MP3 400 QUESTION
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Molto Verboso
2007 Piaggio BV 250
Joined: 08 Jun 2008
Posts: 1862
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:33 am quote
I saw an advertisement for a 2009 MP3 at my closest dealer in New Orleans. The price is $2500.00 plus tax, title, and license. the mileage is between 7,000 and 8,000. I don't remember exactly right now. There's also the option of purchasing an extended warranty.

I'm looking for something a little more stable than my 2007 BV250, thinking ahead since I'm 70 years old.

No problems with the BV250. It's been a great scooter.

I said all that to ask this. Would it be worth traveling 80 miles to take a look at it?

Thanks in advance for your input.


Oh and Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Typhoon 125
Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 10184
Location: Oregon City, OR
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:01 am quote
Many regard the MP3 400 as the best of the Piaggio 3s. You might consider, however, that an '09 is approaching 10 years old and the MP3s require fairly sophisticated maintenance and repair. I wouldn't get involved with one unless you are a skilled wrencher or have a nearby shop with a mechanic skilled in MP3 repairs.

One other thing. It is not clear what type of "stability" you are expecting. The MP3 rides pretty much like a 2-wheeler, with a bit better gripping of the road by the two front tires. The primary difference in stability occurs when the bike is stopped. It supports itself when the front suspension is locked. That means you can roll it around slowly or park it without the centerstand.
Molto Verboso
2007 Piaggio BV 250
Joined: 08 Jun 2008
Posts: 1862
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:25 am quote
Dooglas wrote:
Many regard the MP3 400 as the best of the Piaggio 3s. You might consider, however, that an '09 is approaching 10 years old and the MP3s require fairly sophisticated maintenance and repair. I wouldn't get involved with one unless you are a skilled wrencher or have a nearby shop with a mechanic skilled in MP3 repairs.

One other thing. It is not clear what type of "stability" you are expecting. The MP3 rides pretty much like a 2-wheeler, with a bit better gripping of the road by the two front tires. The primary difference in stability occurs when the bike is stopped. It supports itself when the front suspension is locked. That means you can roll it around slowly or park it without the centerstand.
Thanks for the quick reply.


That's exactly what I mean by stability. There are times when due to backed up traffic I'm sitting, one time in particular, for 2 hours in the steep uphill side of the bridge over the Mississippi River. As well there is a banked curve accessing the bridge where in slow traffic 10 MPH or less the scooter wants to continually fade down the hill into the other lane and I'm all over the lane trying to stay in it. I'm thinking that it would be a little more easy to keep it in the lane at that slow speed if the front suspension was locked. I realize I could be wrong hence my question about stability. The parking brake would also be a help with the situation sitting dead stopped for that length of time, 2 hours going up the bridge rather than the stress on constantly holding the brake and the stress of duck walking on my legs inching up the bridge.


I hope I'm using the right terms and not possibly confusing the matter further. Thanks again for your prompt reply and for the nformation.
Hooked
MP3-400 + Honda NT650V Deauville
Joined: 06 Apr 2011
Posts: 378
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:53 pm quote
Hello Doorbuster,

In response to your comment: there is a banked curve accessing the bridge where in slow traffic 10 MPH or less the scooter wants to continually fade down the hill into the other lane and I'm all over the lane trying to stay in it. I'm thinking that it would be a little more easy to keep it in the lane at that slow speed if the front suspension was locked.

The short answer is No. Once you move off from stand still the front will unlock, so at 10mph you're going above the speed that the front unlocks.

As for moving/manhandling the bike about on a flat surface, that's when the front lock is useful. Once the surface becomes rough/uneven then unlock and straddle the bike to move it about. They will tip over if the front is locked and the surface is rough/uneven and then you have a heavy thing to lift upright.

Cheers
Molto Verboso
2007 Piaggio BV 250
Joined: 08 Jun 2008
Posts: 1862
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:04 pm quote
Marcus Argentus wrote:
Hello Doorbuster,

In response to your comment: there is a banked curve accessing the bridge where in slow traffic 10 MPH or less the scooter wants to continually fade down the hill into the other lane and I'm all over the lane trying to stay in it. I'm thinking that it would be a little more easy to keep it in the lane at that slow speed if the front suspension was locked.

The short answer is No. Once you move off from stand still the front will unlock, so at 10mph you're going above the speed that the front unlocks.

As for moving/manhandling the bike about on a flat surface, that's when the front lock is useful. Once the surface becomes rough/uneven then unlock and straddle the bike to move it about. They will tip over if the front is locked and the surface is rough/uneven and then you have a heavy thing to lift upright.

Cheers
I appreciate the information. It looks like that isn't going to help.

There is another bridge further up the river that isn't as steep. It makes the commute longer but that isn't a big deal on the BV. Just have to allow more time. The bridge that I sat on for 2 hours is an Interstate bridge while the one further north, while older, is on a State Hwy which means less traffic.


Thanks for your input and Happy Thanksgiving.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Typhoon 125
Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 10184
Location: Oregon City, OR
Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:55 pm quote
Marcus has it right. The front suspension automatically unlocks when you move the bike forward under power. And that is as it should be. The narrow wheel base of the MP3 would make it dangerously unstable if you could ride it at 10 mph with the suspension locked. Even now, if you roll the bike down a hill with the engine at idle or off, you run a substantial risk of dropping the bike if the terrain tapers off to one side.
Ossessionato
Midnight Blue MP3 400
Joined: 25 Aug 2007
Posts: 3680
Location: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles sobre el Río Porciúncula
Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:01 pm quote
I am 70 years old. I have been riding my 2008 MP3 400 for ten years. I really do love this scooter and would only replace it with a newer model.

However...

It will be no easier to ride than your BV. You cannot ride it with the tilt lock on - as soon as you give it some throttle the tilt lock automatically disengages.

If it starts tipping over when you are stopped, it very quickly gets to the "point of no return" and goes all the way down. If you try to stop it you will only hurt yourself. It is then difficult (though not impossible) to get it back on its wheels again by yourself.

Where it is really helpful is when you get off and push it around. Also, when you are stuck in traffic you can engage the tilt lock and the parking brake.

It is very stable at speed. Mostly, I think, because of the added weight, particularly to the front end. It weights 100 pounds more than your BV. At parking lot speeds it can be a bit of a pig.

If you decide that this is what you want, by all means check out the one for sale. If it has been sitting a long time it will need new fluids, battery, and tires at least.
Molto Verboso
2007 Piaggio BV 250
Joined: 08 Jun 2008
Posts: 1862
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:24 pm quote
mpfrank wrote:
I am 70 years old. I have been riding my 2008 MP3 400 for ten years. I really do love this scooter and would only replace it with a newer model.

However...

It will be no easier to ride than your BV. You cannot ride it with the tilt lock on - as soon as you give it some throttle the tilt lock automatically disengages.

If it starts tipping over when you are stopped, it very quickly gets to the "point of no return" and goes all the way down. If you try to stop it you will only hurt yourself. It is then difficult (though not impossible) to get it back on its wheels again by yourself.

Where it is really helpful is when you get off and push it around. Also, when you are stuck in traffic you can engage the tilt lock and the parking brake.

It is very stable at speed. Mostly, I think, because of the added weight, particularly to the front end. It weights 100 pounds more than your BV. At parking lot speeds it can be a bit of a pig.

If you decide that this is what you want, by all means check out the one for sale. If it has been sitting a long time it will need new fluids, battery, and tires at least.
Thanks for the information. It'll be extremely helpful in making my decision.

Happy Thanksgiving.
Molto Verboso
2007 Piaggio BV 250
Joined: 08 Jun 2008
Posts: 1862
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:26 pm quote
Dooglas wrote:
Marcus has it right. The front suspension automatically unlocks when you move the bike forward under power. And that is as it should be. The narrow wheel base of the MP3 would make it dangerously unstable if you could ride it at 10 mph with the suspension locked. Even now, if you roll the bike down a hill with the engine at idle or off, you run a substantial risk of dropping the bike if the terrain tapers off to one side.
Thanks for the input. It's all good information that I'll take under advisement.

Happy Thanksgiving.
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