OP
@flicker_feather avatar
UTC

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MP3 250
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Location: 93434
 
Lurker
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MP3 250
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UTC quote
2007 Piaggio MP3 250

I am a 5'2" female who can barely touch my toes to the ground when coming to a stop. I have fallen over several times and had to pick up the scooter and myself. The suspension is adjusted to the lowest position. I'm just learning & getting used to the scooter, but don't see improving as a driver helping that much. I can manage split-second timing with practice, but not before I hurt myself and the scooter over and over.

I can't afford a sidecar. Redoing the seat is not something I want to do. I've looked into getting boots with thick soles. I'd prefer not to have to change my shoes at every destination or go shopping in monster boots.

Can you adjust the wheel lock to allow you to activate it before you're going so slow you have to put your feet on the ground to stay upright?

What other remedies for short people are there?
UTC

Molto Verboso
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
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Molto Verboso
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
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Posts: 1086
Location: Belgium
UTC quote
Well, there are 2 options here.

1) Learn how to use the roll lock as you come to a stop. This takes some practice to get good at. I can trigger the roll lock with bike rolling at less than walking pace, but as I said it takes time and practice.

OR

2) Get a bike that is better suited for your stature

HINT: The general fitment guide is that if you cannot put your feet solid on the ground, then the bike is not meant for you.
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Aprilia Mojito 125
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UTC quote
My wife is similar sized. And she just can't do anything with these mammoths. Each time she tried my 250, they both ended on their sides. When I had 400cc, I didn't let her even a single try.

Maybe Yourban would fit better. But even better will be Vespa GTS.
@stickyfrog avatar
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Moderatus Rana
MP3 250 and 2 MP3 500s
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Moderatus Rana
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MP3 250 and 2 MP3 500s
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Location: Nashville, Indiana
UTC quote
The problem with using the tilt lock at stops is you may miss the window or the lock may fail putting you in a position to catch the bike. It is doable for sure. I do it all the time but I am 6'2' and can easily catch it.

As others have said it seems the bike is just too big for you. The only options I see are:
1. Seat modification + thicker soled boots
2. Maybe a shorter shock absorber. Here is a post from awhile back Active Suspension for Fuoco - Now MkIII version. New Video
3. A Tow Pac which turns your 3 wheeler into a 5 wheeler but completely changes the ride like a sidecar would.
4. Sell your scooter and find one that fits you.

Good luck.
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2020 Liberty 150, 2020 MP3-500
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UTC quote
No way to adjust the speed the tiltlock engages, computer makes that decision
Slide off the front of the seat when coming to a stop,
Start off wearing platform shoes [training]

The mechanical solutions are not straight forward

Chop or remove the seat foam, working around or replacing the seat sensor [3k resistor]
Shorter shocks in the rear will have the rear wheel crashing into the underseat trunk
Cutting the springs down or replacing the springs is a hit or miss thing

My 150 is much easier to handle coming to a stop, weighs like 200 pounds less & narrower across the floorboards
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2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
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Location: California
UTC quote
Take advantage of the step-through design to put your feet down at stops.

When slowing to a stop, let the inertia slide you forwards on the seat. This will smoothly position you into a standing position (using the step-through) to put your feet down at the stop. You can try and engage the tilt-lock prior to stopping but that takes allot of practice with many drops, false starts, etc along the way.

Be mindful of sloped or uneven surfaces when stoping as you may need to use your leg mussels to brace the bike and keep it up right.

I too struggled with the size of the bike when I first got mine, I eventually adapted and found ways to negate its size but it was an involved process that took time. I almost sold the bike.

In the end its up to you and what you are most comfortable with. The Mp3 is an expensive bike to repair with allot of plastic bits that can break in a fall. Do not feel guilty or bad if you choose to sell the bike as ultimately its your ride and your machine.

Ride safe, Ride happy.

Best.
OP
@flicker_feather avatar
UTC

Lurker
MP3 250
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MP3 250
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UTC quote
Thanks for all the replies, suggestions, and ideas. I guess we'll start with the seat. Then goth/cosplay boots. Then ?

The scooter was a gift from a family member to give me some freedom. My vehicles all died and I live in a rural town 10-15 miles away from anything. None of us realized the scooter would be too tall, or me too short. Sliding off the seat isn't an option until I lose weight.

The seat vinyl has a hole in it, so we may go ahead with a seat mod. We're contemplating whether an English saddle (no stirrups) might work on a seat stripped of padding. A western saddle could also be used. I was involved with and owned horses in my younger days. I'll post pictures if it goes that far.
UTC

Molto Verboso
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
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Location: Belgium
 
Molto Verboso
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
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UTC quote
Before you start chopping and modding the seat, I suggest you do this.

Get yourself a piece of particle board and some layers of thin foam. The foam should be firm but still have some give to it as it needs to support your body weight. Styrofoam works great as a mockup material.

Cut a shape into the board (put board underneath seat and draw outline) mimicking roughly the base area of the seat that covers the bucket/trunk. Remove the factory seat from the bike and put the board in its place (temporarily). Start adding layers of foam until you find a fit that suits you best. Use a breadknife or similar instrument to fit a shape that is going fit you best. Don't be afraid to experiment, you are seeking the best fit given the limits of your body stature.

If you go too thin, riding the bike will not be pleasant and can become painful.

Keep adding layers until you cannot keep the heel of your feet on the ground.

IF you do end up with a thin mockup, then you really should have a gel seat made up to compensate for the lack of padding.

Once you have a mockup that suits you, then have your factory seat modded and reupholstered by a professional to reflect the mockup.
@25bikez avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2022 Liberty 150S-"Meg"
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UTC quote
Practice leaning on one leg as you come to a stop. Stop, lean left, and put your left foot flat on the ground. Don't try to keep up on both tippy toes. There's no strength that way. Keep the weight of the bike as near vertical as you can, but leaned to one side.

There are lots of tall bikes out there that are very hard to flat foot. I have a 29" inseam and I've had many bikes that were too tall, but learning to lean when I stopped allowed me to ride them safely. Learn to perform a controlled lean.

Forget the tilt lock except for when you park. It's causing you problems in learning your biomechanics.
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Hooked
Piaggio MP3 ie 400 (RIP)
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Location: Sydney
 
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Piaggio MP3 ie 400 (RIP)
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UTC quote
Flicker Feather wrote:
2007 Piaggio MP3 250

I am a 5'2" female who can barely touch my toes to the ground when coming to a stop. I have fallen over several times and had to pick up the scooter and myself. The suspension is adjusted to the lowest position. I'm just learning & getting used to the scooter, but don't see improving as a driver helping that much. I can manage split-second timing with practice, but not before I hurt myself and the scooter over and over.

I can't afford a sidecar. Redoing the seat is not something I want to do. I've looked into getting boots with thick soles. I'd prefer not to have to change my shoes at every destination or go shopping in monster boots.

Can you adjust the wheel lock to allow you to activate it before you're going so slow you have to put your feet on the ground to stay upright?

What other remedies for short people are there?
Hi, I read your post and I read some replies, my recommendation is to sell it and get something that is you can control, there maybe many things you can do to handle while under normal riding, but when it is important, like in an accident or something urgent happens in front of you and you need to act fast, then you need to take control of the scooter and all those ideas that were stated may not be effective, don't forget you are talking about your life. There is the Yamaha Tricity range, maybe they can be better suited to your body (if you want a 3 wheeled scooter). I hope this helps.
Good luck.
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Enthusiast
Piaggio MP3 300 HPE
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Posts: 66
Location: Croydon
 
Enthusiast
Piaggio MP3 300 HPE
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Location: Croydon
UTC quote
25BIKEZ wrote:
Practice leaning on one leg as you come to a stop. Stop, lean left, and put your left foot flat on the ground. Don't try to keep up on both tippy toes. There's no strength that way. Keep the weight of the bike as near vertical as you can, but leaned to one side.

There are lots of tall bikes out there that are very hard to flat foot. I have a 29" inseam and I've had many bikes that were too tall, but learning to lean when I stopped allowed me to ride them safely. Learn to perform a controlled lean.

Forget the tilt lock except for when you park. It's causing you problems in learning your biomechanics.
I have a 27" inseam and I lean - I wouldn't feel comfortable on the MP3 with any less of an inseam. I can tiptoe on both feet right now but it's not great. I guess at 5'2" your inseam is going to be less than 27"? I think therefore get a cruiser instead.
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UTC quote
25BIKEZ wrote:
Practice leaning on one leg as you come to a stop. Stop, lean left, and put your left foot flat on the ground. Don't try to keep up on both tippy toes. There's no strength that way. Keep the weight of the bike as near vertical as you can, but leaned to one side.

There are lots of tall bikes out there that are very hard to flat foot. I have a 29" inseam and I've had many bikes that were too tall, but learning to lean when I stopped allowed me to ride them safely. Learn to perform a controlled lean.

Forget the tilt lock except for when you park. It's causing you problems in learning your biomechanics.
Yes this is all true
The tilt lock in motion & from a stop is a skill, I've done a decade or so of awkward things learning the tiltlock in motion
When I ride with a passenger I only use the tiltlock to park, by requirement of my passenger
OP
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UTC

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MP3 250
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MP3 250
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UTC quote
Thanks again for the replies.
I decided I didn't want to alter the scooter, and instead I'm ordering 5" thick healed goth boots. I've never worn high heels, so I'll learn what that's like. Instead of 5'2" I'll be 5'7"! I can look my sister right in the eyes instead of looking up her nose. Well, until I fall on my ass and ask for help to get up, ha, ha.

We made some discoveries today that resolved what we thought were problems. The headlights. Why, why would they design this scooter to have one headlight come on at a time? We thought there was something wrong. The wiring on one side was melted and the lense was cloudy. We fixed that and still, only one light came on except when you pressed the passing switch. There is nothing in any of the manuals about this. Hmmmm. After careful examination of the wiring diagram, then watching Jay Leno ride this scooter with one light on in a video, we figured out it was made that way. WHAT!!?? Thank you to my brother-in-law Curtis for figuring it out.
@25bikez avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2022 Liberty 150S-"Meg"
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Location: Texas
 
Molto Verboso
@25bikez avatar
2022 Liberty 150S-"Meg"
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UTC quote
Flicker Feather wrote:
Thanks again for the replies.
I decided I didn't want to alter the scooter, and instead I'm ordering 5" thick healed goth boots. I've never worn high heels, so I'll learn what that's like. Instead of 5'2" I'll be 5'7"! I can look my sister right in the eyes instead of looking up her nose. Well, until I fall on my ass and ask for help to get up, ha, ha.

We made some discoveries today that resolved what we thought were problems. The headlights. Why, why would they design this scooter to have one headlight come on at a time? We thought there was something wrong. The wiring on one side was melted and the lense was cloudy. We fixed that and still, only one light came on except when you pressed the passing switch. There is nothing in any of the manuals about this. Hmmmm. After careful examination of the wiring diagram, then watching Jay Leno ride this scooter with one light on in a video, we figured out it was made that way. WHAT!!?? Thank you to my brother-in-law Curtis for figuring it out.
One is the high beam; one is the low beam. The pass to flash position lights them up together when it's pressed.
Good luck with the shoes. Hope they work for you and you can enjoy your new bike!
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Aprilia Mojito 125
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UTC quote
If you were a car driver, you'd knew, that two small close lights in a rearview mirror mean a distant car behing, so, you may safely pass or change the lane.

Which is why it is very bad if those two small close lights belong not to a distant car, but to a fast-moving motorcycle just behing you.
UTC

Hooked
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
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Location: California
 
Hooked
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
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Location: California
UTC quote
Quote:
I'm ordering 5" thick healed goth boots
Hi Flicker Feather
This sounds dangerous, its going to dramatically increase the risk of ankle injury and adds a significant level of adjustment to how you move both on and off the bike to adapt to.

As others have pointed out, its your safety and health on the line when riding a motorcycle and the 5 inch lift might make one thing better at the expense of higher risk elsewhere. Modifying the seat to make it narrower or lower, "left foot down", or using the step-through, or riding boots that add a more manageable 1 inch are lower risk options.

It might just be that swapping to a lower seat bike such as a Honda Super Cub, vespa 250 scooter, or something similar with a lower seat would grant you the fun mobility desired.

Wishing the Best and happy (safe) rides ahead.

Pinhead
UTC

Molto Verboso
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
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Location: Belgium
 
Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
Flicker Feather wrote:
Thanks again for the replies.
I decided I didn't want to alter the scooter, and instead I'm ordering 5" thick healed goth boots. I've never worn high heels, so I'll learn what that's like. ...
I can't begin to think of what a bad idea this is. This is a trip to the emergency room in the making with a twisted/broken ankle or worse.


Try the seat mockup as I suggested, and if you still can't put your feet flat on the ground then the bike simply is not meant for you.

End of story
UTC

Member
2023 Piaggio MP3 530
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Posts: 44
Location: Midwestern USA
 
Member
2023 Piaggio MP3 530
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Location: Midwestern USA
UTC quote
Recommend Dr. Martens boots, especially industrial steel-toed. That's all I wear for riding. Also, when cruising, you can adjust yourself backwards on the seat for comfort, but when in traffic or approaching a known stop, sit further forward. I realize you think you can't do that now, but perhaps with experience you will be able to do so. You could use your new platform boots (I hope they are boots!) just for riding and then change into normal-for-you shoes upon arrival.

What is your inseam? That's what really matters on a bike. I'm your height but I can get the MP3 to work for me with a ~30 inch inseam.

This is a really common problem for shorter people, and was a major limitation for me as to which bike I purchased, because to be able to reliably and safely park a big bike, I need to be able to get off and wheel it around with it in a stable upright (wheels locked) position. And I prefer larger bikes - didn't really want a Honda Rebel as my only ride…
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2008 fuoco
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2008 fuoco
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UTC quote
Just sell the bike and get one you can sit on and put your feet down with ease and that is alot lighter.
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Hooked
Piaggio MP3 ie 400 (RIP)
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Location: Sydney
 
Hooked
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UTC quote
Flicker Feather wrote:
Thanks again for the replies.
I decided I didn't want to alter the scooter, and instead I'm ordering 5" thick healed goth boots. I've never worn high heels, so I'll learn what that's like. Instead of 5'2" I'll be 5'7"! I can look my sister right in the eyes instead of looking up her nose. Well, until I fall on my ass and ask for help to get up, ha, ha.
I did not want to write as a lot have already written and you already made your mind up. What I recommend is go to youtube and watch motorbike accidents, there are a lot of many videos there, so maybe that can you give some insight, also the scooter is not a fashion accessory that goes with your handbag. It is a machine and you need to respect that machine as your life depends on it. Furthermore, if you still decide to wear the 5" boots, what I recommend then, is order a bigger gasket!
Good luck.
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MP3 400 "Orion"
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@carolan avatar
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UTC quote
Here are the mods I made to my MP3 400:

- Corbin saddle lowered me a couple inches. (I don't think these are made anymore, you can probably get your existing saddle altered)
- lowering brackets on rear shocks (purchased here on the forum) got me down almost another two inches.
- Slightly smaller tire radius on the rear got me down the extra half inch to make me feel secure.

Now I'm flat-footed in flat boots (I can't wear heels and god help me if I try to wear goth boots I'll trip and break something). I'm 5-3 with a 27" inseam.

Hope this helps.
⬆️    About 5 months elapsed    ⬇️
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Piaggio MP3 500 & Zero SR
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UTC quote
I'm 5'2" as well. I did learn to use the tilt lock but would often times lean in my seat slightly so that I could at least get one foot to touch the ground even if it's just my toes. That works very well. I still do that with my other motorcycles. I also have a Zero SR and definitely have to do it with that. I also scoot to the front of the seat where it is lowest to help me. I bought some Hoka boots. They have a thinker sole but are so comfortable for walking that I wear when I'm on my Zero and it helps as well. Compared to the MP3, the Zero is very top heavy so when it starts to fall you just have to let it then fight to get it back up. My third bike is a Honda CTX700. I can just about flat foot it with both feet on that. Great bike. Mine is the manual transmission bu they do make a CTX700 DCT which is an automatic.
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2019 MP3 500hpe Sport
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2019 MP3 500hpe Sport
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UTC quote
Check into the Daytona M Star Boots. They have a thicker sole and are motorcycle boots. I am slightly height challenged and have been wearing these for the better part of 8 years. Quality boots but a little pricey. I am on my first pair and they hold up very well.
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2019 MP3 500 Sport
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Location: California
UTC quote
I am 6'2 but there are always motorcycles larger than your inseam. Thy all allow you to dismount and stand - unless you try to stay seated, which is not a best practice anyhow.

If a motorcycle doesn't allow you to stand comfortably and plant both feet at the light while *not* seated... it's not designed for you, and it's poorly designed possibly, so handle with care. I don't think you should have bought it.

If a motorcycle allows you to comfortably stand while you are stopped in some way, simply get used to the process of getting comfortably to a stop and get going again. It's not that hard. Some of us have had bicycles that were like that - barely allowed us to touch ground.

I had dual sport models that were ridiculously high, but there are ways to ride a bike higher than your inseam.
⬆️    About 3 months elapsed    ⬇️
UTC

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Mp3 250 2007
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Location: North Carolina USA
 
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Mp3 250 2007
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UTC quote
I'm 5'3" and just as round as I am short. Been watching you tube short rider videos. Taking the MS course a few years ago was a game changer. Just got my first mp3 250 and still getting the hang of it. Had a Kymco grand vista several yr ago. I'm on my toes too. The people who gifted you this bike didn't understand that it leans = falls over when not locked. Consider trading it for the Honda 150 scooter. Or a Kymco. I'm realizing the maintenance on the mp3 is going to be a major pain in the ass for parts and service. I hope you get the hang of hanging off the side and balance practice. I'm working in that. You are not alone.
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2020 Liberty 150, 2020 MP3-500
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UTC quote
The beauties of scooters are not needing to use your feet & being able to slide off the front of the seat when stopped
The mp3 has the added benefit of being able to lock the tilt, allowing you to climb back up, before starting back up

You are correct about the uniqueness of the MP3 making service problematic/expensive even if there is a dealer close by
A nice 150 would be quite a bit lighter
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Hooked
Piaggio MP3 ie 400 (RIP)
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Location: Sydney
 
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Piaggio MP3 ie 400 (RIP)
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Posts: 204
Location: Sydney
UTC quote
Garthhh wrote:
The beauties of scooters are not needing to use your feet & being able to slide off the front of the seat when stopped
The mp3 has the added benefit of being able to lock the tilt, allowing you to climb back up, before starting back up

You are correct about the uniqueness of the MP3 making service problematic/expensive even if there is a dealer close by
A nice 150 would be quite a bit lighter
You are wrong in your statement, although what you said is partly ok, but what happens in an emergency.... the tilt lock will not help nor there is enough time to use the tilt lock. If a person is not able to put their feet on the ground that means the scooter/bike is not suitable for that person.
@garthhh avatar
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2020 Liberty 150, 2020 MP3-500
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UTC quote
Sure, it's better to be able to put both your feet down flatfooted while on the seat when coming to a stop

When do you have to be able to put your feet down when in motion?
Answer: Never

I used to transport 1 cubic yard bags of vermiculite on the seat of my 400 burg, by sitting on the bag, leaving my feet 4 inches off the ground,
The trip involved coming to a full stop 3 times
Stopping: Slide off the front of the seat, both feet down when stopped [just like on a road bicycle]
Leaving from a stop: Give it some throttle, one foot on a floorboard, to both feet on the floorboard, butt back up on the bag/seat
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2019 MP3 500 Sport
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Location: California
 
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2019 MP3 500 Sport
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UTC quote
It can be tricky, but one can learn to slide sideways as the bike comes to a stop to put a foot down, and balance as you start riding off again. With some MX bikes even we taller dudes can just tip toe (I think it is 38 inches on a Honda CR450 - only NBA players need apply to put both feet solidly on the ground...

It gets harder as one ages and inevitably loses flexibility, but it's something most of us that have had many different bikes have had to learn at times. And it ideally needs to be learned in a consequence free environment, like many things in life The MP3 500 is not a beginner's bike, I am always amazed when people think that: it's very heavy, it carries a lot of weight up front (which makes the dynamics of trail braking interesting at times )

The problem is the MP3 500 is too heavy and a handful when trying to learn some basic motorcycle tricks (tight turns, very slow tight turns, braking unexpectedly in a turn, etc). And it can be expensive to drop, I'd rather do that with a Grom...
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