Gilera 850 Twin Prototype
Okay, you Honda Hawk diehard fans. Your ship may finally have
come in. Housed in the compact, Cagiva Raptor 650 frame (which, typically
utilizes a Suzuki SV650 engine), Piaggio is developing a naked 850.
Featuring a six-speed transmission within the small and light 839cc engine, the
fuel-injected prototype should see production (yes, most likely in this same
frame -- remember, Piaggio is now part owner of Cagiva). Expect a 2003 model
bearing the Gilera trademark.
This twin is being carefully developed by chief engineer Lucio Masut (pictured
at right), and will eventually be produced in both 850 and 1020cc versions, both
for motorcycle and scooter use (yes, the mega-scooters will get bigger, yet).
We warned you last September that Piaggio was coming on strong with the Gilera
marque. The v-twins will compliment the already available 600 supersport
introduced by Gilera last year. The supersport, of course, contains the Suzuki
GSX-R600 motor, while the v-twins will feature Piaggio designed and engineered