Hello and MP3 400 tuning question
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Hooked
MP3 400 i.e.
Joined: 24 Sep 2009
Posts: 101
Location: London
Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:20 am quote
Dear All,
Hi. After lurking for a while picking up masses of useful information (thank you all) I thought I'd ask a question. I'm a new MP3 400 owner in the UK. Very happy with the bike, after moving up from a GTS 250. My GTS was quicker of the mark though, and I miss that a bit (love loads of other things though). On this site and others I've narrowed simple upgrades to two, Dr Pulley 15gm weights, and J Costa variator. On the latter though, I haven't been able to track down whether they've managed to get this variator working optimally for the 400. Reports on early versions were mixed. What I'm after is slightly smoother and smarter early take off. I'm tempted by the cheapness and simplicity of the Dr Pulley option, but price isn't the main consideration if the J Costa is a better solution.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts, and many thanks for all the great contributions that I've read so far and that helped me in making the decision to move up in the first place.
Matthew
Moderaptor
2xGP800, Fuoco, X9 500 Evo, The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug), 'Olive' (GT200) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 31496
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:03 pm quote
Welcome Matthew.

The J Costa has been re-jigged for the 400, if you email the distributors they should be able to advise. http://www.sabreracingproducts.co.uk/

I haven't yet heard of a UK distributor for the Dr Pulley sliders, in the meantime get them from the US. http://www.scootertrap.com/

I'm considering Dr Pulley sliders next time round myself - just to try them out and be able to give a one-to-one comparison.
Hooked
MP3 400 i.e.
Joined: 24 Sep 2009
Posts: 101
Location: London
Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:56 pm quote
thanks Jim. it feels as if cheap and simple seems like a good place to start. I'm not a mechanic though. is fitting new weights/sliders something that any piaggio dealer should be able or willing to do? I notice you're in london as well. not sure if There are some mechanics who are really good with these machines?
M
Addicted
MP3 250 -> MP3 400 -> Gilera Fuoco -> SRV 850!
Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 510
Location: Essex
Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:27 am quote
I am one of the few that tried the early JCosta kit on a 400. Had problems because the bell was 'wrong', but when you get the proper bell the kit works well.

It sounds like the improvement is more profound for the 500, but I would say the change to the 400 is still worth it.

I'm getting some variable performance still: last night I experienced a return to the lull in power and shaking take-offs - this morning the take-offs are best they've ever been - barely a lull at all and very smooth *shrug*

I have tried the JCosta with standard and with much lighter weights. With lighter it was a tad 'unruly' - would sometimes rev up to 8k and not give optimum pull until it dropped back to 6.5 or 7, so I think they were too light (they were 16g). With the standard weights (23g?) I'm sometimes getting great take-offs, mostly ok, sometimes bad - I'm going to try mixing in some of the lighter weights with the standard (in opposing pairs, of course) at my 20K service.
Member
MP3 400 LT
Joined: 23 Aug 2009
Posts: 27
Location: Paris, France
Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:50 am quote
I see exactly what you mean about the 400 being slower off the mark. There's a second or so lag when you put the pedal to the metal and as a consequence 125s and 250s take off much faster.

Unfortunately, changing the variator isn't going to fix that, on the contrary (especially with the JCosta, which works its magic best at high revs).

Changing the variator weights is a good start but we have a solution in France that I haven't seen on this forum before, so let me enlighten you.

A small Piaggio/Gilera dealer a few miles outside of Paris found a quick and easy fix to the MP3 400's takeoff lag: a modified variator pulley. Simply put, they take a stock variator pulley (that circular winged part that allows the drive belt to slide back and forth) and they mill the inside of the pulley (the part that's in contact with the belt) and remove 1.3mm of metal from the entire surface. This changes the slope of the pulley ever so slightly, but it allows a much quicker takeoff.

I had my dealer install one for me with a set of Dr. Pulley 15g variator weights and I can now take off pretty much as fast a Tmax 500 (not sure if they have those in the US, but it's a fast & powerful bike).

I'm guessing that anyone with access to a CNC mill could alter a stock pulley pretty easily.

The modified pulley is sold here for 135 euros.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 5950
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:55 am quote
dfmz wrote:
I see exactly what you mean about the 400 being slower off the mark. There's a second or so lag when you put the pedal to the metal and as a consequence 125s and 250s take off much faster.

Unfortunately, changing the variator isn't going to fix that, on the contrary (especially with the JCosta, which works its magic best at high revs).

Changing the variator weights is a good start but we have a solution in France that I haven't seen on this forum before, so let me enlighten you.

A small Piaggio/Gilera dealer a few miles outside of Paris found a quick and easy fix to the MP3 400's takeoff lag: a modified variator pulley. Simply put, they take a stock variator pulley (that circular winged part that allows the drive belt to slide back and forth) and they mill the inside of the pulley (the part that's in contact with the belt) and remove 1.3mm of metal from the entire surface. This changes the slope of the pulley ever so slightly, but it allows a much quicker takeoff.

I had my dealer install one for me with a set of Dr. Pulley 15g variator weights and I can now take off pretty much as fast a Tmax 500 (not sure if they have those in the US, but it's a fast & powerful bike).

I'm guessing that anyone with access to a CNC mill could alter a stock pulley pretty easily.

The modified pulley is sold here for 135 euros.
I think you would accomplish the same thing by adding a second washer between the variator and front pulley. Much easier to expeirment with washer thickness and a standard washer for the MP3 is less than $4.
Member
MP3 400 LT
Joined: 23 Aug 2009
Posts: 27
Location: Paris, France
Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:00 am quote
Interesting suggestion. However, I would assume that they tried this before going through the trouble of milling the part.

Additionally, I'm pretty sure we'd already have read about this somewhere if it were really that simple!

According to them, 1.3mm of metal is removed from the surface of the pulley. I don't have both versions of tha pulley to compare the exact differences, but I'm pretty sure I remember them telling me the center part is also modified somehow.
Moderaptor
2xGP800, Fuoco, X9 500 Evo, The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug), 'Olive' (GT200) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 31496
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:08 am quote
Very interesting, would love to know even more details.
Hooked
MP3 400 i.e.
Joined: 24 Sep 2009
Posts: 101
Location: London
Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:55 am quote
Indeed an interesting suggestion. You say that the parts are sold for 135e. Where and how are they sold? I can imagine someone being able to fit one, but not everyone will be able to produce one. Thank you for the insight.
M
Member
MP3 400 LT
Joined: 23 Aug 2009
Posts: 27
Location: Paris, France
Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:20 am quote
Jimc & Snowgum: the milled pulley is sold here: http://www.scootfusion.net/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=21&products_id=93&osCsid=11fec7b11db7fb19602124d17c2d2fad

That's their ecommerce site. The dealer website is here: http://www.scootfusion.fr/index.php

Here's a picture of the milled pulley from their site:


I don't have an identical picture of a non-modified pulley on hand, but I have my original pulley (the one that came with my 400). Someone with the right equipment (i.e. professional grade measuring equipment) should be able to reverse engineer the milling curve.

The idea behind this mod is tsimple physincs: a lighter pulley has less inertia and consequently will react faster when engine power is applied.

As to what exactly the pulley changes in terms of vehicle performance, the takeoff lag is completely gone and the engine responds immediately when you accellerate. Top speed doesn't change. The general impression is of a "sportier" version of the 400 LT.

Obviously, you'll have to trust me on this one, but if anyone is ever in the Paris area, I can probably arrange a comparison test drive with a standard MP3 400, one with a milled pulley and variator weights and one with a milled pulley, weights and a JCosta.

Anyone interested?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 5950
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:42 am quote
dfmz wrote:
Interesting suggestion. However, I would assume that they tried this before going through the trouble of milling the part.
Can't sell a $4 washer for 135 euros.

Actually someone has tried it on a MP3 250. I believe it was Tuscon Rider who had the problem with the washer eating into his J-Costa bushing. He added 2 washers which was more than the wear and achieved results as mentioned here. On the 250 it did limit top end as he started hitting the rpm limitations, but he was happy with the extra power and ability to hold speed on the hills.

If I have time tonight I will search for the thread to verify if my memory on the details is correct.

I have been considering trying this on my 400 and just yesterday ordered a washer from Athens Scooter. I have had 2 concerns: 1. It will not be in a lower gear just at low speed but through the entire range of speed. 2. Will it be too open at the closed position for the belt to have any traction prior to the variator starting to close against the fixed pulley? This could cause the belt to have to be replaced sooner as it wears in width. Also what is the correct thickness of washer for optimium results?
Member
MP3 400 LT
Joined: 23 Aug 2009
Posts: 27
Location: Paris, France
Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:15 am quote
Do keep us posted. Thanks!
Enthusiast
MP3 400
Joined: 30 Jul 2009
Posts: 84
Location: San Jose, CA.
Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:46 am quote
[I'm considering Dr Pulley sliders next time round myself - just to try them out and be able to give a one-to-one comparison]
Hi Jim - I have been riding 2 days now with the new Dr. Pulley Sliders. I am very pleased with them, since I can now reach a speed of close to 60mph within about 5 seconds WOT at the start of the take off. Since the MP3 is not a racing bike, I consider this a big improvement compared to the OEM rollers. I like to also note that I weigh only 140lbs so I imagine anyone weighing considerably more than me may not achieve the same take off as I am. I definitely think it's worth the upgrade for $55.00 if you are on a budget and cannot afford the J Costa. Now that I have given you a comparison between the OEM rollers vs. Dr. Pulley Sliders, it will be interesting to see how long these sliders will last compared to the OEM rollers. If they last just as long, I will never go back to the rollers and will stick with the sliders going forward.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 5950
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:25 pm quote
As promised I did the search. I actually asked the washer ("shim") question in May 2009 with limited response. http://www.modernvespa.com/forum/topic46133?highlight=washer+variator

Tusconrider's comments were in this thread: http://www.modernvespa.com/forum/topic45145?postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=belt&start=0
Tucsonrider wrote:
My mechanic put a 3 mm washer on my J Costa. This to stop an oil leak caused from the belt riding to high at WOT causing rubbing on the crankcase, thus the oil leak. My belt never showed any wear. The oil leak occurred after the 12 K service. I installed the J Costa at the 6 K Service and had no problems until the 12 K service. Thought the leak was from the dealer not installing the J Costa correctly the second time. Now I am not so sure... Took it to another mechanic who diagnosed the problem and came up with the solution. He even contacted J Costa in Spain. (This Guy is Good!)

Running perfectly now with these changes:

a) Rev limiter engages at WOT anywhere from 9500 to 10,300 RPM. I have lost about 6 MPH off of top speed at WOT. (Now only goes 80 mph indicated.)

b) Power is available all the way to Rev limiter. Very nice when on the Interstate.

c) Oil leak has stopped.

d) lost about 10 percent in gas milage. ((Well worth it with the increased power to WOT.))

Tucsonrider
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 5950
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:25 am quote
Got the washer in the mail 2 weeks ago and finally got around to putting it in today. First impression is fantastic.

Installation
Bought a second washer to go between the variator and front pulley half. The washer is 2mm thick. Removed pulley half and installed second washer which essentially puts the MP3 in a lower gear.

The belt is worn with 7,000 miles on it and only 26.6mm in width with the specification being 27 mm minimum. Wanted to try with worn belt first to ensure no major slipage when belt wears and variator and pulley minimum distance is increased. Will be in Atlanta to buy a new belt today and hopefully get on tomorrow.

I am running 15 gm Dr Pulley Sliders with 8,000 miles on them and they look good.

Results
(25 mile ride with lots of stops and starts to test.)
- From a standing start the MP3 will quickly jump to 5000 rpm with almost no hesitation. Night and day difference from stock set up and all good.
- Low speed maneuvering is fine. With slow rolling on of throttle it starts to move a little below 3000 rpm.
- If I roll on the throttle quickly I am at 4500 rpm before my feet move from the ground. This is close to an additional 1000 rpm.
- Ran up to 90 mph indicated, a little over 80 mph actual quickly backed off not wanting a massive ticket if a cop came over the hill. RPM was at 8,000. I do not know when the rpm limiter kicks in but I had throttle left. The fastest I have ever had the MP3 is 100 mph indicated.
- At highway cruising speeds around 60 mph RPM is up about 6000.
- The MP3 has more acceleration available at all speeds.
- The variator seems to down shift quicker if I roll on the throttle.

Next
I hope to have a new belt on tomorrow. I'll be doing about 1,000 miles this week with 2 business trips followed by Biketoberfest before getting home Sunday next week. I will keep you posted, but my first impression is this is the best $4.00 upgrade anyone could hope for. I do wonder if 2mm is more than needed, but would probably have to manufacture one thinner.

Request
I have modified my drive train from what good engineers at Piaggio designed. I invite everyone out there to play devils advocate and tell me what might be wrong with the modification.

I am convinced that the extra washer is the same as the machining of the pulley dfmz reports on. It is just how much washer thickness matches the milling of his pulley face. I believe the 2mm is more of a change than dfmz has.

Thanks to Tusconrider for the inspiration.

And many thanks again to Joe Bulva for the tutorial on removing the variator. If not the best it has to be one of the best ever posted on the forum.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500 - Brutto Moto
Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 5053
Location: Austin, TX
Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:11 am quote
For the life of me I cannot see any major reason why the washer is a bad idea. Inspired actually and I would agree that the result is mostly the same as the expensive machining operation. In fact I would argue removing metal from a drivetrain part is an iffy proposition at any time. I dunno the angle but it would seem to me that the 2mm washer "gap" should roughly be the same as 1.3mm off the angled surface in respect to the effective pulley diameter - which is really what we are changing here - you're making a "smaller" diameter pulley so that you have a higher starting rpm and greater torque - lowering the "lower" gear as it were.
My only niggling thought would be the effect of the washer creating an offset from the pulley centerline - it may cause side loading of the belt and create increased wear on the pulley surfaces and/or belt. As Robert Heinlein would say - TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.
Jon
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Neutrino MP3 492.7 AK
Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 18059
Location: Kingston, Tennessee, Tn
Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:28 am quote
nice report Fuzzy. Question how did it feel in comparission to the 500 response from my scoot?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 5950
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:46 pm quote
old as dirt wrote:
nice report Fuzzy. Question how did it feel in comparission to the 500 response from my scoot?
We'll have to have a rematch next week. Much smoother and quicker take off. May not be as fast as 500 but I won't eat near as much dust.

How is your wife doing?
Hooked
Honda NC700X/MP3 250 (SOLD)
Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 268
Location: Tucson, Arizona USA
Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:03 pm quote
You are very welcome, Fuzzy
Fuzzy wrote:
Thanks to Tusconrider for the inspiration.
Thank you for the hat tip... HA! I am no mechanic but I have some wonderful peeps around me who are and are also close friends... This forum is filled with skilled professionals who are always willing to help. And I thank the whole MV Community for that. It is inspiring to me...

I am glad that everything is working out for you.. Have you hit the rev limiter yet? That is always fun.... Knowing how far you can push your bike...
Ossessionato
Gilera Fuoco 500ie
Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 3156
Location: Netherlands Zwolle
Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:16 am quote
Re: Hello and MP3 400 tuning question
snowgum wrote:
Dear All,
Hi. After lurking for a while picking up masses of useful information (thank you all) I thought I'd ask a question. I'm a new MP3 400 owner in the UK. Very happy with the bike, after moving up from a GTS 250. My GTS was quicker of the mark though, and I miss that a bit (love loads of other things though). On this site and others I've narrowed simple upgrades to two, Dr Pulley 15gm weights, and J Costa variator. On the latter though, I haven't been able to track down whether they've managed to get this variator working optimally for the 400. Reports on early versions were mixed. What I'm after is slightly smoother and smarter early take off. I'm tempted by the cheapness and simplicity of the Dr Pulley option, but price isn't the main consideration if the J Costa is a better solution.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts, and many thanks for all the great contributions that I've read so far and that helped me in making the decision to move up in the first place.
Matthew
There are more ways for tuning i'm considering to make it a 460cc
if you look in to it it seems that Piaggio used there older 500 Masterblock to make it in to a 400cc so if you order the parts of a X9 Evo ABS or Beverly of 2005 with the 460cc masterblock engine, it will cost you about 155 euro's and some new gasket's, and it wil give you 41 BHP or 29Kw and you only have to change the cylinder, piston and pistonrings and to let more air in you can sanddown and polish the Valve and valvehousing.

And the 3000RPM issue simply change the weights or drill out a new set of orignial Piaggio weights the malosi are gone after 5000km and the originals are gone after 10.000km so if you make the originals lighter, say 1 gram or somethng like that it will solve that problem to and thats a cheap fix a set of weight cost 25 euro's
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Neutrino MP3 492.7 AK
Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 18059
Location: Kingston, Tennessee, Tn
Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:07 am quote
Fuzzy wrote:
old as dirt wrote:
nice report Fuzzy. Question how did it feel in comparission to the 500 response from my scoot?
We'll have to have a rematch next week. Much smoother and quicker take off. May not be as fast as 500 but I won't eat near as much dust.

How is your wife doing?
thanks for asking about her. She has delayed going till after Daytona.

It will be nice to have the 2 scoots face off agian. I was going to do the Doctors and belt but will wait till after Daytona.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 5950
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:57 pm quote
Test Ride with Washer
I did over 300 miles today for a total of over 500 with the extra washer in front of the variator. The performance has really widened my grin when riding the 400. All hesitation at take off is gone. Acceleration feels better than the 250 with J-Costa so now much more fun in town. I'm doing 115 to 120 kph indicated in the distance it used to take me to get to 100. Cars are all left in the dust at stop lights. Power for passing also much improved. Today included a run down I-95 from Brunswick, GA into Florida and back. Plenty of throttle left cruising at true 80 mph and it was plenty quick to get to that speed.

I did learn that the rev limiter is around 8300 rpm which with the washer installed is 84 mph. I was accelerating nicely to 84 when the bike jerks on the limiter. This was on flat ground with a clear road in front of me. First time thought something had happened to the belt, but a couple more times and the light in my head finally came on. Also got a taste of gas mileage impact at 80+ mph of around 45 mpg. I could almost see the gage moving.

The standard Piaggio washer is 2mm thick. I am curious what a 1mm washer would do? May have to get another washer and take to a magnetic bed grinder to grind down to 1mm. Don't want to do by hand as the washer surfaces must be parallel for the nut to tighten properly holding the front pulley half against the variator sleeve.

I recommend those with 400s to invest in a $4 washer and give it a try. If you can change a belt this is within your capability. 250s and 500s may also want to test the impact of the lower gearing affect.

OAD will get a taste of it when we square off again in Daytona later this week. He just might not be able to beat me off the line. It will definitely be close. I'll have done another 600+ miles by the time I get home Sunday.
Addicted
MP3 250 -> MP3 400 -> Gilera Fuoco -> SRV 850!
Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Posts: 510
Location: Essex
Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:50 am quote
Re: Test Ride with Washer
Fuzzy wrote:
I did learn that the rev limiter is around 8300 rpm which with the washer installed is 84 mph. I was accelerating nicely to 84 when the bike jerks on the limiter.
Well, I was having what I thought was issues with the JCosta kit on my 400 - turns out that part of my sparkie had fallen into the engine and the JCosta is innocent

Basically - on a 'well' 400 the JCosta does indeed help take-off quite a lot, especially with lighter weights (which I have also tried, though now I am back on standard).

I don't think I would like limiting at 84 (especially if you're talking indicated, not 'real'). With the JCosta in, depending on slope/head-wind, I limit at same RPM (8300ish) but between 93 and 103 mph.

That's obviously on a test track....

The JCosta seems to help acceleration and smoothness throughout the whole range *shrug* that's what they claim and, though I've had other weirdness interfering with my scoot making it perhaps difficult to tell, it certainly seems true.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 5950
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:18 am quote
Re: Test Ride with Washer
elementalist wrote:
I don't think I would like limiting at 84 (especially if you're talking indicated, not 'real').
The 84 mph top end is measured by GPS, over 90 indicated. That limit not a big issue for me as that speed will buy a really big traffic ticket. The smooth and more powerfull acceleration from zero to 84 is great.

A properly tuned J-Costa is a better set up, but then I only paid $4 for my mod. Another $4 for a washer to grind down to 1mm for an alternate test. I do have access to a magnetic bed grinder to ensure grinding square on the washer.

I have 1500 miles on the modification now and love it. I do plan to get another washer and cut it down to 1mm to test the middle ground.

Tested a couple times against OAD's 500. It was very close on acceleration. From a standing start I was only 1/2 bike length behind at 50 mph (gps). OAD had ridden my 400 at Barbor. He tried it at Daytona Beach and as he started off from the camp ground all I could hear him say was "WOW!"
Member
MP3 400 LT
Joined: 23 Aug 2009
Posts: 27
Location: Paris, France
Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:08 am quote
Hi guys,

For your information, Dr. Pulley (aka Union Matierial) does indeed have a UK distributor. See below (with the rest of their distributors by country):

http://www.unionmaterial.com/distributors.htm


dfmz
Hooked
MP3 400
Joined: 03 Oct 2009
Posts: 186
Location: not Hereford, AZ
Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:03 pm quote
Anxiously awaitimg 1mm washer rresults!

I sure would like to get rid of trhat flat spot in the throttle.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Neutrino MP3 492.7 AK
Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 18059
Location: Kingston, Tennessee, Tn
Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:08 pm quote
Fuzzy is spot on with this washer mod. After riding his in Barber 2 weeks ago and feeling the hesitation as compared to my 500 then at Daytona his 400 felt like a whole different bike. The hesitation was GONE, and the run off between us at a couple of stop lites he was right there on my taillight. Pretty impressive. make sme go hmm , wonder what it would do for the 500?????
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 5950
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:29 pm quote
garryp wrote:
Anxiously awaitimg 1mm washer rresults!

I sure would like to get rid of trhat flat spot in the throttle.
I should have some washers delivered Saturday. Not sure when I will get to the bed grinder to reduce thickness from stock 2mm. It depends on when I have a business need to visit a sister mill with the grinder. The option is to go to a local machine shop and have them grind it.

I put over 12,000 miles on the 400 before installing the 2mm washer. Now 2 weeks and 1500 miles later I am still amazed every time I get on it. Having tasted the acceleration of the 2 mm washer I don't expect to be happy with a thinner one but will test. Limiting my top speed to 84 true mph is not a problem for me. I would expect a 1 mm washer to have less acceleration but higher top end and better gas mileage.

Understand that the standard washer is 2mm and why I chose to try that thickness. It is probably not a standard size inner and outer diameter. It is critical that if ground down it is kept square or the front pulley half being clamped against it may create problems.
Hooked
MP3 400
Joined: 03 Oct 2009
Posts: 186
Location: not Hereford, AZ
Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:16 pm quote
Not being a trans guru, I am wondering about this mod.

Is the main improvement in the sluggish lower end acceleration of the 400? Or does it modify the entire rpm range?

If it simply solves the lower end acceleration delay, would it effect mpg when driven conservatively with the washer mod?

I am thinking that the stock setup is perhaps a Piaggio compromise between pep and mpg.

I am not an aggressive driver so I am not concerned about the 90 mph end. It would be nice to get rid of the low end bog.

But then perhaps I am the only conservative driver on this forum!!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 5950
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:44 am quote
The washer mod puts the MP3 in a lower gear for the full range. This results in more acceleration available at any speed up to hitting the rev limiter. It does reduce gas mileage from running in a lower ratio. I expect the belt to wear a little faster. The engine will make more revolutions per mile but at a lower pressures so I expect no measurable difference in engine wear or life.

I believe the improvement has made the ride safer as the poor acceleration from a stop made it difficult to safely enter a busy street.

I believe Piaggio made a mistake putting the same variator on the 400 and 500 just changing the roller weight. The 400 does not have enough torque at low engine rpm to accelerate the heavy ride. The 400 needs a different slope for the rollers at the low end to raise rpm at low speed. This is apparently what J-Costa recently figured out. The variator for the 400 could be redesigned for a different shape in the roller path but this is not a do it yourself mod.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 5950
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:46 am quote
Can't Get 1mm Washer
Got some 2mm washers last week and attempted to grind one down to smaller thickness. Unfortunately the washer is too small a mass for the magnetic bed on the grinder to hold it against the forces of the grinding wheel.

At the moment I am stumped at how to get a 1mm washer as grinding by hand risks gettting out of perfect square.

Bottom line I continue to be happy with the 2mm results just would like to test where the optimum is.
Enthusiast
2009 MP3 400ie RL
Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 83
Location: UK
Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:17 pm quote
So Fuzzy did you just put the extra washer in and that's it? or do you have a JCOSTA installed as well?

I currently have JCOSTA with the new bell for MP3-400 and DR.PULLEY clutch and I like it a lot. I am still playing with the clutch but haven't had enough time recently. I still hope I can make it rev a bit more between 0-20MPH. In this range it's very difficult to get MP3-400 go higher than 3500rpm. I've tried a lot! I could make it to go to 4000rpm but with vibrations. I still have lots of other options (clutch and pillow srings) but unfortunately very little time now.

But if this washer can take it to 4500rpm I should be able to fine tune it with the clutch springs to 5000-5500rpm and that could be something..
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 5950
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:56 pm quote
Just Dr Pulley sliders and the extra washer. Low cost upgrade with great results.
Hooked
MP3 400
Joined: 03 Oct 2009
Posts: 186
Location: not Hereford, AZ
Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:40 pm quote
Fuzzy have you made any attempt to evaluate the change in gas mileage with the extra 2mm washer?

I would like to eliminate the lag off the line, but I also do not want to trash my mpg.

Thx
Hooked
MP3 400
Joined: 03 Oct 2009
Posts: 186
Location: not Hereford, AZ
Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:58 pm quote
Fuz,

I do not live near a dealer. Also I have never hade my drive train apart, so I am unfamiliar with "the washer".

Do you happen to have a part number or unique descriptor for the washer so that if I call a dealer to order one I can intelligently ask for the correct washer?

Thanks

P.S. Are there still no ill effects to the use of the washer?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 5950
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:21 pm quote
garryp wrote:
Fuz,

I do not live near a dealer. Also I have never hade my drive train apart, so I am unfamiliar with "the washer".

Do you happen to have a part number or unique descriptor for the washer so that if I call a dealer to order one I can intelligently ask for the correct washer?

Thanks

P.S. Are there still no ill effects to the use of the washer?
The part number from Athens Scooter web page is:
Washer 36x22,05x2
9 - 829203-9
It is 36 mm od, 22mm id and 2 mm thick.
The price is $3.62 and they will probably charge more for shipping than the washer cost.

I have no ill effects. Changed the belt last week. It had 9,000 miles with about 3,000 with the extra washer. I still love the imporvement. I have 4,000 total miles with the modification now.

My gas mileage is down a bit as is expected from running in a lower gear. I;m happy with a little more gas cost for the improved performance. Currently running MPG in the high 40s

Use joe bulva's thread on how to remove variator. Just put in the second washer when putting back together. I recommend the buzzeti variator tool he used.

If you provide your own labor this is a low cost modification and is easy to undo if you don't like it.
Hooked
2009 Piaggio MP3 400ie
Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 349
Location: Austin TX
Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:34 pm quote
Fuzzy,

Is the washer you speak of the one that appears on this page?

Fuzzy's "extra washer mod" : Washer 36x22,05x2 @ Athens Scotter Company = $3.62

Is the washer that is doubled up the one that appears in this picture previous posted in Joe Bulva's thread?



chris
Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 5950
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:17 am quote
onsiteaudio wrote:
Fuzzy,

Is the washer you speak of the one that appears on this page?

Fuzzy's "extra washer mod" : Washer 36x22,05x2 @ Athens Scotter Company = $3.62

Is the washer that is doubled up the one that appears in this picture previous posted in Joe Bulva's thread?



chris
Yes that is the washer. It clamps between the variator sleeve and the front pulley half controling the minimum distance between the variator and front pulley half. The extra washer moves the fixed position of the front pulley half causing the belt to sit lower for a given variator position.
Hooked
2007 Gilera Fuoco 500ie, 2005 Piaggio X9 Evolution 500ie
Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Posts: 338
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:32 am quote
Great thread.
I suppose the 500's are spoilt getting to 5500rpm out of the box.
Perhaps it was a marketing ploy to differentiate the 400 and 500 better... cripple the 400 with the wrong washer
Lurker
MP3 500
Joined: 10 Mar 2012
Posts: 1
Location: france
Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:34 pm quote
Fuzzy wrote:
onsiteaudio wrote:
Fuzzy,

Is the washer you speak of the one that appears on this page?

Fuzzy's "extra washer mod" : Washer 36x22,05x2 @ Athens Scotter Company = $3.62

Is the washer that is doubled up the one that appears in this picture previous posted in Joe Bulva's thread?



chris
Yes that is the washer. It clamps between the variator sleeve and the front pulley half controling the minimum distance between the variator and front pulley half. The extra washer moves the fixed position of the front pulley half causing the belt to sit lower for a given variator position.
Hello, will it be possible to give me the dimensions of the washer and if you know if you can mount it on a 500, thank you
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