Our reports on the Piaggio Group’s presence at EICMA start with the models we’re least likely to ever see. We’ve never heard a single squeak about Gilera coming to America, a damn shame because the Runner and Nexus were perfectly good reasons to covet a Gilera dealer, and the Milan show just gave us a few more:
One of the biggest stories at EICMA, scooters or otherwise, is Gilera’s new 75hp, 850cc GP 800 (Gilera might be the first manufacturer to ever round down cc’s for a model name). The GP features a V-twin 8-valve liquid-cooled engine in a Runner-like body (reports this summer predicted it’d be called a “Runner”) outfitted with a CVT automatic transmission, a horizontal single rear shock, and twin front discs. The only way to describe it is “Automatic Sportbike.” Whether the performance is comparable to an 800cc sportbike remains to be seen, but it’s going to outpace just about any other scooter. And the price will surely reflect the displacement.
We’ve already talked about this a bit, but we now have some new photos in the gallery. As reported, it’s a MASTER 492cc engine in a sporty frame with tilting dual front wheels borrowed from the Piaggio MP3.
The rest of the lineup is a bit less exciting. The Nexus 125 is Gilera’s sporty Nexus 250 scooter with a downsized engine for 16-year-olds with a Euro A1 license. It’s a fairly large bike, and presumably not as peppy with the smaller engine, but the high-end features are retained from the bigger models, so at least it’s still flashy and luxurious. Adorably, the underseat compartment has been redesigned to hold a fullface helmet AND a half-shell for unexpected guests.
The Stalker 50, Gilera’s version of the Piaggio Typhoon, now comes with a 2-stroke Hi-PER2 PRO engine previously found in the Gilera DNA and Piaggio NRG. Dig those “Urban Graffiti” graphics. It’s Christmas morning in Bari, and little Gio has just turned 16. He’s been begging his parents for two months for the new Gilera Nexus 125, but the butcher shop hasn’t been doing so well, and when they lead them to the garage and uncover his eyes, he sees a blaring “Stalker” decal glaring back at him. He’s polite, and it’s still a brand-new scooter after all, a good brand, better than most of his friends’, and out of his parent’s budget. And thank God it’s not the white one. But it’s still not easy to hide his disappointment. By mid-January, all the kids at school are calling him “Il Stalker” and Annabella has dumped him for an 18-year-old with a ten-year-old Runner 180. Gio and his friend Mario save up enough money to buy a 133 kit and a sports exhaust from a kid that crashed his Typhoon. They peel off the “Stalker” decal and put a big Inter Milan sticker on it, and decide it’s not such a bad bike after all.
See more photos in our EICMA 2006 gallery.