MP3 400 TUNING ;)
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Enthusiast
2009 MP3 400ie RL
Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 84
Location: UK
Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:55 pm quote
OK so you are interested in tuning up your scooter.
So was I so I bought and install J COSTA less then month a go (you can see my write up here http://www.modernvespa.com/forum/topic47985?highlight= )
My expectations were quite high and I could not wait to try it.
Liked it... it was definitely an improvement but it was still not exactly what I was looking for. Acceleration 0-20 MPH did not improved at all. The revs stayed quite low (3500rpm) between 0-20 exactly the same as with OEM variator. 20-90 MPH smoother and quicker than with OEM variator but it never hit 7500rpm as jimc said his Fuoco can do with his J COSTA.
So I ordered Dr Pulley stuff. Sliding Rollers of 15g,16g,17g + HiT clutch. It arrived on Friday.
First Hit clutch went in so the set-up was J COSTA + HiT and then I went for a ride. Immediately when I took off I though oh my GOD this is so smooth. The clutch just bites instantly and there is no vibration what so ever. It was smooth but again the engine was not reving as high. This was most probably down to weight of the J COSTA + weight of the HiT as they are both noticeably heavier than the OEM parts.
Next I took COSTA out put my OEM variator in with 15g Dr Pulley sliding rollers and off I went.

WOOOOW!


No shudder, No vibration, Acceleration 0-20 MPH improved, 20-90 VA-VA-VOOOM, Throttle response excellent and Smooth as silk all the way up to 90MPH
Feeling that I could still do more I changed the clutch spring for harder one (25kg Pink) and the overall result is UNBELIEVALBLE !!!!!!! The power is brutal and instant. It was a first time I got scarred on the scooter doing WOT It is a totally different machine now.
Now I am not done with it yet, I am still going to experiment more with the springs and rollers. For now I am keeping it as it is !!!!


If you really want to improve your MP3 400 get Dr Pulley stuff. You will have much more options to choose from in terms of tuning it the way you like it (HiT clutch has 2 different sets of springs so you can change both for softer or harder + you can try different weighs of sliding rollers). I know there is a lot of fans of J COSTA but I can only report my experience and findings. Also note that the MP3 500 could be slightly different story.

OEM clutch + J COSTA = £230 for COSTA ....there is just one set-up option, no weights for variator other than 23.5g it’s shiped with. There could be different clutch springs available somewhere but I doubt that would help cos the clutch just slips to much.

HiT clutch + J COSTA = £255 + £230= £485 ....bit expensive but and not the best in my opinion.

HiT clutch + Sliding Rolers = £255 GBP + 40GBP = £295... maybe 10 different ways of set-up to fit you riding style. I am really amazed with this and it beats J COSTA (on its own) hands down!!

I am sorry for my English it's not my mother tongue.


EDIT: Going home today through a lot off start and stop traffic I experienced quite a lot off vibrations at take off. This should be due to clutch (push pin) biting too early. Manual recommends changing to harder clutch springs and/or harder pillow springs. I already have the hardest clutch springs on but softest pillow springs. Will replace the pillow springs for harder ones asap and will report back... So don't take my above set-up for final please.


EDIT 2: OK so "Clutch Springs" need to be Pinks (25kg) and the Pillow Springs" Yellows (20kg) + Dr Pulley SR (15g) in your OEM variator . This is my finall set-up ABSOLUTELY LOVING IT !!!! That grin is getting so wide that I have to pick flies from it


DSC01309.JPG

DSC01314.JPG
HiT already attached to driven pulley.

DSC01318.JPG
J COSTA after 1000 miles

1.jpg
J COSTA weight for MP3 400

DSC01332.JPG
OEM roller

DSC01338.JPG
Dr Pulley sliding roller I used...

DSC01341.JPG

DSC01343.JPG
swapped the shoes for Dr Pulley ones as well

DSC01347.JPG

DSC01350.JPG
Yellow clutch springs on...this is how the clutch arrived from the factory

DSC01351.JPG
Used the string to put harder clutch pinks on..

DSC01352.JPG
VOALA!



Last edited by joe bulva on Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:01 am; edited 5 times in total
Enthusiast
MP3 400 and MP3 500
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Location: Irvine, CA
Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:33 pm quote
Oh man, I wish this was done about a month ago. I put the J.Costa in and yes I thought it was smoother but not much else. Scoot seemed sluggish. I just thought it was the 400, so I went out and bought a 500! Now I have to decide what to do, keep the 500 or fix up the 400. Decisions, decisions!

Jill
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Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:57 pm quote
Question for joe bulva
I have the pulley 15gm sliders and shoes and will have them installed at 6k miles.

Have you tried the complete stock trans and springs with the dr pulleys and how that compares to your set up that you likes most?

Anyone else can also respond that has dr pulley's on a 400.
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Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:40 pm quote
No need to apologize for you English!

Thanks for the excellent write up and pics. It's threads like this that are like gold for the other members here. We appreciate the time you took to do this as well as the money you spent so that some of us won't have to!!

Dave
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:11 am quote
Argh such unlucky timing! I had a JCosta fitted on Saturday and thought "hmm - smooth, but not much better" and it's gotten worse since then acceleration-wise

Had I seen this post, I obviously wouldn't have bothered - still - we live and learn!

Dang it. Guess I need to get some more work done to 'fix' it.
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2009 MP3 400ie RL
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:38 am quote
elementalist wrote:
Argh such unlucky timing! I had a JCosta fitted on Saturday and thought "hmm - smooth, but not much better" and it's gotten worse since then acceleration-wise

Had I seen this post, I obviously wouldn't have bothered - still - we live and learn!

Dang it. Guess I need to get some more work done to 'fix' it.
In my current set-up the acceleration form stand still improved by probably 20%-30%, the revs still stay quite low between 0-20MPH. The improvement is IMHO in better transition of power by HiT on the belt. As I said there is still room for experiments. In the package you'll find "Torque spring washer" which when installed should grab the belt even more. I would like someone else trying Dr. Pulley so we can compare notes maybe..
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:46 am quote
joe bulva wrote:
In my current set-up the acceleration form stand still improved by probably 20%-30%, the revs still stay quite low between 0-20MPH. The improvement is IMHO in better transition of power by HiT on the belt. As I said there is still room for experiments. In the package you'll find "Torque spring washer" which when installed should grab the belt even more. I would like someone else trying Dr. Pulley so we can compare notes maybe..
Well, I'm sure not leaving it as it is, so I'll be getting some sort of replacement.
I'd like to try changing the weights in the JCosta, but I don't want to be stuck if that doesn't work, so will probably get the Dr Pulley stuff too and work out what's best.
I say "I will" where I mean "I will ask Cheeky Thomas to"
What is your current set up today? Just Dr Pulley 15g rollers with the OEM variator?
Hooked
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:25 am quote
Interesting... Is anyone with a 500 experiencing the same sluggish take off from stand still? I ordered a Costa (which is still on back order ) and will get it installed during my next service.

I'm now getting some second thoughts here. A smoother low end take off would be very nice but not sure if I'd be very happy to trade in the already pretty weak low end acceleration for it. Hope I did not waste my money with the Costa.

Please give us some performance reports if you have a Costa in your 500. How's the low end take off from 0-20 compared to the stock variator?

dk
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:35 am quote
I've never read of anyone having anything but deep joy over the 500 JCosta installation - partly why I took the risk on my 400.

I'm sure a search would yield up some reports.
Hooked
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:53 am quote
I'm very happy with the J Costa on my 500. 0-60 deffinatley improved and smoother.

Perhaps Costa have got the weighting wrong for the 400s?
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:32 am quote
Educating! Can it work for the 250.
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:38 am quote
Hey Joe, so to get this straight....currently you're running just the HiT clutch and the Dr. Pulleys 15 gr weights and you have the Dr. Pulley pink 25 springs on? Is that it?
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:09 am quote
SH Lim wrote:
Educating! Can it work for the 250.
I have read the most improvement can be felt in the MP3 250

Wayne B
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2009 MP3 400ie RL
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:32 am quote
elementalist wrote:
What is your current set up today? Just Dr Pulley 15g rollers with the OEM variator?
luthorhuss wrote:
Hey Joe, so to get this straight....currently you're running just the HiT clutch and the Dr. Pulleys 15 gr weights and you have the Dr. Pulley pink 25 springs on? Is that it?
Yes, OEM variator with 15g SR + HiT clutch with pink (25kg) clutch springs and red pillow springs (12.5kg).

If you feel brave order 16g & 17g SR as well and try different combinations. (heavier SR...softer springs?) In the manual it says the pillow springs could be taken out completely

see 6. Tuning HiT Clutch http://www.unionmaterial.com/Instruction%20for%20HIT-V1-mini.pdf

The manual I have, seems to be updated version of this and so is the clutch. The old one had "Aluminum-made shoe & push pin is short type" (this is the info I got from Paul Wu, Dr Pulley rep.) so I suggest you shouldn't get any old stock as newer should be better in this case.
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:48 am quote
I'm not sure you can get Dr. Pulley gear over here

Did you try taking out a pair of the weights on the JCosta at any stage?
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2009 MP3 400ie RL
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:08 am quote
elementalist wrote:
I'm not sure you can get Dr. Pulley gear over here

Did you try taking out a pair of the weights on the JCosta at any stage?
No I didn’t, that would mean taking at least 4 weights out. IMHO that’s to many (take 2 out and it could go quite out of balance. Don’t forget J COSTA is heavier) but I might be wrong here.
Try and let us know please ...or I am sure there must be other guys on this forum who have J COSTA in their VESPAs ...maybe they have some experience.
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:36 am quote
elementalist wrote:
I'm not sure you can get Dr. Pulley gear over here

Did you try taking out a pair of the weights on the JCosta at any stage?
http://scootertronics.com/drpuhipeclgy.html

Here's one I've found...not sure about the matchup with the one for the 400...apparently they make a whole line of diff clutches
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Red MP3 500 RUBY DRAGON
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:05 am quote
You can compare the Dr. Pulley weights with the stock rollers as far as weight is concerned, but you can't compare them to the weight of the J Costa sliders for the same vehicle because the design is very different and the angle of the weights is different. Because the angle is different, the forces on the bell will be incomparible to stock or Dr. Pulley.
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2009 MP3 400ie RL
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:57 am quote
Going home today through a lot off start and stop traffic I experienced quite a lot off vibrations at take off. This should be due to clutch (push pin) biting too early. Manual recommends changing to harder clutch springs and/or harder pillow springs. I already have the hardest clutch springs on but softest pillow springs. Will replace the pillow springs for harder ones asap. It probably means that I am gonna have to take the the clutch apart

So don't take my above set-up for final please.

IMG.jpg
From Dr Pulley manual

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Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:18 am quote
In case anyone is interested... A rep of JCosta in the UK phoned me. He was very good - very keen to get things resolved and convinced that the JCosta should have clear performance improvements for the MP3 400.

He suggested I check the weight of the weights, which I will (or rather CT will) because they do supply a lot of units and, you never know.

He is also sending me some 16g weights so, if they do turn out to be 24g ones already in there and I want to try lighter ones, I can.
They can be mixed in matched pairs, so I can use some 24 and some 16 if all 16s seems to flighty.

Should get it done at the end of the week - I'll let you good folks know how it goes!

'Course if that doesn't work, I'll be back here checking on the Dr. Pulley setup and progress
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:23 am quote
mjm50cal wrote:
You can compare the Dr. Pulley weights with the stock rollers as far as weight is concerned, but you can't compare them to the weight of the J Costa sliders for the same vehicle because the design is very different and the angle of the weights is different. Because the angle is different, the forces on the bell will be incomparible to stock or Dr. Pulley.
Absolutely - it's oranges and apples really, as tempting as it is to compare. I'll just have to try and see. At least the dealer and JCosta rep are being very helpful - I get the feeling there haven't been many 400s modded and I'm being used for R&D, but, hey as long as the job gets sorted
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:18 am quote
Glad to hear you were contacted. I've found the UK J Costa distributors to be very helpful and keen to make sure all customers are happy. If you can find the best combination of weights for the 400 with CT's help then that will be hugely helpful for everyone else around the world.
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Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:08 pm quote
Yup. One nice thing about being part of an online community is things like this: at least my problems can benefit others
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Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:14 am quote
I think I got it! Please read update in my first post !
Hooked
2009 Piaggio MP3 400ie
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Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:45 am quote
clutch and pillow spring choices on MP3 400?
joe bulva wrote:
I think I got it! Please read update in my first post !
Just for clarification purposes, if I understand correctly the set-up that ended up providing the best results on an MP3 400 as far as you were concerned were:

Pink Clutch Springs - 25kg
Yellow Pillow Springs - 20kg

Correct?
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2009 MP3 400ie RL
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Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:59 am quote
Re: clutch and pillow spring choices on MP3 400?
onsiteaudio wrote:
joe bulva wrote:
I think I got it! Please read update in my first post !
Just for clarification purposes, if I understand correctly the set-up that ended up providing the best results on an MP3 400 as far as you were concerned were:

Pink Clutch Springs - 25kg
Yellow Pillow Springs - 20kg

Correct?
Correct
Hooked
2009 Piaggio MP3 400ie
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Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:46 pm quote
Product Code and Vendors
Is there a particular product code for the Dr. Pulley HiT clutch that is specific to the MP3 400 or are all HiT clutches sold one and the same for every bike out there?

Any recommended vendors for this product?

I have the 15 gram Dr. Pulley sliders in my MP3 400 and it was a fantastic improvement for $50. I've considered the JCosta but I've got an extended warranty on the bike and didn't want anything that might F the bike and not be able to utilize the warranty. The price tag isn't small coin for me either.

How long are the Dr. Pulley sliders supposed to be good for, change every 6K miles like the rollers, or are they supposed to be longer lasting?

And this HiT clutch, any conjectures on how long its useful life should be?

chris
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Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:21 am quote
I'm very happy you got a good setup, Joe, but my saga continues!

I'm going to try lighter weights in the JCosta - the UK JCosta guy sent some and I was due to get them fitted today... but then the London post office went on strike...

*rolls eyes*
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Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:02 am quote
Chetwynder wrote:
No need to apologize for you English!

Thanks for the excellent write up and pics. It's threads like this that are like gold for the other members here. We appreciate the time you took to do this as well as the money you spent so that some of us won't have to!!

Dave
+1 thanks, excellent write up
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Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:09 am quote
maxblack wrote:
Chetwynder wrote:
No need to apologize for you English!

Thanks for the excellent write up and pics. It's threads like this that are like gold for the other members here. We appreciate the time you took to do this as well as the money you spent so that some of us won't have to!!

Dave
+1 thanks, excellent write up
I just re-read my post... I should apologize for my english

Dave
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Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:14 am quote
Well, I've had the lighter weights fitted... it's not really helping

The dealer and JCosta guy are being great and are trying to think something up - maybe it's a faulty variator - maybe my scoot has an issue - maybe (hope not but maybe) it's just not going to work as well in a 400.

Basically, with the 24g weights, on takeoff (as Joe also experienced) revs go to 3500 and acceleration lags for 2, 3 sometimes 4 seconds (which is horrid) then, when you've slowly reached about 25mph, revs go to 6500 and acceleration smoothly goes up to top. Actually, mid to high range pickup is lovely.

With the lighter weights (18g) it is unfortunately, pretty much the same except revs go to 4000 initially, then 7000 and maybe mid and hig range pickup is a little better.

In both cases something weird happened in that for the first 50 miles or so after fitting, the takeoff is pretty much uneffected apart from being a little more smooth. After that - once 'run in' - the takeoff is worse than with the OEM variator

I'm just letting you guys know my progress - as I say the dealer and JCosta guy are keen to help get things working and I'm going with it (even though every change is a 140 mile round trip to Cheeky Tom = £10 and £20 labour) for now.

Since the high range is uneffected (in fact it gets up to 90 very nicely and will do 100 with the wind without hitting the limiter) it could stand lighter weights? Might try it sometime - I'm waiting now to see what the dealer and JCosta guy come up with...
Enthusiast
2009 MP3 400ie RL
Joined: 20 Feb 2009
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Location: UK
Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:53 am quote
Re: Product Code and Vendors
onsiteaudio wrote:
Is there a particular product code for the Dr. Pulley HiT clutch that is specific to the MP3 400 or are all HiT clutches sold one and the same for every bike out there?

Any recommended vendors for this product?

I have the 15 gram Dr. Pulley sliders in my MP3 400 and it was a fantastic improvement for $50. I've considered the JCosta but I've got an extended warranty on the bike and didn't want anything that might F the bike and not be able to utilize the warranty. The price tag isn't small coin for me either.

How long are the Dr. Pulley sliders supposed to be good for, change every 6K miles like the rollers, or are they supposed to be longer lasting?

And this HiT clutch, any conjectures on how long its useful life should be?

chris
The clutch should be the same for MP3 400 & 500 and the number is HiT251701. Same for rollers, number is SR2517.

As Far as longevity is concerned I don't know. Guess I will find out.
elementalist wrote:
Well, I've had the lighter weights fitted... it's not really helping

The dealer and JCosta guy are being great and are trying to think something up - maybe it's a faulty variator - maybe my scoot has an issue - maybe (hope not but maybe) it's just not going to work as well in a 400.

Basically, with the 24g weights, on takeoff (as Joe also experienced) revs go to 3500 and acceleration lags for 2, 3 sometimes 4 seconds (which is horrid) then, when you've slowly reached about 25mph, revs go to 6500 and acceleration smoothly goes up to top. Actually, mid to high range pickup is lovely.

With the lighter weights (18g) it is unfortunately, pretty much the same except revs go to 4000 initially, then 7000 and maybe mid and hig range pickup is a little better.

In both cases something weird happened in that for the first 50 miles or so after fitting, the takeoff is pretty much uneffected apart from being a little more smooth. After that - once 'run in' - the takeoff is worse than with the OEM variator

I'm just letting you guys know my progress - as I say the dealer and JCosta guy are keen to help get things working and I'm going with it (even though every change is a 140 mile round trip to Cheeky Tom = £10 and £20 labour) for now.

Since the high range is uneffected (in fact it gets up to 90 very nicely and will do 100 with the wind without hitting the limiter) it could stand lighter weights? Might try it sometime - I'm waiting now to see what the dealer and JCosta guy come up with...
To be honest there is still a difference between acceleration 0-20MPH and 20-90MPH. The lower end could still be better but my current set-up is definitely the max I could get out of it so far. The clutch really helps to transmit the power on the belt but it might never accelerate like superbike It's after all 240kg scooter..
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Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:10 am quote
Re: Product Code and Vendors
joe bulva wrote:
To be honest there is still a difference between acceleration 0-20MPH and 20-90MPH. The lower end could still be better but my current set-up is definitely the max I could get out of it so far. The clutch really helps to transmit the power on the belt but it might never accelerate like superbike It's after all 240kg scooter..
Hi Joe. But, is your setup better than the JCosta in the 0-20? and better than the OEM setup? coz currently mine is often worse.

Well, ok, this is the first day and only 120 miles in, but, it got worse over those 120 miles.

JCosta do claim that low end acceleration is improved...
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Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:52 am quote
Re: Product Code and Vendors
elementalist wrote:
joe bulva wrote:
To be honest there is still a difference between acceleration 0-20MPH and 20-90MPH. The lower end could still be better but my current set-up is definitely the max I could get out of it so far. The clutch really helps to transmit the power on the belt but it might never accelerate like superbike It's after all 240kg scooter..
Hi Joe. But, is your setup better than the JCosta in the 0-20? and better than the OEM setup? coz currently mine is often worse.

Well, ok, this is the first day and only 120 miles in, but, it got worse over those 120 miles.

JCosta do claim that low end acceleration is improved...
Low end is not improved with J COSTA on MP3 400 at all (with 24g weights). With Dr Pulley stuff my personal feel is 20%-30% improvement but as I said many times above the revs go to 4000rpm max. Not sure if this could be tuned in the way of having super quick take-offs and in the same time not "screwing up" the 20-90MPH very smooth part.... if I am making sence.
In the end of the day you can't have everything... but I am loving it as it is now.
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Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:03 am quote
Re: Product Code and Vendors
joe bulva wrote:
Low end is not improved with J COSTA on MP3 400 at all (with 24g weights). With Dr Pulley stuff my personal feel is 20%-30% improvement but as I said many times above the revs go to 4000rpm max. Not sure if this could be tuned in the way of having super quick take-offs and in the same time not "screwing up" the 20-90MPH very smooth part.... if I am making sence.
In the end of the day you can't have everything... but I am loving it as it is now.
I know the theory is that there must be a trade off, but, surely the trade off could be "improved performance across the whole range = higher fuel consumption and more expensive parts/maintenance" rather than "improved mid range = degraded lower end".
The MP3 isn't made perfect in the factory - there is surely scope for wholly positive performance improvement if you throw money (parts/fuel/time) at it?

Perhaps I just fell for the martketing bumf - maybe they should call these things "performance changing" rather than "performance enhancing"?
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Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:43 am quote
Have you guys called JCosta?
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Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:12 am quote
mjm50cal wrote:
Have you guys called JCosta?
Have spoken to UK JCosta two or three times, yeah. They are convinced it should work for the 400 and I'm waiting for a response given my latest lighter weights not working well.
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Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:15 pm quote
OK, so I am still experiencing vibrations at take-off. The clutch still bites to soon. So if any of you is going to experiment with this you might want to start with pink pink setup. All springs pink. I will email Dr Pulley as well to ask if this is still "normal" behavior. Unfortunately I am off for 2 months now, I won't get chance to test this any sooner. Appologise for not very consistent report, but the behavior always changes once it setles in after few days and also riding 2 up. It's just a matter of putting the hours of testing in and it will be fine. I will not give up
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Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:59 am quote
Well, i just got an update from my JCosta UK rep who says he's talked to Spain and they say there is an issue with some MP3 400s. Something to do with the drive belt used, but apparently there is a possible 'fix' - they are going to send me a new bell that should alleviate the issue.

That's good, I guess - another trip to the mechanic, but potentially, could make everything ok.

Would be good to get the lower end smoothed out, because the mid and high range is lovely!

As always - I'll let you guys know.

EDIT: It'll be maybe more than a week. The part has to come from Spain. Might be sooner... might not...

Last edited by elementalist on Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:43 am; edited 1 time in total
Ossessionato
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Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:39 am quote
I'm sure I don't have to say this: "keep us posted" It sure would be nice to know these things in advance though so that a person could get the right parts on the machine in the first go...

Dave
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