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Old 08-11-2014, 05:28 AM   #1
alexsupreme OP
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Thumb Decided to go for the Nexus 500.

Thank you very much, guys!

The suggestions were a lot of help and I can now understand what you mean by "character" that the engine has.
It's different from the Xmax 250, which I owned, in almost every aspect.

So far I love it.

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Old 08-11-2014, 06:53 AM   #2
Tarka
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Great one...congrats!

If I didn't have my 650 Burgman Executive I reckon I'd have one of those.

It's much more appealing to me than a Tmax.

Enjoy!
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:37 AM   #3
gumshoe4
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Nice machine! We don't have them here. Interested in hearing about handling, storage, fuel mileage and whatever other comments you have about the bike.
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:14 PM   #4
sraber
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Nice! Enjoy.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:04 PM   #5
brianwheelies
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Wishing we could get that coolness in the US. Congrats on the ride.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:55 AM   #6
alexsupreme OP
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I've been riding a couple of days now, still on my first tank (15l is quite nice).
I'll compare it to the Xmax 250 since its the only one I rode beforehand.

Look and feel: No surprise there, it looks really good. It actually feels a little shorter than the Xmax. The handlebar is positioned closer to the rider and the grips feel better.
The sitting position is straight up and it's a bit lower then the xmax. Like most reviews point out, you do sit on top of the scooter rather than in it.
It gives a great sense of control while driving but to check the speedo you have to look down (lower than usual). The seat itself is very well padded and my butt thanks me every time. My lady has yet to ride as pillion, but I doubt she'll hate it.
The feet have some space to move but it's a little less forwards and backwards and a bit more to the sides.
Overall it's a much more comfortable riding position and feels a lot safer.

Riding and handling: It was quite a change which I have yet to fully get used to. Even though the dimensions and the overall weight between the nexus and the xmax are relatively similar, the handling couldn't be more different.
Wider wheels get a lot more grip than the skinny xmax (110,140 vs 120,160), it results in a much less "flickable" scooter.
I used to correct my driving and balance with light pelvis movements and the xmax would respond easily, changing it's balance with my every movement. It is not so on the nexus. The wheels are buried deep in the asphalt and it enjoys confident movements more than my jittery, flickery riding style.
During turns, I used to fix my turn angle by moving the handlebar a little. It was useful because the xmax didn't feel too safe leaning in and often adjustments needed to be made.
With the nexus, I can lean as far as my courage would let me, the large wheels don't like small movements, the entire scooter likes confidence. You turn the wheel once and the rest of the turn angle is controlled by your leaning.
It's not a bad style, I've been getting a hold of it more the more I drive. If you go into a corner and you know what you're doing and how you want to come out of it, the scooter does it flawlessly and I'm really enjoying it.
It is a little scary, how easy the scooter lets you lean it into turns. The weight is positioned really low and it is a hoot in slow moving traffic and even lane splitting.

Engine and transmission: It does everything I need, but it comes with drawbacks. Most prominent one is when "engine character" turns into a pneumatic hammer. I'll put it into a km/h list:
0-30: soft and cuddly as a kitten, pulls slowly.
30-45: nice vibey feedback with decent pull.
45-65: IS THERE AN EARTHQUAKE? I CAN'T FEEL MY HANDS.
65-90: very good "meaty" feel and great pull.
90-120+: smooth as butter with just a little buzz to remind you that you're sitting on a pretty large bore.

Taking off at the light and overtaking cars is a breeze with no odd engine feedback. Just don't expect to be the first one out after the light changes, it doesn't pull too hard from zero and expect to be overtaken by lighter scooters at first. For me personally, it works really well. I don't like rushing head first and the fuel economy doesn't take a hit.
The only problem which I can't stand and consider so far to be the biggest drawback is the acceleration after a turn. The engine doesn't like accelerating from 30-40 km/h. It starts rattling and doesn't ease until you finish the turn entirely.
I might just swap the default CVT with Malossi one, we'll see after the first maintenance.

Overall, the engine doesn't seem to like the 3-4k rev range, you either push it harder or ease it slowly into it.
It's not a deal breaker in any way and I am enjoying it immensely, but it's far from perfect.

Lane splitting: a BIG surprise there. It feels very stable while passing between standing cars, I can easily avoid truck mirrors by leaning. Even though it's pretty massive, It's not wider than any of the maxi 250cc scooters, and with a very smooth 0-30kmh drive, passing between cars is just as easy with this scooter.


To summarize:
Pros:
+
Glorious handling capabilities.
+ remarkable wind shield.
+ Stable as a rock. No more struggling with the wind on the highway.
+ Very good suspension.
+ Brembo dual disk breaks
+ Good riding position
+ Looks amazing!
+ The mirrors are rock solid and in good height.
+ The dashboard is full of very good info.
+ Turning radius is really good.

Cons:
-
Vibrates too hard on some occasions.
- The windshield is too good. It gets extremely hot, riding under the sun, in the summer, in the middle east. (almost 100f degrees at noon).
- Not as easy to flick around.
- Italian construction is not on par with the Japanese.
- Not a lot of underseat storage. (I can squeeze my riding coat, gloves and the scooter cover underneath. On the xmax I could also add the helmet and my 14mm chain and lock)
- Maintenance and the tires are somewhat expensive.
- The mirrors are a bit too small for my taste.

Very pleased with it.
With some love and maybe some custom additions, it will be even better.



If you have any more questions, I'll be glad to answer.
I'll post more pictures next time :)
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:49 AM   #7
cdwise
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FWIW, I ride with a Nolan N43 or N44 helmet because of its extremely wide viewport. It is the only full face helmet I've ever owned or tried on that will let me see the gauges on my scooters without dropping my head to look down. You might want to check them out if like me you prefer a quick glance to a nodding of the head.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:14 AM   #8
JerryH
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That's a sweet scooter. I love the color. Only thing I don't understand is your dislike of vibration. It has a single cylinder engine, so it is going to vibrate some. But I notice it is an oversquare engine (bore is larger than the stroke) so that should help some.

One of the main reasons I bought my Royal Enfield motorcycle was for the vibration, and the beautiful sound that went with it. It has a 499cc single cylinder engine, but it is undersquare, so it has a really long stroke. Riding a "pneumatic hammer" is exactly what I would equate it to, and I love it.

My little Zuma 125 has a tiny amount of vibration at idle, but above that it is so smooth you would never know it even had an internal combustion engine. Cruising along at 50 mph, you don't feel or hear anything, other than the wind and the bumps in the road. It gets the job done, but more "character" would be nice.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:59 AM   #9
lubloi
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easy fixes

Both of your problems (slow pulling out of corners, vibey between 3-4K) can be addressed by replacing the variator weights with weights that are 2-3 grams lighter. This is a cheap and easy fix.
It's also worth adding hose clamps to the fuel pipe between the fuel pump and the filter in the tank - more information at apriliaforum.com. This ensures constant fuel pressure and made a huge difference to low-speed riding on my scoot.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:51 AM   #10
Cortez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lubloi View Post
Both of your problems (slow pulling out of corners, vibey between 3-4K) can be addressed by replacing the variator weights with weights that are 2-3 grams lighter. This is a cheap and easy fix.
It's also worth adding hose clamps to the fuel pipe between the fuel pump and the filter in the tank - more information at apriliaforum.com. This ensures constant fuel pressure and made a huge difference to low-speed riding on my scoot.
Agree with the weights change, but make sure they're Dr Pulley sliders or
you'll have a bike that'll rev too much at speeds above 65-70mph, and that
doesn't happen with sliders.



Both me and my friend tried a few setups, I've actually done more then 5
different Pulley vs Roller setups and 2 different variators.

My friend was happy with Dr Pulley sliders in his Nexus (he went 10% lighter
then stock as the guys @ Dr Pulley recommend, which is what worked the
best for me too).
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:49 AM   #11
alexsupreme OP
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A small update.

After a week of riding around and seeing as the bike was getting closer to the 30k km, I decided it was time to do some maintenance and found a well reviewed garage with a mechanic who specializes in Gilera scoots.

The guy was incredibly nice and I told him to ride a bit to get a feel for what else might be wrong, since I'm pretty new to the scooter and have no idea how it was supposed to perform.

Long story short and 1250$ later, it feels like an entirely different scooter.
As you probably have guessed, asides from the outer appearance, the scooter was really badly maintained and in pretty bad shape.
So what was replaced?

- New Variator (CVT) belt. The belt that was used wasn't only the wrong one, it was also pretty worn out.
- New original sliders.
- New slightly lighter rollers (from MP3 400, will comment on that).
- New spark plug.
- New oil filter.
- New steering head bearings (The labor and the parts cost me 400$ ).
- New break pads.
- Full oil change.

All in all, after the maintenance the scoot's total cost is an estimated 6k$.

To the fun part!

Changing the bearings and the rollers, turned it into an entirely different machine. It handles as light as a feather and leans into corners much, much better (Not that it was bad to begin with).
The rollers, which were previously 21.5g, are now 18.6 and it is a HUGE change. The engine puts a little more effort and the rev range changed to the following:
(kmh)
0-40 3400 -> 4000
40-60 3800 -> 4200
60-80 4200 -> 4500
80-100 4600 -> 4900
100-120 4900 -> 5100

The change is mostly noticeable in lower speeds and it turns it into a smoother, much friendlier ride.
The vibrations are not entirely gone and can be felt throughout the entire rev scale (almost diminishing after 100kmh) but now it's a friendly, big engine buzz and not a rattling earthquake.

The takeoff is smoother but it's not exactly a sports bike or a T-max. I still starts as fast as any 250cc scooter but the stability on the highway is flawless and I even had to lower my wind screen to get some extra air, because it was getting too hot under the sun with no wind.
It also gives a nice "meaty" rev if you nudge it a bit when completing a turn. A lot of small fun changes which I didn't expect.

Thank you lubloi for the roller suggestion. It worked miracles.

I'm absolutely ecstatic with the way the scooter rides and handles after the maintenance. Absolutely pleased with the purchase.
It is definitely a step up from the 250cc maxi scooters and not only in the CC department.

If you can get your hands on one (Hopefully in a better condition than mine), you will enjoy every second of it.

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Old 08-18-2014, 04:43 AM   #12
Cortez
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It's the 2nd best handling scooter I tried, and only by a hair, you'd be shocked
what a set of new Dunlop GPR100 tires would do to it also.

That thing handles better then my Ninja 650 did.

You got 95% of what T-max has to offer for A LOT less money, and a huge
savings in the MPG department, it's a great scooter.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:34 PM   #13
Golyo
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I'm thinking about buying a Nexus 500. How is it on the highway? Wind protection? Also, can you stretch you leg and put your feet on the elevated part of the floorboard? It seems fairly tight and I have not seen a picture with anyone riding it feet forward. Thanks.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:39 PM   #14
brian72
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Very nice looking scooter.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:40 PM   #15
Cortez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golyo View Post
I'm thinking about buying a Nexus 500. How is it on the highway? Wind protection? Also, can you stretch you leg and put your feet on the elevated part of the floorboard? It seems fairly tight and I have not seen a picture with anyone riding it feet forward. Thanks.
It's as planted as scooters get, better then the Honda Integra, similar to the
T-max, it's up there, better then my Ninja 650 was, don't worry about highway
use. And yes, you can put your feet up front if you're not a big guy, there's a
lot of room to move around.

Wind protection isn't great like on Majesty or Burgman since it's a sporty scoot,
you sit more on top of it then "inside" it, but it works, and there's always
other screens to choose from, AND the stock one is adjustable.

It's hard to go wrong, the stuff you asked about are a non-issue.

Just bare in mind that it's a sporty scoot, rather stiff, both suspension and
seat, but it rewards when you push it a bit.
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