Piaggio X9 125 c.c. – Used bike test (2000 - 2007): The advantages of a mega-scooter, in slow motion!

     ‘he scooter tested was a second hand, 2001 model with some 42000 km (26100 mi) on the clock.

      Engine: The single cylinder, 124 c.c. engine delivers 15 bhp/ 10000 rpm and 1.2 kgm/ 8000 rpm (8.9 ft lbs/8000 rpm) torque, claimed figures. 
Actually the small engine is just adequate for this job. Under full throttle acceleration the speed of 40 km/h (25 mph) is reached relatively fast, the speed of 60 km/h (37 mph) adequately, 80 km/h (50 mph) moderately, 100 km/h (62 mph) slowly. The top speed of 110 km/h (68 mph) is affected to a great extend by potential road inclinations. 
      On everyday rides the throttle has to be twisted all the way  to the stop quite some times, if rider needs decent acceleration or performance, from the big and heavy 125 c.c. scooter. As an amusing remark, when the traffic lights turn green for the X9, the pedestrians have their time to cross the street, walk to their home and start cooking (!) before the scooter builds up an adequate speed. 
      Riding position: The height of the saddle is low, 790 mm, (31.1 in.). The feet floor is wide though, which will moderate the confidence of a short rider stepping a foot on the ground. Rider is placed in and over the scooter, riding position is neutral. The pillion is seated quite high and comfortably on the scooter, the top case makes an adequate support for the pillionĘs back. 
     The dimensions of the scooter are large for the 125 c.c. standards, pretty close to the maxi-scooters dimensions. Only the height of the X9 is normal for the 125c.c. category standards. The weight is increased, 179 kg (395 lbs) nominal curb. 
      On the road: The fork is firm, the firmness of the  shocks is average. The spring preload is adjustable at the two shocks. 
     The tires fitted are Michelin GoldStandard with dimensions 120/70-14 at the front and 140/60-14 at the rear. Nowadays they are considered a dated choice, which doesnĘt benefit the handling of the scooter. 
      In town the X9 is a relatively neutral, quite stable and powerless scooter. 
      On downtown rides due to the small engine, the scooter feels rather dull in terms of performance. Rider will not get the alternative to accelerate before an unpleasant developing situation of the road. Thus from one point of view, active safety is decreased. The bulk of the scooter is big, like any maxi-scooter on the market. The visibility through the mirrors is superb. 
     Steering lock is moderate, conforming with the standards of big scooters, not the 125 c.c. ones. 
     Filtering is comparatively good as the height of either the handlebar or the mirrors of the scooter is the same with car mirrors. Comfort over street imperfections is very good though, both for this engine capacity and the scootersĘ standards. 
     The horn sounds like that of a car, which makes car drivers search for the hidden car around them! This was intentional, as many mega-scooter customers are car drivers. 
      On B-roads, the stability provided by the X9 is the major riding element. This results to decreased agility, for the scooters standards. The sensation derived from the rider is that this is a larger capacity scooter, except from the weak performance of course. 
      At the fast pace the X9 is stable, very good, robust, rider would wish that this were a 250 instead of a 125 c.c. scooter. Feedback to the rider is relatively good. 
      On the highway (wherever this is legal) the X9 will be adequate for really short rides, the throttle will be fixed to the stop. Its not recommended, its not safe. 
     However on the straights the back support and the cavity at the legshield for riderĘs legs, makes the rides quite comfortable, preserving the speed of 100 km/h (62 mph). 
      There are two rotors at the front, one at the rear. The dimension of the rotors is 240 mm, two piston callipers are equipped front and rear. The front brakes provide moderate power, genuinely moderate (wooden) feedback, while the rear brake provides comparatively good power and feedback. 
      Comments: There is a small storage space below the handlebar at the legshield, at the photo provided the case of a pocket camera is accommodated. At the gloves compartment at the legshield, two pairs of winter gloves may be stored, while there are two switches opening the saddle and the fuel cap. Under the saddle two shopping bags may be stored, not a normal full face helmet though. 
     A nice combination of analogue clocks and an LCD display is provided. Setting the X9 on the centre stand is easier than expected from the bulk of the scooter. 
+ Comfort-spaces provided 

- Weak performance 

- Mega-scooter dimensions

Thanks to the motorcycle shop Baxevanis - Honda, tel.+302109237000, Kalirois 12, Athens, http://www.baxevanismoto.com/ for the test ride.


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