Steering "notch"
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Hooked
2008 MP3 400
Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 369
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:44 pm quote
I took the MP3 250 in for its 6,000 mile service, told them about a wobble in the front end on long sweeper curves. Was told the front tires were cupped and needed replaced. After the tires were replaced( another long sad story) they took a test ride. Called me and told me there was a notch in the steering that they had no idea what was causing it or how to fix it. They would have to call the Piaggio rep to find out.
I calmly suggested they check this sight, then did a search and sent the service rep links to the appropriate threads. The scooter has 6,200 miles on it and is out of warrenty. I think I am truely screwed as the Piaggio rep seems to think that this failure is too rare to warrent a recall or even a service bulletin.
I was wondering if any one out there with a 250 in the U.S. that was having the same problem.
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37492
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:30 pm quote
Rare? Steering bearings going notchy is the number one warranty issue with MP3's.

Your dealer is totally out of touch, or has only sold one or two MP3s if he hasn't seen this before.

At that mileage, Piaggio should honour warranty even if outside your local timescale. (In the EU standard warranty is two years, remind them of that.)

But do make sure if your dealer does the replacement that he does NOT follow the manual. The lower locking rings should be hand-tight, then slackened off by 110 degrees before the top locking ring is torqued down. This way the bearings will last 20,000 miles or double that (still counting) - by the manual they will not last 300 miles.

I thought Piaggio had corrected the factory mistakes - well it seemed like it for a time, but apparently that instruction has been forgotten. Maybe a good foreman left or something...
Hooked
Honda NC700X/MP3 250 (SOLD)
Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 268
Location: Tucson, Arizona USA
Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:07 pm quote
Mine Went Out at 12,000 miles
Jagony

Did this happen under the warranty period? If not plan on the dealer spending 13 hours sorting out the issue. I paid $549.00 and the dealer took pity on my and only charged me what Piaggio would pay under warranty.


Tucsonrider
Addicted
MP3 250 -> MP3 400 -> Gilera Fuoco -> SRV 850 -> Beverly 350
Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 610
Location: Essex
Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:42 am quote
Both my bearings went one after the other giving me 'notches'. The first one they would not do under warranty - bearing wear, even if it seems too quick, apparently is not a warranty fix... when the second one went, they damn well did it under warranty.
Hooked
2008 MP3 400
Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 369
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:23 am quote
The dealer told me they have not seen this problem, but my scooter has the most miles of any they have seen in this area, A little over 6,000 miles in two years is not a excessive. They are being very helpful so far and are dealing with the Piaggio rep and actually listening to me concerning the info available on this forum and others.
They also gave me a loaner bike to ride to the Pittsburgh rally this weekend (a MP3 400), which they really didn't have to do.

I will keep this post updated as the drama unfolds. It may be help to some one in the future.
Addicted
MP3 250 -> MP3 400 -> Gilera Fuoco -> SRV 850 -> Beverly 350
Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 610
Location: Essex
Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:19 am quote
6,000 miles in two years is very _low_. I did 11,000 in one year and I wasn't commuting every day... What does the dealer think people do with these vehicles? Just go to the neighbours for lunch on a Sunday?
Hooked
Vespa P200
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 123
Location: Ada, Ohio
Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:57 am quote
Jagony wrote:
The dealer told me they have not seen this problem, but my scooter has the most miles of any they have seen in this area, A little over 6,000 miles in two years is not a excessive. They are being very helpful so far and are dealing with the Piaggio rep and actually listening to me concerning the info available on this forum and others.
They also gave me a loaner bike to ride to the Pittsburgh rally this weekend (a MP3 400), which they really didn't have to do.

I will keep this post updated as the drama unfolds. It may be help to some one in the future.
Who is the dealer? Is it the Columbus Vespa dealer, or some other vendor?
Hooked
2008 MP3 400
Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 369
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:58 pm quote
Thanks for the input guys. I'd rather not name the dealer at this time, until I see how they resolve this problem. This is too prevent posts praising or panning this particular dealer that may influence my actions in this matter.
They don't have much (any?) wrench time on an MP3s outside of routine maintenance matters.
They were willing to listen and to read the threads from this forum to glean any information they could to show the Piaggio rep. jimc really seems to have made an impression on the head of the service department, after he read the threads he kept quoting him. jimc you have a fan in Columbus, Ohio.

They do a lot of work on European bikes so I do have faith in their abilities.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37492
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:06 pm quote
All I can add is that UK dealers who have any soul at all re-set the steering bearings at PDI. Saves tons of grief for customers and the dealer. It only takes 5 minutes per side when new if doing other 'sensible PDI' stuff.

I'm not sure how many US dealers have woken up to this simple solution, if any. It was suggested here over a year ago...
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Demon Black 500
Joined: 25 May 2008
Posts: 548
Location: Austin, Tx
Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:07 pm quote
Good to see things are being worked out. The wobble you experience may not be due to the bearings. It happens on motorcycles, as well, due to the tires, the suspension, and the geometry of the bike, itself.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37492
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:10 pm quote
A 'notch' is always steering bearings, an immediate MOT (annual road-worthiness test mandated here) failure.

I'm actually quietly seething that Piaggio still have bikes coming out of the factory with over-tightened steering bearings - and with not enough grease in them. Grrr...
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Demon Black 500
Joined: 25 May 2008
Posts: 548
Location: Austin, Tx
Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:11 pm quote
Just saying that I get the wobble as described, but not the notch.
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37492
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:24 pm quote
When the bearings just start to go it's not easy to diagnose. You will feel a 'wallowing' on fast large-radius curves. After that you will feel it is a bit 'tricky' filtering. If you are not allowed to filter in your part of the world (how quaint!) then try in a large empty parking lot - going as slow and as straight as you can.

I can now tell failing bearings well before they become noticeable when the bike is at a standstill with the front wheels jacked up.

Typical mileage for dealers to deal with this is between 6000 to 8000 from new., all models, unless they fettled them first (in which case none reported).

So still a factory issue it seems.
Molto Verboso
MP3 250
Joined: 07 Jun 2007
Posts: 1135
Location: San Diego
Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:45 pm quote
jimc..You are absolutely correct again..The bearings have little grease. All you need is a little water to get in those bearings and they will rust up..My bike has been having a front end wobble..Today I was going 2 grease the upper bearings and notced the steering upper ring nuts were way loose..I tighten them snug and it did the trick..

Last edited by ufo on Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:12 pm; edited 2 times in total
Hooked
2009 Piaggio MP3 400ie
Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 349
Location: Austin TX
Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:00 pm quote
Setting the steering bearings....10 minutes
jimc wrote:
All I can add is that UK dealers who have any soul at all re-set the steering bearings at PDI. Saves tons of grief for customers and the dealer. It only takes 5 minutes per side......
Jim,

By any small chance are there instructions (with pictures? ) on how to address this ten minute job anywhere on the web?

Any links or additional instructions you can provide here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time.

chris
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mp3 250
Joined: 15 Jun 2008
Posts: 693
Location: West malaysia
Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:41 pm quote
elementalist wrote:
6,000 miles in two years is very _low_. I did 11,000 in one year and I wasn't commuting every day... What does the dealer think people do with these vehicles? Just go to the neighbours for lunch on a Sunday?
Or they expect it to be framed and hung on the wall to be admired. I have over 1300 miles on my 250 in a tear.
Molto Verboso
Smrfmobile was a 2007 sky blue Piaggio MP3 250ie w/Tow-Pac, Inc. Instatrike B kit
Joined: 29 Jul 2008
Posts: 1307
Location: south San Francisco bay area, CA
Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:44 pm quote
And what time does a tear cover?

I put 6369 miles on the Smrfmobile in 6 months.
SH Lim wrote:
elementalist wrote:
6,000 miles in two years is very _low_. I did 11,000 in one year and I wasn't commuting every day... What does the dealer think people do with these vehicles? Just go to the neighbours for lunch on a Sunday?
Or they expect it to be framed and hung on the wall to be admired. I have over 1300 miles on my 250 in a tear.
Addicted
MP3 250 -> MP3 400 -> Gilera Fuoco -> SRV 850 -> Beverly 350
Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 610
Location: Essex
Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:21 pm quote
Re: Setting the steering bearings....10 minutes
onsiteaudio wrote:
jimc wrote:
All I can add is that UK dealers who have any soul at all re-set the steering bearings at PDI. Saves tons of grief for customers and the dealer. It only takes 5 minutes per side......
Jim,

By any small chance are there instructions (with pictures? ) on how to address this ten minute job anywhere on the web?

Any links or additional instructions you can provide here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time.

chris
I would imagine it's only 10 minutes if you already have all the front panels off...
Hooked
2008 MP3 400
Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 369
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:30 am quote
I put most of the miles on it the first year. My daily commute to work is only 7 miles round trip, and the wife and I have taken a couple of trips out of town of a couple of hundred miles. Most of the time it was my daily driver unless there is snow and ice. Like this winter.
I bought a cheap Chinese disposa-a-scooter and started riding it to work and if I plan to go to unsavory areas, and to save wear and tear on the MP3. Too late I guess. Plus I can do really ugly and dumb mods to the Chinese scooter, and no one will say "What a waste of a good scooter" and be right.
Hooked
Honda CTX700N
Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 332
Location: New York
Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:52 am quote
So what's the likelihood of this problem occurring? 50 50 chance? Or something I should just plan on at around 6000 miles...?
Not counting the 3 months of winter I didn't ride, I've already got 2750 miles on my 500 since November last year. At that rate, looks like by end of summer... Not looking forward to this at all

dk
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MP3 250 -> MP3 400 -> Gilera Fuoco -> SRV 850 -> Beverly 350
Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 610
Location: Essex
Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:07 am quote
If you're worried have someone check it now and do some preventative measures - from what I have experienced, it was probably being badly setup in the factory and/or not treated with grease that caused the failure, so have that done properly and it may not go wrong for a long time.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37492
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:17 am quote
Re: Setting the steering bearings....10 minutes
elementalist wrote:
onsiteaudio wrote:
jimc wrote:
All I can add is that UK dealers who have any soul at all re-set the steering bearings at PDI. Saves tons of grief for customers and the dealer. It only takes 5 minutes per side......
Jim,

By any small chance are there instructions (with pictures? ) on how to address this ten minute job anywhere on the web?

Any links or additional instructions you can provide here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time.

chris
I would imagine it's only 10 minutes if you already have all the front panels off...
Exactly so.

Disconnect the steering link-bar.
For each side, slacken the bearings right off (do not remove completely).
Grease up the lower bearing as much as possible from the outside.
Do up the lower locking ring 'hand-tight'.
Back it off by 100-110 degrees (90 is not enough).
Tighten up the upper ring.
Check for no lateral play, if so tighten lower then upper rings by 5 degrees at a time.
Done.

The above can be done with a drift, no need for the special tools, and should allow the bearings to last far longer than they would as delivered. However if they were overtightened at the factory some brinelling may have aleady have taken place.
Banned
Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 2919

Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:46 am quote
Man, I must have lucked out. Have close to 12,000 miles on my 500 and am having no problems with the steering bearings. Knock on wood.

JimC does this mean I won't have any problems or that it's just taking longer for them to fail?
Guess I should grease them now that it's almost a year old.

Wayne B
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37492
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:58 am quote
Some bikes suffer early, some go on for ages without a problem. I suspect just different personnel at the factory might account for this. Luigi does them up too tight, Pietro does them properly.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Neutrino MP3 492.7 AK, 2013 Moto Guzzi Norge
Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 21342
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:49 pm quote
Pietro had to do my bike as it is just perfect, he must have done Waynes also
Hooked
Honda NC700X/MP3 250 (SOLD)
Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 268
Location: Tucson, Arizona USA
Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:27 pm quote
jimc wrote:
Some bikes suffer early, some go on for ages without a problem. I suspect just different personnel at the factory might account for this. Luigi does them up too tight, Pietro does them properly.
And I must have had Luigi and his cousin Guido... build my MP3..

Tucsonrider
Hooked
2008 MP3 400
Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 369
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:13 pm quote
Loaner bike
I've not yet heard anything more from the shop as I went out of town Friday and they are closed on Sunday and Monday, and I had no messages waiting at my return.
I did ride their MP3 400 to Pittsburgh this weekend and put 543 miles total on it so far. I really like it, except for the stock windshield, and hope I can resist trading the 250 in for it. That would present all kinds of complications.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37492
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:15 pm quote
Swap windshields, trade-in, what's to worry about?
Hooked
2009 Piaggio MP3 400ie
Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 349
Location: Austin TX
Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:00 pm quote
Re: Setting the steering bearings....10 minutes
onsiteaudio wrote:
Jim,

By any small chance are there instructions (with pictures? ) on how to address this ten minute job anywhere on the web?

Any links or additional instructions you can provide here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time.

chris
JimC wrote:
Disconnect the steering link-bar.
For each side, slacken the bearings right off (do not remove completely).
Grease up the lower bearing as much as possible from the outside.
Do up the lower locking ring 'hand-tight'.
Back it off by 100-110 degrees (90 is not enough).
Tighten up the upper ring.
Check for no lateral play, if so tighten lower then upper rings by 5 degrees at a time.
Done.

The above can be done with a drift, no need for the special tools, and should allow the bearings to last far longer than they would as delivered. However if they were overtightened at the factory some brinelling may have aleady have taken place.
Just wanted to say "Thanks!" for sharing your invaluable experience here, it helps tremendously.

chris
Hooked
2008 MP3 400
Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 369
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:12 pm quote
Still no scooter. Talked to the owner Tuesday when I took the loaner back, said they were waiting to hear from the Piaggio rep. I will call tomorrow to see if I can light a fire under them.
Hooked
2008 MP3 400
Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 369
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Tue May 05, 2009 5:16 pm quote
Update
Latest news is that the part costs $200.00, and the labor will run around $1300.00 worst case.
They don't yet have the part and tell me they can't check to see if the part is available until they get their order back from Piaggio to see what has been back ordered. WTF?
No help from Piaggio as they don't see this as a serious problem. The service rep at the shop suggested I call Piaggio customer service, but he didn't have the number.
I did look up the number on line and will call tomorrow. In the mean time a sent a strongly worded e-mail to Piaggio. I bet that puts the fear of god or God in them.
Molto Verboso
MP3 250
Joined: 07 Jun 2007
Posts: 1135
Location: San Diego
Tue May 05, 2009 6:53 pm quote
When i had my fuel pump replaced the mechanic pressure washed my front end. It must have washed out all the grease in the bearings and I got the notch..I have been greasing the bearings and I am back 2 normal..Grease those bearings..
Hooked
2009 Piaggio MP3 400ie
Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 349
Location: Austin TX
Tue May 05, 2009 7:29 pm quote
Recommended Product?
ufo wrote:
When i had my fuel pump replaced the mechanic pressure washed my front end. It must have washed out all the grease in the bearings and I got the notch..I have been greasing the bearings and I am back 2 normal..Grease those bearings..
UFO,

What was that particular product you recommended for greasing the front bearings? It was in a spray can if I remember correctly.

chris
Member
MP3 400 2008
Joined: 01 May 2009
Posts: 29
Location: South San Francisco, Bay Area, CA USA
Tue May 05, 2009 10:56 pm quote
would this steering bearing issue accounts for 100% of my MP3 400 cc wobble trouble at higher speed on freeway ?
Addicted
MP3 Piaggio 2007
Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Posts: 574
Location: Austin, Texas
Wed May 06, 2009 12:05 am quote
Spray lube
I don't remember the exact type , but the maker was Berrymans , in a spray can.
Molto Verboso
'95 Yamaha Riva 125- '05 Piaggio BV200-'05 Honda Reflex-'08 Honda Metropolitan
Joined: 22 Oct 2005
Posts: 1647
Location: Ohio
Wed May 06, 2009 2:19 pm quote
Re: Update
Jagony wrote:
Latest news is that the part costs $200.00, and the labor will run around $1300.00 worst case.
They don't yet have the part and tell me they can't check to see if the part is available until they get their order back from Piaggio to see what has been back ordered. WTF?
No help from Piaggio as they don't see this as a serious problem. The service rep at the shop suggested I call Piaggio customer service, but he didn't have the number.
I did look up the number on line and will call tomorrow. In the mean time a sent a strongly worded e-mail to Piaggio. I bet that puts the fear of god or God in them.
Steering head bearings - $200.00 - is that right?? I had my dealer order a set for my BV200. I didn't ask the price- it needs them one way or another- but I didn't think they would even be $50.00.
Someone who has had this done please chime in.

Bob
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MP3-250 Tiger 1050 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone
Joined: 21 Nov 2007
Posts: 862
Location: Central Coast, California
Wed May 06, 2009 6:39 pm quote
My 250 now has the notch . I believe I'm getting near the end of the road with this bike and plan on moving to something else soon. I'm going to see if I can get to the upper bearings this weekend and check out the grease situation.
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GTV250 GTS 300!! MP3 500, Lambretta TV200 S3 77 07 Aprilia Tuono 1000R 64 Vespa Vbb150
Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 620
Location: Los Angeles/San Diego
Thu May 07, 2009 10:37 am quote
Quote:
Latest news is that the part costs $200.00, and the labor will run around $1300.00 worst case.
They don't yet have the part and tell me they can't check to see if the part is available until they get their order back from Piaggio to see what has been back ordered. WTF?
No help from Piaggio as they don't see this as a serious problem. The service rep at the shop suggested I call Piaggio customer service, but he didn't have the number.
I did look up the number on line and will call tomorrow. In the mean time a sent a strongly worded e-mail to Piaggio. I bet that puts the fear of god or God in them.
Sorry to hear about your MP3. I have had 7800 miles of trouble free issue and even had my bearing looked at while in service at 6000. Good luck in gettng this covered, but I fear that you will not if your vehicle is out.


Jon
Hooked
2008 MP3 400
Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 369
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Thu May 07, 2009 4:02 pm quote
Just want to ride
I am now at the point of not caring how bad I am going to get reamed on this deal.
I just want to ride my MP3.
It has to be fixed and they have to make a profit I have contacted Piaggio customer service, and they are looking into the problem
I just want my scooter back.
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GTV250 GTS 300!! MP3 500, Lambretta TV200 S3 77 07 Aprilia Tuono 1000R 64 Vespa Vbb150
Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 620
Location: Los Angeles/San Diego
Fri May 08, 2009 8:44 pm quote
Once again sorry to hear about this.. I hope this does not happened to me. I will just have to check mine at 12,000 miles. Good luck and get out their and ride.




Jon
Team Scooter Trash for Petfinder Foundation   Vespa Wasp Pin Badges   AF1 Racing Vespa Austin
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