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Written by Ketzal Sterling    Wednesday, 12 March 2008 13:30     E-mail
Gilera Nexus 500 - Page 2
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The Nexus is also a reasonably nice handling bike; it’s certainly not perfect but definitely solid. On tight twisty roads it's quite fun to ride but you can certainly feel the bikes weight as you barrel into corners. Ground clearance could also be a bit better as it’s quite easy to get the centre stand down while leaning over. Like any design it’s always about compromise, do you design for speed or convenience? The Nexus 500 runs a pretty trick suspension setup that does a nice job of ironing out road imperfections without too much jarring. I’d like to see an even softer setting if possible as the softest setting was still a bit hard for very light riders.

So the Nexus is built superbly, rides well in and out of town and has a vast array of quality components. So what gives then? Why can’t I gush? Well, it’s the motor; it’s simply not powerful enough. I’ll put it in context. The Nexus 500 is slower than a straight up touring scooter like the Piaggio X8 400. So speed isn’t everything you say. Well I know it’s not everything but if you’re making a scooter LOOK like a motorcycle you sure as *^% better make it go at least something like a motorcycle. Now ridden on its own the Nexus gets along just fine, the 460cc engine makes 40 horsepower and gets the bike to 100kph in 9.6 seconds. However in direct comparison the Nexus 500 just doesn’t stand up. The Piaggio X8 400 gets to 100kph in 8.9 seconds and is faster to 50kph as well. Our demo bike was brand new so I’m sure it will improve but probably not enough to reverse the tables. This is just wrong. It’s like buying a Ferrari and discovering that your friends Mondeo is faster in a straight line…I doubt you’d buy the Ferrari if that was the case.

To make matters worse we also had the Honda Silver Wing along for the wedding. The Honda Silver Wing is a super sized beast of a scooter. It’s designed to mosey along treating the rider to great comfort…well it was faster than the Nexus too. Oh and not a little bit, a lot. It simple crushed the Nexus 500 in a straight drag race. The Silver Wing hit 100kph in 8.2 seconds…a full 1.4 seconds quicker than the Nexus. This was somewhat of a surprise because if you look at the two bikes there’s no way you’d guess the heavier Silver Wing was faster, even with its larger 580cc engine. The Honda also runs a twin cylinder engine which really shows up the lumpiness of the Nexus’s motor. To top it off the Honda’s CVT transmission was quicker to engage and far more refined than the Gilera’s. Speed isn’t everything, but when you’re selling a SPORTS scooter it’s certainly a massive portion of the equation.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 November 2008 15:35 )


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