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Aprilia Leonardo 250

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      09.10.2004 11:17
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      Steve`s Aprilia Leonardo 250. Here is my review on my 250 Leo. Firstly before this 250 I owned an Aprilia SR125 scooter which I loved but it was very thirsty if ridden fast, 35mpg, dont let anyone tell you 50mpg+ they are not being truthful, also they take a good 90 seconds to warm up and if its raining thats a long time to be going nowhere. Its also a four stroke so no messing about with 2 stroke oil, I always keep a couple of gallons in my garage in a spare can and top the scooter up at home, every time I go to ASDA in the car I fill up my can, the reason is the filler cap on the Leo is down between your feet under a locked cover and its difficult to see how much is in the tank so fill the car up, fill a couple of gallon containers up and I do it at home, its probably just my way of getting home without having to stop on the way, time is precious my friend. It has a fuel gauge on the dash which is very accurate and also a clock that keeps accurate time which is also very handy. So I wanted a faster more economical scoot and I certainly got one. I also wanted a scooter that looked like a smaller sporty scooter, I dont like the style of the big Burgmans etc and the Leo seems to be the only one on the market that fits the bill. I bought the Leo in Dumfries, a round trip of over 350 miles but I wanted it and I couldnt get one closer to Aberdeen. Hired a transit and went and bought it. The scooter has been no trouble to me in the 8 months I have owned it, it was third hand and had a full service history.It is a V plate 1999 so considering its gone through 4 Scottish Winters it is in very good condition still. It had 9980 Kms on it when I bought it, its now coming up to 13000Kms and I am getting the drive belt changed soon for peace of mind. The scoot starts on the first push of the button every time as long as its used regularly, if its left for 2 weeks it takes about 10 seconds to fire up but it does start. I would just start it weekly if its going to be left for a long period but I use this regularly even through the Winter months as long as its not too frosty so its been reliable starter for me. It has a kick start but I have never used it yet. Within 10 seconds I pull away, its on automatic choke so not running perfect while cold but within 100 yards she is fine. My first four miles is on a B Country road and the scoot corners well, I drive it quite fast most of the time and I can get it to lean right over to the edge of the tyres and it doesnt even twitch, one thing I noticed on scooters, dont alter your driving position once cornering, they hate it and will twitch badly, just lean in and it wont let you down, yes, even with the wife on the back. The brakes are brilliant also, they can basically stop you on a sixpence, disk front and rear, pull hard and they are fantastic stoppers. I drive with two fingers hovering over the rear brake as a safety precaution but once you get used to the stopping power they suprise a lot of other drivers. Now after the B road Im onto a dual carriageway, she pulls up to 75 mph no problem, she tops out at 84 mph at a push, thats indicated on the speedo by the way, anyone says they can get 90 mph dont believe them. If you are overtaking then be aware that if you are around the 60 mph mark she hasnt got the same acceleration as the 30-55 mph mark. She still corners well at 70 mph on the dual carriageway. Now Im entering the city, traffic lights everywhere, jams everywhere but the Leo goes through all the gaps to the front of the lights every time, lights change to Green and away we go, it beats 90 - 95% of cars away from the lights, OK some guys in a Golf GTi always have to floor it but I promise you they cant pull away that much and seem pretty embarrassed that the scoot is still up there with them, never mind another set of lights ahead, they are at the back of the queue and I am again at the front, easy. What else is there to say, fuel consumption, well all through this review I tell you the truth, no exagerations, I drive it hard for the full 10 miles each way and Im getting 63 mpg which I am very pleased with, its nearly doubled the other 125cc. Insurance costs me £104 Third Party fire and theft. I have two years no claims and Im 48 years old. Under seat storage is very big, nearly two full face helmets can fit in, probably could at a squeeze, it is also a big comfortable seat, my wife says so anyway. Its been 100% reliable, never once let me down. It has Bridgestone Hoop tyres fitted which in a recent Twist and Go road test were just about the best tyres you can fit. I also wear full padded waterproofs with a High Vis waistcoat on, this I recommend, the High Vis jacket is brilliant, get a yellow one because thats the ones the police wear and you do get seen very early, even in daylight. The lights are very good even on my dark twisty country roads, they light up the road well ahead pretty good. The speedo is both Kms and Mph but the Kms are the easiest to see which I dont like. Do I like the Leo, yes I love it to bits, I hate if I have to go to work in the car now, to me the scooter is first choice every day, I get to lie in bed for an extra 20 minutes every day, my neighbours all set off at 7.00am to work, I set off at 7.30 and still get there early. So would I recommend this and would I buy it again, I will suprise you now and say no, WHAT I hear you say, cant believe it, well yesterday I bought this months Twistngo mag and guess what, the Leo can now be bought in a 300cc version, its basically identical to mine but a bit faster, 90 mph and its £300 cheaper than the 250cc so I would go for that next time, maybe spring 2005 but if you like the shape of the Leo and you see one second hand, as long as its been looked after then go for it. You won`t be dissapointed. I will try to post a photo also of my scoot so you can see the style but note, the previous owner chopped the rear mudguard back to make it look a bit sportier, looks good but I now get sprayed on my back so I extended the rear hugger and this does the trick. Good luck and hope you like my report. Steve F.

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