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Move Over Pocket Bikes - The Newest Maxi Scooter Has Hit The Road


Manufacturer of World Famous Vespa Scooter Introduces Piaggio X9 Evolution 500

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 9 -- This isn't your grandfather's scooter, nor is it a toy. The X9 Evolution 500 is cruising maxi scooter built for maximum speed, comfort and safety and is where today's fast evolving scooter market is heading for. With the current pocket bike craze, there is more interest in 2-wheel vehicles than ever before. But pocket scooters, which are sold as toys, cannot compare to the road legal X9. This maxi scooter is ideal for commuting, highway and joy riding and its introduction comes as the U.S. scooter market continues to grow.

The U.S. scooter industry's rapid growth has been accelerated by this year's rising gas prices. The American consumer's awareness to the advantages of two-wheel commuting is growing and today's commuter is quickly learning that traveling by scooter is efficient in terms of saving both time and money.

Piaggio USA is indisputably at the forefront of scooter development and is continuously strengthening its market position with the introduction of new models. The first quarter of 2004 saw the company increase its sales by over 70%.

"The evolution of the American market allows Piaggio to expand our product range letting two-wheel customers select the scooter that best fits their needs," said Costantino Sambuy, President of Piaggio USA, Inc. "The Piaggio X9 Evolution 500 is one of the most powerful scooters on the market; its elegant and distinctive design and high level of performance combine for a practical solution to a demanding lifestyle."

The Piaggio name is synonymous with quality, innovation and superior technology. With its range of products, unique design, technical leadership and total commitment to light urban transportation, Piaggio is leading the evolution of the scooter market; the only solution to any commuting need.

One of the largest scooters on the market, the X9 Evolution 500 is ideal for the rider who wants the comfort and ease of riding a scooter, the same power capabilities of a motorcycle and a practical and economic alternative to car commuting. With speeds reaching 100 mph, the 39 bhp X9 is one of the top selling Piaggio models in Europe, it is as modern in its technology as it is in its styling. It is comfortable, aerodynamic, and the easiest to handle in the medium and large displacement range of maxi scooters.

The X9 features a single-cylinder, fuel-injected, 4-stroke, 4 valve liquid-cooled engine with a secondary air system, a two-stage catalytic exhaust, linked 3-disk breaking system and an automatic "twist and go" transmission. It exceeds CARB (California Air Resources Board) standards - America's most stringent regulations regarding noise and exhaust emissions.

The X9 has been designed with optimum comfort in mind for both the rider and the passenger. The top case features a padded backrest and has ample storage; the under-seat compartment is sufficient to store 2 helmets, or a briefcase and a trip computer, making it ideal for cruising or commuting.

The X9 Evolution 500 will be available at authorized Piaggio and Vespa dealerships throughout the U.S., and will come in two colors: Steel Gray and Imperial Blue. The retail price of the X9 will be $5,999. For more information on Piaggio and updates on product availability visit

Piaggio USA, Inc. is a subsidiary of Piaggio & C. S.p.A., based in Tuscany, Italy. Since 1884 the Piaggio name has stood for innovation, quality and superior performance. The company's rich history, which includes ship outfitting, railway construction and aviation, gave way to developing practical and accessible means of transportation for post-war Italy when the first Vespa(R) motor scooter was designed in 1946. As Europe's largest manufacturer of two-wheeled vehicles (Piaggio owns 30% of the European market), Piaggio is known throughout the world for their superior technology, craftsmanship and design. The Piaggio Group owns the following brands: Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera and Derbi and has factories in Italy, Spain, India and China. Piaggio's stylish and fuel-efficient line of motor scooters is the epitome of practical indulgence.

Piaggio USA is an active member of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) and encourages riders to always wear a helmet, appropriate eyewear and proper apparel. The company suggests that all scooter owners/operators attend a motorcycle/scooter rider-training course to learn how to safely and skillfully operate a Vespa and recommends the MSF RiderCourse(R) (800/446-9227) as the best introduction to riding. For additional information, or to locate a dealership in your area, visit the Web site at