The Gilera Nexus 500 is the centaur of the two-wheeled world. This half scooter, half motorcycle is a new breed, which combines the layout and riding position of that of a scooter, but with the performance of a middleweight motorcycle.
The big question is, is it worth paying out £5,000 for the Nexus, especially when you can buy a middleweight motorcycle with better performance for much the same price is your own choice.
What are the pros and cons to this; well scooters are twist and go, no clutch and gears here. The main factor though is acceleration; the Nexus 500 has a 460cc singular-cylinder, water-cooled four-stroke engine that gives you a comfortable, or uncomfortable, top speed of just over 100mph.
The brakes are operated by two handlebar levers, as on a conventional scooter, although you have to remember that this is a half and half, so to make you all that more confused on deciding its sex, it also confuses you with the braking system, the right hand lever operates the right hand side front disc and the left hand lever operates the left hand front and rear disc. Once you have mastered that you will find that the braking, even at high speeds will be not only easy but very effective.
The Nexus 500 has the looks, and is the coolest big scooter on the market at the moment. With the immobiliser control you can automatically spring the seat open, and what will you find there? Well you will find a power socket for charging your mobile phone and room for a full face helmet. Other bits of nice styling, include the vents that can direct hot air on to your ankles.
The Nexus weighs in at 216kg, which is not light considering that it is heavier than most 1000cc superbikes. If youíre a big scooter fan you may find this a little heavy to manoeuvre, but weight is distributed well, 50/50, front to rear, enabling it to handle well, and the weight is carried low.
So what is the Nexusís gender? superscooter or superbike? Well it is comfortable over a long distance, yet it is let down by its small wheels and unsophisticated suspension, so ride comfort is not up there with a motorcycle.
Anyone with a licence to ride the Nexus can also ride a full sized motorbike, so if you want to move up to a superscooter to widen your horizons, why not go the whole hog and buy a middle-weight motorcycle?