Fix my 250 or replace with new 500?
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Member
MP3
Joined: 16 Aug 2010
Posts: 8
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Sun May 17, 2020 2:53 pm quote
I'm facing a hard decision and would greatly appreciate feedback from experienced MP3 riders.

I have a 2007 250 that needs new bearings. It has almost 13,000 miles on it. Most of those miles are mine. The mechanic at the Vespa shop said he didn't think it was worth putting the money into it. If I don't fix it, I have a couple of options: 1) Buy another used 250 or 2) Buy a new or like new 500.

My concerns about buying a used 250 is that I could run into the bearings problem again in the near future. I also can't buy one that was made in 2018 or 2019. The pros of buying a used 250 is that it would be familiar to me. I'm used to a 250. I know I can handle it.

My concerns about buying a 500, once I get over the price, is I'm concerned it will be too big and too much for me to handle. Does anyone know if the 500 weighs much more than the 250? I'm female, 5' 3" and weigh 165 lbs. The 250 is the largest and fastest scooter I've ever owned.

Any thoughts or ideas?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 5994
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Sun May 17, 2020 3:00 pm quote
If you mean the steering bearings have the notch in them, the cost of replacing both sides can be high indeed, but not so high as replacing the scooter.

If you do go to buy a used 250, it will be of similar vintage to the one you have, so prone to notch. Similar story with older 500s. I forget which year Piaggio fixed the issue in their factory; they were being set too tight and not much grease at the factory.

What is the price you are quoted to replace the bearings (if indeed it is the steering bearings we're discussing)?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 5994
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Sun May 17, 2020 3:03 pm quote
If I recall correctly the MP3 500 is about 100 lbs heavier than the MP3 250.

If you are comfortable with the 250, it will take a few miles to get comfortable with the 500, in my opinion. It's different, a bit heavier, and faster.

The MP3 400 of similar vintage is less of a weight difference, but has good highway capability.
Member
MP3
Joined: 16 Aug 2010
Posts: 8
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Sun May 17, 2020 4:18 pm quote
I do mean the steering bearings. I was told approximately $2000.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 5994
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Sun May 17, 2020 6:28 pm quote
PurpleMaggie1966 wrote:
I do mean the steering bearings. I was told approximately $2000.


If I recall correctly the parts are about $100. It was a few years ago but I heard total cost on replacement of all the steering bearings would be more like $1100.

Ouch.

I mean, there's a lot to take apart to do the job, but damn.
Cost of captive audience I guess.
Not a whole lot of MP3 mechanics around....

Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 38566
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Sun May 17, 2020 8:50 pm quote
Madison Sully wrote:
PurpleMaggie1966 wrote:
I do mean the steering bearings. I was told approximately $2000.


If I recall correctly the parts are about $100. It was a few years ago but I heard total cost on replacement of all the steering bearings would be more like $1100.

Ouch.

I mean, there's a lot to take apart to do the job, but damn.
Cost of captive audience I guess.
Not a whole lot of MP3 mechanics around....

Agreed.



If you have a friend who is willing to have a go (I gather you are reticent to do so yourself), just do the 'Gonzo Tweak':

Short term fix for "notch"? - It works...

It would probably work for you for the next 13,000 miles, or 13 years.
Member
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 28
Location: California
Sun May 17, 2020 9:29 pm quote
500cc
Hi
I think you can probably handle the 500cc.

I'm 5ft 5in with an average build and weigh around 130 lbs with a slim build and am not very muscular compared to the guys at the office.

The 2014 250cc is about 493 lbs
The 2016 500cc is about 570 lbs

The Mp3 500 was my first motorcycle and the initial joy of owning a bike soon turned to fear. The first rides around town, first-time parking it, first time on a slopped stop sign; it was too heavy. I accidentally parked it on a down slope and had to muscle it back out. Then I wasn't strong enough to engage the center stand.

I almost re-sold the bike due to the size.

But I stayed with it, watched videos, learned techniques, practiced. I'm now about 2 years and 5,000 miles later. I barely notice the weight anymore. I use the tilt-lock when parking which makes the size and weight a non-issue so long as I plan ahead before parking it. I've dropped (gently) 5 times at stop-signs and each time I've managed to heft it upright again and continue.

Being a 500cc it does have more power but that is tempered a bit by the greater weight. Just keep it in "eco" mode for the first few hundred miles to get used to it and roll-on throttle slowly. Its fast but not speed-bike fast. Even the 500cc wont be winning any races or setting track records.

The 500 is a bigger bike, no getting around that.

You have an advantage I didn't, you've already handled an Mp3 250 so you're already familiar with all the intricacies of the type.

Go for the 500.

It will serve you well and the higher performance will open up new worlds of travel and safer highway performance.
Ossessionato
2016 MP3/500 Sport ABS, 2009 MP3/250, 2012 GTS Super 300ie
Joined: 08 Jul 2011
Posts: 4295
Location: Marietta, GA
Mon May 18, 2020 11:37 am quote
Re: Fix my 250 or replace with new 500?
PurpleMaggie1966 wrote:
I'm facing a hard decision and would greatly appreciate feedback from experienced MP3 riders.

I have a 2007 250 that needs new bearings. It has almost 13,000 miles on it. Most of those miles are mine. The mechanic at the Vespa shop said he didn't think it was worth putting the money into it. If I don't fix it, I have a couple of options: 1) Buy another used 250 or 2) Buy a new or like new 500.

My concerns about buying a used 250 is that I could run into the bearings problem again in the near future. I also can't buy one that was made in 2018 or 2019. The pros of buying a used 250 is that it would be familiar to me. I'm used to a 250. I know I can handle it.

My concerns about buying a 500, once I get over the price, is I'm concerned it will be too big and too much for me to handle. Does anyone know if the 500 weighs much more than the 250? I'm female, 5' 3" and weigh 165 lbs. The 250 is the largest and fastest scooter I've ever owned.

Any thoughts or ideas?
I would fix it...
The 250 is the best of both worlds...
You have a MP3 Scooter, with all the older Tech from the Vespa bikes.
Engine is easy to fix, and you could always bump it up to a 300.

I would get rid of my 500 before selling my 250...

Keith,
Marietta, GA
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 8482
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Mon May 18, 2020 11:42 am quote
Get the 500, get rid of the damn 12" rear tire. 500 loves the highway speeds. Just got my MP3 500 back on the road this spring and remembered how much I like it.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Neutrino MP3 492.7 AK, 2013 Moto Guzzi Norge
Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 21604
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
Mon May 18, 2020 11:50 am quote
I am in the camp of fixing it. not for what the dealer wants to charge though.

replacing the front bearings should be more reasonable for $700-800.
Hooked
2009 MP3 400
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Posts: 184
Location: Sayre, PA
Mon May 18, 2020 1:45 pm quote
Fix it! The cost of the parts is negligible. The labor can be negotiated. I'd be looking for a different mechanic. There's gotta be someone else in the Philly area that can do the job for a whole lot less.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 8482
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Mon May 18, 2020 2:02 pm quote
pmatulew wrote:
Fix it! The cost of the parts is negligible. The labor can be negotiated. I'd be looking for a different mechanic. There's gotta be someone else in the Philly area that can do the job for a whole lot less.
Well problem there is you want someone that has done it before and you need the special tool to properly tighten the spanner nuts.
Also back to some one that knows the scooter. Getting air out of the brakes can be a bitch, still can't air out of my calipers from the job on the MP3 500.
Have had the butt of the scooter almost straight up in the air trying to manipulate the air out.
Member
MP3
Joined: 16 Aug 2010
Posts: 8
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Mon May 18, 2020 2:25 pm quote
Is replacing the steering bearings the kind of repair that requires a certified Piaggio/Vespa mechanic? Or could a good motorcycle mechanic do the job without running into problems?
Member
MP3
Joined: 16 Aug 2010
Posts: 8
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Mon May 18, 2020 2:28 pm quote
I didn't read Web-Tech's response closely enough before asking my follow-up question. It sounds like a special tool is needed and that someone who has done it before is the way to go.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Neutrino MP3 492.7 AK, 2013 Moto Guzzi Norge
Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 21604
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
Mon May 18, 2020 2:51 pm quote
PurpleMaggie1966 wrote:
I didn't read Web-Tech's response closely enough before asking my follow-up question. It sounds like a special tool is needed and that someone who has done it before is the way to go.
the tool can be bought. I have a set. Heck I would even let you borrow them with a deposit of course. just pay the $10 shipping both ways as well.

if interested send me a private message.

the special tool is the same tool used on the vespa steering head bearings as well so its fairly common.
Enthusiast
BV250, BV500
Joined: 10 Mar 2018
Posts: 61
Location: SFBay
Mon May 18, 2020 3:04 pm quote
I have a 250 2008 BV, not an MP3. I had an MP3 500, also 2008, for a while. It was way too clumsy for me, weighed too much. I couldn't push it around in the garage without working hard, and it tipped over twice, in the garage. I work on scooters a lot, and I love them, but I did not love the MP3 500. I sold it, much happier.

I also recently have been working on a 2006 BV500, same engine as the MP3 500 but just 2 wheels. It's not as clumsy and feels less awkward on the street but it is heavy. Just today I took the BV250 out for a ride, then took the BV500 out for the same ride. I'm still partial to the BV250.

I'm 5' 8" tall, 165 lbs., and fit and strong. If it were my choice I'd do some shopping around for alternate prices on the bearing repairs. If you are going to do some long haul riding, with luggage, the 500 might make sense, but if the 250 suits you, fix it.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 5994
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Mon May 18, 2020 4:25 pm quote
I have the special tools (there are two of them) too.
But really, at the end of the day a hammer and punch would probably be more or less fine.
Adjusting the steering bearings is about the last thing to worry about though.
Bleeding the tiltlock and brakes, well there's where the fun lies.
And that's after you actually replaced both sets of bearings and greased the everloving lots of grease into them.

Put it this way. If my ride needed new steering bearings, I'd put aside a weekend and do it. If your ride needed new steering bearings, I'd suggest you spend the $1100 to get it done. $2000? No, that's too much, look elsewhere. Not a general motorcycle mechanic, it's totally different from other motorcycles. And if that $2000 estimate is the only one around, well, that sucks.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 5994
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Mon May 18, 2020 4:28 pm quote
But yeah, Gonzo tweak all the way for the short term fix. May well last you a few years.
Hooked
Joined: 06 Nov 2014
Posts: 296
Location: Uk rochdale
Mon May 18, 2020 10:35 pm quote
Yeah totally agree about the gonzo tweek. it's very easy to do and of course costs nothing but a tub of greese to pack out the bearings afterward's.
The best version of the mp3 is here in the UK. It's a 300cc engine but looks just like the 250. ( not the yourban ).
Iv had almost a dozen mp3s over the years and as long as the tilt lock is working it didn't matter what version I had,they all could very easily be moved around and pushed from behind down narrow parking bays.
Speed wise I liked the 400 better than the 500 as it gave better mpg and less troublesome engine.
I'd fix ya 250 and then just keep a look out for maybe something different, by the way the piaggio x10 350 is a beast of a scooter and is still the best motorbike slash scooter Iv ever owned.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 8482
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Tue May 19, 2020 2:03 am quote
wentwest wrote:
I have a 250 2008 BV, not an MP3. I had an MP3 500, also 2008, for a while. It was way too clumsy for me, weighed too much. I couldn't push it around in the garage without working hard, and it tipped over twice, in the garage. I work on scooters a lot, and I love them, but I did not love the MP3 500. I sold it, much happier.

I also recently have been working on a 2006 BV500, same engine as the MP3 500 but just 2 wheels. It's not as clumsy and feels less awkward on the street but it is heavy. Just today I took the BV250 out for a ride, then took the BV500 out for the same ride. I'm still partial to the BV250.

I'm 5' 8" tall, 165 lbs., and fit and strong. If it were my choice I'd do some shopping around for alternate prices on the bearing repairs. If you are going to do some long haul riding, with luggage, the 500 might make sense, but if the 250 suits you, fix it.
You're asking the question in the MP3 forum, so people assumed it was an MP3.
Why not try again in the Gen section?
Member
MP3
Joined: 16 Aug 2010
Posts: 8
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Tue May 19, 2020 7:31 am quote
Thanks to everyone for your help. When I posted, I wasn't sure anyone would respond. So it's much appreciated.

I have always loved my MP3 250. It's the right size and speed for me. (I don't do highway riding. Most of my riding consists of back roads to and from work or scenic rides.) There is an independent mechanic down the road from me who has a good reputation. I will talk to him about doing the Gonzo work around. If he's not willing, I will call Piaggio mechanics up and down the East Coast and try to find someone who is willing to replace the bearings at a more reasonable rate.
Member
MP3
Joined: 16 Aug 2010
Posts: 8
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Tue May 19, 2020 7:34 am quote
old as dirt wrote:
PurpleMaggie1966 wrote:
I didn't read Web-Tech's response closely enough before asking my follow-up question. It sounds like a special tool is needed and that someone who has done it before is the way to go.
the tool can be bought. I have a set. Heck I would even let you borrow them with a deposit of course. just pay the $10 shipping both ways as well.

if interested send me a private message.

the special tool is the same tool used on the vespa steering head bearings as well so its fairly common.
Thank you for your generous offer. I will bookmark this page and if necessary get back in touch with you.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 38566
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Tue May 19, 2020 9:18 am quote
WEB-Tech wrote:
wentwest wrote:
I have a 250 2008 BV, not an MP3. I had an MP3 500, also 2008, for a while. It was way too clumsy for me, weighed too much. I couldn't push it around in the garage without working hard, and it tipped over twice, in the garage. I work on scooters a lot, and I love them, but I did not love the MP3 500. I sold it, much happier.

I also recently have been working on a 2006 BV500, same engine as the MP3 500 but just 2 wheels. It's not as clumsy and feels less awkward on the street but it is heavy. Just today I took the BV250 out for a ride, then took the BV500 out for the same ride. I'm still partial to the BV250.

I'm 5' 8" tall, 165 lbs., and fit and strong. If it were my choice I'd do some shopping around for alternate prices on the bearing repairs. If you are going to do some long haul riding, with luggage, the 500 might make sense, but if the 250 suits you, fix it.
You're asking the question in the MP3 forum, so people assumed it was an MP3.
Why not try again in the Gen section?
Please up your reading comprehension - wentwest wasn't asking a question, he/she was answering the OP.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 8482
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Tue May 19, 2020 9:34 am quote
jimc wrote:
WEB-Tech wrote:
wentwest wrote:
I have a 250 2008 BV, not an MP3. I had an MP3 500, also 2008, for a while. It was way too clumsy for me, weighed too much. I couldn't push it around in the garage without working hard, and it tipped over twice, in the garage. I work on scooters a lot, and I love them, but I did not love the MP3 500. I sold it, much happier.

I also recently have been working on a 2006 BV500, same engine as the MP3 500 but just 2 wheels. It's not as clumsy and feels less awkward on the street but it is heavy. Just today I took the BV250 out for a ride, then took the BV500 out for the same ride. I'm still partial to the BV250.

I'm 5' 8" tall, 165 lbs., and fit and strong. If it were my choice I'd do some shopping around for alternate prices on the bearing repairs. If you are going to do some long haul riding, with luggage, the 500 might make sense, but if the 250 suits you, fix it.
You're asking the question in the MP3 forum, so people assumed it was an MP3.
Why not try again in the Gen section?
Please up your reading comprehension - wentwest wasn't asking a question, he/she was answering the OP.
Hey it was 0600 and I was still waking up at my desk at work.
And why is the site on central time? Just noticed that.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 5994
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Tue May 19, 2020 9:37 am quote
WEB-Tech wrote:
jimc wrote:
WEB-Tech wrote:
wentwest wrote:
I have a 250 2008 BV, not an MP3. I had an MP3 500, also 2008, for a while. It was way too clumsy for me, weighed too much. I couldn't push it around in the garage without working hard, and it tipped over twice, in the garage. I work on scooters a lot, and I love them, but I did not love the MP3 500. I sold it, much happier.

I also recently have been working on a 2006 BV500, same engine as the MP3 500 but just 2 wheels. It's not as clumsy and feels less awkward on the street but it is heavy. Just today I took the BV250 out for a ride, then took the BV500 out for the same ride. I'm still partial to the BV250.

I'm 5' 8" tall, 165 lbs., and fit and strong. If it were my choice I'd do some shopping around for alternate prices on the bearing repairs. If you are going to do some long haul riding, with luggage, the 500 might make sense, but if the 250 suits you, fix it.
You're asking the question in the MP3 forum, so people assumed it was an MP3.
Why not try again in the Gen section?
Please up your reading comprehension - wentwest wasn't asking a question, he/she was answering the OP.
Hey it was 0600 and I was still waking up at my desk at work.
And why is the site on central time? Just noticed that.
Time setting is in your Profile....
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 8482
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Tue May 19, 2020 9:51 am quote
Madison Sully wrote:
WEB-Tech wrote:
jimc wrote:
WEB-Tech wrote:
wentwest wrote:
I have a 250 2008 BV, not an MP3. I had an MP3 500, also 2008, for a while. It was way too clumsy for me, weighed too much. I couldn't push it around in the garage without working hard, and it tipped over twice, in the garage. I work on scooters a lot, and I love them, but I did not love the MP3 500. I sold it, much happier.

I also recently have been working on a 2006 BV500, same engine as the MP3 500 but just 2 wheels. It's not as clumsy and feels less awkward on the street but it is heavy. Just today I took the BV250 out for a ride, then took the BV500 out for the same ride. I'm still partial to the BV250.

I'm 5' 8" tall, 165 lbs., and fit and strong. If it were my choice I'd do some shopping around for alternate prices on the bearing repairs. If you are going to do some long haul riding, with luggage, the 500 might make sense, but if the 250 suits you, fix it.
You're asking the question in the MP3 forum, so people assumed it was an MP3.
Why not try again in the Gen section?
Please up your reading comprehension - wentwest wasn't asking a question, he/she was answering the OP.
Hey it was 0600 and I was still waking up at my desk at work.
And why is the site on central time? Just noticed that.
Time setting is in your Profile....
Checking, bet it is a Day light saving tome thing.

Yep, site time doesn't change so my time was off. Thanks
Hooked
Joined: 06 Nov 2014
Posts: 296
Location: Uk rochdale
Tue May 19, 2020 12:26 pm quote
Personally I think the gonzo tweek is a very easy fix to apply, any half decent tool guy should be able to do it with very little problems. The hardest part is finding the 8 screws for the front nose cone lol. If you were here I'd do it for a can of Dr pepper.takes around 30 to 40 minutes to do.
Enthusiast
Piaggio MP3 ie 400
Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 63
Location: Sydney
Fri Jun 12, 2020 4:28 am quote
Re: Fix my 250 or replace with new 500?
PurpleMaggie1966 wrote:
I'm facing a hard decision and would greatly appreciate feedback from experienced MP3 riders.

I have a 2007 250 that needs new bearings. It has almost 13,000 miles on it. Most of those miles are mine. The mechanic at the Vespa shop said he didn't think it was worth putting the money into it. If I don't fix it, I have a couple of options: 1) Buy another used 250 or 2) Buy a new or like new 500.

My concerns about buying a used 250 is that I could run into the bearings problem again in the near future. I also can't buy one that was made in 2018 or 2019. The pros of buying a used 250 is that it would be familiar to me. I'm used to a 250. I know I can handle it.

My concerns about buying a 500, once I get over the price, is I'm concerned it will be too big and too much for me to handle. Does anyone know if the 500 weighs much more than the 250? I'm female, 5' 3" and weigh 165 lbs. The 250 is the largest and fastest scooter I've ever owned.

Any thoughts or ideas?
I don't think anyone can advise you on what to do, as this will depend on what you want. I bought MP3 400ie, 2009 (used) as I thought these scooters will be more stable in a rainy weather, and will be safer, as I wanted to ride in a rainy weather, what I found out from experience riding it is that it handles the same a two wheel scooter so I did not get the benefit I wanted. Before I bought it, I was aware that there is increase in the maintenance costs (double the amount) for front wheels and brakes and the steering bearing maintenance, so this was not a surprise to me. I don't regret buying it, but if I went back in time and I knew that there is no difference when riding in the rain, I would bought like a Yamaha Majesty or similar. I need to do the steering bearing maintenance now, one of the dealership mechanics told this scooter is too heavy for the motor size and I should ride it and try and sell it, it is not worth to spend money on it, but after I thought about it, if I sell it with the steering bearing not done, I will sell it cheap, and if I want to buy other scooter (second hand), I may not find one that is as good as mine (not other MP3, Yamaha most properly or Suzuki), I will pay more than the maintenance, and then there is a risk of find out other new issues in it, so I decided to do the steering bearing maintenance, already called Piaggio Dealership and they ordered the part, just waiting for their call to take it to them.
So this will depend on you, what do you want? sit down, have a cup of tea or coffee and think it over and do a bit of math, if you sell yours now, how much would get for it, buy other one, will it be a 3 wheeler or 2 wheeler, do you want to pay the maintenance cost for a 3 wheeler etc... then decide.
Good luck.
Addicted
MP3 400 "Merlin"
Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 887
Location: Northwest Ohio
Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:42 pm quote
PurpleMaggie1966 wrote:
I do mean the steering bearings. I was told approximately $2000.
That seems high. A dealer in Cleveland quoted me about $500 to replace my bearings. We opted to try the Gonzo tweak first before dropping the money and having to take the bike 2 hours from home and leaving it for a week.
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