Just asking in case I like the MP3.
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Hooked
2019 Piaggio Liberty 150
Joined: 20 Feb 2019
Posts: 378
Location: Norfolk, VA
Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:56 am quote
Ever since my low speed crash I've been considering a MP3. Plan on going used as I don't really care for the rear foot brake on the floor of the new model and I don't need anything bigger than a 250. Used a 250 can be picked up for a fair price. My question. I keep hearing of the "notch" and the complex nature of the rebuild (and cost if dealer done). Can routine maintenance prevent this issue or does it just occur with time? Anything else of concern? I'm gonna try and get a test ride on a new one just to see if I like it. The dealer is surrounded by railroad tracks and poorly maintained streets so that should be a good indicator if the 3rd wheel helps remove my newfound bump fear. A Can-Am Ryker, although a different beast, is also on the consideration list IF my wife will ride it. Personally, I like the lean and nimbleness of a scooter to much to give it up. Thanks for any info!
Hooked
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 257
Location: Belgium
Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:16 am quote
The notch can be avoided if you grease the bearings using the special bolt every 3Kmi/5K km and should never present a problem.

The notch is caused by the factory using a substandard grease in too little quantities that hardens with age.

Belt and rollers should always be renewed at the recommended intervals using quality parts, preferably original.

I work for the distribution center that handles the Can Am as well as Honda for distribution throughout Europe. Personally, I don't like it the Can Am products. You are always fighting the handle bars as if the bike wants to throw you off in every turn (think riding a quad). It doesn't tilt like a bike should and it is as wide as a small car thus defeating the benefits of having a bike (lane splitting, park anywhere you like, etc, etc, etc.)

Once you learn to live with the steering issue, the traction control nannies are always popping up and cutting power.

The Spyder is way overpriced IMO, the Ryker is a more appealing proposition but you still have all the downsides of the Spyder.

The Honda X-ADV is a much more interesting machine IMO. Honda quality, DCT trans, it's a scoot that can do some basic adventuring.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 6127
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:29 am quote
I grease my steering bearings once every ~10,000 miles. I now have around 46,000 miles and no sign of notchiness.

The notch on MP3s was caused by two things, at the factory.
1. Not enough grease in the bearings.
2. Too tight.

To adjust, you basically hand tighten the upper cone against the bearings, then back it off ~120 degrees and tighten the top lock nut.

I own a Can Am Spyder RT-S, which I bought used around a month ago.
$11,500 for a 2014 with ~40,000 miles on it. My pillion thinks it's more comfortable than the MP3.... As to fighting it in corners, there are a few things to consider. 1. It doesn't lean, so of course it's going to handle different than any other PTW out there. 2. OEM front shocks are not the best at damping, and can tend to get squirrely in corners. Adjustable after-market shocks are a big improvement, as is an upgraded sway bar. Happy to discuss it (I picture myself indifferent to the Spyder; the only reason I have one is to ride with my wife. Happy wife, happy life, and all that.)

With regard to the Honda X-ADV, if the 750cc version was available in the US I'd probably buy one. I have an NC700 which is more speedy than my MP3 and use that one to commute since the speed limit was increased to 70MPH AND construction causes people to stop paying attention. Once construction is done it will be 3 lanes each way all the way to work so maybe I'll go back to the MP3 for commuting. Honda CTX700 is similar to the NC700 and is also available with the auto transmission. Lower seating position on that one.
Hooked
2019 Piaggio Liberty 150
Joined: 20 Feb 2019
Posts: 378
Location: Norfolk, VA
Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:17 pm quote
Thanks for the input. We had a Can-Am RT, 2012 if I recall. Wife rode it but always lugged the motor. Plus she hated the heat from the motor and always having to stop for fuel. The power steering was nice and it was ok on longer rides. But she quit riding when she retired. We now have a MotorTrike'd Honda Silverwing that rarely gets ridden now. So if she has no urge to ride I'll consider a MP3. She hates the leaning and I hate the size disadvantage of a fixed trike configuration.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 38887
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:46 pm quote
The two front wheels of the MP3 mean that pot-holes, manhole covers, railway lines, lane markings, 'Bott-dots'/'Cats-eyes' & gravel are no longer such a huge threat. If one wheel is on a dodgy surface, the other is usually just fine. Also the handle-bars aren't directly connected on top of either steering tube, so jarring from road imperfections is minimised.

So from that POV, the MP3 is a winner. However, it is of course much heavier and a bear to pick up if it falls over compared with a Vespa. However, if you're already an experienced rider, that should present no problem.
Hooked
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 257
Location: Belgium
Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:34 pm quote
^Correct, EXCEPT if you encounter said pothole or other road imperfection with both wheels at the same time. Then it will get transmitted to the rider, and is a area where the MP3 lacks refinement over other bikes with better suspensions.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Buddy Kick 125
Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 11435
Location: Oregon City, OR
Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:18 am quote
Two issues with the 250 MP3 model in particular. They were discontinued long ago, so any bike you find is going to be 11 or 12 years old. And the 250 is incredibly heavy for the amount of power produced by the 250 engine. It is not quick or nimble in any sense of the word.

If you are serious about the MP3, I'd suggest you consider one of the newer 500's. Even there, be prepared for a scooter which is quite heavy, of course.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Kitted Vespa 2017 GTV 300, BMW 2019 K1600GT Sport, Ural 2019 Gear Up
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7463
Location: Downtown Toronto
Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:28 am quote
I agree with Dooglas, while you may not need the power of a 500 the weight of the bike might want it. Having the 2 wheels in the front will provide extra stability when crossing over obstacles such as tracks and the like. I'm not really up on MP3 tech but I'd have to think the newer models will have ABS and maybe even ASR whereas an older model may not. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong as I am just guessing here.
Member
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 34
Location: California
Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:27 pm quote
Hi
A similar question about Mp3 ownership and what it was like was asked a little while ago. This thread contains a number of replies and my own (rather lengthy essay) on the topic.

General MP3 500 purchase question

The 250 might get the job done to keep up with city traffic, but the Mp3 is a heavy bike. The weight of front-end remains roughly the same be it the 250cc or 500cc. If you want to-do longer trips or regular highway riding you would want the larger 500cc to get enough acceleration and keep up with highway traffic.

The short of it is the Mp3 is a great bike for imperfect roads with lots of storage for carrying groceries and other daily cargo. Just plan ahead for handling its size and don't expect to keep up with the sport-bikes.

Best wishes and hope you enjoy whichever bike suites your needs.

Last edited by pinheadh78 on Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
Hooked
2009 MP3 400, 2004 Honda ST1300
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Posts: 247
Location: Sayre, PA
Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:32 pm quote
The 400's move along quite nicely too if the 500 isn't to your taste.
Hooked
2019 Piaggio Liberty 150
Joined: 20 Feb 2019
Posts: 378
Location: Norfolk, VA
Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:29 am quote
One of these upcoming weekends I'm gonna take a MP3 out for a test ride. Dealership is super cool about test rides and being upfront about quirks and such.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 8626
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:43 pm quote
If you get a 250 make sure it has a 14 inch rear tire or you will be changing the tire every 3000 miles.
Hooked
50cc Beo, BigBeo
Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 262
Location: Chelyabinsk, Russia
Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:01 pm quote
Nope. If you go darkside (which is pretty easier on 12" rear wheel), your tire will last about 50000 km or so.
Member
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 34
Location: California
Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:18 pm quote
Jah wrote:
Nope. If you go darkside (which is pretty easier on 12" rear wheel), your tire will last about 50000 km or so.
If your going to go Darkside you should know the risks before you install a car tire on the rear. Finding a shop to install car-tire for you will be hard so plan to do it yourself. Or just get a proper motorcycle rear wheel for safety and support from tire shops.

FortNine did a great video on the risks and physics of Darksiding
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEZeR9E3JyY
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 8626
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:41 pm quote
Jah wrote:
Nope. If you go darkside (which is pretty easier on 12" rear wheel), your tire will last about 50000 km or so.
By 2009 the 250 had a 14" rear tire. So it's not like he doesn't have 11 other years to choose from.
Hooked
50cc Beo, BigBeo
Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 262
Location: Chelyabinsk, Russia
Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:52 pm quote
OK guys, you got me. My first bike was 2006 mp3 250. First love you know...
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