Is “Piaggio GT850” the Gilera GP850?

Remember the rumors that Piaggio would display a new 850cc scooter at EICMA? Remember we asked why Piaggio and Aprilia called the V-Twin 839.3 engine an “850” while Gilera called it an “800?” Well, this appears to be the scooter in question, and it’s not Piaggio-branded after all, instead, it’s a nicely revamped Gilera GP800, and they upgraded the displacement to 850cc without changing the engine one bit. At least they’re consistent now.

Piaggio integrates Moto Guzzi operations

Piaggio announced today that they’ll be incorporating the operations of wholly-owned subsidary Moto Guzzi into Piaggio’s infrastructure by the end of November, moving Guzzi production to Piaggio or Aprilia facilities, and “rationalising the technical, industrial, design and style operations of the two companies.”

Fuoco500 to U.S.

Just as I posted about the impossibilty of the Gilera GP800 ever being available in the U.S., The Scooter Scoop posted that Gilera’s Fuoco 500 3-wheeler will be sold here as the Piaggio MP3 500. Amazing news, though with the current MP3 250 priced over $5K, the Fuoco will likely be pushing $10K. I don’t know why it took Piaggio so long to come up with the idea to put a Piaggio sticker over the Gilera sticker, but I sure hope this means the Gilera GP800 and (dare to dream) Runner may appear here, too.

Piaggio targets 1 million units, more foreign production

Allow me to dissect some quotes from this Forbes story:

Piaggio SpA plans to open production sites in Brazil and Vietnam to reach its production target of 1 mln vehicles by 2010, chairman and CEO Roberto Colaninno said…

That means every Farm and Fleet will get a weekly shipment of 48 Piaggio Flys, an LX50, and one top-end Moto Guzzi.

The producer of motorcycles and light commercial vehicles manufactured 650,000 vehicles in 2006,…an additional 200,000 units were produced by Piaggio’s joint venture in China but are not consolidated in the group’s sales…

They’ll be counting Chinese production as part of that one million, I bet.

Colaninno said that Piaggio has superceded its restructuring phase and will now focus on growth.

Scooterists don’t need Forbes to tell us Piaggio is focused on growth, to the detriment of any other attribute.

Colaninno added that the group will have three business areas — Europe, the Americas and Asia/Africa — which will have their own production sites and distribution networks.

HOLD THE PHONE– are they saying that Piaggio products for the Americas will be produced IN THE AMERICAS? (i.e. Brazil?) Very interesting.

The group’s brands — Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Guzzi and Aprilia — will be maintained but have similar distribution channels, he said.

How has Derbi stayed out of this mess? And will high-end motorcycle buyers stand for Brazillian product?

The story also reports that production in India is up, with a new diesel engine plant in the works. It’s hard to say these days what’s built where, and where the components come from, but if the Pontedera factory is not already an anachronism for tourists, it looks like it may be within the next decade. We look forward to more corporate chest-banging at Piaggio’s Berlin Conference tomorrow.

Gizmag on the GP800, electric MP3 in works

Gizmag has a look at the new 850cc Gilera GP 800, the first scooter to ever round down its displacement. It reads a bit like a reworded press release, giving the impression they haven’t ridden it either, but it’s fair to predict it’s going to be a pretty exciting ride. To be honest, the thing that excites me most about it is that demand may eventually force Piaggio to bring the Gilera brand to the U.S., which would make the Gilera Runner finally available here.

Earlier last week, Gizmag also reported that Vectrix is developing an electric version of the 3-wheeled MP3under license from Piaggio.

Piaggio’s EICMA site

I could have saved myself a lot of work if I’d seen this a few days ago: Piaggio Group’s site for Milan motorcycle show visitors. Don’t worry, I’ll still do the Piaggio writeup, but this might give you more detail than my stories, and won’t leave out the motorcycles, some of which are interesting. It’s strange that this site calls the Vespa S the “LXS” wheras the press release avoids making any connection between the LX and S models. (Thanks, Myttrr mA5ty.)

Gilera at EICMA 2006

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:


GP 800

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.


Fuoco 500

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.


Nexus 125

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.


Stalker 50

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.

More: Gilera Fuoco 500

As expected, Gilera’s new 500cc three-wheeler was officially unveiled in Milan. We got it right that it was based on the MP3 platform (no-brainer) but we (and others) mistakenly machine-translated the name to “Fire,” when it is in fact named, in Italian, “Fuoco.” The Fuoco will feature the same engine found in the Gilera Nexus 500. Motorcycle News has a few more details and a photo of the back-end. Surprisingly, it will be available for sale (in Italy, anyway) in a few weeks. We expect more details and photos of the Fuoco and Vespa S soon.

Piaggio previews 2007 models

Gilera Fire, Vespa GTV, Vespa S

A bit more info on an earlier post (but not much): Tuesday in Rome, Piaggio brass presented their new 2007 vehicles to Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and other government dignitaries, in advance of the official unveiling at the Milan Salone della Moto in two weeks. The lineup featured some Aprilia sportbikes (including a nifty RSW250 race bike to remind us all that Aprilia won the 2007 MotoGP 125 and 250 “Constructor” titles), the Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport, the 60th-anniversary Vespa GTV, and two never-seen-before scooters. The press release still sheds no light on the Vespa S, but I’m sticking to my theory that it’s an LX50-based tribute to the Vespa 50 Special (Note the square headlight, front fender, and horncast cover). I guess Europeans are sentimental about the 50 Special (what with the Lunapop song and all), but they weren’t Vespa’s prettiest bike. Likewise, there’s no info about the new Gilera three-wheeler, other than the name (“Fire”) and displacement (500cc). The next couple weeks and the Milan show will reveal more, but it’s probably safe to assume it’s based on Piaggio MP3 technology and the 4-valve 4-stroke Piaggio MASTER engine found in the Beverly/BV500.

See more photos in the 2strokebuzz Gallery

New 500cc Gilera 3-wheeler, Vespa S

The ScooterScoop just posted photos of the Gilera 500-cc three wheeler we’d heard about a while ago, presumably built on the Piaggio MP3 platform (yes, another sweet Gilera we will never see in the US) and a total out-of-nowhere surprise, the Vespa S, which looks like a retro-upgrade LX50 with styling based on the original Vespa 50S (square headlight, goofy horncover, boxy front fender). Both will debut at the Milan cycle show later this month. We’ll have more details soon about these scooters, as well as Piaggio’s winter clothing line (seriously).