Back in 1993 Piaggio had developed the Hexagon, which became the world’s first so called GT scooter. Through the X7 to the all new X10, Piaggio has developed its new flagship scooter, and in Paris I got to sample the 350cc version of the X10.
Piaggio will offer the X10 as a 125, 350 and 500cc version. When I arrived in Paris I was told that the 500cc version wouldn’t hit production until in May 2012, so I had to make do with the 350cc version which proved to be a nippy tool around Paris’s busy streets.
The X10’s flowing lines hide the fact that the X10 is a very long scooter. The seat itself is 820mm long, and that provides plenty of space both for rider and pillion. The seat with an adjustable lower back support is very comfortable, and long footboards ensure there’s plenty of space for a varied leg position.
The tall windscreen protected me well from both rain and wind and is made of solid plastic that doesn’t flap at speed. I had to move my body slightly forwards to avoid all weather, but it was possible. The X10 has a 52-liter under-seat storage capacity that can swallow a full-face helmet in the front and a open faced crash helmet at the back with ease. Two full faced helmets is optimistic if possible at all.
Over wet, cobbled streets and white zebra crossings, an all new feature for scooters came in handy. The Piaggio X10s have a rudimentary traction-control system that kicked in several times on my ride around Paris. Piaggio calls it ASR (Acceleration Slip Regulation) and it is only available on the Executive version which I tested along with ABS brakes. It’s a simple system that retards the ignition if the system detects slip and the acceleration is promptly interrupted when ASR kicks in. I was surprised at how often it kicked in, but ASR can easily be turned off should you not be bothered by a bit of sliding.
The X10 350i will do a claimed 140 kph (87 mph) top speed, which renders it useful for both the city and touring on motorways. Piaggio claims its X10 350 has the best power to weight ratio of any scooter in the 400cc segment. The X10 350 Executive version weighs in at 200 kilos (441 lbs), which is four kilos more than the standard version without the ASR and ABS.
All in all, I found the X10 very enjoyable in Paris, with easy handling, a very good turning radius despite its long wheelbase and with good protection against the wind and weather. A generous storage capacity including the underseat compartment and three front compartments makes the X10 a very practical scooter. I have only tested one scooter that is more practical, and that’s the mega maxi BMW C 650 GT. However, the X10 is a much cheaper and less powerful scooter. More to come in my full review.
[Photos by Milagro]