Aprilia SportCity Cube 250 / 300
The SportCity 250 was Aprilia’s first SportCity scooter to be sold in North America. Aprilia launched it into the USA market as part of their 2007 scooter line up. For 2009 Aprilia tweaked the styling and added grab handles and pegs for a passenger. The SportCity Cube 250 remained on sale in the USA until 2013, while the Aprilia withdrew the SportCity Cube from the Canadian market after 2012.
The updated 250cc model was joined for 2009 by the addition of the smaller SportCity One 50 & 125. The SportCity One models shared the same inspiration as the 250, but the design was entirely different so Aprilia added ‘Cube’ to the original SportCity 250 name to differentiate it from the smaller models.
The other news for 2009 was the introduction of both the SportCity Cube 250 and SportCity One scooters into the Canadian market. Despite Canadians getting the SportCity Cube 250 a few years after their American counterparts, Aprilia Canada went one step beyond Aprilia USA a year later and introduced the larger SportCity Cube 300 for 2010. In some Canadian Aprilia literature, the ‘Cube’ name is not used and the smaller SportCity models lose the ‘One’ moniker, so the 50, 125 and 300 sizes are all simply called the SportCity. Often on the actual scooters, Aprilia uses a badge that says Cu3e.
With Aprilia being wholly owned by the Piaggio Group as of 2004, it’s no surprise to see Piaggio engines powering the SportCity scooters. The SportCity Cube 250 and 300 use 244cc and 278cc versions respectively of Piaggio’s QUASAR engine. This popular motor has been powering mid-size scooters for a number of years now, starting with the Vespa GTS250. This motor can also be found in Piaggio’s BV/Beverly 250 and 300 scooters and smaller MP3 models.
This motor is a nice design that utilizes 4-valves, liquid cooling and fuel injection to deliver solid power and milage for its size. The 244cc version found in the SportCity Cube 250 offers 22.5 HP, which is double what the smaller SportCity One 125 puts out. Unlike the simpler engines found in the SportCity One scooters, the Cube models enjoy high tech engines that also contribute to the much higher MSRPs (just under $5 grand). Maximum velocity for the 250 falls between 75-80mph.
The original version of the SportCity 250 (left) filled a niche in Aprilia’s line up for a midsized sporty scooter. The Scarabeo series had been selling well for Aprilia, but a large portion of North American scooters buyers aren’t interested in the large 16” wheels that are more popular in Europe. The SportCity takes the wheel size down to 15”, which doesn’t sound like a big change but the SportCity Cube hides the wheel size much better than the gangly Scarabeo. The SportCity Cube is physically a large scooter (78” long) which makes the 15” wheels more aesthetically proportioned.
The mild 2009 updates to the SportCity 250’s style (compare top and bottom photos) were intended to make this scooter more recognizable as an Aprilia. The tail light was intentionally designed to look more like the rear lamps found on Aprilia’s bigger bikes. The wind deflector and vents above the front headlights were also tweaked for a more modern look. Most of the design remained unchanged, including the rims, fenders and main body work pieces. Aprilia did update the gauges for 2009, which was a welcome change as the original gauges were showing their age.
Storage & Convenience
Storage is about what you’d expect for a scooter of this size. There’s good space under the seat and larger glovebox than the SportCity One models, while still not offering huge storage for touring like some mid sized scooters (Ie. Yamaha Morphous, Kymco Downtown 300i). Despite the size of the glovebox, it is quite a shallow shape so it’s not quite as useful as it initially appears.
There are some nice convenience features on the Cube, such as a clock, trip odometer and coolant gauge. The passenger pegs are also a neat folding design that gets out of the way for most trips when you won’t be needing them.
The SportCity Cube 250 / 300 competed in a fairly popular market segment of 200 – 300cc sporty scooters. The Japanese brands (Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki) have been sticking with a bit larger scooters in recent years, but Honda has introduced a competing 300cc Forza model to Canada and Yamaha did sell a nice 250 sporty scooter called the Morphous back in 2006 – 2008 which is worth a look for buyers in the used market and who are looking to log highway miles.
The biggest competition to the SportCity Cube came from Kymco, who has fielded a whole slate of competitors: Kymco Grandvista 250, Downtown 200i / 300i and People S 250. Most of these Kymco scooters don’t feature the same level of technology found in the SportCity Cube, but they also come with a lower price tag. The exception is the newer Kymco Downtown 200i / 300i, which does use an advanced fuel injected motor and accordingly comes at a higher MSRP about $500 higher than the SportCity Cube. For its displacement, the SportCity Cube is an affordable scooter.
Also worth a look is Piaggio’s BV 250 and BV 300 scooters, which use the same motors as the SportCity Cube. These scooters have a nice design that is a bit more classic than the SportCity Cube.
Overall, the SportCity Cube scooters offer a high level of refinement and solid motors in an affordable package. If you’re looking for the cheapest scooter buy a used Kymco Grandvista 250, but if you’re looking for a newer and very well rounded scooter, the SportCity Cube competes very well with Kymco’s Downtown 200i / 300i scooters and Piaggio’s more classic styled BV 250 / 300.
- High tech motors
- Excellent brakes
- Low MSRP
- Could use a bit more storage
Sportcity Cube Service Manual – These manuals extremely helpful for the DIY’er mechanic.
MotorscooterGuide Forums – Visit the forums on this site to chat about this scoot.
ApriliaForums – Lots of knowledgable Aprilia folks here.
Key Specs – SportCity Cube 250 / 300:
- Engine: 244cc or 278cc single cylinder, 4-stroke, SOHC 4-valve, fuel injected
- Cooling: Liquid cooled
- Bore & Stroke: 72mm x 60mm (244cc), 75mm x 63mm (278cc)
- Power: 22.5 HP @ 8000 RPM (244cc)
- Top Speed: 76 mph (244cc), 80mph (278cc)
- Fuel Capacity: 2.4 gallons (9 litres)
- Mileage: 65 mpg
- Ignition: Electronic (with inductive discharge, variable spark advance and three-dimensional mapping)
- Chassis: Load-bearing sheet steel chassis with welded structural supports
- Front Suspension: Single-sided trailing arm with dual chamber hydraulic shock absorber with coaxial spring
- Rear Suspension: Helical spring with adjustable four-position pre-load and dual effect hydraulic shock absorbers
- Brakes: Dual 260 mm disc (Front), single 220mm Disc (Rear)
- Wheels: 120/70-15 / 130/80-15 (Front and Rear)
- Length: 78.15”
- Width: 35”
- Wheelbase: 53.5”
- Seat Height: 32.1”
- Dry Weight: 327 lbs (250)
- Colors: Planet Blue, Aprilia Black, Silver Crowd
- MSRP: $4699 (2011 USA), $5995 (2011 Canada)