Italjet’s Dragster has always had a reputation for being the maddest and baddest scooter around, so when the latest incarnation was announced a few years back, there was some disappointment that the flagship 200 wasn’t anything like as scary as the 180cc two-stroke widow makers from the model’s heyday.
The Italjet Dragster 180 really is a cult classic. Not that many have survived. Being akin to a skateboard with a rocket strapped on meant that they’ve more or less been crashed or blown up out of existence, but those who know, know. And the memories will live with us forever.
But fear not, crazy scooter lovers, because our Latin friends have answered your prayers with another turbo nutter version, the Dragster 500GP, which is going on sale later this year.
Yep, you probably worked it out already, but for clarity it’s a big capacity super scooter. Or is it? It’s not a tubby pseudo tourer like Yamaha’s venerable TMAX but a stripped out, steroid pumped scooter/motorcycle crossover. In fact, it’s probably more motorcycle than scooter, with the 43bhp single cylinder motor linked to a six-speed manual gearbox. The hub centre front end of the smaller scoots have been dumped, in favour of motorcycle style 47mm upside down front forks, chunky Brembo calipers and 15” alloy wheels shod with Pirelli sports tyres. Weight is claimed to be 180kg, meaning it should be pretty lively, although most of the practical features you’d expect to find on a big scoot, such as weather protection, storage and twist and go transmission, appear to have been sacrificed at the altar of style and performance.
And that’s not all. As if to stick two fingers up at the dirty old stinkwheel 180, Italjet are bringing out an electric Dragster later this year too. It might sound like the antithesis of the Dragster classic scooter fans remember but, as anyone who has ever experienced a high powered electric vehicle can confirm, it should deliver instant neck snapping acceleration – allowing the next generation of young scooter hoodlums to get their kicks without waking up the neighbours or damaging the ozone layer.
That’s progress for ya!