How to corner on mp3
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Piaggio mp3 500 LT
Joined: 27 May 2017
Posts: 11
Location: UK
Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:41 pm quote
This may sound like a stupid question .
How do you guys take corners on an mp3?

I own an mp3 500 2013. I have come of the bike 3 times when turning - totally unexpected. Two times on wet muddy roads, but once out of the blue.

A mechanic has looked at the bike and said there is nothing wrong with it, nothing wrong with the tyres.

It has shaken my confidence. Whenever I take a corner I feel like I may come off at any moment, after crashing the uncrashable bike three times!

Could I be going too fast? Leaning over too much? Do you use brakes when turning? If so which one - left handle or right or both?

If I can't regain my confidence I just feel like motorbiking (or triking) is just not for me after all 😞😞😞

Thanks everyone.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Kitted Vespa 2017 GTV 300, BMW 2019 K1600GT Sport, Ural 2019 Gear Up
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7738
Location: Downtown Toronto
Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:16 pm quote
I don't think it's an MP3 thing. Have you taken any courses? Do you counter steer or know how to properly set up for a corner? Never brake in a turn, slow down before you hit it and then make sure you are on the correct apex. The bike WANTS to stay upright and physics is on your side. Honestly a little time with an instructor will go a LONG way towards helping. I ride everything from a sidecar rig, to a Vespa to a massive sport tourer and many of the the same rules apply across the board. This includes the sidecar rig that has no ability to lean.

Again look at getting some professional instruction. You will be amazed how much it can help. Don't give up and I can tell simply from your questions you are making some basic new rider errors and they are all correctable. Once the ah-ha moment comes to you, you will get it, you just may need some help getting there.
Hooked
2009 MP3 400, 2004 Honda ST1300
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Posts: 262
Location: Sayre, PA
Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:01 pm quote
Could be a lot of reasons for your mishaps. Aside from formal instruction, it might be worthwhile to hook up with an experienced rider and have them follow you around for a bit to see if they have any suggestions.

The MP3's behave like any other motorcycle. Very capable but not un-crashable.

Brakes - Both. Dynamically biasing toward the front and then the back again as the weight transfers. You do know which is which right?

Tires - Different brands behave differently in wet and muddy. Some are okay, some are terrifying.

Mud - Under power the MP3's tend to swish back and forth in the mud. You'll need to back off the throttle a bit and ease up on the bars and let it find it's way.

High speed turns - Countersteer. More. they tend to run wide. And be aware of the limited ground clearance. Not difficult to find yourself scraping hard parts. Remember to relax your shoulders and elbows. Don't strangle it.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Neutrino MP3 492.7 AK, 2013 Moto Guzzi Norge
Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 21687
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:47 pm quote
Harbinger wrote:
Again look at getting some professional instruction. You will be amazed how much it can help. Don't give up and I can tell simply from your questions you are making some basic new rider errors and they are all correctable. Once the ah-ha moment comes to you, you will get it, you just may need some help getting there.
WHAT you advocating for formal instruction for somebody whom has experience riding. I am totally shocked and blown away by this.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Kitted Vespa 2017 GTV 300, BMW 2019 K1600GT Sport, Ural 2019 Gear Up
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7738
Location: Downtown Toronto
Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:11 pm quote
old as dirt wrote:
Harbinger wrote:
Again look at getting some professional instruction. You will be amazed how much it can help. Don't give up and I can tell simply from your questions you are making some basic new rider errors and they are all correctable. Once the ah-ha moment comes to you, you will get it, you just may need some help getting there.
WHAT you advocating for formal instruction for somebody whom has experience riding. I am totally shocked and blown away by this.
pffft

Sometimes ya just have to do it. In this case it seems to fit. There is also no mention of any training or experience .
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 39129
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:17 pm quote
You have a 500 LT.

I bet you are riding on a car licence, and have done a CBT at the maximum in training - if that. I also bet you haven't ridden a bicycle for yonks.

If you don't know what counter-steering is - this could be your problem, as the MP3s need more conscious counter-steering than two-wheeled bikes.

Brakes in a turn? NEVER the front brake (that's the right-hand one) - this makes any bike want to stand up straight, go straight ahead, and refuse to turn. So NEVER the foot-brake in a turn, either, as although this also applies a bit of rear brake as well, it also makes getting around a curve you've entered too fast into a death-trap. You can use a bit of rear brake in an over-hot turn, but only a bit - the rear tyre is probably near it's breaking-away point and braking could cause it to loose grip entirely.

Always do your braking before entering the turn - you can then accelerate out of it. If you think you're still going too fast COUNTER_STEER MORE! The bike will cope, no problem.

Do a Bike-Safe course with the Police, and consider getting a proper full A licence.
Hooked
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 292
Location: Belgium
Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:47 pm quote
^Pretty much what was already stated, but I'll add this as well.

Don't focus too much on the countersteering. It is a concept that many people do not understand even if they practice it on a bicycle.

Turning on a motorcycle is all about how you approach the turn. If your body stiffens up (out of anxiety for example), then every turn on every bike is going to be a challenge or worse.

You need to read the curve ahead, and just relax and let the bike do the work. Specifically, just lean and the bike will want to start to turn on its own. Especially so the MP3 with its dual front wheels.

Also, having the proper posture and balance goes a long way to taking turns.

For example, on my daily drive to work there is a near 90 degree turn at the intersection of 2 motorways. If the light is green, I come in very close to the inside of the turn, body low and in a tuck, lean left very hard and follow the sharp left until I am on the outside of my lane at which point the road straightens out. And I do this at about 90-100 kmh (55-60mph). Yes, the bike leans hard over (about 35 degrees per the Piaggio PMP) but that is what it is supposed to do. Motorcycle tires have thread on the sides, not just the top unlike a car.

Actual steering input from my arms is virtually nill.

As for braking, I never ever use the footpedal. I use both handlever simultaneously, allowing me to control how much the front or rear need to bite. And never ever brake using only the front brake. I've seen some really ugly accidents because of this over something so simple that it can only be classified as being stupid.

And yes, I would highly recommend you take a real motorcycle riding course. It could save your life in a sticky situation.
Molto Verboso
Gina, 1965 Vespa 180SS, Bella,1968 Vespa 150 Super, (Both NZ new Airco assembled), Francesca, 2006 Vespa LX150, Sofia, 2007 Vespa GT200
Joined: 21 Jan 2015
Posts: 1343
Location: Hamilton, NZ
Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:46 pm quote
Experienced or not, you are never too experienced to take some professional training. We can all fall into bad habits and having someone else critique your riding can only help.
Hooked
2019 MP3 500hpe Sport
Joined: 03 Nov 2014
Posts: 472
Location: Germany
Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:25 am quote
somebody mentioned leaning. That does not work. You have to push the bars to initiate a turn either left or right. The MP3 is pretty forgiving but you still need to be conscientious of its limitations. I can ride mine pretty hard and as mentioned, if I am a little too hot coming into a corner, I too give a bit of back brake to tighten up the corner and bring it back in line. I've never had a formal riding course prior to buying mine but I watch MC Rider on YouTube and use his information to practice maneuvers and work on my skills. He has a lot of tutorials, he is a certified MSF instructor, and find an empty parking lot of Sunday and just practice as necessary. It doesn't substitute an actual certified course but it does allow me to practice situations to help me better my skills. I've been riding for about 6 years now and it is a fun bike. Just don't think about riding above your skill level. The only way to get more confident is to get out and ride though within your level of skill. Until you do that, you won't gain the skills or knowledge to get better and more confident.
Addicted
MP3 400 "Orion"
Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 937
Location: Northwest Ohio
Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:33 pm quote
After watching a "Ride Like a Pro" video on YouTube, I realized was doing it wrong. I was pressing down on the grip going into a curve, which doesn't really work. You have to push FORWARD on the grip in the direction you want to go. Push forward left for a lefthand curve, right for a righthand curve. Once I started doing that, my curves became much more controlled and relaxed.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Kitted Vespa 2017 GTV 300, BMW 2019 K1600GT Sport, Ural 2019 Gear Up
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7738
Location: Downtown Toronto
Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:50 pm quote
Carolan wrote:
After watching a "Ride Like a Pro" video on YouTube, I realized was doing it wrong. I was pressing down on the grip going into a curve, which doesn't really work. You have to push FORWARD on the grip in the direction you want to go. Push forward left for a lefthand curve, right for a righthand curve. Once I started doing that, my curves became much more controlled and relaxed.
Great! Yes it comes to you pretty quickly once you "get" it. The funny thing is so many people have been doing it with bicycles since they were little kids but once you get on a motorbike your brain does not equate the two. The thing is the laws of physics do not care what you are on , the same rules apply.
Moderatus Rana
MP3 250 (sold) MP3 500 (current)
Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Posts: 21610
Location: Nashville, Indiana
Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:02 pm quote
sbaert wrote:
^Pretty much what was already stated, but I'll add this as well.

Don't focus too much on the countersteering. It is a concept that many people do not understand even if they practice it on a bicycle.

Turning on a motorcycle is all about how you approach the turn. If your body stiffens up (out of anxiety for example), then every turn on every bike is going to be a challenge or worse.

You need to read the curve ahead, and just relax and let the bike do the work. Specifically, just lean and the bike will want to start to turn on its own. Especially so the MP3 with its dual front wheels.

Also, having the proper posture and balance goes a long way to taking turns.

For example, on my daily drive to work there is a near 90 degree turn at the intersection of 2 motorways. If the light is green, I come in very close to the inside of the turn, body low and in a tuck, lean left very hard and follow the sharp left until I am on the outside of my lane at which point the road straightens out. And I do this at about 90-100 kmh (55-60mph). Yes, the bike leans hard over (about 35 degrees per the Piaggio PMP) but that is what it is supposed to do. Motorcycle tires have thread on the sides, not just the top unlike a car.

Actual steering input from my arms is virtually nill.

As for braking, I never ever use the footpedal. I use both handlever simultaneously, allowing me to control how much the front or rear need to bite. And never ever brake using only the front brake. I've seen some really ugly accidents because of this over something so simple that it can only be classified as being stupid.

And yes, I would highly recommend you take a real motorcycle riding course. It could save your life in a sticky situation.
Horrible advice on the not focusing on counter steer since this is how a bike is steered. All bikes moving more than 5 mph need it to turn. Yes you need to set up for the turn but knowing and applying countersteer separates the novice from the proficient.

Actual steering input from your arms is the only way you can take a curve. Yours is not nill.
Hooked
2019 MP3 500hpe Sport
Joined: 03 Nov 2014
Posts: 472
Location: Germany
Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:27 pm quote
Another thing is to ride loose. You should not be all stiff as this too will limit you ability to countersteer and really push the bike when it comes to turning. Your elbow should be able to flap like a chicken. If they can't, you need to relax more.
Hooked
2009 MP3 400, 2004 Honda ST1300
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Posts: 262
Location: Sayre, PA
Thu Sep 10, 2020 2:21 am quote
On a bicycle or a smaller motorbike you can sort of get away with "I don't countsteer, I lean", because your body weight is a greater percentage of the package. Leaning has a more immediate effect.

As the machine gets heavier and the ratio changes, leaning your body is way less effective. If you need to change direction, and it has to happen immediately, then steering conciously and correctly is the way to make it happen.

Even an 800lb touring bike loaded with two overweight adults and a weekend worth of luggage will respond with surprising agility if you give it the right commands.

I also agree with 'riding loose". The physics of two-wheelers (and tilting three-wheelers) demand that the front wheel is able to find it's path to equilibrium. I've noticed particularly on the MP3 that if you bank in to a turn and lock your arms, it can get all kinds of squirrely. Don't fight it. Relax your grip and stop strangling it. Once you relax it will find it's balance and settle down nicely.
Member
MP3-400
Joined: 11 Sep 2020
Posts: 17
Location: USA
Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:15 pm quote
Iíd love to take a 3 wheel training course: 15% off insurance motorcycle And car too! I need to ask my dealer if there are specific MP3 fwl courses. My last motorcycle training course just elapsed, and now would be a great time to renew it (w/o getting a ticket and having to take a course for license point reduction.) Safety First! (and cheaper insurance donít hurt anything either
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 39129
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:24 pm quote
I've never heard of an MP3-specific course. I doubt any exist anywhere in the world. Everything that applies to two wheeled bikes also applies to the MP3.

On top of that, every different make and model of PTW will have its own quirks and characteristics - not just MP3s! Sharing information on those quirks etc are what forums like this achieve.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Kitted Vespa 2017 GTV 300, BMW 2019 K1600GT Sport, Ural 2019 Gear Up
Joined: 21 May 2017
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Location: Downtown Toronto
Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:55 pm quote
There are specific 3 wheel courses, they offer them here now actually. But the thing is they are not meant for an MP3 but are geared towards the CAN-AM SPYDER and the like . The MP3 handles like a motorcycle , it just happens to have 2 wheels at the front. CAN-AM's and the like handle very differently even more so than a motorcycle with a sidecar. So the 3 wheeler courses I know of would do you no good. Hell I tried to find training for piloting a sidecar and had zero luck, would have to go to the US for it.

Jim is 100% correct, no one is going to offer a course for the MP3 and even the odds of finding an instructor that owns or has experience with one is low, they are pretty niche. But that's no big deal, they handle like a motorcycle so everything a MC course will teach you will apply. I'm sure there are differences but EVERY bike I've own is unique and rides differently. The important thing is the fundamentals apply to all of them . One on one training might be the way to go as you get the full attention of the instructor and you can learn quickly what you are doing wrong.
Hooked
2009 Vespa GTS300 S
Joined: 28 Nov 2017
Posts: 230
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:20 pm quote
The best way to get a feel for counter-steering is to ride on a straight road with no traffic at say about 40mph/60kph and push lightly&gently on each side on the handlebars and feel what the scoot does. You will feel the bike lean and turn immediately. Play with it to get the feeling.

I even now do it sometimes just for the fun because it is such an awesome phenomena. It becomes second-nature after a while.
Member
2010 MP3 250, 2009 BV250
Joined: 26 Nov 2019
Posts: 16
Location: Michigan, USA
Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:56 pm quote
The best way to ride an MP3 is to pretend it is a two wheel motorcycle. Get your eyes off those funny front wheels, look up and where you want to go.

This is another way of saying I agree with most of the other posters.

Take a motorcycle class. Learn to countersteer. If you're into reading instructions, read any of the books on riding motorcycles. They will tell you basically to stay loose and look where you want to go.

The MP3 thinks it is a motorcycle, or perhaps a scooter. It is not a can-am, it is not a trike, it is not a sidecar rig. Riding or learning about any of those things will only confuse you.

And relax and have fun! Once you make friends with it, the MP3 has all the fun of a motorcycle and some definite advantages.

I recently watched an AMA National Champion racer take his first ride on an MP3. He was on the gas and leaned over when he got into some loose gravel. He bobbled a bit and rode through it. Afterwards he said "I think on two wheels I'd probably have been down in that bit."



Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:01 am
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Member
Piaggio MP3 300 HPE
Joined: 22 Aug 2020
Posts: 8
Location: Croydon
Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:15 pm quote
I tried consciously countersteering at 30 mph yesterday. I must admit, I crapped myself when I pushed left and it started to go right! Just felt so unnatural. However, I did notice that my arms were pretty stiff, so I guess what everyone says about staying loose is quite correct.

Will be going to a supermarket car park to try it out at 15mph on Sunday.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 39129
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:16 pm quote
Hang on - if you push on the left it should go to the left! Or did you mean you pushed on the right-hand bar *as if you might steer a car to go left*?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Kitted Vespa 2017 GTV 300, BMW 2019 K1600GT Sport, Ural 2019 Gear Up
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Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:02 pm quote
jimc wrote:
Hang on - if you push on the left it should go to the left! Or did you mean you pushed on the right-hand bar *as if you might steer a car to go left*?
Made me have to stop and think... It becomes so ingrained you don't realize you are doing it. But yeah you lean the bike and push up in the direction of the turn. So going left you push up on the left bar and lean the bike to that side. One way to think about it is imagine trying to hold the bike up by pushing on the bar in the direction of the turn. I just basically lean the bike and push up at the same time on the bar that the turn is going in to.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 39129
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:29 pm quote
Get it in the right order. You push (forward!) on the bar and the bike and you then lean in that direction.
Hooked
50cc Beo, BigBeo
Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 270
Location: Chelyabinsk, Russia
Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:34 pm quote
Jim, newbies usually consider "push" what is "steer" at a bicycle: they turn the handlebar left (so they push right grip and pull left grip), thus the bike leans right.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Kitted Vespa 2017 GTV 300, BMW 2019 K1600GT Sport, Ural 2019 Gear Up
Joined: 21 May 2017
Posts: 7738
Location: Downtown Toronto
Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:08 am quote
jimc wrote:
Get it in the right order. You push (forward!) on the bar and the bike and you then lean in that direction.
Funny I was visualizing the shapes turn near me which is "up" a steep hill with a sharp left. I guess if I visualized going the other way maybe I would have said down... I also learnt that side cars like to come up when turning a sharp right down a hill. That'll wake you up in the morning...
Member
Piaggio MP3 300 HPE
Joined: 22 Aug 2020
Posts: 8
Location: Croydon
Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:59 am quote
jimc wrote:
Hang on - if you push on the left it should go to the left! Or did you mean you pushed on the right-hand bar *as if you might steer a car to go left*?
My bad. You are quite right - push on left, go left. That is what happened - I just got ahead of myself when writing the post!
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 39129
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:48 pm quote
imadequavers wrote:
jimc wrote:
Hang on - if you push on the left it should go to the left! Or did you mean you pushed on the right-hand bar *as if you might steer a car to go left*?
My bad. You are quite right - push on left, go left. That is what happened - I just got ahead of myself when writing the post!
Understood - at least it wasn't me this time.
Enthusiast
2016 MP3 500 Sport
Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 94
Location: Chandler, AZ
Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:05 pm quote
Rear traction or clearance issue?
Going back to first post, it wasn't stated exactly what was meant by "coming off the bike". Years ago, I had the rear wheel unexpectedly come out from under me once taking a 90 degree right turn from a stop at a corner. (I suspect this is a consequence of having so much weight on the front of the bike.) I wonder if that's what he's referring to? The solution was simply to roll on the throttle slower from a stop when making a sharp turn. I also suspect there was some sand/gravel at the corner even though it was not visible while riding. It has never happened again.
Alternately, there is a clearance issue with the centerstand. If you get too close to a curb, the stand can push the rear sideways or pick the rear off the ground with no warning. You will instantly find yourself on the ground.
Molto Verboso
2018 LIBERTY 150S, 2013 Kymco LIKE200iLX
Joined: 26 Jul 2013
Posts: 1286
Location: Ohio
Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:13 pm quote
To better understand what is happening to you...
Have you come "off" on the inside of your turning each of the three crashes?
In other words, you fell on your Left side when you were turning Left ??
Please describe....were the "offs" in the same manner?
O.S.
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