I took the Piaggio X8 400ie on a four hundred km round trip with a pillion to really test itâ€™s performance over long distance. First off the X8 is a total pleasure to sit on; the feet forward position is about as comfortable as you can get on any kind of bike. You have the option to move your feet back to the conventional vertical position if you feel you need more control when cornering. Pillion comfort is also high with a three hour trip being easily completed without a single stop. Storage space is rather generous and will fit fairly long objects due to its unique dual opening design. Thereâ€™s enough room for two overnight bags so you and your pillion can ride without a backpack if desired.
The 400cc engine only makes 34hp but does make 37.6 Nm of torque which is reached at a relatively low 5,500 rpm; this gives the X8 400 surprising brisk acceleration. We clocked it at 8.9 seconds to 100km which is ample quick for most riding. Given that you can do this with a simple twist of the throttle and no gear changes the number doesnâ€™t really illustrate quite how it feels, itâ€™s basically the same speed as a reasonably fast car to 100kp/h but does it completely effortlessly time and time again. Out on the open road the X8 will comfortably overtake slow moving traffic even with a pillion. Our travel time over the test route was approximately 30mins faster in each direction due to the ease of overtaking slow moving traffic on a bike. Apart from itâ€™s limited tank range the X8 makes a great bike for long trips as it cruises effortlessly at 100-120kph (62-75MPH). Fuel consumption on our test ride was about 5L/100kms (47MPG) which is pretty good considering the bike was ridden fairly hard and two-up the majority of the time.