OP
UTC

Member
GTS 300
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Location: Seattle area
 
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GTS 300
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UTC quote
I'm thinking seriously of buying an MP3, but torn between the 250 and the 400. About 5 years ago I had a 1000cc Suzuki Vstrom as my regular commuting bike, but since I sold that, I haven't ridden at all. I plan to retake the MSF course even though I've kept the MC endoresement on my license because it's been so long since I've been on a bike. I'm in WA, so based on what I've read, I will need to get the additional 3 wheel endorsement too.

My commute includes a lot of hills, and some two lane hiway (55mph). The nearest repair shop for an MP3 does involve 60mph hiway riding -- so I would need to do that for maintenance etc.

Any 250 riders out there have an opinion on the power of the 250 for hilly areas + occassional hiway riding? Will I wish I had more power? I'm not looking for something super fast - just something that will be fun to commute on.


Karen
@jimc avatar
UTC

Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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Posts: 43698
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
 
Moderaptor
@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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UTC quote
I'll only post what I felt when test riding the MP3 250 many years ago - it felt sluggish compared to other 125 scoots in the shop.

Go for 400 especially in WA.
UTC

Addicted
2007 MP3 250(retired) C650GT
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Location: Fredericksburg, VA
 
Addicted
2007 MP3 250(retired) C650GT
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Location: Fredericksburg, VA
UTC quote
Re: Looking for advice re: 250 vs 400
KCS wrote:
I'm thinking seriously of buying an MP3, but torn between the 250 and the 400. About 5 years ago I had a 1000cc Suzuki Vstrom as my regular commuting bike, but since I sold that, I haven't ridden at all. I plan to retake the MSF course even though I've kept the MC endoresement on my license because it's been so long since I've been on a bike. I'm in WA, so based on what I've read, I will need to get the additional 3 wheel endorsement too.

My commute includes a lot of hills, and some two lane hiway (55mph). The nearest repair shop for an MP3 does involve 60mph hiway riding -- so I would need to do that for maintenance etc.

Any 250 riders out there have an opinion on the power of the 250 for hilly areas + occassional hiway riding? Will I wish I had more power? I'm not looking for something super fast - just something that will be fun to commute on.

Karen
I've had my 250 for over a year, and ridden to work on it almost every day.
It's enough for me around town, with an occasional highway jaunt, however, I would opt for a 400 if there were more hills. Especially if you need to maintain 55-60. I do weigh about 275lb, so 100lb less would make a big difference, I'm thinking.
Good luck on getting a new ride. You've made a good choice, now just the size to decide.
UTC

Ossessionato
Scarabeo 500GT(hers), `07 250 MP3, `09 400 MP3
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Location: Kingman, Az.
 
Ossessionato
Scarabeo 500GT(hers), `07 250 MP3, `09 400 MP3
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UTC quote
I have both(250, 400). It depends how fast you want to go all the time. I do 65 mph most the time, sometimes fully loaded for 10 miles on a 6% uphill grade on the 250. In those conditions the 250 manages 60-65 mph, but it's maxed out. In the same conditions the 400 has acceleration to spare. I get 65-70 mpg w/ the 250 and 60 mpg w/the 400. The 400 weighs 95# more than the 250 and you really feel it at slow speeds. If I wanted to I can cruise on the 400 @ 80 mph. 65 mph is best for the 250 then.
UTC

Banned
2007 Piaggio MP3 250s,2009 Honda Ruckus, 2005 Honda Big Ruckus
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Location: Snow country
 
Banned
2007 Piaggio MP3 250s,2009 Honda Ruckus, 2005 Honda Big Ruckus
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Posts: 297
Location: Snow country
UTC quote
Are you tall or petite? MP3s are not for petite girls... my petite scooter friends can't ride my MP3, their feet can't touch the ground...
OP
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GTS 300
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Location: Seattle area
 
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GTS 300
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Thanks for all the advice on this. Sounds like I might want to go with the 400. No issues with my feet hitting the ground. I'm tall for a girl I was actually more concerned about the reviews I've read saying that the MP3 doesn't have a lot of leg room.

Karen
@bad_brad avatar
UTC

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MP3 500 Matte Black
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MP3 500 Matte Black
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UTC quote
I'm up in Skagit county and I have the 500. I like having a bigger bike. It's just nice to have the extra power when you need it. I think I'd go for 400 if those are your choices.
@fuzzy avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
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Location: South Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@fuzzy avatar
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
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UTC quote
Go with the 400 for hills at highway speeds. I upgraded from 250 to 400 to have power to pass on 2 lane roads and to hold speed on hills.

Get a set of highway peg brackets from rjeff. I'm 6' 2" and with the pegs plenty of leg room.
@hollybry avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2007 Piaggio MP3 250 (sold) and 2009 MP3 400 (sold) 2011 CanAm Spyder RSS
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Location: Floyds Knobs IN
 
Molto Verboso
@hollybry avatar
2007 Piaggio MP3 250 (sold) and 2009 MP3 400 (sold) 2011 CanAm Spyder RSS
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UTC quote
I am a "full figured" gal and am 5'10" tall. I have the 250 and live in an area with a lot of hills.
I love my 250 for everything but hill climbing. If it is a long fairly steep hill, I cannot hold 60mph, even with a running start.
I am going to be doing some upgrades soon to see what that might do with hill climbing. It may do nothing, or it might give me the little extra I need.
As far as leg room, if you get rjeff's foot pegs, you will have no issues with leg room. They stretch my legs out nicely.
I would recommend the 400 if you have a lot of hills that need you to maintain 60 mph or more. That way you still have enough throttle left to pass if you need to!
@old_as_dirt avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 GTS
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Posts: 22476
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@old_as_dirt avatar
2007 GTS
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Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
UTC quote
250 for around town and lite travel, 400 if you do more hills even in the city and trips.
@davidste avatar
UTC

Enthusiast
MP3 400
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Location: Seattle
 
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@davidste avatar
MP3 400
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UTC quote
400! Definitely needed for our Seattle area hills
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Molto Verboso
Honda CTX 700D
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Molto Verboso
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Honda CTX 700D
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UTC quote
The 400 is the one to buy. I've ridden with hollybry on many occasions and what she says is 100% accurate.
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Moderatus Rana
MP3 250 and 2 MP3 500s
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MP3 250 and 2 MP3 500s
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Go all the way and get a 500.
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GTS 300
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I'll look into the foot pegs if I need the extra leg room (I'm 5'11'). Why not the 500? Not sure the extra $ is worth it (I can find good deals on a 200 and 400 right now, even though they're a few years old (2009). Plus, I'm not sure I like the aggressive look of the 500. Something to think about though.
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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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UTC quote
I didn't at first either. One of the reasons I went with the 250 originally. But the look of the 500 kinda grew on me after I had one dumped in my lap. It is much easier to work on too. Easier to get to things. LOL not trying to convince you. 250 and 400's are both great too and I had intended to upgrade to a 400.
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Hooked
Piaggio Mp3 500ie
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UTC quote
Welcome to the forum KCS!

Had my 250 for two years. Living in a "hilly" area, and commuting to work approx. 55 miles/day.

I deeply regret that I did not go for the 400cc version. The 250 is i nice companion, but I miss that "extra" omph when overtaking....

It no problem to maintain 65-70 mph, but you would always be on W O T, wide open throttle....

Good luck and a welcome to the Piaggio family!!
@fuzzy avatar
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
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@fuzzy avatar
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
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UTC quote
I ride frequently with OAD and my 400 hangs with him OK. He can leave me behind if he wants to, but it is more of a skill issue than engine size. One can always want more power and many hope for the 800 version with the Mana engine, but 400 does OK.

Choice between 400 and 500 primarily price plus preference in looks and storage.
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Hooked
Piaggio MP3 400ie
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I'm so happy I spent the extra $$ and got a 400. I was facing the same decision. I like the looks of the 500, but I didn't want to put a top case on it. The 400 won because of the extra storage, I can put a ton of stuff in there, it amazes me from time to time.
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Enthusiast
MP3 400 and Fly 125 and TMax
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MP3 400 and Fly 125 and TMax
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UTC quote
I echo what many are saying. 250 is noticeably more sluggish and 400 climbs hills well. Get the 400.
jegemba
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 GTS
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
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2007 GTS
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UTC quote
the really nice part of a 400 over the 500 is the availability of better accessories, like seats and windshields.
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Piaggio MP3 500
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Location: Seattle
 
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Piaggio MP3 500
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Seattle MP3 500 owner
If you want to go on I5 comfortably, you won't want the 250, IMHO. They are pretty heavy bikes. With my 500, I have no problem on I5. I can keep up with traffic any time of day.

The 250 is significantly cheaper than the 400. It will easily get you where you want to go as long as you don't expect to go 75-80 on I5. If price is a significant part of your purchase decision, it isn't out of the question.

Have you taken the MSF course yet? Definitely take the course. You can take it on a scooter. Tell them you are getting an MP3 and I think they will help you get the correct endorsement. Don't take the trike course. Go for either the scooter or 2 wheel motorbike course. In either one, you can take it on a scooter which means not having to learn about shifting right now. You can always go back for a one day course to learn how to shift on one of their bikes.

Why the MP3? (I ask as an owner). I do feel a bit more confident while riding over bumps or metal plates. As someone who has high sided (in the rain at about 5 - 10 miles an hour out of a parking lot) and low sided (in magnuson park at about 1 mph when a kid ran out in front of me randomly - no damage to kid or bike) 3 wheels does not mean accident proof.

According to the Lynnwood Scooter Barn, they are going to stop stocking MP3 500s and start stocking MP3 Yourbans. I wasn't sure if it was just them or if it was their distributor who was driving this.

The 400 and 500 are about the same price. Way different looks. The 400 has much longer underseat storage plus the "trunk"

Lastly, where are you going to park your scooter? A garage is preferable. A wheel lock isn't going to stop a couple of guys from pulling up next to your scooter in a box van and physically picking up your scooter and putting it in the back of the van. At least the MP3s are heavy, it might take 3 people to pick it up.

Good luck making your decision! Scooters are fun in Seattle.
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Hooked
2016 MP-3 500
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Location: Austin, TX
 
Hooked
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2016 MP-3 500
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Location: Austin, TX
UTC quote
I love my 400. If something happened to it, I would buy another one.
@14perry avatar
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MP3 400 / BV250
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Location: San Diego, California
 
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@14perry avatar
MP3 400 / BV250
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Location: San Diego, California
UTC quote
One thing to notice. Look how many used 250's are out there. Why? People wanting more power. 400's are harder to find. Also most 250's have a 12inch rear wheel. It eats tires. Spend a little more and get the 400 with a taller screen so you won't get bugs in your teeth while your smiling.
OP
UTC

Member
GTS 300
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Posts: 15
Location: Seattle area
 
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GTS 300
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Location: Seattle area
UTC quote
Really appreciate all the input here!

Peter, I'm less worried about I5 and more about 520, and a lot of traffic jams Price isn't the key issue. I was mostly thinking that after riding a big, heavy motorcycle in the past, I would want something smaller and lighter. Looks like both the 400 and 500 are about equal to my last bike, so that wouldn't be solved with an MP3.

Why the MP3? All of my daily commute options have lousy, patchy pavemennt. I realize that 3 wheels doesn't mean crash proof, but I'm more trying to hedge a bit on extra surface contact for road conditions. I never used to ride on super rainy days and don't plan to start doing that, though as you know, Seattle can be sunny in the morning and pouring by the afternoon.

Re: parking, it would be garaged at home, garaged at work.
@yayadave avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
MP3 500 - GTV250
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Posts: 2970
Location: Near Pittsburgh
 
Ossessionato
@yayadave avatar
MP3 500 - GTV250
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Location: Near Pittsburgh
UTC quote
An almost viable option you might consider is an MP3 350. It's an "almost viable option" because Piaggio MAY be bringing them here SOMEDAY in the future. With the new engine, it may be a nice way to split the differance between the currant 250 and 400.
@heinlein avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
MP3 500, Ducati ST4s, Honda Silver Wing
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Posts: 2649
Location: Roseburg, OR
 
Ossessionato
@heinlein avatar
MP3 500, Ducati ST4s, Honda Silver Wing
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2649
Location: Roseburg, OR
UTC quote
KCS wrote:
Really appreciate all the input here!

I was mostly thinking that after riding a big, heavy motorcycle in the past, I would want something smaller and lighter. Looks like both the 400 and 500 are about equal to my last bike, so that wouldn't be solved with an MP3.
The weights may be similar; but the center of gravity and other factors combine to give totally different riding characteristics. Try one out and see if it will match your wants and needs.
UTC

Banned
2007 Piaggio MP3 250s,2009 Honda Ruckus, 2005 Honda Big Ruckus
Joined: UTC
Posts: 297
Location: Snow country
 
Banned
2007 Piaggio MP3 250s,2009 Honda Ruckus, 2005 Honda Big Ruckus
Joined: UTC
Posts: 297
Location: Snow country
UTC quote
KCS, which one did you buy? Please let us know....just go with your heart dear! 8) Don't wait too long, they sell fast...
UTC

Hooked
MP3 400, 2008 build, purchased 2009 ex demo.
Joined: UTC
Posts: 263
Location: Orange, NSW, Australia
 
Hooked
MP3 400, 2008 build, purchased 2009 ex demo.
Joined: UTC
Posts: 263
Location: Orange, NSW, Australia
UTC quote
Go for as big as you can afford.
If you don't like the look of the 500 settle for a 400.
I have a 400 - mainly used around town - & sorry I didn't get the 500.
But the 400 is great - don't settle for less.
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