First ride: Piaggio MP3 500 The Car Tech blog — CNET Reviews

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Piaggio MP3 250
Piaggio MP3 250

First ride: Piaggio MP3 500

26, 2008 10:00 AM PDT

Piaggio MP3 500 quarter.

(Credit: Carey

As I was moving the car out of the driveway to get easier to my motorcycle, my neighbor came up to me and I saw you come in on a really weird thing yesterday and what is it?

one to pass up an opportunity, I replied in my B-movie space alien It is an alien space vehicle.

Oh. I so.

Well, actually, it’s a MP3 500. Piaggio, perhaps known as the manufacturer of Vespa and owner of Aprilia, Moto Gilera, and other brands, it a maxi-scooter, and the MP3 series is unlike else except the closely Gilera Fuoco, at least on planet. The 3 comes not from any formatting, but from three

The rear wheel is conventional, if than the old-school scooter The usual single front is replaced by two, placed together, and connected by a patented multilink suspension system ensures they turn and together. The front wheels can be by an electro-hydraulic mechanism so that the MP3 upright when stopped, no need for the rider to put their on the ground.

That locking and a parking brake, means the center stand doesn’t need to be used.

At $8,899, the MP3 500 is as as many motorcycles.

The first MP3 to hit the U.S. was the 250cc More recently, a 400cc and the slightly different 500 have The MP3 500 is essentially a Gilera Fuoco, here under the Piaggio as Gilera is not used in the U.S.

MP3 side view.

(Credit: Russ)

I’ve been about the MP3 since I first saw the 250 a few years ago, so when I had the to ride one I didn’t hesitate. And the MP3 was not the 250, but the bad-boy 500. The one looks like a prop a late-night sci-fi movie, or a from Mad Max .

I’ve ridden motorcycles for but the only time I’ve on a scooter was a few minutes in a parking lot on a funky old Vespa. It was, um, and kind of scary with handling and uncertain brakes. the same could be said of of equally old motorcycles.

I went to up the MP3 in Oakland, Calif. yesterday, and got a briefing on operation and parking. As is the with scooters, there is no automatic transmission in this the left-hand lever is the rear The right hand has the throttle and brakes, as in dual cross-drilled

Piaggio MP3 250
Piaggio MP3 250

This example has the Demon flat black color which enhances the alien war look.

I’m 5-feet-tall and 120 pounds wet, so bike weight and height are considerations. However, not much of an issue with the although I have to tiptoe of the well-padded seat. The weight is low, so it doesn’t feel as as it actually is, which is considerable at than 500 pounds.

When you the start button, it fires up. Just like the first I rode as a child, after a amount of throttle it just While it steers like a or scooter, it definitely feels a different—kind of, like there’s a wide front tire.

in a way, there is. Despite steering effort is light.

I had a noon meeting in Walnut Calif. so it was going to be freeway immediately. It accelerates up the on-ramp any problems. It’s no 200-hp but it feels as quick as most motorcycles.

Also, it’s smooth with no gear thanks to the CVT.

There is a at the Caldecott Tunnel; I hit the brakes and it well. I sneak through the jam and it out to the clear road on the other It’s stable at high and it protects the rider from well, even with the riding position.

The suspension is stiff, but the seat padding is enough to soak up the small It has no problems cruising at 70 mph, and it is for more when I goose the All too soon, I’m at the meeting and out back to work.

One day down; seven more to go. going to be interesting.

Piaggio MP3 250
Piaggio MP3 250
Piaggio MP3 250
Piaggio MP3 250
Piaggio MP3 250
Piaggio MP3 250
Piaggio MP3 250


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