Scooter riders are often people who simply enjoy riding along at a sedate pace in cruising comfort with the added benefits of reliable transportation, decent room for cargo, and rather good fuel efficiency. There are some of us, though, who tend to prefer the more sporting options available; something in the mold of a step-through, but with some decent running gear and horsepower. If you fall into that latter category, what would you say to the most powerful production scooter on the planet?
Italian marque Gilera, owned by Piaggio & C. Spa, does not sell many products to the US market, but they do a steady business selling scooters all over the world. Gilera also loves to race and took the 2008 FIM 250GP World Championship with Marco Simoncelli – true, it was a re-badged Aprilia. Their road machines are exclusively of the step-through variety nowadays, at least one of which is sourced from other members of the Piaggio family. However, this new beast is all Gilera and it will get your attention even if you don’t like scooters.
The 2011 Gilera GP800 is equipped with an 839cc longitudinally mounted, liquid-cooled SOHC 90° V-twin which produces 75 HP and 54 ft-lb – most impressive and, in fact, the most powerful engine used in a production motor scooter. It will accelerate from a stop to 62 Mph (0 – 100 Km/h) in 5.7 seconds. A new double-cradle frame made from steel keeps things stiff when the speed climbs and the corners beckon. Lightweight 16” front and 15” rear wheels keep the unsprung weight low, and Brembo braking components provide for excellent stopping power for that great engine.
Of course, the usual amenities which one would expect from a scooter are there too, a CVT transmission, large under-seat storage area, excellent wind and weather protection, and the simple convenience of turn the throttle and go. Take the GP800 through a scenic Italian town, along a twisty coastal road or cruise the open highway – all of it is well within the capabilities of the Gilera GP800.
One major problem for the US, though, is that it will likely not be imported. The fastest and most sport-oriented step-through in the world and US customers will not get a taste…something is seriously wrong here.
For more information on the Gilera GP800, take this link: http://www.gilera.com/