Driving report Piaggio Carnaby
Carnaby Cruiser 300
With the first version of the Carnaby Piaggio landed a flop. Now the Italians are trying again with tried and tested means: more displacement, more power, more design.
Anyone touring Italy is just discovering a new phenomenon: more and more scooters are riding in the large Sunday motorcycle groups. Large-volume T-Maxes and Burgmanner jostle between the Ducati 1098 and BMW GS, plus medium-sized layers of 300 and 400 cm3. The economic crisis and the rigorous fines for fast drivers have set this trend in motion. Italy’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer Piaggio naturally wants to get involved. And because when switching from a motorcycle to a scooter, the customer demands, above all, cubic capacity and a crisp design in addition to suitability for everyday use, the company’s scooters are getting thicker and fancier. The latest example: the Carnaby Cruiser 300. The large cyclist began his career two years ago as a modest 125cc with a sober appearance, built for city traffic and that’s that. However, he was not granted any particular success. Now Piaggio is making it look like a mini Harley, with a thick lamp, chrome applications, tubular handlebars and nostalgic round instruments. This is joined by the powerful 300 series engine with a good 22 hp, already known from the Vespa GTS 300 Super. And the Carnaby is not only suitable for the city, but also for weekend trips to the countryside.
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Driving report Piaggio Carnaby
Carnaby Cruiser 300
Piaggio introduced the newcomer to the Italian press. The dimensions of the cruiser are still largely the same as those of a 125, which makes it a nimble and agile vehicle in the dense traffic between the Colosseum and the Vatican, where every meter is fought hard. It curves elegantly around the motorcade, squeezes its way through the smallest of gaps and, thanks to its powerful engine, gets the decisive advantage out of the traffic light. The 300 series also proves its suitability for everyday use with practical storage compartments in the leg shield and the wide running board on which there is space for evening purchases from the vegetable market. Only a small demi-jet fits in the helmet compartment under the seat bench, more is not possible because of the large 16-inch wheels. The 32-liter topcase from the range of accessories can help. Continue to the country road course. In the hills behind the 1960 Olympic Village, the cruiser is allowed to be off the leash, and its 22 hp is actually enough to amaze many motorcyclists. Thanks to the large wheels, it whizzes through the curves with a stable track and precisely, and the relatively high-positioned running board allows for decent inclines. As in city traffic, the telescopic fork works well, but the two struts allow deep potholes and manhole covers to penetrate. In the long run, the bench turns out to be very hard, and passengers join in the lament: their foot rests sit too far forward, and the short bench at the back is not really comfortable. It’s enough for city traffic, hardly for regular tours for two.
Whether the Italian trend towards scooter tours at the weekend can be carried over to Germany is doubtful anyway. However, the cruiser is also a great scooter by local standards, the powerful and reliable motor promises driving pleasure in any road situation. Incidentally, the Carnaby Cruiser looks best in white. In addition, the thick windshield from the accessories is mounted, and the real miniature copy of the Harley is ready. It’s just a shame that Piaggio is not bringing the white variant to Germany.
Technical data – Piaggio Carnaby
Water-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, an overhead camshaft, four valves, injection, electric starter, automatic centrifugal clutch, variator, wet sump lubrication, Euro 3.
Bore x stroke 75 x 63 mm
Displacement 278 cm3
Rated output 16.4 kW (22.5 hp) at 7250 rpm
Max. Torque 23 Nm at 6000 rpm
Steel tube frame, telescopic fork, Ø 35 mm, two spring struts with fourfold
adjustable spring base, front disc brake, Ø 260 mm, double-piston caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 260 mm, double-piston caliper.
Tires 110 / 70-16; 130 / 70-16
Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1400 mm, length 2050 mm, width 780 mm, spring travel f / r 104/90 mm, seat height 780 mm, empty weight 164 kg, tank capacity / reserve 9.5 / 2 liters.
Two year guarantee
Colors blue, silver, black
Price 4200 euros (including 148 euros ancillary costs)
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