can find a good dealer, and Aprilia review small print of warranty Just look at it to know its a great fun scooter with real style. The 125 unit is perfect for traffic laden cities, but (like all scooters) dull on a dual carriageway. I recomend the hardware without hesitation. Service and warranty has been another story. Waited for replacement seat under warranty for a year (faulty when new). Still have not got it. Speedo cable breaks after 11 months/5000km and is not covered by warranty. I had problem with oil pressure (it was faulty pressure relief valve). I had to pay to get dealer to look at it. I was told it was OK for oil light to come on at idle!!! Eventually it was sorted with various complaints from dealer that he would struggle to get repaid from warranty. Have now changed dealer (the last one went out of business)so things may get better. Aprilia need to better vet their dealers and sort out the small print on warranty if they want loyal customers. When I upgrade it will be a Honda. If you want a 50cc consider the Honda Shadow. Looks great alternative - but with Honda service behind it.
This is lovely scooter to ride, plenty of muscle to get you really going the weight of the bike keeps you nice and hugs the road, a bit slow on turns as you have to take a bend at a wide angle. But it does turn heads for its style even harden bikers want to have a go on this machine. The downside to all this style is the lack of spare parts in the uk APRILIA REALLY NEEDS TO PULL THERE FINGERS OUT AND GET THIS PROPLEM SORTED, for me this proplem has made this scooter not reliable as work machine, like many I also use my scoot to get to work, 1 part has taken over a year to get and some damage I had meant my scoot was in the repair shop for 3 months awaiting parts. If you use your bike to get to work this sort of wait is just not on APRILIA. My next scoot will of which I am about to buy two will not be APRILIA which is sad because I do like this machine. I got asked recently about the cost of a scooter well with this model it cost about £5.00 for 70 miles and free insurance in the first year is good, oil to fill your machine costs again about £5.00 from any good tesco store, a service to keep your machine in good nick costs from £70.00 to £90.00 but good deals can be had here, its still cheaper than running a car and more fun.....
I am writing this in response to all the worries and so-called ‘scam’ regarding the ‘free’ insurance that comes with most new Aprilia scooters. I recently bought a Habana Custom (please see my opinion in Aprilia Habana 50, titled ‘Sex On Wheels’) and took advantage of the ‘free’ insurance offer. Okay so there is a high excess of £400, but what you have to remember is....if you purchased your own private insurance it would cost most people close to £400, and then there would still be a small excess to pay, usually minimum of £50!! I have been riding my bike for 6 months now with no reason to use my insurance, if this continues (touch wood) for the rest of the year then the insurance will indeed be….FREE. Think about it. Happy riding.
UPDATE- Just thought I would post a view a bit further down the line in owning the Habana. So far covered about 7000kms and had a couple of trips to the mechanics. First was the standard service which was £90 and covered the oil and bits and bobs. Second trip was down to the fact that the front brake was making a hideous scraping noise and became hard to actually pull the lever. Got tp the stage very quickly i.e overnight that the brake gave up altogether! Much to my annoyance I put it in for repair only to find out that Aprilia parts are like rocking horse poo. Thankfully the mechanic guy had a bit from a Speedfight bike that was virtually identical and saved me a projected 3 month wait!!! I gathered from the chappie that Aprilias are notoriously slow and crap for spares, and that general labour costs are higher than others because they are fiddly to get even the simplest work done. Either way I love the bike to bits and that still recommend just be slightly aware of the "extra" costs when servicing. Having read the various reviews on the scooters that are flooding the UK I decided to chuck the train, tube and buses and fly to work on two wheels. There are masses of scooters on offer and Piaggio seem to have the majority share (see paulos comments on the 50cc Habana) Looks are as important as functionality as they are all much of a muchness when come to the nuts and bolts. The Aprilias are easily the most unsual and with a race pedigree of such a firm you would expect them to be nippier that their rivals. The 125 certainly has the poke you need for a grin as well as getting form A to B. The M Coupe now has to share its stable with a hugely good looking scooter who has almost the same pulling away power it has!! Take heed of the Aprilia insurance scheme as mentioned by another dooyoo writer....not the best deal around.