Gilera Nexus 500


Make Model

Gilera Nexus 500


2007 -


Liquid cooled, four stroke, single cylinder


460 cc / 28.0 cu-in
Bore x Stroke 92 x 69 mm
Cooling System Liquid cooled
Compression Ratio 10.5:1


Magneti Marelli IAV Electronic injection
Lubrication Wet sump


Electronic inductive discharge 
Starting Electric

Max Power

40.1 hp / 29.3 kW @ 7500 rpm

Max Torque

43 Nm / 31.7 lb-ft @ 5500 rpm


“Twist and Go”
Final Drive Belt

Front Suspension

41mm Kayaba telehydraulic fork

Rear Suspension

Progressive POWER DRIVE, Kayaba gas shock absorber with spring preload

Front Brakes

2x 260mm discs 2 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

Single 240mm discs 2 piston calipers

Front Tyre


Rear Tyre

Wheelbase 1515 mm / 59.6 in
Seat Height 765 mm / 30.1 in


 216.0 kg / 476.2 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

15 Litres / 3.9 US gal

Consumption Average

17.8 km/lit

Standing ¼ Mile  

15.1 sec

Top Speed

160.6 km/h


As a teenager, I had a friend with a mechanical obsession - he wanted to install a Porsche 911 engine in his 1971 Volkswagen Beetle I yanked the throttle wide and the big, single-cylinder engine did the rest.

I told him such surgery would turn the car into a death trap but Gordon grinned and kept checking the scrapyards for the Porsche unit he couldn't afford.
I just wanted a Porsche; he craved the thrill of humiliating sports cars in a vehicle that looked mundane.

The Gilera Nexus 500 Maxi scooter helps me to understand what Gordon meant. Gilera promotes this beefy 460cc urban warrior as "a scooter with the soul of a motorcycle".

My initial reaction was to dismiss it as silly. I ride sports motorcycles every day. They have fighter-jet acceleration, sumptuous steering geometry and handling that leaves me grinning from ear to ear.

Would I swop that for a twist-and-go scooter with linked brakes and a centrifugal clutch?
The first hint of an answer came when a chubby chap in a gold Jaguar tried to beat me away from the lights It's a lot quicker than people expect a scooter to be. I yanked the throttle wide and the big, single-cylinder engine did the rest. Bye, bye Jag.

He tried it again. Same result. Even the biker on a red Ducati 999S was laughing. He gave me a big thumbs-up before leaving Jag - and Gilera - in his wake.
That made the point nicely. Despite its Brembo brakes, ultra-sticky Pirelli Diablo tyres and sharp sports fairing, this entirely updated Nexus is not hugely fast.
It runs out of pull at about 160km/h on a freeway and the riding position is a little too upright for racing. But it's a lot quicker than people expect a scooter to be - which means that by car standards it's greased lightning.

There's one caveat; you have to thrash the beast. Open the throttle gently and the centrifuge hardly functions. To achieve the urgent response of which the motor is capable, twist hard and hold on.

I was sufficiently impressed to experiment with a passenger; the Nexus was untroubled. It handles well, too - tipping into corners with aplomb, even two-up, and leaping out of them with alacrity.

If you like funky looks combined with immense comfort and one of the most impressive suspension set-ups on a scooter, the new Nexus is certainly worth a test.

The upswept exhaust looks gorgeous, and the fully adjustable progressive rear shock-absorber feels equally good.

The seat is huge and sumptuous - much more relaxing than the accommodation available on most sports bikes. The pillion accommodation is practical, and underseat storage will take a small laptop or backpack.

Tall types beware

One gripe. At maximum lock, with both feet on the running boards, the handlebars collided with my knees. I'm 1.9m tall and the issue would not arise for a shorter rider, but tall types beware - I had a nasty moment completing a tight U-turn.

The instruments, which include analogue rev counter and speedo and a digital trip-computer featuring fuel gauge, engine temperature and maximum speed record, are good. So is weather protection; I rode in drizzle and hardly a drop reached my visor or my legs.

Practicality is augmented by a natty cellphone/smokes/map compartment in the left side of the fairing.

On a fast commute involving freeways as well as city streets, this is a fun machine. It has power enough to be entertaining on country lanes and, in the right hands, the agility to keep up with moderately fast motorcycles.

Automatic gearing can't match a manual, and linked braking isn't compatible with real sports performance, but the Nexus 500 comes surprisingly close.

You can even tour on it. I have encountered Italians riding them as far afield as Ireland and Brittany but its real function is as a prince of the urban jungle for riders who want to look cool and move fast. In that guise, it's a blast.

Chic young execs fed up with traffic congestion might care to take a look. - The Independent, London

Source Motoring.co.za