Used MP3 500 - what to look for
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Member
GTV300, P2, VB1T, Lambretta TV200 & sidecar
Joined: 12 Sep 2017
Posts: 14
Location: UK
Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:42 am quote
Hi all

Going to look at a 2016 500, with 8000 miles on the clock - one owner with service history.

Anything in particular you would reccomend I look at / for?

Thanks in advance for any help you are able to provide - these bikes are obviously not cheap.
Hooked
Joined: 27 Oct 2016
Posts: 247
Location: England
Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:32 am quote
When riding, feel for a notch on the steering, should be dead center and could cost 600 to fix.
Hooked
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 123
Location: Belgium
Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:01 am quote
Make sure the owner can provide legit proof that the first service (@600mi-1K km) was performed by a Piaggio MP3 dealer.

That is the single most important service that bike will need i.e. retorquing the head bearings and greasing them liberally.

Ditto for proof of the 6K mi/10K km) big service (head bearings checked and regreased, belt, rollers, sliding shoes, filters, fluids, etc.)

IF this was skipped/postponed/delayed, then skip purchase of said MP3
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 7891
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:54 am quote
sbaert wrote:
Make sure the owner can provide legit proof that the first service (@600mi-1K km) was performed by a Piaggio MP3 dealer.

That is the single most important service that bike will need i.e. retorquing the head bearings and greasing them liberally.

Ditto for proof of the 6K mi/10K km) big service (head bearings checked and regreased, belt, rollers, sliding shoes, filters, fluids, etc.)

IF this was skipped/postponed/delayed, then skip purchase of said MP3
600 mile service is change the oil engine and hub. Then a check list of stuff to look over. No re torquing of the head or head bearings, what ever they are
Hooked
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 123
Location: Belgium
Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:07 pm quote
WEB-Tech wrote:
...

600 mile service is change the oil engine and hub. Then a check list of stuff to look over. No re torquing of the head or head bearings, what ever they are
Well smart guy, then you must know something that nobody else does. Without lubing the steering bearings on a very regular basis (and there are at least 6) on the MP3, you are guaranteed to get the dreaded steering notch problem that is the Achilles heel of every MP3 ever made.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 5587
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:44 pm quote
sbaert wrote:
WEB-Tech wrote:
...

600 mile service is change the oil engine and hub. Then a check list of stuff to look over. No re torquing of the head or head bearings, what ever they are
Well smart guy, then you must know something that nobody else does. Without lubing the steering bearings on a very regular basis (and there are at least 6) on the MP3, you are guaranteed to get the dreaded steering notch problem that is the Achilles heel of every MP3 ever made.
6?

Shoot.... Please do show me where the other two are that require lube...
Hooked
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 123
Location: Belgium
Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:12 pm quote
Madison Sully wrote:
...

6?

Shoot.... Please do show me where the other two are that require lube...
Steering column shaft (upper & lower bearings)

2009-Piaggio-Mp3-500-Steering-Column-Stem-Shaft-_1.jpg

09-10-Piaggio-Mp3-400-Oem-Steering-Stem-Tube.jpg

Ossessionato
Gilera Fuoco 500ie
Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 4084
Location: Netherlands Olst
Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:50 pm quote
and tell everybody how you wanna lube those


you need to take everything apart to get access

Those aren't load bearing bearings will last 60 or more thousend km's even without grease

last weekend a customer came in with a 250 from 09 always standing out side and nearly 80.000km just put some WB40 in it and it turned smootly again
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 7891
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:48 am quote
sbaert wrote:
WEB-Tech wrote:
...

600 mile service is change the oil engine and hub. Then a check list of stuff to look over. No re torquing of the head or head bearings, what ever they are
Well smart guy, then you must know something that nobody else does. Without lubing the steering bearings on a very regular basis (and there are at least 6) on the MP3, you are guaranteed to get the dreaded steering notch problem that is the Achilles heel of every MP3 ever made.
Oh you mean Steering Head Bearing? No that doesn't need service. But you are right the fork bearings do need greasing.
Ossessionato
2016 MP3/500 Sport ABS, 2009 MP3/250, 2012 GTS Super 300ie
Joined: 08 Jul 2011
Posts: 4265
Location: Marietta, GA
Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:37 am quote
Re: Used MP3 500 - what to look for
Gage wrote:
Hi all

Going to look at a 2016 500, with 8000 miles on the clock - one owner with service history.

Anything in particular you would reccomend I look at / for?

Thanks in advance for any help you are able to provide - these bikes are obviously not cheap.
Check the Air Filter Box, see if it has signs of "Oil Blow" also the bubbles.

Keith,
Marietta, GA
Hooked
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 123
Location: Belgium
Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:25 am quote
Maksor wrote:
...
last weekend a customer came in with a 250 from 09 always standing out side and nearly 80.000km just put some WB40 in it and it turned smootly again
That is the penny wise, pound foolish solution.

WD-40 is a useless and hopelessly outdated product, except for removing old stickers. It is not a grease or a lubricant. At best it is a water displacer.

Sure removing the steering column is a bit of work, but if Piaggio had spent the extra 2 seconds and 2 cents to lube everything properly using a top quality grease we wouldn't be having this conversation.

No bearing has ever failed from having too much grease.
Member
BV250
Joined: 10 Mar 2018
Posts: 27
Location: SFBay
Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:56 am quote
If any vehicle required me to take apart the steering system to relube the bearings every 10K kilometers, I wouldn't ever want to own it. That's just ridiculous in 2020. The maintenance schedule you propose is more appropriate for a 1920 vehicle.
Hooked
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 123
Location: Belgium
Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:25 am quote
Lubing the steering column is a one time deal. It is the 4 fork bearings that require to be lubed at least every 10K km. I do mine every 5K km.

Again, IF Piaggio had spent the time and used a good quality permanent lube this wouldn't even be a point of discussion.

The first time I lubed my fork bearings (even after the 1K Piaggio service) at 5K km, it took a entire cartridge of grease to fill up the forks entirely until grease appeared from all 4 bearings.
Ossessionato
2016 MP3/500 Sport ABS, 2009 MP3/250, 2012 GTS Super 300ie
Joined: 08 Jul 2011
Posts: 4265
Location: Marietta, GA
Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:01 am quote
sbaert wrote:
Lubing the steering column is a one time deal. It is the 4 fork bearings that require to be lubed at least every 10K km. I do mine every 5K km.

Again, IF Piaggio had spent the time and used a good quality permanent lube this wouldn't even be a point of discussion.

The first time I lubed my fork bearings (even after the 1K Piaggio service) at 5K km, it took a entire cartridge of grease to fill up the forks entirely until grease appeared from all 4 bearings.
Same here on your comments, but I top mine off every winter.
It amounts to a few pumps...
Once I see it leaking out, I stop pumping.
During the summer months, I will get some leakage, but its not that bad.

Keith,
Marietta, gA
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 5587
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:45 am quote
sbaert wrote:
Maksor wrote:
...
last weekend a customer came in with a 250 from 09 always standing out side and nearly 80.000km just put some WB40 in it and it turned smootly again
No bearing has ever failed from having too much grease.
This is actually false. The amount of grease installed in high RPM applications is metered accurately; it IS possible to put too much.

Maybe not steering columns, and yes, I'm being pedantic.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 7891
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:59 am quote
sbaert wrote:
The first time I lubed my fork bearings (even after the 1K Piaggio service) at 5K km, it took a entire cartridge of grease to fill up the forks entirely until grease appeared from all 4 bearings.
That is because Piaggio greases the bearing before it's installed. Only reason you have to use so much grease when filling with a grease gun is you are filling the whole empty area of the steering tube.
Hooked
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 123
Location: Belgium
Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:25 am quote
WEB-Tech wrote:
...

That is because Piaggio greases the bearing before it's installed. Only reason you have to use so much grease when filling with a grease gun is you are filling the whole empty area of the steering tube.
I am very well aware Piaggio greases the bearing before installation, and therein lies the problem. They use too little and use a subpar grease that deteriorates and hardens over time. Very similar to how the factory installed coolant loses all of its properties within 24 months resulting in muddy coolant systems if not flushed in time.

My steering column had practically zero grease on the lower bearing, and absolutely no grease at all at the upper bearing.

Filling the empty fork space with grease ensures that the bearings will never go dry or allow contaminants to enter the bearing. Essentially the extra volume grease lubricates the bearings continually.

As I said, oil and grease are cheap. Engines and transmissions are not.
Member
GTV300, P2, VB1T, Lambretta TV200 & sidecar
Joined: 12 Sep 2017
Posts: 14
Location: UK
Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:49 am quote
Thank you all very much. Just pulled the trigger, needs a belt and has 'the notch' which I showed the car dealer who had taken it in part exchange, meaning I got a lot of bike for what I paid.

Now to fix the notch and the belt!

Thanks again and ride safe

D0C3BEA0-8068-4880-B2AE-5A520E76A0A2.jpeg

Hooked
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 123
Location: Belgium
Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:29 am quote
How many miles on that current generation MP3? The notch on such a newer bike is a dead giveaway that it very likely never got the critical service at 1K km (600 miles)

You will need at least the tool to losen the fork ring nuts, 2 new fork bearing kit sets, one for the left side and one for the right side. They may or may not be different part #s for the other side.

Be aware, if you do not know how to bleed the tilt lock and ABS systems this is a job that should be left to a qualified MP3 repair shop.

Here is a pic of one kit (does one fork)

00156007705_hi.jpg

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 7891
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:50 am quote
Plug the brake lines on the forks when you pull them so you don't loose all the fluid. I didn't and it was a bitch getting all the air out of the calipers.
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