Having spent a winter ignoring my Honda Benly in the garage when I should have been preparing it for Spring, it looked like I might end up relying on lifts from my girlfriend for the foreseeable future. So you can imagine how happy I was to secure the longterm loan of a Gilera Nexus 500 to get myself back on two wheels.
Picking up the scooter from Walton Road Garage near Hampton Court in London, I was impressed with the sporty looks of the bright-red Nexus. It definitely looks more sports-tourer than the other maxi scooters. And I was even more impressed with the remote unlocking seat, operated from the key fob. After all, everyone loves a gadget.
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Initial impressions were good once I'd reprogrammed my brain to having the front brake on the right lever, and the left lever operating a linked system which operates front and rear brakes at the same time. The 460cc automatic whisked me out of London towards the M25 without any fuss, and I started to get used to the riding position.
But once on the motorway and heading to Peterborough I had more to think about. Scooter design isn't as stable as high speed as many bikes, and the screen appeared to be acting as a large sail, particularly with crosswinds from overtaking lorries. I'll be experimenting with the screen height, which is simple to move into one of three positions, to see if I can improve things. And I'll need to, because the engine will quite happily cruise above the legal limit if needed, with a top speed over 100mph if you can put up with the turbulence.
It's only been a few days since I collected the Nexus, but I'm already becoming attached to it. I might get some stick for riding a bright red scooter, but it's easy and relaxing to use, easy to clean, and with a bit more practice and using the pillion footpegs, I might even start surprising a few of my bike-riding colleagues. A 250cc version has also been tested by MCN in the April 26, 2006 issue, but I'm enjoying the extra power once the automatic transmission picks up.
I'd love to here from other maxi scooter owners, so please feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or posted on the Related Topics thread, right.