Looking for a touch of reassurance
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Member
Buddy 125, MP3 250
Joined: 29 Apr 2021
Posts: 6
Location: NE CT
Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:46 am quote
Hello everyone! I'm new here and because I'm buying an MP3 I thought I'd come to a forum filled with experts on this peculiar bike.

So here's the scoop. My first scoot was a Yamaha Vino 50 which I rode for about four years. I then moved up to a Genuine Buddy 125, which I rode for about four years. All of my scooting has been in rural areas and small towns and there has been a fair bit of it, about 1K miles each riding season (May - September). For reasons too boring to go into I stopped scooting for (wait for it) about four years and now I am dying to start scooting again. Like a lot of people I like to screen shop scooters and have been rolling the MP3 over in my mind for about ten years. I am now finally getting one (a used MP3 250) but though I feel confident that I have the experience to handle the MP3 it has been a few years so I'm a tad nervous about it, particularly the weight. I'm really here just looking for reassurance (or any kind of honest opinion) about how much of a shock the MP3 will be and any tips you might have on switching from 2 wheels to 3.

Thanks everyone in advance! I'm really looking forward to being part of the Vespa/Piaggio family!
Enthusiast
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 65
Location: California
Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:16 am quote
Hi ScooterWoman9988
You'll be fine; you have the benefit of prior riding experience and know your local area pretty well. The Mp3 is a heavier scooter but so long as you ride it and handle it as any 2 wheel motorcycle it should be fine.

Some tips I've learned
* If you have a short in-seam then scoot forwards a bit on the seat so you can put your feet down at a stops. I do this sometimes if I'm uncertain of the surface or angle of the road.
* Only use the tilt-lock when parking or long stops. Do not use it for stop-lights or quick-stops without practice. Its finicky and sometimes doesn't behave.
* Its easy to push around with the lock-engaged but you can get into trouble if its locked at a bad angle relative to the ground. If it starts to topple you wont be able to stop it (usually); best to let it down gently then pick it up.
* Check the VIN to determine exactly which version of the Mp3 you have; it makes ordering parts from online vendors easier and more reliable.
* Locate a dealer, repair-shop to help maintain the bike or learn the basics and buy the tools for the routine stuff.
* Double-check that the tilt-lock is engaged before taking it off the kickstand. I didn't check and toppled it a couple times; fortunately with minimal damage.
* Don't be shy about asking questions on the forum, the community is very supportive and helpful. I've looked like a fool a few times but folks are forgiving and helpful. Odds are someone somewhere has the same question you do.
Member
Buddy 125, MP3 250
Joined: 29 Apr 2021
Posts: 6
Location: NE CT
Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:24 am quote
pinheadh78 wrote:
Hi ScooterWoman9988
You'll be fine; you have the benefit of prior riding experience and know your local area pretty well. The Mp3 is a heavier scooter but so long as you ride it and handle it as any 2 wheel motorcycle it should be fine.

Some tips I've learned
* If you have a short in-seam then scoot forwards a bit on the seat so you can put your feet down at a stops. I do this sometimes if I'm uncertain of the surface or angle of the road.
* Only use the tilt-lock when parking or long stops. Do not use it for stop-lights or quick-stops without practice. Its finicky and sometimes doesn't behave.
* Its easy to push around with the lock-engaged but you can get into trouble if its locked at a bad angle relative to the ground. If it starts to topple you wont be able to stop it (usually); best to let it down gently then pick it up.
* Check the VIN to determine exactly which version of the Mp3 you have; it makes ordering parts from online vendors easier and more reliable.
* Locate a dealer, repair-shop to help maintain the bike or learn the basics and buy the tools for the routine stuff.
* Double-check that the tilt-lock is engaged before taking it off the kickstand. I didn't check and toppled it a couple times; fortunately with minimal damage.
* Don't be shy about asking questions on the forum, the community is very supportive and helpful. I've looked like a fool a few times but folks are forgiving and helpful. Odds are someone somewhere has the same question you do.
thanks for the quick response and tips, Pinhead. I'm what you'd call leggy with a 33.5" inseam so flat footing it shouldn't be a problem. My Buddy only weighs about 250 so I never thought about foot position but at stops should I have my feet as wide as possible (but still flat) or closer to the body of the bike? I don't know which would give me better leverage to keep it upright.

What you said about tilt look reinforces what I've read, meaning don't use it except for parking and pushing. As for the center stand, here's to hoping I can ever get her up on the darned thing. 450# is a lot! I'll have to practice in my garage.

I would LOVE to fix my own scoots. The problem isn't tools so much as strength. When men put things together they really ratchet things down and I can't do much of anything except change oil and top off fluids
Hooked
2016 MP3 500 Sport
Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 160
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:20 pm quote
Very easy to get on center stand. Step on the step of the stand and pull backwards on the bike. Piece of cake!
Addicted
MP3 400 "Orion"
Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 948
Location: Northwest Ohio
Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:47 pm quote
I went from a 250-lb 150cc scooter to the 550-lb MP3 400. I won't lie, there's a learning curve - see the above post! My biggest challenge (other than making mods to lower it - I'm pretty short), is maneuvering it at low speeds. Over the years I've gotten better at it, but I know when to put my feet down and duck-walk it when necessary.

I only use the tilt lock, as mentioned above, when it's parked or stuck at a long light or train crossing in a high crosswind. It makes it very easy for me to move it around when needed. If I'm not going to be riding for a few days, I put it on the stand and disengage the tilt lock.

Be careful not to accidentally blip the throttle if you're sitting on the seat with the engine running. The tilt lock will disengage and down you'll go if your feet aren't down and braced.

Not trying to warn you off the MP3 - it's a fun machine! But like I said, there's a learning curve!
Hooked
2009 MP3 400, 2004 Honda ST1300
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Posts: 330
Location: Sayre, PA
Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:50 pm quote
I agree with all that. Sounds like you'll be fine.

Hop on and forget that it has three wheels. Except when navigating obstacles and manhole covers.
Member
Buddy 125, MP3 250
Joined: 29 Apr 2021
Posts: 6
Location: NE CT
Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:28 pm quote
Thanks for the comfort, all! I feel better knowing there are good people I can turn to for advice.
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