Piaggio X8 400 (2005-2007): When size does matterEngine: The single cylinder liquid cooled 400 c.c. engine has a hard task propelling the heavy scooter. Transmission is top speed orientated compared to acceleration, which is modest. The scooter accelerates smoothly yet steadily, the speed of 100 Km/h is easily reached, on average uphill street the speed of 140 Km/h will be kept, rider only, indication of 160 Km/h will be seen on level roads.
On traffic congestion riding in southern countries, the ventilator will be heard to work frequently. Output performance is 34 bhp at 7500 rpm, 37.6 Nm at 5500 rpm torque and 155 Km/h top speed, nominal values.
Riding position: The seat height is normal, while its width is increased towards the rear. Even shorter riders will be contented by the seat height. However because of the increased weight and bulk of the scooter, shorter riders will not be fully gratified stepping a foot on the ground. This is also because the width of the scooter is increased under the rider, spreading the legs. Center of gravity is low. Rider is positioned in and over the scooter, riding position is very comfortable.
On the road: The stiffness of the suspension is average. The steering lock is just satisfactory, X8 could do better than that. The average turning radius combined with the bulk and weight of the scooter decrease usability in traffic congestion. The handle bar height is ordinarily above car mirrors. At ordinary town rides the X8 will be gratifying.
Agility is great when changing direction, mainly due to the wheel dimensions, 120-70-14 front and 140-70-14 rear. The dimensions of the wheels together with the short suspension travel, make road imperfections directly noticeable to the rider. On wavy road surface or large imperfections, edginess will be noticed, mainly due to the rear suspension.
On level B roads featuring high friction factor the X8 is superb: The comfortable riding position combined with the superb agility result in high speed cornering. At speed higher than 130 Km/h, noticeable flexibility will take place.
Both brakes are powerful while providing decent feedback. There are two disc brakes at the front, one at the rear. On low friction roads they will be adequate to lock the wheels if that will be necessary for the rider. By doing that, if the scooter is vertical, rider will remain confident, the wheels will skid straight ahead. On high friction tarmac roads, braking is superb.
Comments: Under the seat there is space for an open helmet and a rain coat. An additional storage space is at the rear of the scooter, the opening of which reminds of a car boot. A full face helmet will be stored there. These two storage spaces are united providing a really large storage compartment.
A 12 V socket is available. The scooter tested was equipped with an additional top box that was larger than a full face helmet. «owever installing this top box, the opening of the scooter's rear storage space was void as the opening travel was reduced to almost zero.
The riderĘs feet floor is not level. Pillion is positioned higher than the rider, an unobstructed view of the road will be provided.
Thanks to the motorcycle shop Tsetselis, tel. +302105737379, Thivwn 103, Peristeri, Greece for the test ride.