Scarabeo- a brand in itself and a history of successes
In 1990 the Aprilia design laboratories created a high wheeled scooter which shaped the course of the next decade with its original design and outstanding commercial success.
Presented to the public for the first time in September 1993 in the 50cc version, Scarabeo has gradually increased its engine capacity and widened its range to become a highly versatile vehicle which has adapted to the mobility requirements of increasingly more complex and sophisticated customers.
Today, the Scarabeo family is one of the most numerous on the market and able to cater for a wide variety of needs. From 1993 to the present day, a full range has been created which is constantly updated from a design, technical, engine and performance point of view and today consists of a total of 7 different models:
SCARABEO 50 Street
SCARABEO 50 4 Valve
SCARABEO 100 4 Stroke
SCARABEO 300 Special
The idea of a “City Bike“ was conceived in Aprilia in 1990; it is a perception that has been transformed, sketch after sketch, into a vehicle which is completely different from any other with high wheels and unusual bodywork: while everyone else was adopting futuristic, extreme, pointed lines, Aprilia opted for the soft, rounded lines of a classical look.
The designers were apprehensive about presenting on the market a vehicle with such revolutionary lines, so much so that they decided to give it the name of Scarabeo, which had already brought Aprilia luck at the beginning of 1970s for an original and successful “scrambler/cross” with a small engine capacity.
Completely unexpectedly, Scarabeo became a trend-setter, an inspiration for everyone and started a real "Scarabeo Mania" that shows no signs of declining over the years with over 750,000 Scarabeo vehicles produced to date.
The key to success is a mixture of elements that make Scarabeo the only one of its kind. Whether the “small” ageless 50cc or the 500cc flagship, Scarabeo offers its customers a unique way to get around. In addition to the safety guaranteed by its high wheels and perfect chassis, Scarabeo riders combine the unique opportunity of experiencing urban mobility with timeless style and personality which never goes out of fashion.
THE HISTORY OF SCARABEO
A unique example of Italian style and technology that has been able to win a place in the history of two-wheel mobility in a short space of time.
The first vehicle called Scarabeo is created in Aprilia in January 1970.It is not the same scooter that we know today but a distant predecessor, a 50cc motocross bike. The name, taken from the ancient Egyptian culture, lives up to expectations: Scarabeo becomes the lucky forefather of a series of off-road vehicles with a number of different engines that are produced until 1974.
This is the beginning of a long, tiring design path that leads to the development of the Scarabeo as it is conceived today.
The title of the research project that created the unique high wheeled scooter is surprisingly simple: “Study for a City Bike”. Scarabeo is therefore the result of development of a project that owes a great deal to the motorcycling culture.
The first sketch, created on November 5th 1990, clearly shows all the motorcycle features: central tunnel, wide section wheel, and even – in that first study – a single arm front fork.
Giuseppe Ricciuti, who has designed all the Scarabeos, creates two projects, the first one still inspired by an intermediate version of the original city bike, (with traditional suspension, smaller section wheels and a central tunnel). The second one, more compact, does away with the tunnel and includes wheels with a smaller section and larger diameter. Two more versions are created from this base, one inspired by an elegant but slightly retro style, the other more contemporary. The first predominates and on May 18, 1992, a marque is presented, from which an unrivalled commercial success will start.
At this point, an engineering project begins, that will keep the technical team busy for roughly one year. Scarabeo is the first Aprilia vehicle on which computer is used extensively in its technical development.
In September, the first Scarabeo produced in Noale is unveiled at the International Cycling and Motorcycling Exhibition.
Scarabeo immediately becomes a best seller, a fashion statement across all ages thanks to its amazingly efficient technical features: Scarabeo is a light, easy to handle, safe, high wheeled scooter (a real innovation at the time), with ridiculously low fuel consumption that is perfect for city riding.
1994 - 1998
In this period the Scarabeo project dominates the market. In addition to the wide range of new colours, there are also new technical developments including above all disc brake on the rear end. Scarabeo becomes one of the first high wheeled scooters to fit disc brakes, a sure sign that one of the most classical scooters also focuses on safety and technology.
Following on from the 50cc., the 125 and 150cc models are developed at the end of the 1990s.
Scarabeo moves with the times. It is a response to the growing need for space and the need to share rediscovered freedom with a passenger on a vehicle that can replace cars even over medium-range distances as well as Aprilia's answer to constant growth in the market of vehicles with over 50 cc engines. Since it was presented in Lisbon, with its distinctive personality, the “Scarabeone” also immediately makes its mark.
New models and technologies are added to the Scarabeo family: the new 4-stroke engines, the 100 and 200cc. versions, the revolutionary DITECH engine with very low emission rates and the 4-stroke 50. The pursuit of elegant and environmentally-friendly urban mobility has now become a distinctive feature of the Scarabeo.
The GT version of the Scarabeo 125/200cc is created: medium windshield, built-in hand guards, new concept front cowls, two-tone colour combinations.
10 years have passed since the Scarabeo was created and in these ten years, the Scarabeo has continued to be an icon of its time.
The demand for mobility has evolved.
The scooter has gone from being a simple commuting tool to playing a major part in the organisation of free time.
New lines and new concepts are developed by the Aprilia design laboratory. The Scarabeo 500 comes to light and truly represents the touring class. From the city centre to the outskirts, from home to the open road for a trip out of town, from the road to the motorway for a proper journey: flexibility is an intrinsic part of the Scarabeo 500 and in 2004 the ABS version is also produced.
Compared with its 1993 forerunner the engine capacity has increased considerably, the engine has gone from 2 to 4-stroke and the line is much more distinctive and inspired by models that have made the history of two wheels like the Moto Guzzi Galletto. With its excellent engine and chassis performance, high wheels and bags, the Scarabeo 500 is the most “grand touring” scooter that has ever come out of Noale.
In 2004 a move from the Rotax 200cc engine to the Piaggio 250cc engine confirms the full technical maturity of the Scarabeo. The arrival of the new engine led to upgrading of the entire vehicle as can be seen in the new design that made it so different from the 200 version.
Scarabeo establishes itself as a flexible scooter, agile for about-town use and practical for touring or transport needs. It skilfully plays the role of those products that in accordance with classic stylistic features, are a benchmark for whoever is seeking a sober, contemporary style.
Scarabeo, which is by now a historic Aprilia vehicle, a product that has reached the threshold of 70,000 units per year and boasts at least a dozen attempts to copy it, celebrates a total of 250,000 units (over 50cc) sold world-wide. A new, original 50cc graphic version is also created called “Graphic”.
A very important year for the Scarabeo in which major work is carried out on the whole range. This is the year in which the “small” versions of the Scarabeo, the originals that started Scarabeo Mania, are restyled. New restyled elements and modifications in every division renew its appearance without modifying its image. The “Street” versions of the vehicle are created with 125 and 200cc engines and the new 500 arrives, more compact and slender for better around-town riding. The “flagship” version receives a new 400cc engine with lower insurance costs that can be driven by young people with an A2 licence.
The 250ie version is created featuring the same elegance as its 500cc older brother and the new Scarabeo 125/200s arrive: their simplicity and compact size mean a return to the origins. Once again, a uniquely styled product with a variety of standard equipment.
Two new models are added to the Scarabeo range: Scarabeo 50 4 Valve and Scarabeo 300 Special.
Scarabeo 50 4 Valve has an all-new heart; technological, powerful and refined. A small masterpiece of engineering that with its state-of-the-art solutions offers power which is at the top of its field.
Four valve timing and the fluid dynamic efficiency of the head have brought incredible benefits in terms of engine speed and performance, which are now on a par with a two stroke engine.
The Scarabeo 300 Special is the natural completion of the Scarabeo range, a totally modern engine capacity for a timeless scooter which in this configuration offers that extra touch of sportiness and dynamism that is much appreciated by the more dynamic rider. The optimum compromise between engine performance, compactness, agility and riding pleasure. All this is highlighted, as always, by carefully designed graphics.
The “Class” series for the 125/200, 300 Special and 500ie versions is born.
The Scarabeo is enriched with new elegant features that expand its range of use: a standard 35 litre top box providing greater comfort, better protection and increased load capacity.
The valued and exclusive “Class Green” colour, dedicated saddle and backrest, chromed rear-view mirrors and new graphics for the instrument panel make the Scarabeo “Class” an absolutely distinctive scooter. The ideal scooter for getting around in the city with elegance and comfort.