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And it gets more interesting from here on out. On the scooter side, Aprilia still has the recently-introduced Scarabeo 500 and the slightly stodgy Atlantic 500. Now they've introduced another 500cc scooter, the Leonardo 500. This one's got a slight difference, though: it's a TWO-STROKE ENGINE! The Leonardo makes the US ban on two-strokes look silly. This scooter gets an astonishing 107mpg. It does a quarter mile in 12.5 seconds (hint: faster than a Corvette Z06 and Ferrari 360). It easily beats Euro 3 emission standards which aren't even due until 2006. It's as light as a sportbike. It uses belt drive, an aluminum frame, and a dual mode CVT/pushbutton manual transmission. It's quiet and doesn't need constant maintenance.

Clearly, Aprilia knows how to build engines. And they're expanding, as well. They've already shown a screaming 14,000 RPM 450cc four-stroke V-twin engine they intend to put into an all-new motocross bike, which will be a first for the class. Either engine, the 450cc four-stroke or the 500cc two-stroke, could easily serve time in a lightweight streetbike.
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