Need new spine
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MP3 500
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
Posts: 12
Location: New Mexico
Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:58 am quote
I bought an MP3 500 yesterday from Nick at Vespa in Albq. Very good experience there.

Today I rode it for 4 hours. What was I thinking??? I need a new spine! I just couldn't get off it I was having so much fun.

My first impressions - love it!!! It has all the power on the hills I need. I live at 7,000 feet. Saw some posts earlier about whether or not these mp3's have enough power for the mountains - they do. At least the 500 does, I should say.

It had good power even going up a hill at 60 mph and trying to accelerate. Probably the steepest hill I was on was a 6% grade but a long one (several miles). If I wanted more speed, I had it. Never had to open the throttle all the way. The main problem was the cars in my way keeping me from really testing the mp3.

I think I might have dropped the mp3 once or twice if I didn't have some experience riding a motorcycle. When I started up on a hill it caught me by surprise a couple of times when I started to hit the throttle and the bike actually started rolling backwards downhill and going a little off balance. I have to be more careful with that. Because there's no clutch, there was nothing similar to the friction zone on a bike which would have helped me on the hills. There's also a moment after you hit the throttle and before the bike starts moving that I found disconcerting - but mostly on the hills.

Smooth ride mostly. I did notice I felt the bumps of the road more on the 500 than I do on a bike, but it wasn't bad. I also noticed that once I got up to 70mph there was some vibration but again not bad.

It's really nice not having to clutch all the time like you do on a motorcycle. Turns great and it's really fun leaning into those turns. It handled better than I thought at slow speeds. I did find I needed a little more speed on U-turns than I do on a motorcycle. Very easy to balance, especially if you rely on the engine and keep up some momentum.

I rode it on gravel and it felt pretty solid, especially the front end. The back wobbled a bit but I never felt like I was in danger of slipping the bike.

The seat is very upright for someone used to riding a motorcycle. Even a cruiser. Somehow it just feels like you're sticking more straight up in the air. I appreciated that the front of the bike blocked some of the wind on my legs since today was a little cool out. It was pretty windy today and the mp3 did well with the wind , I guess because of the weight of it. The upright riding position doesn't help any in a gusty wind though.

I found one weird thing about the mp3. It's got a seat height close to 31" which makes it hard for a short person to ride and flat foot it. But the mp3 doesn't leave you a lot of room for your legs if you're tall. I thought it was kind of a strange combination.

I got several stares and some approving nods from bikers - especially when they saw it lean on a curve. It was kind of fun riding around watching the heads turn.

Molto Verboso
Willow Rouge: Excaliber Silver MP3 250 VIN 3288
Joined: 26 Jul 2008
Posts: 1093
Location: Austin, Texas
Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:47 pm quote
Great Take
Outstanding post, Lisa....and Welcome...Let's hear more from you....I loved your take on the scoot...

Joined: 20 Aug 2007
Posts: 269
Location: Central NJ
Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:53 pm quote
Congratulations and welcome to the forum! I enjoyed reading your feedback. I can relate to your looking for the 'friction zone' specially on an incline. What I do is apply the brakes and slowly load up the engine as I then gently release the brakes. Saves you the trouble of rolling backwards.

Good luck!
R.I.P. ----K.I.T.T.500, Agent Orange (400)
Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Posts: 2670
Location: North Charleston, SC 29406
Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:09 pm quote
Hey Lisa,
I too, love my 500. One thing that may help that you may not know about...You know how you said you could feel the bumps even more? Dunno if the dealer told ya, but the mp3s have an adjustable shock system on the rear. The tool kit comes with a handy lil tool that allows you to crank up/down the shocks to little preset notches(no guess work). If it is bumpy, it means you need to firm up the shocks a notch and try it again. If still bumpy, repeat. You can adjust them all the way til basically its a firm ride similar to a sportbike. The manual has some ideas on how to do this, or you can also do a search on here for the discussions on adjustment of shocks.

Good luck, and welcome to the family.

P.S. To eliminate the slight 'downshift feeling' on hills, slowly roll the throttle till you start accelerating, then lay into it like you stole it
MP3 500
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
Posts: 12
Location: New Mexico
Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:08 pm quote
luthorhuss wrote:
P.S. To eliminate the slight 'downshift feeling' on hills, slowly roll the throttle till you start accelerating, then lay into it like you stole it
I do feel guilty riding this beast - as if I'd stolen it. It's just too much fun!

Thanks for the suggestion on adjusting the shocks. I'll give that a try.
MP 3
Joined: 26 May 2008
Posts: 627
Location: Lehigh Acres, Florida
Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:22 pm quote
Welcome Lisa and congrats on your new 500
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Neutrino MP3 492.7 AK, 2013 Moto Guzzi Norge
Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 21666
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:09 pm quote
welcome Lisa to the wonderful world of the MP3 500 experience.
You wrote a very nice first report. I only have 1 question for you. Have you scheduled your first service prior to leaving the dealer because you will probably need one by next weekend

Last edited by old as dirt on Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
Veni, Vidi, Posti
RIP: MP3 500 - Brutto Moto
Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 5278
Location: Austin, TX
Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:09 pm quote
Welcome Lisa to both the forum and your new scoot. Yes they're a hoot. Something I figured out is that the Italians ride very close to the handlebars. Americans tend to ride back far enough so the arms are slightly curved - the Italians almost hug the bars to them. I speculated this was the case and verified it today with my friend that goes to Italy a lot. Bottom lne is ride sitting very close to the front of the seat - perched as it were - and it's better for getting your feet on the ground.
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