Thu May 20, 2021 2:18 pm

Enthusiast
2019 MP3 500 Sport
Joined: 26 Sep 2012
Posts: 71
Location: California
 
Enthusiast
2019 MP3 500 Sport
Joined: 26 Sep 2012
Posts: 71
Location: California
Thu May 20, 2021 2:18 pm linkquote
A friend of mine was about to pull the trigger on a Vespa 300 "Sport" (the moniker is about as inaccurate in a Vespa as it is in an MP3 500, IMO)...

And as someone that considered both models, he asked me (my younger sister also did so coincidentally). So what was my response, and what would yours be? Also consider I am not in Europe, but rather is California, where MP3 dealerships are few, so thee were mysimple replies:

".. I closely considered both, but it was a different times. I think the MP3's practical nature can't be beaten, especially for me as a one person household. It's become a total car replacement for me. The storage space is like nothing else I have seen in the motorcycle world. Side bags are not as practical as something you can easily pop up and allows you to easily store groceries in it along with necessities. I didn't spend much time on the Vespa 300, but I think storage space is at least 30% smaller, sue me if I am wrong.

Performance wise they are not very dissimilar, but I think the MP3 500 is far more stable at highways speeds, and may sustain higher speed. None of the two are high speed tourers, I have my other bike for that.

The MP3 is porky, but doesn't feel it in movement. I like the Vespa 300, but have never met anyone that puts as many miles on it as I have started to do with the MP3. It may have worked for me... I can't be sure about it.

NO - the front end of the MP3 500 does not guarantee it's impossible to lay it down. That's a totally flawed expectation to have. It has all the dynamics of a motorcycle. But it's again vry practical to be able to just push a button to have it stand up as your park it, Then again, a side stand is just as fast to deploy.

I think I could be happy with either one. The MP3 just edges things out on a bit more practicality and a bit more performance with the bigger engine. ..."
Thu May 20, 2021 10:30 pm

Enthusiast
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 72
Location: California
 
Enthusiast
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 72
Location: California
Thu May 20, 2021 10:30 pm linkquote
All good points about the Mp3 vs the Vespa 300 Sport.

The Vespa 300 series is also (I think) bigger than most people expect it to be. Its not a little scooter, its got some weight to it and a taller than expected seat. Its still smaller and perhaps a bit closer to a normal motorcycle as it does not have the Mp3s unique quirks. There are also more shops and dealers willing to service and maintain a basic Vespa scooter including San Jose BMW / Vespa in the south bay. Most shops will not touch an Mp3 as its too weird or non-standard for their service departments to feel confident.

The Mp3 is indeed a better all around vehicle for storage, highway riding, stability etc. But it is still quite a bit bigger and heavier than the Vespa and its special features require some practice. For that someone who's not already used to motorcycles the Mp3 might be a bit much to start with. My 2016 Mp3 500ie is my first bike and for a time I almost sold it due to being overwhelmed by its size, quirks, and complexity on top of learning to ride.

Having storage under the seat and a tail-box also means the bike remains relatively narrow which is good for lane splitting here in California. Saddle bags give more storage but make the bike wider and thus filtering and splitting are not as doable.

This thread had some great notes about the Mp3 and those considering it Looking for a touch of reassurance
Fri May 21, 2021 3:12 am

Hooked
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 398
Location: Belgium
 
Hooked
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 398
Location: Belgium
Fri May 21, 2021 3:12 am linkquote
If you plan to do any freeway riding on a semi regular basis you can forget the GTS. It just doesn't have enough oomph to keep up with modern day traffic let alone overtaking power and that makes it semi dangerous in my book
Fri May 21, 2021 1:14 pm

Addicted
2010 gts 300 super. 09 MP3 500 lite
Joined: 02 Apr 2013
Posts: 755
Location: tampa
 
Addicted
2010 gts 300 super. 09 MP3 500 lite
Joined: 02 Apr 2013
Posts: 755
Location: tampa
Fri May 21, 2021 1:14 pm linkquote
I have both. and I wouldnt be able to choose if I had to pick one.
Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:20 am

Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS300ie abs/asr/ess Settantesimo '70'
Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 3354
Location: East Anglia, a dryer region of the UK than Israel
 
Ossessionato
2016 Vespa GTS300ie abs/asr/ess Settantesimo '70'
Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 3354
Location: East Anglia, a dryer region of the UK than Israel
Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:20 am linkquote
Yep, both bikes have advantages and disadvantages. Would disagree with the GTS (300) not having enough oomph to hit the free-ways. I do from time to time and it runs all day comfortably at 70+mph. However, the 500 does it better of course. If the distances you want to cover on a highway/free-way are large, then it's the 500! Other than that, it's a hard choice.
Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:20 am

Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Buddy Kick 125
Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 11782
Location: Oregon City, OR
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Buddy Kick 125
Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 11782
Location: Oregon City, OR
Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:20 am linkquote
I have owned both an MP3 and a GTS (actually 2). The MP3 has its advantages as are well identified above. The disadvantages aren't as well identified IMO. The MP3 is mechanically and electronically complex. Maintenance and reliability can be a challenge. Capable MP3 mechanics are hard to find. The 500 cc Piaggio engine is not particularly refined and is subject to oil blowback among other foibles.

The metal GTS is a thing of special beauty - that does not make it a better ride, but does make it aesthetically pleasing. It does perform well in a variety of roles from around town to highways. The 300 (278 cc) Piaggio engine is probably the most refined of their designs. In the end, of course, we all ride whatever calls to us.
Sat Jun 19, 2021 6:35 pm

Enthusiast
2019 MP3 500 Sport
Joined: 26 Sep 2012
Posts: 71
Location: California
 
Enthusiast
2019 MP3 500 Sport
Joined: 26 Sep 2012
Posts: 71
Location: California
Sat Jun 19, 2021 6:35 pm linkquote
When it comes to highways... and having lived and ridden in Europe (I lived in Germany for a long time) and California, there are marked differences...

In Germany, I could never see myself riding a Vespa on the left lane of the highway. Overtaking a slow truck would be challenging and daring given the speed differential between lanes. Remember in Europe overtaking on the right side of a vehicle is a total no.

In California probably anything goes. Especially if you stay on the right lane, but otoh no one cares if you overtake on the right in California. I live in an area in California where everybody seems to have forgotten the speed limit is 65mph. The MP3 500 allows one to keep up with traffic doing 85mph or even a bit higher, and can cruise at 75 all day long.

I also have a BMW R1100S, and find myself riding it less and less other than for my ritualistic monthly adventure ride. The MP3 500 just beats it at practicality in a brutal way. I even rarely drive my car these days. Of course that means that, as I put miles on the MP3, I shall soon find out how hard/expensive it is to maintain...
Sun Jun 20, 2021 6:55 am

Hooked
2019 MP3 500hpe Sport
Joined: 03 Nov 2014
Posts: 475
Location: Germany
 
Hooked
2019 MP3 500hpe Sport
Joined: 03 Nov 2014
Posts: 475
Location: Germany
Sun Jun 20, 2021 6:55 am linkquote
I love my 500hpe coming from a 400 a few years ago. As stated, comfortably cruises at 130km/h alll day long, although I don't do much highway driving and ride it like a sport bike to be honest. I am always replacing tires because of how aggressive I tend to ride. I wish it has a bit more oomph when going up hills or trying to pass at over 100km/h, but so long as I can judge and get the tach into the sweet spot, no complaints from me. Should I get a MC license, absolutely, but there is just something about the MP3 that is hard to beat.
Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:40 am

Hooked
GTS250ie "Mechanical Squirrel", MP3 500 Touring "the Donkey", '66 Honda Benly, Suzuki 250 cafe "Mouse", Jawa 350TS
Joined: 01 Jul 2011
Posts: 485
Location: Burlington ONT... Directly above the center of the earth.
 
Hooked
GTS250ie "Mechanical Squirrel", MP3 500 Touring "the Donkey", '66 Honda Benly, Suzuki 250 cafe "Mouse", Jawa 350TS
Joined: 01 Jul 2011
Posts: 485
Location: Burlington ONT... Directly above the center of the earth.
Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:40 am linkquote
I've had both an 07 GTS and a 12 500 MP3.

The GTS costs little to run, the MP3 seemed to like to take large gulps out of my wallet on a regular basis.

The GTS is still in the garage giving sterling service. The MP3 was virtually given away... nuf said.
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