The X9 500 was Piaggio’s first ever maxi-scooter. This Italian maker had sold large scooters before, but nothing like the X9. With its 460cc motor and highway oriented design, the X9 was a full fledged maxi-scooter which competed with a small but well respected group of highway loving scooters. These machines are the Suzuki Burgman (400 and 650), Honda Silverwing, Aprilia Atlantic 500, Yamaha TMAX and Kymco Xciting 500.
The X9 500 was introduced for the 2005 model year in the USA (2006 in Canada) and it enjoyed a relatively short North American run. The X9 was dropped here after 2008, but it remains on sale overseas in varying versions. This X9 also went on sale in Europe for several years prior to its American debut, so parts availability is decent.
Internationally, this generation of X9 is commonly called the ‘X9 500 Evolution’. In North America we were only offered the 500cc variant, but international markets received other sizes including 125 and 250cc models. In the USA, the X9 was a bit late to the maxi scooter scene compared it’s rivals, and thus it never established itself nearly as well. The Suzuki Burgman and Honda Silverwing were both on sale years before the X9 and continued to be sold years later. Piaggio has also released a new maxi in recent years called the X10, which goes even further than the X9 in terms of highway capability.
Providing the propulsion for the X9 was a variant of Piaggio’s MASTER engine. The motor is Piaggio’s go-to engine for their larger models including the X9, MP3 400, MP3 500 and BV 500. This motor is a nice liquid cooled, 4-valve design that features fuel injection as well. It’s a nice advanced motor that provides good power, while being a little sluggish off the line. It’s also quite reliable and easy to start. Overall it’s a very nice engine but with mediocre fuel economy. Piaggio claimed the X9 manages 65mpg, but real world milage is typically about 45-50mpg which isn’t that much better than a small fuel efficient car. While the X9 never really caught on in the USA, you can rest assured that OEM and aftermarket parts are going to be available for decades to come thanks to its popularity overseas.
Storage & Convenience
Like a good maxi should, the X9 offers a great array of convenience features. There is a three way adjustable windshield, a comfy backrest, a 12v socket to charge your electronics and a great storage area with automatic lighting inside.
The brakes are also excellent with this scooter thanks to a wise decision to equip Brembo disc brakes front and rear. Braking duties up front are handled by dual 260mm Brembo discs that do an excellent job bring this large (but not overly heavy) scooter to a nice stop. It’s impressive that Piaggio managed to offer all of these features at the same price point as the scooter value champ Kymco. Competitors from Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki are all more expensive.
Overall, the X9 slots in as a nicely equipped maxi scooter that should appeal to anyone wanting full maxi-scooter convenience. Like Aprilia’s Atlantic 500, the X9 never sold that well which is a bit surprising considering it’s reasonable MSRP and thoughtful design. Prospective maxi-scooter buyers would do well to browse the classifieds for an X9. A few years old X9 in nice shape could provide a whole lot of maxi scooter enjoyment for a very reasonable price.
If you are looking at a maxi-scooter as a way to save on gas costs, then you may want to look at a smaller 250cc model. However if you are looking for a maxi-scooter from an enthusiasts perspective and see a maxi-scooter as a great way to travel the open road, then the X9 is a fine machine.