Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:06 pm

Hooked
MP3 500
Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 485
Location: Capitola, California
 
Hooked
MP3 500
Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 485
Location: Capitola, California
Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:06 pm linkquote
Test Drove an MP3 twice. Once in Santa Cruz and once in Oakland (Rockridge). Please understand that my current motorcycle is a Kawasaki ZX14 with 200hp.

My objective is to slowly migrate from two wheels to some form of three or four wheel vehicle that has a wider margin of safety. I have considered everything from an Ariel Atom to a Can-Am Spyder.

Here are my highly critical comments:

a. Fit and finish are average. Many plastic seams have rought edges and the seams between plastic body parts are uneven.

b. Engine starts and warms up quickly.

c. On both test vehicles it takes some experience to use the master key to open the seat and boot storage areas, plus the fuel door stuck on both units and needed some fiddling to get it to pop open.

d. Brochure colors are WAY off and you should see colors in person

e. Brakes are outstanding and very stable. Was able to do a minor stoppie with minimal upset to the chassis.

f. Very tough to get the rear end to slide but doable. Even so, the stability is excellent.

g. Lean angle is more than sufficient to satisfy any motorcyclist considering a scooter. Plus for most scooter riders with average skills it will be possible to ride the MP3 more aggressively than other 2 wheelers. This will add to the fun factor. I rode the demo unit with the intent to remove the chicken strips on the tires and the vehicle was very sure-footed.

h. Suspension travel is short and hard bumps will bottom out the suspension, however the suspension soaks up road irregularities very very well. I purposely tried to ride over bad road conditions with one wheel only and the chassis was calm and collected.

i. For me, wind protection on the freeway was more than adequate and I would not go for a larger windscreen unless you ride in winter conditions.

j. Power and torque is subjective. The MP3 250 is neither porky nor speedy. For most scooter riders it will be more than adequate. For me, I'd like to ride it with my fellow bikers, so the top end speed may not be sufficient. The other consideration for purchasing the 250cc and not the 500cc (which is what I believe they will spec in US since the engine is already qualified) is that you can whack the throttle all the time without regard and not get into trouble. There's something to be said for wringing the life out of an engine (why many motorcyclists prefer 600's to 1000's.)

k. The riding position is forced forward (like most scooters). I live in the Corbin Motorcycle Factory area and would give the bike to Mike Corbin) so that I could sculpt a seat that gave me the ability to move farther away
from the handlebars.

l. Both dealers stored the bike with the parking brake that locks the front wheels and not with the center stand. I practiced getting off the bike quickly with this method and it was terrific. I pushed the bike pretty hard and it wobbled but was stable

m. One thing I am uncertain about is the long distance capability of the MP3. The folks on the forum may know more about the 250cc engine from Piaggion in this bike. The dealers state the bike can run all day at 70-75MPH and go for over 100K miles.

Conclusion: Piaggio did a wonderful engineering job with the suspension. So good in fact, that I believe most major motorcycle manufacturers are going to deconstruct this unit to prototype a motorcycle with 3 wheels. The merits of the design (stability and lean angle confidence) are very strong. I will buy an MP3 (not sure if 250 or 500) for sure and use for a year (I don't keep stuff very long). Kudos to Piaggio for a technology that may see a long future ahead of it. I, for one, would like to see an upscale version with better electronics and goodies (heated grips), better fit and finish with more stylized bodywork, but that is just a singular opinion. I think that the early adopters and the early motorcycle press are justified in their enthusiasm.

Downside: The unit is heavy and expensive when compared to other scooters on the market. The viability of the MP3 from a business perspective is not whether scooter owners will migrate to it, but whether motorcyclists will gravitate to it. At 400lbs. and $7K it is a reasonable purchase for a motorcyclist, but an expensive leap for scooter owners.[/b]
Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:03 pm

Addicted
Stella and a Fuoco
Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Posts: 869
Location: New Mexico
 
Addicted
Stella and a Fuoco
Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Posts: 869
Location: New Mexico
Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:03 pm linkquote
very nice assessment....

g
Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:06 pm

Member
I GET TO RIDE THEM ALL
Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 13
Location: BATON ROUGE LA
 
Member
I GET TO RIDE THEM ALL
Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 13
Location: BATON ROUGE LA
Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:06 pm linkquote
Is the 14 your only bike? Have you owned scooters befor?
Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:30 pm

Petty Tyrant
0:7
Joined: 11 Oct 2005
Posts: 32620
Location: Bay Area, California
 
Petty Tyrant
0:7
Joined: 11 Oct 2005
Posts: 32620
Location: Bay Area, California
Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:30 pm linkquote
Welcome to the forum, 87. Rockridge Two Wheels is my local dealer.

So far, the consensus on the 250 engine, as used in the GTS, has been very positive. Reliable and fast and consistent. The MP3 is about 100 pounds heavier, but I think the engine is up to the task.

Thanks for the comments, BTW...
Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:08 am

Enthusiast
MP3 250
Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 99
Location: London
 
Enthusiast
MP3 250
Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 99
Location: London
Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:08 am linkquote
Welcome and thanks 87 for your assessment. I enjoyed reading your review as it was interesting to hear how motocyclists find it.

I agree with your findings. I tend to ride it more agressively than other scooters and I would class myslef as 'average' in the skills department. The MP3 does instil confidence, especially in the rain.
Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:21 pm

Hooked
2005 BV200, 1976 Sprint 150 Veloce
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 296
Location: Bethel, CT
 
Hooked
2005 BV200, 1976 Sprint 150 Veloce
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 296
Location: Bethel, CT
Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:21 pm linkquote
Thanks for this review, nice to hear a different perspective.
I agree that the basic three wheel design has a lot of potential for many different traditionally two-wheeled niches. I think it should increase the safety of an acclimatized experienced rider.

Right now the Fuoco is sounding like my ideal scooter. Capable of two-up high way touring, as well as off-road. A scooter that could go from city to logging roads deftly and safely has been my dream for at least ten years.

I agree with you about the seat by the way. Just today I swapped the single saddle on the GF's Sprint with a new Corsa that has been waiting to go my P200 while I finish the paint. Being able to stretch out (I'm 6') improved the riding experience significantly.

I think the MP3 design will be to Piaggio what OS X was to Apple. I can see some of the vintage crowd adopting these as daily riders. For serious riding junkies (motorcyclists included) the design's potential for 365/24/7 riding is staggering. Who wouldn't want one of these as a second bike? The Fuoco fund I'm starting is literally saving for a rainy day.



That being said, here's to hoping somebody develops an after market bench seat.
Fri May 11, 2007 9:09 am

Member
MP3, Atlantic 500
Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 12
Location: Oceanside
 
Member
MP3, Atlantic 500
Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 12
Location: Oceanside
Fri May 11, 2007 9:09 am linkquote
MP3 Review
A kudo for you on the review. This is my first scooter and first riding experience in 30 years. I immediately fell in love with it after the test drive. Of coarse more power would be nice and maybe some after market exhaust and other adjustments would raise the hp.

I to would like to change the seat to handle longer rides. Also a rack would be a nice addition when Piaggio brings these to the states.

When the 500 comes to the US I will be in line.

Great ride though overall. I bought it the last week of April and have a little over 400 miles so far. My first service will be next week.
Fri May 11, 2007 9:25 am

Hooked
'80 p125x
Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 347
Location: kansas city
 
Hooked
'80 p125x
Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 347
Location: kansas city
Fri May 11, 2007 9:25 am linkquote
<threadjack> I keep reading about the 500, but only on this board? I thought there was a MP3 400 coming, not a 500.. can someone give me a link? </threadjack>
Mon May 14, 2007 2:36 pm

Addicted
GTS250 "Atomic Blast", GT200 Blue and White "Alfie", SQREAM Scooter Club
Joined: 12 Nov 2005
Posts: 1004
Location: Denver, CO
 
Addicted
GTS250 "Atomic Blast", GT200 Blue and White "Alfie", SQREAM Scooter Club
Joined: 12 Nov 2005
Posts: 1004
Location: Denver, CO
Mon May 14, 2007 2:36 pm linkquote
Great review. Loved your perspective.

As for 400cc vs. 500cc on the next engine coming out...I was talking about this to my Vespa dealer. At first he thought they would come out with a 500cc for the U.S., but then we talked about the engine size. He thinks a 400cc would fit into the frame since it's the same exact size as the 250cc. A 500cc engine is larger and the bike would have to be redesigned to fit the larger engine.

So it would make more sense for Piaggio to just use the 400cc engine (which they already are doing in Europe) rather than redesign the bike for a larger size engine.

I'm no engine size expert so if anyone is more knowledgeable, chime in.
Mon May 14, 2007 6:57 pm

Addicted
GTS "Alessandro"/ MP3 "Thor"
Joined: 09 May 2006
Posts: 739
Location: Vancouver,BC
 
Addicted
GTS "Alessandro"/ MP3 "Thor"
Joined: 09 May 2006
Posts: 739
Location: Vancouver,BC
Mon May 14, 2007 6:57 pm linkquote
Re: MP3 Ridden Hard
87andstillriding wrote:
Here are my highly critical comments:

a. Fit and finish are average. Many plastic seams have rought edges and the seams between plastic body parts are uneven.

[/b]
This is a very interesting comment and the first mention I've read of an average finish - I suggest all readers get up close and personal with an MP3.

My MP3 has sturdy, thick plastic - with well aligned panel seams !

Very nicely finished. Sweet !

Ms D
Thu May 17, 2007 3:17 am

Hooked
MP3
Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 124
Location: Waukesha, Wisconsin
 
Hooked
MP3
Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 124
Location: Waukesha, Wisconsin
Thu May 17, 2007 3:17 am linkquote
"plus the fuel door stuck on both units and needed some fiddling to get it to pop open."

Ahhhh, the value of a forum such as this. I pulled up to a filling station the other day and had a wonderful time trying to open the gas lid. It wouldn't, although it eventually did. This led to some anxious moments as I was wondering if one tank of gas was it for my new MP3. This happened a couple of more times and I figured it was going to be a problem that the dealer was going to deal with. He will, I'm sure but knowing that others are experiencing the same problem is comforting.
Thu May 17, 2007 3:13 pm

Member
Piaggio MP3
Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 18
Location: CT, USA
 
Member
Piaggio MP3
Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 18
Location: CT, USA
Thu May 17, 2007 3:13 pm linkquote
The fuel door opened just fine on mine... several times in fact, as I kept turning the key the wrong way when trying to open the trunk. The trunk opened fine, as did the underseat storage with the remote.

I neat thing I found is that the MP3 will store 2 full face helmets. The trunk in back is intended to store one (you have to stick it in upside down, nose first) helmet. But I also found that if you put your full-face helmet under the seat, all the way in the back, on it's side, the seat will close with the helmet inside. So if you're riding two-up, you can store both helmets when you leave the bike. There is no hook under the seat to loop the helmet strap D-ring on like the Burgman 400 has, which is unfortunate.
Fri May 18, 2007 7:35 am

Enthusiast
MP3
Joined: 26 Apr 2007
Posts: 94
Location: Dallas, TX
 
Enthusiast
MP3
Joined: 26 Apr 2007
Posts: 94
Location: Dallas, TX
Fri May 18, 2007 7:35 am linkquote
I believe kryptonite has some small cable locks that are made for fullface helmets and designed to go through the visor and wrap around the chin guard.
You could definately use the giant grab bars to lock your helmet to and have tons of storage underseat.

This would work:
http://www.kryptonitelock.com/Products/ProductDetail.aspx?cid=1001&scid=1001&pid=1112
Fri May 18, 2007 11:36 am

Addicted
GTS "Alessandro"/ MP3 "Thor"
Joined: 09 May 2006
Posts: 739
Location: Vancouver,BC
 
Addicted
GTS "Alessandro"/ MP3 "Thor"
Joined: 09 May 2006
Posts: 739
Location: Vancouver,BC
Fri May 18, 2007 11:36 am linkquote
jend23 wrote:
I neat thing I found is that the MP3 will store 2 full face helmets. The trunk in back is intended to store one (you have to stick it in upside down, nose first) helmet. But I also found that if you put your full-face helmet under the seat, all the way in the back, on it's side, the seat will close with the helmet inside. So if you're riding two-up, you can store both helmets when you leave the bike. There is no hook under the seat to loop the helmet strap D-ring on like the Burgman 400 has, which is unfortunate.
Do you have the same MP3 as me ???

I have the ability to store 4 helmets .....

There are indeed two helmet hooks at the front of the underseat compartment - take a look.
Fri May 18, 2007 12:39 pm

Hooked
Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 470
Location: Michigan
 
Hooked
Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 470
Location: Michigan
Fri May 18, 2007 12:39 pm linkquote
You guys all have different MP3's than me, I cant even fit 1 full face helmet in mine.
Fri May 18, 2007 7:30 pm

Addicted
GTS "Alessandro"/ MP3 "Thor"
Joined: 09 May 2006
Posts: 739
Location: Vancouver,BC
 
Addicted
GTS "Alessandro"/ MP3 "Thor"
Joined: 09 May 2006
Posts: 739
Location: Vancouver,BC
Fri May 18, 2007 7:30 pm linkquote
501 wrote:
You guys all have different MP3's than me, I cant even fit 1 full face helmet in mine.
Lying it on it's side in the rear underseat seems best for the larger full face helmets. Or attach helmet to one of front mini hooks ! Although technically I guess that's not fitting a helmet "in" the bike!

8)

PS - Your helmet isn't an XXXXL though is it ?
Sat May 19, 2007 4:08 am

Hooked
brand new 09 Gray 250 replaced by Piaggio
Joined: 05 Feb 2007
Posts: 255
Location: Oak Ridge, TN
 
Hooked
brand new 09 Gray 250 replaced by Piaggio
Joined: 05 Feb 2007
Posts: 255
Location: Oak Ridge, TN
Sat May 19, 2007 4:08 am linkquote
I tried mine and it would not fit, but I also wear a 3xl full face. I didn't know about the front hooks. Nice find.!!
Sat May 19, 2007 8:29 am

Addicted
Piaggio MP3-500, Aprilia Mana 850, Aprilia SR 50 Factory
Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 543
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
 
Addicted
Piaggio MP3-500, Aprilia Mana 850, Aprilia SR 50 Factory
Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 543
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Sat May 19, 2007 8:29 am linkquote
I wear a medium KBC modular helmet. Here is a pic of it under the seat.



And here is a pic with it in the trunk.

Sat May 19, 2007 9:04 pm

Addicted
GTS "Alessandro"/ MP3 "Thor"
Joined: 09 May 2006
Posts: 739
Location: Vancouver,BC
 
Addicted
GTS "Alessandro"/ MP3 "Thor"
Joined: 09 May 2006
Posts: 739
Location: Vancouver,BC
Sat May 19, 2007 9:04 pm linkquote
Is that the famous Ed in Baton Rouge ?

The one with his MP3 posing with one of it's front wheels on a helmet...

Now, where is that pic - I love it....

How many miles on the bike now Ed ??



Sat May 19, 2007 9:05 pm

Molto Verboso
LX150, MP3, Buddy
Joined: 11 Nov 2005
Posts: 1526
Location: California
 
Molto Verboso
LX150, MP3, Buddy
Joined: 11 Nov 2005
Posts: 1526
Location: California
Sat May 19, 2007 9:05 pm linkquote
Nice almost color match on the helmet and scooter. I have little real hope of matching the Nero Black. But sparkly silver is close enough.
Sun May 20, 2007 6:23 am

Addicted
Piaggio MP3-500, Aprilia Mana 850, Aprilia SR 50 Factory
Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 543
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
 
Addicted
Piaggio MP3-500, Aprilia Mana 850, Aprilia SR 50 Factory
Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 543
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Sun May 20, 2007 6:23 am linkquote
Hey Rusty. Great to see you over here again and thanks for posting the picture. I love that one too. The MP3 is running great. In just over 7 weeks I have put just change shy of 1600 very happy miles on it, with narry a scratch on it either. 8) The Silver Wing is getting very lonely. Let me know when you and your dad are going to the track again. I want to come down and watch. Haven't done the bling yet, but am ready at pretty much anytime.
Sun May 20, 2007 6:27 am

Addicted
Piaggio MP3-500, Aprilia Mana 850, Aprilia SR 50 Factory
Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 543
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
 
Addicted
Piaggio MP3-500, Aprilia Mana 850, Aprilia SR 50 Factory
Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 543
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Sun May 20, 2007 6:27 am linkquote
Paiage wrote:
Quote:
Nice almost color match on the helmet and scooter. I have little real hope of matching the Nero Black. But sparkly silver is close enough.
I know a really great parts guy (hint: see picture three posts up this thread). He tracked it down for me.
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