OP
UTC

Hooked
Genuine Buddy 125, Piaggio BV 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 146
Location: NE CT
 
Hooked
Genuine Buddy 125, Piaggio BV 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 146
Location: NE CT
UTC 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!
UTC

Hooked
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: UTC
Posts: 324
Location: California
 
Hooked
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: UTC
Posts: 324
Location: California
UTC 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.
OP
UTC

Hooked
Genuine Buddy 125, Piaggio BV 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 146
Location: NE CT
 
Hooked
Genuine Buddy 125, Piaggio BV 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 146
Location: NE CT
UTC 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
UTC

Hooked
2016 MP3 500 Sport
Joined: UTC
Posts: 183
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
 
Hooked
2016 MP3 500 Sport
Joined: UTC
Posts: 183
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
UTC quote
Very easy to get on center stand. Step on the step of the stand and pull backwards on the bike. Piece of cake!
@carolan avatar
UTC

Addicted
MP3 400 "Orion"
Joined: UTC
Posts: 972
Location: Northwest Ohio
 
Addicted
@carolan avatar
MP3 400 "Orion"
Joined: UTC
Posts: 972
Location: Northwest Ohio
UTC 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!
@pmatulew avatar
UTC

Hooked
2009 MP3 400, 2004 Honda ST1300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 411
Location: Sayre, PA
 
Hooked
@pmatulew avatar
2009 MP3 400, 2004 Honda ST1300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 411
Location: Sayre, PA
UTC 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.
OP
UTC

Hooked
Genuine Buddy 125, Piaggio BV 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 146
Location: NE CT
 
Hooked
Genuine Buddy 125, Piaggio BV 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 146
Location: NE CT
UTC quote
Thanks for the comfort, all! I feel better knowing there are good people I can turn to for advice.
UTC

Hooked
2019 MP3 500 Sport
Joined: UTC
Posts: 263
Location: California
 
Hooked
2019 MP3 500 Sport
Joined: UTC
Posts: 263
Location: California
UTC quote
I had never owned a scooter before, but ridden plenty of them - renting them every time I was on a Mediterranean island (I lived in Europe). I always had motorcycles, though. So my perspective may be a bit different than scooter aficionados...

I still own a second bike, a BMW R1100S, which I love and still is like new. But let's face it, motorcycles are not too practical. You can't wear good shoes because you'll destroy them. There's no practical storage space (I don't like the look of sidebags). The dynamics are exhilarating, the practicality low.

So I decided to go for a scooter with good storage and every day practicality. The MP3 500 seemed to combine practicality with grunt, and reviewers said it's near impossible to low side once in motion (most spills seem to be at a standstill with MP3 500s). As someone used to heavy motorcycles, I felt right at home on the MP3 500. It does attract a lot of attention, and even at a stop light I have been asked "Do you need a motorcycle license?" to which I reply that I very strongly encourage it. The MP3 has the dynamics of a real motorcycle.

No, I never ever engage the tilt lock at stop lights - I can balance a motorcycle a a standstill for quite a while, so I just ride the MP3 like it's IMO supposed to be ridden - like a motorcycle. The tilt lock again rocks for practicality as you park the bike - it's super fast to stop, park, put all your gear in the storage space under the seat, and off you go as if you were in your car. I am a single household, and I do have a car, but if I have put 500 miles on it since I got the MP3 500 (2019), it's on the high side. That's how much the MP3 500 rocks when it comes to being every day practical.

Treat it like a motorcycle. I think the 2 wheels up front can lull people into a false sense of stability... I only have laid it down once in 6 months (knock on wood) and it was after I parked it and was brainless about the strict routine you need to enforce. It went down very gently and slowly on the side... but even though I am 6'1 and 225lbs with less than 10% bodyfat, I could do little about it once it tilted beyond a certain angle, it is quite porky (and my R1100S is in no way swelte). It suffered zero damage and is very easy to pick up due to a low center of gravity. But live and learn, and treat it like a motorcycle.

So while it can be a handful at a stop because of the weight, it is a total darling when in motion. And at a stop, being very diligent and engaging the tilt lock for moving it around when appropriate also makes it easy... but you need to learn that part. It is simply a workflow you need to diligently enforce... stop, make sure it's as close to perfectly vertical as possible, engage tilt-lock, maneuver with awareness, engage the brake lever - done. Every time I park it, I make sure to slow down and repeat those steps. In motion - it's a very stable motorcycle with a front end I don't think you can every lose unless you really, really screw up. On windy, downhill, slippery surfaces it can't be beaten by any other motorcycle, IMO.

Like others have said... maintenance can be finicky and supposedly expensive - I am prepared for it. I'll have to ride well over an hour to find a qualified shop, so that's costly in time. But that depends on your geography.
OP
UTC

Hooked
Genuine Buddy 125, Piaggio BV 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 146
Location: NE CT
 
Hooked
Genuine Buddy 125, Piaggio BV 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 146
Location: NE CT
UTC quote
Thanks everyone for your encouragement but I've decided against the MP3 and gone with a BV 250. I just couldn't wrap my head around the weight factor.
@madison_sully avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2013 Piaggio BV 350, 2014 Can Am Spyder RT
Joined: UTC
Posts: 7589
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@madison_sully avatar
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2013 Piaggio BV 350, 2014 Can Am Spyder RT
Joined: UTC
Posts: 7589
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
UTC quote
Bummer.

But, for those who drop by and read this later, there is one other thing about the MP3 handling that is a bit odd. When you hit a bump or transition at an angle. The way the MP3 handles this is way different from how a 2-wheel vehicle handles it. There's a bit of a 'wallowing' effect due to one wheel hitting it first, than a bit later, the second front wheel hitting the same transition.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy your BV....
UTC

Hooked
2019 MP3 500 Sport
Joined: UTC
Posts: 263
Location: California
 
Hooked
2019 MP3 500 Sport
Joined: UTC
Posts: 263
Location: California
UTC quote
Madison Sully wrote:
But, for those who drop by and read this later, there is one other thing about the MP3 handling that is a bit odd. When you hit a bump or transition at an angle. The way the MP3 handles this is way different from how a 2-wheel vehicle handles it. There's a bit of a 'wallowing' effect ...
Indeed very true. Not just a *bit* of wallowing, depending on your speed and the amount and nature of bumps of unevenness on the road... the MP3 500 can become a bit of a bronco on poor California roads...

I'd also like to add that with enough practice, never putting your feet down by engaging the tilt lock becomes easy enough... but the constant beeps are irritating and it probably isn't a best practice.
UTC

Hooked
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: UTC
Posts: 324
Location: California
 
Hooked
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: UTC
Posts: 324
Location: California
UTC quote
The BV series is an excellent series of bikes and one of the Maxi-Scooters I considered as an alternative to the Mp3. You will find many happy miles with that with good performance, storage, stability and comfort.
OP
UTC

Hooked
Genuine Buddy 125, Piaggio BV 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 146
Location: NE CT
 
Hooked
Genuine Buddy 125, Piaggio BV 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 146
Location: NE CT
UTC quote
PabloLie wrote:
Indeed very true. Not just a *bit* of wallowing, depending on your speed and the amount and nature of bumps of unevenness on the road... the MP3 500 can become a bit of a bronco on poor California roads...

I'd also like to add that with enough practice, never putting your feet down by engaging the tilt lock becomes easy enough... but the constant beeps are irritating and it probably isn't a best practice.
"poor California roads" As a long time Yankee who is used to asphalt cracked, heaved and buckled by decades of freeze and thaw cycles I couldn't help but chuckle at that one!
OP
UTC

Hooked
Genuine Buddy 125, Piaggio BV 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 146
Location: NE CT
 
Hooked
Genuine Buddy 125, Piaggio BV 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 146
Location: NE CT
UTC quote
pinheadh78 wrote:
The BV series is an excellent series of bikes and one of the Maxi-Scooters I considered as an alternative to the Mp3. You will find many happy miles with that with good performance, storage, stability and comfort.
I'm sure I will! She sat for a while so I'm in the process of draining and replacing her fluids and changing out filters. Waiting for o rings to come in from Scooterwest.
UTC

Enthusiast
mp3 500 2018 (USA-version)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 60
Location: Belarus, Minsk
 
Enthusiast
mp3 500 2018 (USA-version)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 60
Location: Belarus, Minsk
UTC quote
Great choice! BV250 is the Best!
@dooglas avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Buddy Kick 125
Joined: UTC
Posts: 13411
Location: Oregon City, OR
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@dooglas avatar
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Buddy Kick 125
Joined: UTC
Posts: 13411
Location: Oregon City, OR
UTC quote
Congratulations. Good choice IMO. I traded my MP3 250 in for a BV 350. Felt like it was a real step up (lighter and faster). Never looked back.
DoubleGood Design banner

Modern Vespa is the premier site for modern Vespa and Piaggio scooters. Vespa GTS300, GTS250, GTV, GT200, LX150, LXS, ET4, ET2, MP3, Fuoco, Elettrica and more.

Buy Me A Coffee
 

Shop on Amazon with Modern Vespa

Modern Vespa is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com


All Content Copyright 2005-2024 by Modern Vespa.
All Rights Reserved.


[ Time: 0.0172s ][ Queries: 3 (0.0058s) ][ live ][ 313 ][ ThingOne ]