Piaggio Carnaby Cruiser 300 (2010-current): The stable attitude among the scooters.The scooter reviewed was used, with 29000 Km clocked.
Engine: The familiar single cylinder, liquid cooled, 278 c.c. Quasar engine delivers 22.5 bhp/7250 rpm and 2.3 Kgm/6000 rpm, claimed values.
Actually acceleration is linear up to the indicated top speed of 140 Km/h. The radiator fan will be frequently operating on summer town rides.
Riding position: The saddle height is relatively low, 780mm. However because its wide, it will be only the relatively tall or even higher riders who will step both feet firm on the ground. The saddle gets higher towards the pillion section, which will support adequately the riderĒs back.
The dimensions of the scooter are average for the standards of the category. ItĒs the height of the scooter however which is increased, due to the high leg shield and headlamp.
The scooterĒs weight feels average for the standards of the 300 cc category, 165 Kg nominal dry.
Rider is placed in and over the scooter. Again itĒs the high leg shield and headlamp which create a sense of being in the scooter to the rider. Riding position is neutral.
On the road: Suspension feels rather soft, especially the 35 mm fork. There are two shock absorbers at the rear, which are adjustable in terms of four increments spring preload.
Tires fitted were Michelin city grip, which are considered to be a superb scooter choice. The dimensions of the tires are 110/70-16 at the front and 130/70-16 at the rear.
Urban rides are neutral on the Carnaby Cruiser 300. ItĒs a scooter which will not create any unnecessary emotions during commuting. Agility is average, while stability is really good compared with most of the scooters from the 300 c.c. category. Consequently rider will be provided with confidence on urban rides.
Filtering is good, despite that handlebarĒs and mirrorĒs height is the same with carsĒ and SUVsĒ mirrors respectively. This is due to the narrow shape of the scooter.
Steering lock is excellent, it will be very helpful manoeuvring the scooter around cars.
Comfort over urban street imperfections is average for the category standards, especially the 16 inch wheeled scooters. Some riders will wish for a slightly improved damping on average street surfaces.
On B-roads the stability provided by the Carnaby is prominent. Of course its an agile scooter also, however itĒs the stability providing neutral rides and confidence to the rider. Feedback to the rider is relatively good. Comfort to the rider is average.
At the fast pace feedback to the rider is decreased, despite the decent tires. Some flexibility is noticed, rider will not push further, mainly due to the lack of confidence.
On the highway, air protection is quite good, because of the high leg shield and headlamp. However close to the top speed, rider will need to bend his body slightly forward in order to decrease the air resistance.
As a whole, the Carnaby is an improved scooter compared to the standards of the category, in terms of air resistance.
260 mm disc brakes are equipped, front and rear. Additionally two pots calipers and steel braided lines are equipped front and rear. The front disc brake is relatively powerful, providing average initial bite, relatively good feedback to the rider. The rear brake is powerful, providing strong initial bite and relatively good feedback to the rider.
Consequently these brakes are relatively good for the standards of the category. For the time being, Piaggio do not equip their scooters with an ABS.
Comments: A jet helmet may be accommodated at the storage space under the saddle. There are two open gloves compartments at the leg shield. RiderĒs feet floor is flat. There are few factory optional extras, eg a top box and a screen.
Quality build is very good. There are some details which underline the meticulous design. These are the extensive use of chromed parts, the classy saddle and the folding pillion foot pegs. The instruments also contribute to the elegance of the scooter.
CarnabyĒs design is unique though because of the headlamp. ItĒs an antiaircraft typed headlamp, since it is targeted …up to the sky. However lights are good, aiming on the road!
Price new: 3290 Euros
+ Low price elegance
+ Stable-neutral rides
- Relatively uninspired riding
More, specifications (IT)
Thanks to the motorcycle shop Baxevanis - Honda, tel.+302109237000, Kalirois 12, Athens, Greece, http://www.baxevanismoto.com/ for the test ride.