Sat Sep 17, 2022 8:49 pm

Hooked
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 143
Location: California
 
Hooked
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 143
Location: California
Sat Sep 17, 2022 8:49 pm linkquote
Hello Mp3 Community.

Expanding on the discussion of Bitubo shock absorbers from this older thread. How good sounds this mods in a 2022 500 Sport Advanced

I'd like to get the same Bitubo shocks that are on alexram and sbaert's Mp3 series from the other post. I need the model number or a product link where I can buy the correct model for a "2016 MP3 500 Sport ABS ETRTH4BUS2 NAFTA series".

Web searches turn up plenty of Bitubo shocks for the Mp3 but so far none appear to have that little cylinder attached that looks to be the defining feature of good Bitubo shocks. All the models I'm finding look like just the spring and piston but all of them lack the little cylinder hanging off the shocks.

Why do I need new shocks or an upgrade?

While out on a group ride today I finally learned the reason why the rear end of my Mp3 felt a bit squirrelly and unstable whenever I took a rough surface corner at speed.

Either
A) I've reached the limit of what the rear shocks of the MP3 can handle when out pushing the limits of the bike on the twisty mountain roads
B) The rear shocks are busted and I need to invest in replacements. I'm getting a new rear tire installed later this week and will ask the shop to check the factory suspention.
C) Buy a newer 2022 or 2023 Mp3 that has the Bitubo already Update; newer MP3s do not have the "good" shocks but rather slightly better stock stuff.

The background....

Was out on a group ride today and noticed that the handling of the bike got pretty bad whenever I took a corner where the road surface was imperfect (a bit uneven, some bumps, older mountain twisty roads, etc). The handling felt like the rear of the bike was loosing traction and trying to slide while the front got little squirrely. This was nothing I couldn't handle (happened before) so I just slowed down and things stabilized and thought no more of it.

I figured I was probably at the limits of my own skill and was thus doing something wrong when taking the corner at speed, or maybe it was just my city bike wasn't meant for these mountain roads at high speed. But then if that was the case, why does everyone else's bike look so planted and stable while taking the same corners with the same imperfect road surface? I know I'm not as experienced or skilled a rider as the other people in the group but I wasn't that much slower and my cornering lines were roughly matching theirs. So if it was a skill or talent issue then why am I and my bike struggling for roughly the same speed, lean angle, and cornering skills? Is my own skill set that deficient?

At the next stop one of the riders that was behind me approached to ask if I'd felt any instability or wobbliness in the handling during those hard corners on imperfect pavement. When I replied yes and describe how the bike felt a bit "Squirrely" on the front and loss of traction on the back he explained what he had seen while riding behind me the last few miles of twisty mountain roads. He said the rear end of my bike was bouncing around all over the place whenever I took those fast corners on the bumpy roads. At first he thought I simply had the wrong pre-sets on my suspension or some other mechanical problems. On closer inspection he found the pre-sets were correct, the suspension seemed okay and I was observed as being "confident" in tight corners when the road surface was good.

The conclusion was that my riding style and skill was not the problem. It was the MP3s suspension and how it was designed for getting groceries around town and not tearing up mountain twisty roads. Thats both a relief in that its not my skillset thats lacking but rather my steed is no longer cutting it for the style and type of riding I do.

I'm not ready to change platforms, I really like the Mp3 and the smiles it brings when I'm out on the three wheel weirdo around town. Its a beast in the corners due to the 3 wheels stability and the front end feels so very planted and solid. Plus the biggest reason is the wife will not permit any "two wheel" machine in the garage so I'm staying Mp3 for now.

So...
A) I've reached the limit of what the rear shocks of the MP3 can handle when out pushing the limits of the bike on the twisty mountain roads
B) The rear shocks are busted and I need to invest in replacements. We'll find out when the mechanic inspects the bike later this week. Fingers cross the shocks are not busted.
C) Buy a newer 2022 or 2023 Mp3 that has the Bitubo already Update; newer MP3s do not have the "good" shocks but rather slightly better stock stuff.

Last edited by pinheadh78 on Sun Sep 18, 2022 9:30 am; edited 1 time in total
Sat Sep 17, 2022 11:11 pm

Member
Piaggio MP3 500 2016
Joined: 28 May 2021
Posts: 18
Location: Gainesville, VA
 
Member
Piaggio MP3 500 2016
Joined: 28 May 2021
Posts: 18
Location: Gainesville, VA
Sat Sep 17, 2022 11:11 pm linkquote
https://www.piaggio.com/en_EN/accessories/vehicle-accessories/cycling-parts-scooter/bitubo-special-shock-absorbers-606390m/

but these shocks are no longer in production as I know, I have no complains at all
Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:51 am

Addicted
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 869
Location: Belgium
 
Addicted
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 869
Location: Belgium
Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:51 am linkquote
Pinhead,

I know a shop that may still have a pair of NOS Piaggio/Bitubo shocks left. Just be aware that the price of shipping internationally nowadays is not like it used to be pre-2020.

The shop where I got mine is out since I got the last 2 sets (first one was leaking and exchanged)

FWIW, my set is holding up well and has already gotten its first full stripdown and rebuild. Per Bitubo, these shocks need a stripdown every couple of years. I let mine go about 3 years since the MP3 is now only a wet weather and winterbike.

PM me, and I'll send you the details

BTW, 2022/2023 MP3s do NOT have the Bitubo shocks. They are units supplied by Kayaba to Piaggio and have very limited adjustability, mainly preload. There is no rebound adjustability unlike the Bitubos.

And knowing Piaggio's track record on suspension and ride quality, dollars to donuts they went bottom dollar as usual. Granted, the Kayabas ARE slightly better than the old black 5 click adjuster type with the keyword being slightly.
Sun Sep 18, 2022 9:49 am

Hooked
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 143
Location: California
 
Hooked
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 143
Location: California
Sun Sep 18, 2022 9:49 am linkquote
Thank you sbaert and alexram. That is very good information.

Are there other brands or models of shocks that are compatible with the Mp3 and would improve its handling?

I see there are Malossi Rear Shocks but I don't know if they're any better or compatible.
https://scooterpartsco.com/malossi/01-malossi-master-part-list/malossi-rear-shock-absorbers-for-piaggio-mp3

I've not decided yet which path I'm going to take to solve the problem. At minimum I need to wait until the mechanic has a look at the shocks condition.

I see plenty on the web searches but all look to be just different variations of the same piston + spring configuration and none have the little cylinder. I don't know allot about shocks but form what I've read that little fluid reservoir cylinder is what gave the Bitubo shocks their improved handling vs the generic piston + spring setup.

The Bitubo shocks might be worth the cost even if the shipping is a bit high. I want to stay on the Mp3 platform and I've already invested in modifying my current Mp3 to where I want it. I like taking it on mountain twisters and a newer Mp3 will not improve the situation.

All new factory stock shocks are around $300 USD (2 x $130 + shipping to USA). If the Bitubo are within a few hundred dollars then it might be worth the investment to keep the Mp3 I like and improve its handling on those rougher twister roads.

Thanks again for the help and guidance. I'm getting an education on my Mp3 and Moto Suspension.

Sample of the generic "piston + spring" shocks I"m finding
https://www.easyparts.nl/Rear-Shockabsorber-p33559440

Sample of some Ebay "Bitubo" shocks but these lack the reservoir cylinder.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/144214701817

What I want for the bike
https://www.piaggio.com/us_EN/accessories/vehicle-accessories/cycling-parts-scooter/bitubo-special-shock-absorbers-606390m/
Sun Sep 18, 2022 2:25 pm

Hooked
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 143
Location: California
 
Hooked
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 143
Location: California
Sun Sep 18, 2022 2:25 pm linkquote
Has anyone tried installing the Malossi shocks and are able to share their experience?

I'm wondering if these might be a suitable middle on the cost vs quality vs performance choice. The best shocks are super expensive, the stock shocks are terrible, and the middle choice (Malossi) is lacking of reviews or information beyond the catalog of compatible parts.

https://www.malossistore.com/en/np/twins-rear-shock-absorber-pair-wheelbase-408-mm-gilera-fuoco-500-ie-4t-lc-euro-3-4614789-gifu500-M-P
Sat Sep 24, 2022 12:03 am

Hooked
2008 fuoco
Joined: 19 Jul 2015
Posts: 435
Location: United Kingdom.
 
Hooked
2008 fuoco
Joined: 19 Jul 2015
Posts: 435
Location: United Kingdom.
Sat Sep 24, 2022 12:03 am linkquote
Yes the standard shocks are rubbish and expensive rubbish. Theres always Hagons which are probably best value for a decent shock made in England or Ikon 7610 old name Koni dial a ride made in australia. I fitted a pair of koni dial a rides taken from a old guzzi t3 dismantled then cleaned reoiled and fitted lighter springs that sorted out the rear end ALOT BETTER. My bike 2008 fuoco/mp3.
Sat Sep 24, 2022 10:43 am

Hooked
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 143
Location: California
 
Hooked
2016 Mp3 500ie Sport
Joined: 28 Jul 2019
Posts: 143
Location: California
Sat Sep 24, 2022 10:43 am linkquote
I took the middle road and ordered the Malossi shocks.

The Bitubo shocks are the best but are very expensive and require more regular maintenance at specialized or experienced shops.

The stock shocks are indeed rubbish. I figured out why my rear wheel had strange unevenly spaced lines of various widths on the rear tire. Those strange marks were skid marks on the rear tire from contact with the road surface at a significant speed differential. Thats how bad the standard shocks are when the bike is pushed to the limits in corners.

The Malossi are a couple hundred bugs for a pair that fit the bike. I'll report back if they are any good or how the shocks either improve (or make worse) the ride. But I figure these Malossi cannot possibly be much worse than whats on the bike stock.

I will update this post again with photos and commentary after the Malossi are installed.
Tue Sep 27, 2022 8:50 pm

Member
Piaggio MP3 500 2016
Joined: 28 May 2021
Posts: 18
Location: Gainesville, VA
 
Member
Piaggio MP3 500 2016
Joined: 28 May 2021
Posts: 18
Location: Gainesville, VA
Tue Sep 27, 2022 8:50 pm linkquote
sbaert wrote:
...
FWIW, my set is holding up well and has already gotten its first full stripdown and rebuild. Per Bitubo, these shocks need a stripdown every couple of years. I let mine go about 3 years since the MP3 is now only a wet weather and winterbike.

PM me, and I'll send you the details

Can you share that info with me, please? I've sent dm to you, but looks like you are not checking it..
Wed Sep 28, 2022 4:49 am

Addicted
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 869
Location: Belgium
 
Addicted
2015 MP3 500 ie Business
Joined: 29 Oct 2019
Posts: 869
Location: Belgium
Wed Sep 28, 2022 4:49 am linkquote
PM sent. Sorry I don't check my messages very often.
  DoubleGood Vespa Design  

All Content Copyright 2005-2022 by Modern Vespa. All Rights Reserved.

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.

Shop on Amazon Smile with Modern Vespa

[ Time: 0.0283s ][ Queries: 5 (0.0076s) ][ Debug on ][ 211 ][ Thing One ]