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Yesterday, I had an opportunity to go for a nice ride with BJ Strass, the
editor of Scooter Rider magazine. He was riding the new Piaggio X-9 500cc
maxi that he will be using for a review to be featured in a future
issue of his magazine.

We traded machines back and forth several times during breakfast and photo stops.
The following comments are based on the impressions that I noticed as
I moved from one machine to the other.

The X9 is quite a bit higher, giving the rider the feeling they are
sitting ON the machine, rather than IN it as is my feeling on my
Majesty. Windscreen is 3-position adjustable on the X9, whereas the
Majesty is fixed height, but wider. Both have good weather protection
when riding. Majesty has more underseat storage.

Acceleration is fairly close between the two. Without some stopwatch
comparisons, it would be a hard call. With the extra 100cc's, the X9
may get a bit of an edge in the 40-60 range.

As the tach on the new X9 was inop, it was hard to compare speed/vs
rpm, but the Majesty seemed to run at a lower rpm for a given speed.
On my Majesty, I am taching 5000rpm at 60, 5200 at 65, and 5500 at 70.
Gearing efficiency on the Majesty is definitely slanted toward touring

The X9 has superb brakes, with dual disks up front, and single disk in
the rear. Close to sportbike braking. Centerstand deployment was
lighter on the X9 than on the Majesty. Sidestand deployment tang on
the X9 is further forward and larger, making it easier to find without
looking down.

Seat is broader, lower, and fit my frame better on the Majesty than
the X9. Feet forward and floorboard riding positions are about
identical on each, with plenty of room even for big feet.

The Michelins on the X9 had LOTS more wobble and weave over drawbridge
gratings than did the Dunlops on the Majesty. Very noticeable by both
BJ and myself.

Cornering is quite good on both, probably more a matter of individual
preferences than any winner.

MSRP on both is about the same. I have no info on cost of maintenance
on the X9, or ease of access to the innards of the machine.

The styling of each machine is largely a matter of individual is in the eye of the new owner, as they say!
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