They say: “Fresh engineering, classic Piaggio style.”
We say: “That you can’t get here.”
Funny how two scooters from the same parent company can produce such contrasting emotions. A month ago I was disappointed to find that Aprilia’s SRV850 was just a restyled Gilera, and the feeblest “new” bike I’d ridden in years. Now I’m zipping through Paris on a Piaggio X10, and I’m seriously impressed. This all-new step-through is not only a better all-rounder than the SRV, it’s arguably this year’s best new maxi-scooter—BMW’s C-models and Yamaha’s T-Max included! But while you can buy one of the BMWs or the Yamaha at your local dealer, the X10 isn’t being imported to America. Yet.
The new 330cc X10 is already on sale in Europe. At current exchange rates it costs $7800—s
Not only is the X10 new, it comes in three different displacements. The 350 I rode uses a new 330cc motor, while the 125cc and 500cc models employ existing engines. The X10 is also available in two spec levels: the basic X10 and an Executive model that features traction control and ABS, which is the version I tested. Storage space is impressively generous, with room for two full-face helmets below the hinged seat and numerous faring pockets, including one with a 12-volt electrical socket and another with a USB socket for mobile phone charging.
Ergonomics are well thought-out, too. Long footboards give both rider and passenger plenty of legroom. The seat is a huge thing with a rider backrest that can be adjusted between two positions. Despite the seat’s sofa-like size, it’s low enough at 29.9 inches to allow most riders to get both feet on the ground with ease.
Piaggio’s engineers have done a good job with the revamped CVT transmission, as the X10 rumbled forward instantly given a tweak of its throttle, with none of the delay that afflicts some twist-and-go machines. Straight-line performance is also good, with a claimed top speed of 85 mph. That’s down a bit compared to the larger maxi-scooters, but the X10 felt happy enough at open-road speeds, and would probably be quick enough for most riders.
Chassis performance was generally good, starting with a nicely compliant ride that did an efficient job of coping with worn-out city streets. Best of all are the brakes, which are stronger than any of the more expensive scooters and aided by smooth-acting ABS. Piaggio’s ASR (Acceleration Slip Regulation) traction-control system is also included, but unnecessary on a 33-bhp machine unless you’re riding in sub-freezing temperatures.
On the basis of this first ride, Piaggio’s new maxi-scooter is as impressive as its Aprilia stablemate is disappointing. It’s a stylish, well-designed, practical and well-equipped machine that looks to have more than enough performance for most riders and trips. Of this year’s crop of new maxi-scooters, it’s the one I’d spend my own money on.
Piaggio says it’s evaluating the American market, so it’s possible the X10 will make it to the U.S. next year.
||33.0 bhp @ 8350 rpm
||23.6 lb.-ft. @ 6250 rpm
||Steel double-cradle with single-sided swingarm
||Twin shocks with adjustable spring preload
||Dual two-piston calipers, 280mm discs with ABS
||Two-piston caliper, 240mm disc with ABS
||120/70-15 Michelin Power Pure
||150/70-15 Michelin Power Pure
|Claimed curb weight
|Verdict 4.5 out of 5 stars
|Everything a mega-scooter should be, except affordable and available!