Piaggio MP3

Vespa builds the PIAGGIO MP3 that I first saw at the 2007 International Motorcycle Show in Washington DC. With the scooter display was a video showing the abilities of this novel scooter. With two wheels up front and the ability to lean like a motorcycle, this was a really fun scoter to take for a test ride. The smooth, predictable handling combined with the added stability afforded by two front wheels make this a great scooter. The scooter responds to counter steer like a motorcycle, but because of its lighter weight and low center of gravity leaning the scooter with body weight is also possible. The MP3 is a really fun ride and leans well to make fairly tight corners.

The MP3 can lock the front wheels so that it can stand up without using the side stand. The locking mechanism is controlled by a switch on the right handlebar and slides horizontally for engaging or manually disengaging the front wheels. The front wheels automatically release as soon as the engine reaches 2000 RPM. When approaching a stop, the front wheels can be locked at any angle to align with the road surface. This is a great feature, but it is a little odd the first time you try it. The wheels lock at any lean angle, and if the scooter is still rolling slowly, the MP3 will lean slightly to the left or right based on changes in the surface of the road. Motorcycles require close attention at slow speeds or coming to a stop and quick response when slight leans start. The first few times I tried locking the wheels when approaching a stop on this scooter, I would quickly move my feet to catch the scooter in case they were needed.

Piaggio MP3

The throttle response of this scooter is less than many motorcycles, but the PIAGGIO MP3 can easily reach and surpass the 65 mile per hour speed limits in this area. The engine is powerful enough to make this a fun ride, and the higher power engine currently offered in Europe will hopefully be available here soon. The speedometer shows both miles per hour and kilometers per hour with kilometers per hour in white on the outside. This scooter does not have a manual transmission or clutch. Both controls on the handle bars are for the breaks and there are no foot operated controls.

There is quite a bit of storage on the PIAGGIO MP3. There is a trunk in the back with space for a full face helmet and the seat flips up for additional storage. The two storage compartments are connected if longer items need to be carried.

Overall, the PIAGGIO MP3 is a really great ride and combines the fun of a scooter with the convenience of being able to freely stand without assistance. The parking break makes the regular use of the side stand unnecessary. I have wanted to try this scooter since I saw it at the International Motorcycle Show, and I am quite impressed with the overall fun of this scooter. I got my test ride from Bob's BMW, and I am glad they offer test rides.

Enjoy your ride!