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MP3 500ie
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UTC quote
A friend let me try his VFR1200 DCT for the weekend; I put on 60 miles yesterday and will probably put on another 100 or more today (Sunday)

My MP3 500 was my first "bike" in over 20 years; I'm awestruck how much difference there is between it and the VFR, and not just in terms of the engine (500cc 40hp vs 1200cc 150hp) and weight (500lbs+ vs 600lbs+)

I won't mention the acceleration difference or how different the tranni feels (CVT vs true DCT) - these are obvious, though how they differ and how much might merit a few words another time.

What blows my mind is the difference in handling, and how much more "planted" and confidence inspiring the VFR is! Holy cow! After reading all the words and comments (here and elsewhere) about how the three wheels this and front two wheel track that, it made sense and I accepted it as gospel.

What I was taking at 50 and pushing wide on the MP3 I'm taking at 65-70 and staying online like a laser with very little hesitation or sphincter puckering.

And incredibly and totally surprisingly, I have MORE control at slow speeds and I am able to make a smaller circle (smaller turning radius) even though the VFR's wheelbase is longer (I think, from memory of the specs) - I can keep my feet on the pegs rolling up to a red light almost all the way to a complete stop, whereas I have a more difficult time balancing at sub-5 mph on the MP3.

The VFR definitely feels heavier and I am more paranoid about dropping it while stopped (obviously not taking into considering the front suspension lock on the MP3) but I very naturally roll to a stop and lean to my left, keeping my right foot on the peg and rear brake.

No disrespect to the MP3 and it'll still be my "everyday" ride most likely, but ...

Holy Cow!!!
@noth avatar
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Molto Verboso
Burgman 650 (May, 2012) MP3 500 (11/2009 - 5.2012)
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Molto Verboso
@noth avatar
Burgman 650 (May, 2012) MP3 500 (11/2009 - 5.2012)
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UTC quote
Good friend ! , The 500 is 538 pounds and the Honda at 614 so neither is terribly light..... I tried the VFR 1200 DCT and didn't like it at all.. The feet back sports bike position felt unstable and I was not sure of myself compared to the MP3 500.. so each to his own.
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Fuoco
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Fuoco
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UTC quote
Ya... Can't really compare the 2...
Scooter vs Bike
City Commuter vs Sports Tourer

Being able to grip the tank with your legs definitely give u better control of your bike at low speed, as u r more 'connected' to your bike...

Just my 2 cents
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UTC quote
noth wrote:
Good friend ! , The 500 is 538 pounds and the Honda at 614 so neither is terribly light..... I tried the VFR 1200 DCT and didn't like it at all.. The feet back sports bike position felt unstable and I was not sure of myself compared to the MP3 500.. so each to his own.
Hiya,

Yep, neither are "light" (some might say overweight...both of 'em...) but I thought I already noted their weight ("500+" and "600+") in my original post?



I haven't ridden the VFR enough (less than a 100 miles and 90 minutes) to decide whether I like it or not; I only commented on how (surprisingly) different they feel handling wise, especially surprising at low speeds, for me...

I agree, to each their own..."it's all good."

Clown emoticon
@noth avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Burgman 650 (May, 2012) MP3 500 (11/2009 - 5.2012)
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Location: Massachusetts- Boston South Shore
 
Molto Verboso
@noth avatar
Burgman 650 (May, 2012) MP3 500 (11/2009 - 5.2012)
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UTC quote
[quote="WanderingPurist"]
noth wrote:
Yep, neither are "light" (some might say overweight...both of 'em...) but I thought I already noted their weight ("500+" and "600+") in my original post?



Clown emoticon
Of course you mentioned the weight.. That's why I confirmed it.. why would you have an issue with that? I saw the weight and knew it was less that 100 pounds (but barely)..
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I agree...
TWdude26 wrote:
Ya... Can't really compare the 2...
Scooter vs Bike
City Commuter vs Sports Tourer

Being able to grip the tank with your legs definitely give u better control of your bike at low speed, as u r more 'connected' to your bike...

Just my 2 cents
Hey,

I was talking to a Honda dealer the other day (before my friend loaned me his VFR) and I found it interesting that after several minutes, me talking about how might I like the MP3 and how the 500 surprises people with its performance (handling, acceleration, top speed, etc) I myself said, mostly jokingly, "but yeah, even with all that, we don't get no respect!" (again, it was mostly tongue in cheek)

I have another friend who is into Ducati's; he tries to be polite but I can tell the undertone, he "looks down" on the "Piaggio" as "just" a scoot. He was surprised I actually rode it on the freeway, and even more surprised I usually average ...let's just say, "cager speeds..."



Even the implied stuff, "such and so is bigger than the Piaggio" (oh no it isn't!) indicate scoots in general, including the MP3 500, is "small"...

So what? Frankly I don't care, just like I didn't care that my lap times were the third worst in my high advanced run group last week at the track, I drive and ride for myself (so long as I don't hold anyone back and I don't scare the bejesus out of anyone else when I pass...) but I am curious how perceptions work, and why, even if they make no sense. And to what degree they might be based on tidbits of fact, even if in toto they don't "make sense."

All of which to say, yeah, I agree, scoot vs full blown MC; city commuter vs "sports tourer", but there is enough overlap, each is "reaching" (afterall, why the hell would anyone need a 500cc 90MPH capable "scooter" or why would anyone care about huge ass integrated pannier hard cases or top boxes on a sport bike or sit torso forward feet back on a touring bike?) that a comparison actually didn't seem so ridiculous. Actually, I realized after trying the VFR (a highly controversial bike, especially the DCT, just like the MP3, especially the 500, is a highly controversial scooter...) that as hard I try not to, I had arrived at some conclusions based on hearsay and no personal experience on the MP3 vs MC...

Actually, I wasn't even "comparing" just observing...



hmmm...I just realized I'm beginning to sound defensive. (shrug) it is what it is.

You last comment about gripping the tank between your legs makes sense; now you have me wondering about Harley's and Goldwings and other pure "Touring" bikes...

So much to experience, so little time!!!

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no issues...


I am disappointed in the DCT, though; everything I'd read led me to expect it would be more like the most current DCT and auto-manuals like the BMW, Porsche (Ferrari and Lamborghini too? not sure they are DCT) - smooth, fast, almost mind reading, but in fact I am more reminded of the early generation BMW SMG's - harsh, always "hunting" and buzzy, and "notchy" So far I am disappointed in the DCT aspect of this, but I have to remember this is a gen 1 of DCT for MC's...

This is going to be interesting (for me...)

[quote="noth"]
WanderingPurist wrote:
noth wrote:
Yep, neither are "light" (some might say overweight...both of 'em...) but I thought I already noted their weight ("500+" and "600+") in my original post?



Clown emoticon
Of course you mentioned the weight.. That's why I confirmed it.. why would you have an issue with that? I saw the weight and knew it was less that 100 pounds (but barely)..
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UTC

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Mp3 500
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Location: Denver Colorado
 
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UTC quote
I think the problem we have is that the MP3 was designed as a scooter, and for dealing with City traffic and situations. It was never designed to be a sportbike, or even close to one. So no surprise that you get better performance from most motorcycles than an MP3.
But, the MP3 has its good side too, most of which we know about here, and in 'around town' traffic, where its design parameters are in play, I would contend that it "outperforms" (in its on way) most MCs, mostly by way of not having to shift in city traffic, having some built in storage, and being able to lock the front wheels, which comes in handy in a wide variety of situations around town. MCs still will go faster, and handle a bit better, but the MP3 won't embarrass you too bad, most of the time, and has some exclusive tricks up its sleeve with the front two wheels.
Blend into that mix that the Mp3 will still run at least some MCs off the road in the twisties ( ok, mostly cruisers) and will also take you on the occasional long trip in reasonable comfort and it ends up being a pretty versatile bike.

But if you are looking strictly for performance, an MP3 is not ever gonna cut it.

For me, it goes plenty fast, handles pretty well ( slow speeds are dodgy for sure) and is fun. It does get tiresome that people think things like that it won't fall over, or cant get up to highway speeds and on and on. It is what it is, I suppose, and you take the good with the bad.
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Red MP3 500 RUBY DRAGON
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UTC quote
Good summary Rob!
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Yamaha XVS1100a
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Yamaha XVS1100a
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UTC quote
scooter v MC
I tour with my mate GTR1000 kwaka
even he looks down on scooter as not worthy
we travel all over and when we stop
who's machine draws the most attention and awe
MP3 that who

he don't get a look in most times

but to mc riders it's just a funny looking scooter
not capable of much

I am proving then wrong!

how about a race

meet me at Alice Springs

they back off pretty quick!
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UTC

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MP3 400
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Location: Seattle
 
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UTC quote
I am probably not unique in being a first time rider with the MP3 at age 45. Therefore, I don't think about it in comparison to sport bikes (never rode one, don't know anybody who does) or scooters (never rode one, don't know anybody who does). I'm an MP3 rider and I know it is waaaaay more fun than driving a car!
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