Bolwell Firenze 250 Reviews

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Latest Reviews

★★★★★

“My love affair with bikes started 30 years ago when I...”

Written on: 27/09/2007 by barry27is (1 review written)

My love affair with bikes started 30 years ago when I was 20 years old and found myself the proud owner of a Honda CB250. Soon after - a CB 360. That was until an oil slick in the Broadway at Reservoir - cause an accident - ouch!
I stuck with push bikes after that until an add for a little Honda Scooter caught my eye a year ago - $2000 - this could be good.
After a little fast talking the "boss" reluctantly let me have my way. After a little research - the Honda felt a little small , but I was… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Initially I was looking around at smaller 125cc...”

Written on: 23/09/2007 by pmul (1 review written)

Initially I was looking around at smaller 125cc scooters to travel about 30km one way into work every day, but 3/4 of this is on a highway with lots of log trucks. Saw the Bolwell Firenze on the floor of the local dealer and was immediately impressed even though it was more than I was thinking of spending.

From first ride I was hooked and things just keep getting better. I now use this bike as my primary means of transport.

Fuel economy has been pretty good so far and I average around 4.5 -… Read Full Review

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Pmul's Response to pmul's Review

Written on: 09/10/2007

Jut thought I would add a comment regarding the intermittent power problem I have experienced with my Firenze. Looks like it is all fixed now. Turns out it may have been a vent blockage in the fuel cap. There is a small washer on the inside of the cap which seems to have been placed in wrong. I pulled it out, replaced it and no problems since. In fact the scooter seems to have more power than ever and is improving each day.

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★★★★★

“An ideal blend of power and great handling, lots of...”

Written on: 22/09/2007 by scootman (2 reviews written)

An ideal blend of power and great handling, lots of storage and still very economical. I wanted a quieter 'cruiser' kind of scooter, and the feet forward position also makes it very comfortable and safe. If you are considering buying one, it will look big in the showroom, but it feels small and nimble once you ride it. Make up your mind after your test ride… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“I thoroughly enjoy riding the Bolwell Firenze 250, but...”

Written on: 16/04/2007 by sk8on8 (1 review written)

I thoroughly enjoy riding the Bolwell Firenze 250, but find it a bit disconcerting that the fuel gauge can be a bit iffy, and from the one long ride I have done, it doesn't seem overly economical, as I thought it would have. All the other points, whether good or bad, seem to have already been covered by others, so I wont go repeating what has already been said… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Have not ridden a motor bike for about 14 years so I...”

Written on: 15/09/2006 by Geomira (1 review written)

Have not ridden a motor bike for about 14 years so I was a little apprehensive when I first ventured out. Having had the Bolwell Firenze 250 bike for a week and travelling about 800 km I find the bike economical around 335 km per tank or 25km per litre, travelling consistently over 100 km hour this would drop dramatically. Bruce's comments were great and helped me to choose the bike. The style, ride and comfort are great if you want a scooter that handles well and has the ability to keep up… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Whilst I have only been riding for a relatively short...”

Written on: 30/06/2006 by brucer (5 reviews written)

Whilst I have only been riding for a relatively short while, I quickly realised that I loved it so much I would have to upgrade my first 100cc Peugeot for a larger touring scooter. I recently purchased a new Bolwell Firenze 250cc (sold outside Australia as the Sym GTS Voyager 250 and also known as the Joymax in some countries). After just three weeks of riding this scooter I can confirm that the upgrade is the most enjoyable decision I have made in recent memory!

Apart from my experience on… Read Full Review

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Brucer's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 23/07/2006

Here is my 6 week update. I now have about 1100 kms on the bike and am still really enjoying it. No mechanical or other problems so far!
<br/>
<br/>I been on a couple of rides with scooter groups now and have found that adding extra weight to the handlebars makes the steering feel much more solid at 100kph and over. You can buy heavier bar-end weights but I added universal bar-end mirrors and this added 250gm to each side which is enough to stabilise the steering at speed. I highly recommend adding this extra weight in one way or another.
<br/>
<br/>I think I may have found someone in Melbourne who can make a windscreen extension. Hopefully, my next update will report on this.
<br/>
<br/>I have found a couple of options for adding an audible signal to the turn indicators but have not bothered installing it as yet (it requires tapping into the existing wiring). I have found that I am getting better at remembering to cancel the indicators so I am unsure if I will bother with this accessory.
<br/>
<br/>I am now much more comfortable with the weight of the bike which only leaves my weight to deal with!
<br/>
<br/>Bruce
<br/>Melbourne, Australia

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Barry Wa's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 29/12/2009

I found this review very helpful because..it covered a wide range of practical issues of interest to me as a 71 year old intending Firenze purchaser. My first scooter was a Peugeot Speedfight which I found a bit under powered - although beatifully made.Over the last three years I have ridden a Bolwell Le Grande 200 (fitted with a top box) The Le Grande has been superb in all aspects except the Kick start which I have occasionally been obliged to use when the battery was flat or worn out.I now have a drip charger to overcome this . I can hardlyu wait to move up to a Firenze.
<br/>
<br/>Barry Robbins
<br/>Perth WA

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358234_The Bean's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 10/04/2008

Just to add another negative. When you need to change the globe in the main head light. One must remove the mirrors, wind screen, and top covers to and covers around steering, to gain access to back of main head light.
<br/>A bad design feature I would think. All other lights are within hands reach.

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Brucer's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 13/11/2007

This is my final update on the Firenze as I have sold my Firenze and upgraded to a Suzuki Burgman 650. I don’t intend to compare the Firenze to the Burgman 650 as the Burgman is clearly in a different league as far as power and ride.
<br/>
<br/>I have to say that I have really enjoyed my almost 18 months with the Firenze. I recently did my third trip from Melbourne to Canberra and back on it (around 1300km round trip) and again it performed flawlessly. I still believe that a 250cc scooter is the minimum capacity required for extended highway touring and that a 400+ is a much better option if you intend to do highway touring more than occasionally.
<br/>
<br/>The only issue I have with the Firenze remains with the standard mirrors not giving you enough vision directly behind you. The bar end mirrors I installed solved that problem for me and, in my opinion, are a much better solution than the small stick-on blind spot mirrors that I also tried.
<br/>
<br/>I will happily recommend the Firenze to anyone who is looking for a highway capable 250cc that is also manoeuvrable around town.
<br/>
<br/>Bruce
<br/>Melbourne, Australia

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Brucer's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 10/08/2007

Here is my 14-month review after having done over 12K on my Firenze.
<br/>
<br/>The only problems I have had so far are two problems with exhaust bolts, both fixed under warranty, (the first was welded up temporarily while waiting for a complete replacement exhaust unit to arrive and the second was simply a bolt coming lose and falling off), a blown headlight globe and a blown ignition fuse. I had to replace the rear tyre at around 10.5K (it cost AUD$90 fitted and balanced); the front tyre is still OK. The brake pads are still only about half worn so I am expecting around 20K from them.
<br/>
<br/>The recent 12K service was an expensive one as the belt and rollers had to be replaced. Mine cost me AUD$590 and others have reported a similar cost. However, it runs noticeably smoother and quieter after this major service. They fixed a high-pitched noise I was getting when decelerating; it turned out to be some bearing around the rear drive area that needed greasing.
<br/>
<br/>I have averaged 20.7 km/l since new with the median at 20.1km/l, the best figure at 27.3km/l and the worst at 16.6km/l. I have changed the oil more frequently than recommended and used mineral oil up until now. I will use synthetic oil from now on.
<br/>
<br/>I have now done two trips to Canberra and back (around 1300km round trip each time) and am looking forward to an excuse for another trip some time soon. I still believe that the 250cc is the minimum for extended highway cruising and will most likely upgrade sometime soon to a 400cc or bigger as I would like “that little extra in reserve”.
<br/>
<br/>I strongly recommend fitting bar-end mirrors as I have done, or something similar, to give you better vision directly behind you. I would not like to do an extended trip without having this improved vision directly behind as the standard mirrors are just not adequate for this.
<br/>
<br/>I have experimented with the audible beepers and initially tried using a flasher relay from a Bolwell Jolie but after blowing two of these I suspect I am using them in a way that they are not designed for. I like the audible clicking sound they give but have now reverted back to the Universal Turn Signal Alert Beeper Kit from rvtoys.net. I initially didn’t like the loud beeping but I have got used to that now and it does have the added benefit of making sure pedestrians are aware of you when you are turning.
<br/>
<br/>I still find there is a reasonable amount of wind buffeting around my head at speed. I have used earplugs on my extended rides and these are highly recommended, as they seem to make the buffeting more bearable. I would still like to install the throttle lock from brakeawayproducts.com but the company will only supply units for the bikes they have tested. I haven’t been prepared to take the risk and order one regardless and see if I can get it to work on the Firenze.
<br/>
<br/>The “numb bum” problem still persists on the extended rides. I tried the beaded seat cover from beadrider.com but this only made a minor improvement. I will try a sheepskin cover on top of the beads for my next extended ride.
<br/>
<br/>I recently added a Givi E52 top box and think that the Givi mount is much sturdier than the Bolwell/Sym one as the rear supports are attached to the top of the shock absorbers rather than to the passenger grab rail. The Givi box is rated for 10Kg of “stuff” whereas the Bolwell one I think is only rated for 5Kg. I have not noticed any handling differences so far. In fact, I think the extra weight at the rear has improved the handling around town.
<br/>
<br/>Overall, I am still very happy with my Firenze but I would like to upgrade to a 400cc or bigger scooter when I can. Maybe Bolwell will come out with their 500cc scooter before then and I will look closely at that.
<br/>
<br/>If you would like any more info on the Firenze or ask me questions then post a message to the "maxiscootersoz" Yahoo Group.
<br/>
<br/>Bruce
<br/>Melbourne, Australia

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Brucer's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 04/06/2007

Mick1234 - go to Yahoo Groups and search for "MelbourneSC" and "melbourne_twist_go_scooters" for scooter groups in Melbourne. A number of Firenze owners are using the "maxiscootersoz" group to exchange info on the Firenze.

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Mick1234's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 04/06/2007

I have just got my Firenze last week its a great ride I would like to know where there is a scooter club in Melbourne the comments from you guys on the bike have been great a lot of help we must get together for a ride maybe the island who knows also there is a bike shop down there in Cows very good pricing on the jackets and gloves dryrider jackets $110.

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Mick1234's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 01/06/2007

Guys I'm after a scooter club in Melbourne and also the ride down to the Phillip Island for the bikes starting from Cranbourne. It would be great if we could get a big turn out for the island if anyone is interested please let me know.

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Brucer's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 09/05/2007

George,
<br/>
<br/>I haven't experienced this problem at low temperatures but Melbourne isn't that cold yet. Where are you located? A number of Firenze owners are keeping in contact through the "maxiscootersoz" Yahoo Group. I suggest you post your problem on this group.

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Geomira's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 08/05/2007

I have done 20,000 on by Firenze, basically just use it for work. I have a problem with my scooter during cold weather. At a certain temperature ie when its pretty cold ie below 6 degree's C. The scooter loses power and I get a maximum of about 80 to 90 Km's per hour. Which is a bit scary at 5.00 am in the dark when I am on a highway which has a speed limit of 110 km's and there's a rather large truck coming up fast behind me. Have you had that problem ? Why I believe it is temp related is as soon as I hit warmer air it rights itself and I back up to my elected speed. On the return journey home in the afternoon no problems. Any comments would be great. Great scooter and thanks for your review
<br/>
<br/>Thanks mate
<br/>
<br/>Regards George

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Sk8On8's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 14/04/2007

You can get the top box rack and/or the top box from Peter Stevens motorcycles in the city (Melb.). I got mine put on at the time of purchase. Also, I have been able to get hand guards, for the wind, put on for $78. I have attached roo shoos to the top of my front wheel guard to try and deter roos jumping out in front of me. Plus, I have put yellow reflective stickers on the panels to make it more visible at night. I am close to six foot, and I found that if I push my butt into the back rest, then put my feet up, rather than flat, that I have a very comfortable ride.

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283671_Wonga66's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 29/03/2007

I&#039;m at 5600km and my Fireze is spluttering at low speed.
<br/>It feels like either not enough fuel getting in or not enough air?!!
<br/>The rev is at 2000 at idle which is what it should be.
<br/>I took it in for a 6000km service but I'm not sure if the mechanic checked all he was supposed to.
<br/>Could the problem be a blocked fuel line.
<br/>Cylinder head, cylinder, piston.
<br/>Carbon in the exhaust system.
<br/>Valve clearance, or something else that other owners may know of.
<br/>Any comment would be appreciated.

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Robobris's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 06/12/2006

Hi Bruce,
<br/>Thanks for all that info about the Firenze. I have had mine for a couple of weeks. I would like to get some extras for it when and if I can, such as a back rest for the pillion and a few other things.
<br/>
<br/>Robert, Brisbane.

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Brucer's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 13/11/2006

Here is my five month review after my 1400km trip to Canberra and back over the last four days. I went to Canberra to watch the Prime Minsters XI play England at the cricket, and I am not sure if the riding or the cricket result was the key highlight of the trip!
<br/>
<br/>I now have about 5,300km on my Bolwell Firenze, with no mechanical or other problems encountered so far.
<br/>
<br/>The Firenze performed flawlessly. The trip was around 700km each way. I was able to sit on just under 120kph on the speedo, which is just above 110kph (117kph on the speedo is a true 110kph according to my GPS). This means the engine was revving at 7000-7250rpm most of the time (it redlines at 8000rpm), which I think is why I only got 19km per litre. I tried standard ULP and 98 octane, but as far as I can tell, there was no noticeable improvement with the more expensive octane blends, so I am going to go back to using standard ULP now.
<br/>
<br/>The trip confirmed my view that a 250cc is the minimum size for extended highway touring at a genuine 110kph. I was able to keep it at around 120kph on the speedo, but as soon as I had to climb any sort of incline the speedo would drop back to 100-110kph, despite having the throttle open wide. I think if I was going to do such extended touring trips frequently then I would want a 400cc or a bigger scooter to keep up with the traffic over hilly terrain. Of course, I am not the lightest rider, and I did have lots of stuff under the seat and in a backpack strapped to the pillion seat, which probably did not help with the top end performance.
<br/>
<br/>The buffeting when coming up behind a big semi is noticeable, but after the first couple of times I expected it and passed the semi as widely as I could. There is less buffeting when passing one coming in the other direction, but I still moved as far to the left as possible when passing any traffic. Bumps and potholes were not a problem, although the Hume Highway is in generally good repair. I think the 13” wheels helped here.
<br/>
<br/>I still feel that the standard mirrors on the Firenze are inadequate. They do not allow sufficient vision directly behind you. I have solved this problem by adding a pair of bar-end mirrors that are slightly concave and give excellent vision directly behind (you can see them in the photo at the top of this review if you look very closely). There are also standard mirror mounts available, so any standard bike mirrors can be mounted to give improved vision directly behind. I use the standard Firenze mirrors to cover the blind spots on both sides, and the bar-end mirrors to cover directly behind me. I think it is important to be aware of what traffic is behind you, both for when you want to overtake and also for when someone is about to overtake you. I encountered several periods of rain on the way back, and this is when it was even more important to be aware of what is behind you, so as you don't end up having to take evasive action in the wet. I would have been feeling very uncomfortable if I did not have the extra mirrors for this trip.
<br/>
<br/>My biggest problem was the numb backside ("monkey butt" if you are from the US) after an hour or more. I had ordered a custom made wooden beaded seat cover (www.beadrider.com) but this did not work as well as I had hoped. I think it helped compared to the standard seat, but I still found after the first two hours I just had to stop, and every hour to hour and a half after that. This is probably not a bad thing as it forces you to take breaks, but I would still like to find a solution for my numb butt. Maybe I just need to take longer rides more frequently so as my butt self-adjusts.
<br/>
<br/>The other accessory I definitely now want to install is a Throttle Lock (http://brakeawayproducts.com). I do have a throttle rocker which allows me to use the palm of my hand to keep the throttle open, but this got frustrating, as I had to reposition it when doing 100-110kph versus when doing 50kph through the towns. I ended up taking it off for the return journey as I felt it was not safe if I needed to throttle off and apply the brakes in a hurry; there was too much risk that I would end up braking with lots of throttle still on. Even though it costs a lot more, I think the Throttle Lock will be much safer and allow me to rest my right hand when it gets tired.
<br/>
<br/>In summary, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Canberra and back, and I would eagerly do it again on my Firenze.
<br/>
<br/>Bruce
<br/>Melbourne, Australia

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Brucer's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 06/11/2006

Hi Jim,
<br/>
<br/>Try Armadale Motors in Melbourne for the top box carrier. They imported some direct from Givi, but I am not sure if they still have them.
<br/>
<br/>Your fuel consumption is much better than mine, so I am keen to exchange notes. How about contacting me via the Melbourne Scooter Connection on Yahoo Groups, as I would enjoy keeping in touch with other local Firenze owners.
<br/>
<br/>Bruce

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Jim1977's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 06/11/2006

Hi Brucer,
<br/>I have had my Bolwell Firenze 250 scooter for nearly four months now, and I have just clocked over 7500kms. I use it for my daily commute to and from work, which is roughly 500kms / week. I have had no issues with my machine at all. I have been looking for accessories for it, but I have not found anything that will bolt onto a Firenze. I'm looking for a rack that will hold a top-box. Can you point me to anywhere that would sell them?
<br/>
<br>I'm planning a big ride myself for the end of November, along the Great Ocean Road, which should be a lots of fun. I use the Mobil Synergy 8000 (98 Oct) fuel in my Firenze. I can get 340km / 12ltr tank when cruising at roughly 60 - 80km/hr. I leave for work very early in the morning, so I don't have to deal with the stop-start traffic at peak hour.

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Kmunyard's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 01/11/2006

Hi Brucer
<br/>Look forward to your comments after Canberra.
<br/>Do you know the Voyager sells in NZ for NZ$5995. I wonder why we pay so much when there is only a 10% GST to pay.
<br/>I like the machine very much and will be going to the Bike show here on Saturday to further check it out.
<br/>Cheers

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Brucer's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 30/10/2006

Hi Ken,
<br/>
<br/>I am 5&#039; 11&#039; and can easily have my feet flat footed either side when stationary. You should check it out at the local dealers and see if you feel comfortable with both feet on the ground. There is lots of room to move your feet forward and backward while riding; try and see how it feels when on the centre stand.
<br/>
<br/>Also, I have just added a wood bead seat to my Firenze (www.beadrider.com) which raises the seat a bit. At worst you could have the seat remade so it is higher if you are not comfortable with the standard seat.
<br/>
<br/>I will be riding my Firenze from Melbourne to Canberra and back the weekend after this one and will put further comments here after this 1300km ride.
<br/>
<br/>Bruce
<br/>Melbourne. Australia

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Kmunyard's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 17/10/2006

Good stuff.
<br>
<br/>I am thinking of upgrading from my Bolwel 150 cc. I would like to know how it fits a taller person (6ft 2)..?
<br>
<br/>Ken Munyard in Brisbane

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Brucer's Response to brucer's Review

Written on: 10/09/2006

Here is my 3 month update. I now have just over 2500 kms on the bike and am still really enjoying it. Still no mechanical or other problems so far!
<br/>
<br/>I took it for a 600km ride today on the highway, mostly cruising at around 120kph according to the speedo. It felt stable at this speed. The only issue I had was a "numb bum" after a few hours so I am investigating a wood bead seat cover to try and improve this.
<br/>
<br/>I took my GPS with me today and found that the speedo on the Firenze reads about 7kph over when it shows 100, 110 and 120kph. My GPS confirmed that I was doing 113kph when the speedo was showing 120kph with a similar error when showing 100 and 110kph. The speed limit on the highway was 110kph so I kept the speedo at just under or on 120kph and this seemed correct based on the speed of other traffic.
<br/>
<br/>I now think that the screen on the Firenze is fine and what I thought was buffeting coming over the top of the screen is actually coming from around the screen. I wore earplugs today and this dramatically reduced the wind noise which allowed me to concentrate on where the buffeting was coming from. I have tried a temporary screen extension of around 100mm but this did not make a noticeable difference which is what lead me to suspect that it was more wind noise than buffeting that was causing my discomfort.
<br/>
<br/>So instead of looking for a larger screen or laminar lip I am now investigating a quieter helmet as the difference with and without earplugs is very significant. I have a flip-face helmet and I suspect that the flip hinge causes a lot of wind noise near my ear.
<br/>
<br/>The fuel consumption was not as good as I had expected at around 5.5l/100km (around 42-43mpg imperial). This is the same as I get doing short start-stop commutes to and from work. My guess is that sitting on 120kph on the speedo (around 6,700-7,000 rpm) is not the best for fuel consumption. I have noticed much better figures for rides that would average more like 90kph. I have been using 95 octane petrol since getting the bike. I will see if 98 octane makes a difference.
<br/>
<br/>I have a 1300km ride planned for November or December and I will give another update after that ride.
<br/>
<br/>Bruce
<br/>Melbourne, Australia

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