LONG-TERMERS: 2008 Piaggio MP3 500 — Autoweek

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Piaggio MP3 500
Piaggio MP3 500

LONG-TERMERS: 2008 Piaggio MP3 500

By: Bob on 10/15/2008

Hopping on a scooter and out on a daily commute happens day in cities across Europe. In the in the Midwest—that same commute can be in a full-size sport-utility vehicle, let on a smaller-than-a-Smart scooter.

Against backdrop, it was with some that we agreed to add the Piaggio MP3 500 to our long-term test fleet. the MP3 500 is no ordinary scooter. Packing a 40-hp, 31-lb-ft, four-… engine and weighing 538 pounds, the MP3 500 atop the Piaggio range, a among scooters.

But the $8,899 MP3’s three-wheel 12-inchers up front and one 14-incher at the it apart from lesser brethren.

The dual front provide significantly improved and road presence, while an locking mechanism allows the to stand upright while at low or when stopped. Used the system technically allows a to pull up to a stop and never to put his or her feet down to hold up the but it takes practice—and it’s with a passenger on board. the best feature is that the suspension does a great job of the scooter upright without a when it is parked.

Our Demon Black-trimmed MP3 500 sports wheels and a five-lamp headlight make it look more an extra from a Mad Max movie a granola-cruncher’s green machine. on the staff think it looks a cricket.

Our MP3 500 is fairly utilitarian as go. A cavernous, lockable under-seat compartment is big enough for a laptop bag or a AND a spare helmet, and there’s a between-the-legs hook for carrying groceries or take out.

Out on the the scooter is perfect for quick and running around town. its heft, the three-wheeler is nimble and giving it a great edge in Longer jaunts require because our scooter isn’t with the optional windscreen. our cool, matching leather-trimmed helmets (not shown) no face protection.

So we have found that streets with top speeds in the range are comfortable for cruising, but rides can be a little daunting.

not that the scooter can’t the work—the twist and go continuously automatic transmission and steady curve make it quick off the and responsive at all speeds. The three-wheel provides a stable ride up to its stated 89-mph top speed. The are equally good, especially the front discs that the action in a heartbeat.

Foul weather soon arrive in the Midwest, meaning be packing the Piaggio away. But be looking forward to getting in the saddle as soon as spring By then, who knows how much will cost, but at 40-50 mpg on the we won’t mind.



Base delivery): $8,899

As-tested $8,899

Options: None

493-cc four-valve one-cylinder

Power: 40 hp @ 7,250 rpm

Piaggio MP3 500
Piaggio MP3 500

Torque: lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm

Fuel 91 octane



Transmission: Continuously variable

Front: Parallelogram composed of aluminum arms supporting steering tubes, cantilevered electro-hydraulic suspension locking

Rear: Two dual-effect hydraulic four-position spring preload

Dual stainless-steel 240-millimeter and floating two-piston caliper single stainless-steel 280-millimeter and floating two-piston caliper aluminum 12-inch/3.00 tubeless front, aluminum 14-inch/4.50 140/70-14 rear

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Piaggio MP3 500
Piaggio MP3 500
Piaggio MP3 500

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