2012 Piaggio X10 350 Review
The new Italian flagship maxi-scooter
It’s got the lines of an Italian supermodel’s legs and we got the VIP treatment at a suave scooter launch with the Italian Embassy in Paris, serving as the runway. The Piaggio X10 is the famed scooter producer’s new flagship model and it’s aimed at a grown up market that knows how to appreciate everyday comforts.
Rain was expected in Paris on my riding day so I packed my Gore-Tex jacket in the 52-liter (13.7-gallon) capacity underseat storage compartment. The compartment, which includes a light, will take one full faced helmet at the front and an open faced helmet at the back but it’s not quite big enough for two full faced lids as the rear compartment isn’t deep enough.
Under the front console, Piaggio added three glove compartments, with the left compartment housing a USB plug and a 12volt power socket. Just above these compartments, Piaggio added the buttons for Anti-Slip Regulation (i.e. Traction Control), hazard lights, seat lock and fuel cap lock. The speedometer console includes a central LCD screen with plenty of info flanked by two analog clocks showing speed and revs.
The seat is both comfy and spacious with an adjustable lower back rest for the rider. Taking off from the embassy I learned how to appreciate the tall windscreen straight away as there was a drizzle in the air. It was easy to get complete wind protection without crouching down too much.
The new Piaggio 350cc single cylinder four stroke engine produces a max power output of 32.5 hp and 23.7 ft-lb. The big 500cc version has 8 horsepower more and electronic rear suspension adjustment but this wasn’t ready yet for our Paris test session. The X10 350i also has an ECO mode which reduces horsepower with the purpose of reducing fuel consumption. I never bothered actually testing the ECO mode but it will make the X10 just slightly faster than the 15 horsepower 125cc version according to reports. I can see this being a cruel tool for an owner lending out their X10 to a friend.
Piaggio being the mother ship for high-tech Aprilia, there’s been some transfer of traction control technology to a GT scooter for the first time. The traction control isn’t on par with Aprilia’s top-end APRC package but more a rudimentary version of what’s on offer in Aprilia’s Dorsoduro models.
The system retards the ignition once rear wheel slip is detected and gradually released to full performance as grip increases. It’s not the fastest traction control system in the world but sufficient for the 33hp X10. On my Paris test there was plenty of rear wheel slip over white zebra crossings and wet roads and I found the traction control to be quite obtrusive but not so much so that I wanted to turn ASR off.
Leaving the many busy traffic-light crossings in Paris, the X10 350 provided all the flexibility needed to stay way ahead of other traffic. The small engine responds well from the word go and the new CVT variable transmission is as seamless as it should be. The suspension works well and is comfortable in most situations but the rear struggled a bit over some of the cobbled streets in Paris.
On open motorways the X10 350 will do a claimed 140 kph (87 mph) top speed and the 15-liter (4-gallon) fuel tank can achieve a claimed range of 400 km (248 miles) before a top up is needed. The service intervals are 20,000 km (about 12,500 miles) with oil changes every 10,000 km (about 6200 miles) making it cheaper and easier to maintain than a motorcycle.
With a double set of 280mm discs at the front and a 240mm disc at the back there’s plenty of stopping power and it’s a linked ABS set up. The X10 Executive (ASR+ABS included – Pearl white exclusive paint job) version weights a claimed 200 kilos where four of those are additions because of the ABS system (that’s 441 pounds with ABS making up 8.8 pounds.)
Should you wish to take a pillion passenger the X10 have a lot of amenities such as the storage capacity, an 820mm long well-padded seat, large grab rails and spacious footboards. The rider seat height 29.9 inches while the pillion is 4.3 inches higher, providing a view of the surroundings or the Eiffel tower if you’re riding around Paris like me.
The front of the new Piaggio X10 is quite extravagant and houses a triple headlamp where the middle is a LED running light.
Carefree in the city is pretty much what the Piaggio X10 set out to be and that’s exactly what I found after my day in the saddle. At standstill there are some vibrations from the engine reaching the handlebars but that’s pretty much my only niggle along with rear rebound damping that sometimes were overwhelmed by the cobble streets.
The brakes are great and the ABS and ASR makes the X10 one of the safest maxi-scooters there is. The comfort level is very high and the 350cc single cylinder engine performs like a bigger engine with near perfect transmission.