Getting another 3 wheeler
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Hooked
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 365
Location: Belgium
Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:16 pm quote
Well, I think the time has come to say goodbye to the MP3 and hello to the Yamaha Niken.

Several reasons really, I use the MP3 as my daily commuter racking up just a tad over 50 clicks a day every day. Fueling up every other day has gotten very old. This thing with its miniscule tank consumes more than my car, as 2/3 of the ride I am riding on the freeway between 6-7K rpm. I know Piaggio claims a "estimated" fuel range of 230km. I am getting about half that. Again, the freeway cruise at 130km/h makes this thing a gashog for what it is. No surprise really as the MP3 is really meant to be a city machine and not a tourer. Done several tours with the MP3, and the short range is such a huge handicap especially compared to my friend with his BMW GS Adventure and 30Liter tank. He gives me sh!t over the pitiful fuel range of the MP3 every single time since his bike can do a 500km ride without ever refueling.

The maintenance costs per mile is not attractive with the MP3. At least 2 oil changes per year, at least 1 belt service sometimes 2 per year is adding up to substantial numbers.

She is 6 years old (2015), current body style, so I figure probably best to let it go now before the value plummets through the floor and the really big service repairs rear their ugly head.

Also, she is a Euro2 bike and being with Europe having gone apeshit crazy on anything older with a combustion engine it is probably only a matter of time before they start banning older bikes as well out of the cities.

I just found a 2020 Niken GT dealer demo bike that I am going to check out this coming weekend. Fully optioned, full factory warranty, just under 1K on the clock, and with a good discount. It is priced the same as a brand new Yamaha T-Max 560 TechMax, but the insurance is cheaper on the Niken since the T-Max carries a insurance penalty being the most stolen maxi scooter. If I buy, the only thing that I will probably transfer over is the Piaggio top box.

I wish it had a DCT, but only Honda does bike DCTs and those are at a higher price level (i.e. Africa Twin) and Honda does not offer anything with 3 wheels.

Reliability wise, I honestly have nothing but praise for the MP3. Despite my initial misgivings on the bike (it is Italian after all and I have had several Italian cars), and a wiring harness that was sloppily installed at the factory, it has proved to be a perfectly reliable machine requiring nothing unusual except one time when the factory battery died without warning in the midst of winter but it was nearly 4 years old at that point.

The thing that makes the move a bit hard is that I love the utility of the MP3, especially its underseat storage capacity and wind protection. This has proven to be something that is not offered on any other bike, although the Suzuki Burgman 650 comes close but it rides like a trashcan. Kinda like the stock MP3 before I put the Piaggio labeled Bitubo fully adjustable shocks on mine.

If anybody has any valid reasons to keep the MP3, I am all ears.

Last edited by sbaert on Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:04 pm; edited 3 times in total
Lurker
Joined: 09 Jan 2017
Posts: 2
Location: Tucson, AZ
Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:34 pm quote
MP3 to Niken
The only caution I'd have is that from what I've read the Niken does not have tilt lock as the MP3 has. If that bit of stability is important for coming to a stop or moving around the garage, the Niken may be a handful.

Ron
Enthusiast
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 61
Location: California
Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:35 pm quote
Hi Sbaert
I've been tempted by the Niken as well but the seat-height and initial buy-in cost are both a bit too high for me.

The main reasons for the Mp3 is the storage and three-wheel stability it offers on low traction surfaces. The Niken covers the 3-wheel benefit and storage can be handled by a large tail-box and saddle bags that can just be detached when not needed. The Niken does not have a tilt-lock so it must be parked and handled like a regular motorcycle and weighs a bit more than the Mp3 with different weight distribution should it need to be picked up.

The only reason I can think to keep an Mp3 when you have a Niken is the two separate use-cases. The Mp3 is a city bike while the Niken is a touring machine. Perhaps hang onto the Mp3 for those city or commute trips to take advantage of its lockable storage and the Niken for the open road trips? But thats a bit redundant.

If you can afford the Niken and it fits your use-cases then I would vote full speed ahead and sell the Mp3.

But please check in on the forum on occasion, yours and the other senior riders depths of knowledge are greatly appreciated by us beginners.
Hooked
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 365
Location: Belgium
Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:39 pm quote
Never used the tilt lock feature or the floor mounted brake pedal. I am used to riding bikes the old fashioned way.

The only time I have used the tilt lock is when parking the bike for very short periods, such as when doing errands.

The biggest thing going against the Niken is that it still use a manual clutch. Granted it has a quickshifter (assist and slipper clutch), but it is a big mark against the Niken in my book..

Once you drive a DCT, a traditional manual transmission feels like technology from the middle ages.
Enthusiast
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 61
Location: California
Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:45 pm quote
I hear that about DCT/automatic vs the old shifter bikes.

Still, I have heard great things about the a slipper/assist clutch solutions being very forgiving and easy to use vs the traditional types.

I've had my eye on a Honda CTX 700N (with DCT) for a couple years. Its a two wheel bike and Honda does not make them anymore. Its a cruiser style bike with a relaxed seating position like the Mp3 with an option for a big windshield. But its a two-wheel bike and my wife is firmly against anything with two wheels so my paths forwards are another Mp3 or a Niken if I can lower it enough.
Member
Joined: 14 Feb 2021
Posts: 18
Location: Atlanta
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:32 am quote
pinheadh78 wrote:
I hear that about DCT/automatic vs the old shifter bikes.

Still, I have heard great things about the a slipper/assist clutch solutions being very forgiving and easy to use vs the traditional types.

I've had my eye on a Honda CTX 700N (with DCT) for a couple years. Its a two wheel bike and Honda does not make them anymore. Its a cruiser style bike with a relaxed seating position like the Mp3 with an option for a big windshield. But its a two-wheel bike and my wife is firmly against anything with two wheels so my paths forwards are another Mp3 or a Niken if I can lower it enough.
I think Honda still has 500/750 options that offer DCT with the fuel tank under the seat - helping with the lower CG/balance
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