Gilera Nexus 500 - 2005
The Nexus brings all the sport appeal of the Gilera brand to the 'maxi' scooter world. It makes its construction, technology and component choices in the motorcycling realm while remaining as easy to use as a scooter.
Every one of the Nexus' technical and styling features is geared towards a single objective - that of producing the raciest, most high-performance scooter ever. This objective called for truly unique design ideas.
The Gilera Nexus 500 can be summed up in a few figures - weight 195 kg, 48 per cent in front and 52 per cent at the rear, moved by a sophisticated 500cc four stroke electronic injection engine that provides over 40 hp worth of power and anticipated Euro2 standards on licensed vehicle emissions.
The cycle parts on the Gilera Nexus 500 provide some absolutely original features, starting with a large Kayaba front fork with 41-mm shafts.
The progressive Power Drive rear suspension and Direct Link engine-frame fixing system add overall stiffness.
And, for the first time on a scooter, the vehicle's geometrical set-up and height is completely adjustable.
With all the comfort and protection one would expect of a scooter, the Gilera Nexus has styling that speaks the language of motorcycling.
The wheels - 15" in front and 14" at the rear - with radial wide-section tyres, a superb three-disk braking system with Brembo Oro callipers and the instrumentation with an onboard computer complete the technical set-up of an astonishing scooter that offers unmatched riding pleasure.
Power output of over 40 hp, avant-garde motorcycle-type features plus comfort and ease of use: meet the sportiest scooter ever to hit the market.
GT (Gran Turismo) "maxi" scooters were the market phenomenon of the last few years. Getting progressively more comfortable and powerful, these machines attracted new users in droves to their high engine displacements. The scooter's practicality and ease of use could now combine with the performance provided by engines over 400cc.
Now, with the Gilera Nexus, the first Maxi Supersport, GT goes a step further and becomes Sport Gran Turismo. Putting the Gilera soul into a maxi scooter has produced the sportiest scooter ever to appear on the market. This unique 500cc product was conceived for pure sensation and the pleasure of sport riding.
The Gilera Nexus is the result of a specific philosophy - cross-breeding the sport character of the Gilera brand with the scooter. It means taking freely from motorcycle technology without giving up the biggest advantage the scooter offers, i.e. ease of use.
This has been the Gilera mindset since 1997, when the Runner revolutionised the scooter market with motorcycle-frame technology to maximise riding pleasure.
The Gilera Nexus takes this philosophy to its furthest extreme. Every single technical and design aspect of the Nexus has one final objective - creating the sportiest, most powerful scooter that has ever existed, with performance at the absolute top of the scooter category. And, like any project that is well out of the ordinary, it required some completely unique, original technological ideas.
The Gilera Nexus can be summed up in a few numbers. 195-kg weight and near fifty-fifty distribution (48 per cent in front and 52 per cent at the rear), and 40 hp worth of power from a sophisticated electronic injection engine.
But it is the Nexus' impressive range of technical solutions that says the most about this product, starting from the cycle parts - the progressive Gilera «Power Drive» rear suspension that joins the "Direct Link" system, fixing engine to frame for increased overall rigidity. And, for the first time on a scooter, the rear-positioning angle is adjustable to the driver's riding style.
The Gilera Nexus introduces itself as the sportiest scooter that has ever been made. Offering all the comfort and protection expected of a maxi scooter, the Nexus also shows off a body that speaks motorcycling fluently.
The fairing clothes solid mechanicals while leaving speed muscles exposed.
The in-your-face frontal is recognisable by its trapezoidal headlamps and central air intake. Under the lamps, the fairing breaks into sharply angled lines directed towards the front wheel, with a strong overall impression of dynamicity. Wind tunnel tests resulted in an optimal mix of aerodynamic penetration and high protection. The latter is additionally ensured by a windscreen adjustable to three different positions to adapt it to the rider's height and provide for the most comfort.
The slim rear view mirrors, with direction indicators included, contribute to the overall lightness of the design.
The fairing goes on to mid-vehicle with a step through leg area and a motorcycle-style fuel cap; its central area has elements in aluminium. The central tunnel has leg-warming hot air vents like the Runner to make riding in winter more comfortable.
The relatively ample shape of the front of the vehicle is opposed to the sleek tail unit that adds a light, sporty touch to the overall design and recalls the Nexus' excellent weight distribution.
The seat, wide and comfortable for the passenger as well as the rider, induces an extremely natural riding position and increases the feeling of being in total control. The under-seat space can hold a full-face helmet and has a courtesy light and a power socket to recharge a mobile phone. The seat can be opened either by pressing a button on the inside of the steering column or by using the innovative remote control button on the ignition key.
More storage is available on the inside of the steering column - this is a handy feature no scooter rider will give up, even when riding a sport vehicle such as the Gilera Nexus.
The instrumentation, which lights up Gilera red, is fully featured. Besides the analogue speedometer and rev counter, the electronic display shows fuel level, cooling liquid temperature, battery charge, average and immediate consumption, range, partial and total mileage and average and maximum speeds reached. The rider can check the date and time and is provided with service schedule information. The rider chooses the functions of the on-board computer through a selector on the right handlebar with which he can go from one function to the next without needing to take his hand off the controls.
The Gilera Nexus is equipped with an anti-theft Immobiliser that prevents the scooter from starting if a key (even one that works mechanically) is not electronically recognised by the engine control system.
It is the Nexus' cycle parts that really set it apart from any other scooter.
Wanting to provide racing thrills and extraordinary manoeuvrability while keeping the vehicle safe and stable at high speeds, the Gilera technicians created a double cradle frame of steel tubes. This strong, rigid structure links to a telehydraulic Kayaba fork with 41-mm shafts and a 109-mm travel in front.
The rear cycle parts are absolutely revolutionary for a scooter.
Rather than use conrods and silent blocks as a scooter generally does, here the powerful single cylinder engine is fixed firmly on to the frame itself through the «Direct Link». This idea - made possible by the presence of a balancing counter shaft - adds stiffness to the entire system, turning the transmission cover into a real rear swingarm. Tucking the airbox into the frame reduces the number of non-suspended parts. The «Power Drive» shock absorber system is composed of a single gas shock absorber placed horizontally under the seat and linked to the cover-fork through a progressive excursion system made to measure for the Nexus.
The result is a progressive suspension that offers plush riding in the initial travel while getting progressively stiffer to control "diving" when the vehicle hits a bump.
The same system permits the vehicle's geometrical set-up to be completely adjustable in various types of use. The reaction point has a patented length-altering switch as in sport bikes that lets the vehicle be personalised for type of use and rider preference.
The front wheel has a very sporty 15-inch aluminium alloy five-spoke wheel rim with a 120/70 tyre. The rear tyre is mounted on a 14-inch rim, otherwise identical to the front rim, and measures an imposing 160/60 offering plenty of grip for corners as well as straight line stability.
Gilera has chosen radial tyres for the Nexus' first incarnation. This is a choice made for reasons of the best results in terms of steering and direction precision as well as comfort, not to mention that these tyres are longer lasting than bias tyres.
The braking system has been especially developed for the Nexus to make this exuberant vehicle as safe as possible.
Through the integral braking system, the left lever actions the right front disk and rear brake. The right lever manages front disc braking through a motorcycle-type calliper whose efficiency is emphasised by a larger-diameter twin piston setup.
In fact, while the Brembo floating calliper on the right disc has two 26-mm pistons, the left disk pistons are 28-mm in diameter. Both work on 260-mm diameter, 5-mm thick discs. The Brembo calliper with 34-mm opposed pistons at the rear works on a 240-mm disc.
MASTER 500, the injection motor that set worldwide standards for scooter engines, gets a power boost. With increased performance from the single-cylinder, four-valve, liquid-cooled propulsion and the limitation of vehicle weight to 195 kg, the Gilera Nexus has a brilliant power to weight ratio that favours top performance.
The latest, most powerful version of the MASTER, developed exclusively for the Nexus, is different from earlier ones because of a new airbox that finds its place in the central part of the frame to limit non-suspended parts and offer better weight distribution. The exhaust, clearly motorcycle-inspired, is also absolutely new. These new features, together with engine mapping, have boosted the Nexus' power output to 40.12 bhp at 7,500 rpm and torque to 43 Nm at 5,500 rpm. All this power is fluidly managed by new pulleys in the CVT gear change to optimise pick-up while running remains smooth and elastic.
If the almost total absence of vibration as a result of using a sophisticated balancing countershaft is a feature of riding comfort, the aluminium transmission cover reduces noise to further ensure it. The cover also helps stiffen the rear suspension for precise sport riding.
With its electronic injection and two-way catalytic converter, Gilera Nexus slips easily past Euro 2 legislation standards.
As regards safety, the Gilera Nexus uses an electronic switch that shuts off the engine and the electric fuel pump in case of a fall.
Who says sport riding and comfort aren't compatible? The Gilera Nexus was born to give that opinion the lie. The sportiest scooter ever does not skimp on any of the comforts to which maxi scooter users have become accustomed.
Besides the under-seat space and storage behind the steering column, the Gilera Nexus offers an accessory top case that increases load capacity by 28 litres. With a lid painted in the same colour as the vehicle and a passenger backrest, the top case comes with its own fixing plate.
The Nexus' load capacity is further increased by an elastic net that can be easily fixed on the passenger handles on the sides of the vehicle, as on a motorcycle.
The Gilera accessories range includes a new, exclusive anti-theft system. Easily installed using a plug-in system, this device is high-performance and low-cost and safeguards the electricals.
Gilera has also added a specific Nexus helmet to its range. Made of fibreglass, it is available in two combinations - graphics on Dragon Red or graphics on Ice Grey.
The hot air vents on the central part of the frame are an absolutely unique feature of the Gilera Nexus, and very useful when riding in winter as they draw hot air towards the rider. To maximise their efficiency, a Nexus-specific leg-cover canvas is available.
The four colours in which the Gilera Nexus appears on the market highlight its racy shape to perfection. They are pastel Dragon Red and metallic Excalibur Grey, Dragon Red/Stone Grey and Matt Ash/Stone Grey.
GILERA NEXUS: TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Engine - Single cylinder MASTER 4 stroke
Displacement - 460 cc
Bore - 92 mm
Stroke - 69 mm
Fuel - Unleaded
Compression ratio - 10.5 : 1
Power - 40.12 bhp at 7,500 rpm - 29.5 KW
Torque - 43 Nm at 5,500 rpm
EMS (Electronic Management System) - alfa/N type with injection/ignition mapping
Fuel intake - Electronic injection system - Magneti Marelli IAV
Air intake - Butterfly valve with position sensor, stepper motor and air temperature sensor
Injector - Marelli Pico-injector, electronic injector with high impedance
Exhaust - Two-way catalytic converter
Intake - (SOHC), 4 valve
Ignition - Electronic inductive discharge, variable spark advance controlled by electronic injection
Start - Electric
Lubrication - Wet sump
Cooling - Liquid
Gears - CVT with torque server
Clutch - Dry centrifugal type with damping plugs
Frame - Double cradle, high-tensile steel tubes
Front suspension - Kayaba telehydraulic fork, Ø 41 mm shafts
Rear suspension - Progressive POWER DRIVE, Kayaba gas shock absorber with spring preload
Braking system - Integral: left brake lever simultaneously actions rear disk and front right disk; right brake lever actions only front left disk (which has larger-diameter pistons)
Front brake - Stainless steel double disk, Ø 260 mm, with floating caliper and two Brembo pistons Ø 28 mm front left and two Brembo pistons Ø 26 mm front right
Rear brake - Stainless steel disk, Ø 240 mm, fixed caliper, two Ø 34 mm opposed pistons
Front wheel rim - Die-cast aluminium alloy, 3.50x15"
Rear wheel rim - Die-cast aluminium alloy, 4.50x14"
Front tyre - Radial tubeless, 120/70-15"
Rear tyre - Radial tubeless, 160/60-14"
Length - 2,090 mm
Width - 765 mm
Wheelbase - 1.515 mm
Seat height - 780 mm
Dry weight - 195 kg
Fuel tank - 15 litres
Underseat space - Contains one full-face helmet and various objects; more storage behind the steering column
Speed - 162 Km/h
Acceleration - 100 m; 6.6 sec, 200 m; 10 sec, 400 m; 15.7 sec
Emissions - Meets all chapters of European Multidirective (Euro 2 )