The Piaggio MP3 is arguably one of the most unique “motorcycles” ever brought to market. I put the word motorcycle in quotations marks because of the continued controversy as to how to classify any motorized, open-air personal transport with more than two wheels. Enthusiasts like myself will leave that argument to the folks that are inclined to argue while we enjoy the wind in our face excitement that can only come at the helm of a motorbike.

Motorcycle purists will insist that three wheels a motorcycle does not make. Many comparisons to other three-wheeled motorcycles such as the Can-Am Spider, or other “trikes” miss the mark because the most distinguishing feature of the MP3 is the fact that IT LEANS like a traditional motorcycle. This fact is often obscured during the first impression that one might get when seeing the MP3 because it can also stand at attention like an obedient soldier on command.

But we were talking about leaning…

Unlike other “trikes” the MP3 is capable of leaning like any other traditional motorcycle. Because of the additional front wheel (notice i did not say “third wheel” because that term has negative connotations like a “third wheel on a date” is an unwelcome and uninvited guest…) folks are surprised to learn that the MP3 will lean, and even fall over. As a matter of fact, it leans so well, that some folks think it can’t fall over… Trust me, it can and will just like any other motorcycle, but we’ll talk about that later. This misconception is propagated by the fact that experienced MP3 riders can come to a complete stop and engage the hydraulic locking mechanism that is this bikes most endearing feature.

Ask any MP3 owner (if you can find us as we are more rare than (insert rare bird reference here) and we will tell you that arriving at our destinations is usually met with curios onlookers, inquisitive interrogations as to the design, and the occasional snide remark like “you had to get one with training wheels” or “what’s the matter, you couldn’t ride a “real” motorcycle?” That one is my favorite because it is usually asked by someone that is riding in a beater of a car or truck, and has never been asked of me by another rider. I simply respond to their question with a question of my own…”what kind of bike do you own and why aren’t you riding it today…?” If they respond at all to my questions, it is usually something about how they used to ride, or their friend/brother/ cousin or someone they know has a really cool (insert whatever they might think is a cool bike, be it a crotch rocket or full dress cruiser or whatever)…

More often than not, when I ride my MP3 with friends that are BMW riders, much to their chagrin, my MP3 gets all the attention.

At a base price of around $8000, the MP3 is not exactly a bargain basement bike, however, compared to other bikes in this price segment, I believe that it compares very favorably.

If you have read this far, first of all, thank you… Secondly, you may have noticed I have yet to use the word “scooter” as it relates to the MP3. Am I in denial? Do I simply not know what this bike really is? You bet your a$$ I do. It is about the most fun you can legally have on two three wheels for around town or near home day trips.


Single-cylinder, MASTER, 4-stroke, 4-valve
398.9 cc
2.8″ x 2.4″
34 hp
37 Nm at 5,000 rpm
88 mph
57-59 mpg
Cam head single shaft-SOHC
Wet sump, 850 cc capacity
Electronic inductive discharge
‘Twist ‘n go’ automatic CVT
Automatic dry centrifuge with damper buffers
Twin cradle made of high-strength steel tubes
Parallelogram supporting two steering tubes
Two dual effect hydraulic shocks
Two stainless steel discs, 240 mm
240 mm stainless steel disc
120/70, 12″
140/70, 14″
Midnight Blue, Gray

Time for your first full service
3,000 MILES
Time for your second service. Check, clean or replace your oil if necessary and check for wear and tear on your brake pads
6,000 MILES
Time for your third full service
9,000 MILES
Time for your fourth check, clean or replace your oil if necessary, check for wear and tear on your brake pads and transmission belt
12,000 MILES
Time for your fifth full service
Check, clean or replace your brake fluid and coolant

Cycle World: MP3 400 is positively brilliant!

This thing is positively brilliant!   Craving attention?  Nothing on wheels short of Britney Spears exiting a Lamborghini draws onlookers like the MP3!   Two impediments that keep “civilians” from riding are the need to master a manual clutch/gearbox and the fear of tipping over.  Piaggio’s three-model MP3 line directly addresses those concerns.

Read the full article

Newsday: the MP3 400 attracts a crowd

The Piaggio MP3 400 is one model that defies a standard description.  Piaggio, an Italian company known for the Vespa line of scooters, has come up with a bike that offers comfort, storage, speed and performance that is compact and user-friendly.   In the world of two- and four-wheelers, the new MP3 400 is a contender, whether you’re running errands around town or going for the open road.  It is a refined vehicle that hugs the corners and gives you performance and practicality in a small but efficient package.  Just don’t be surprised when it attracts a crowd wherever you go. Big Maxi Awards: MP3 400
Piaggio Maxi-Scooters Earn “Lineup of the Year” At a time when maxiscooters really arrived in the American consciousness, PIaggio Group was there just in time to expand and refine its broad stable of U.S. offerings. Offering five models, Piaggio leads the way with the MP3 500, MP3 400 and BV Tourer 500 in the Big Maxi class, as well as the MP3 250 and BV Tourer 250 in the Middleweight class.
The Huffington Post: MP3 is taking America by storm
Motorcycles and scooters get incredible gas mileage, but safety has always been a concern, plus the need for a special license. But they are the only thing that gets over 50 or 60 mpg consistently. Enter the Piaggio MP3 series, currently taking America by storm (I have two!). The bikes come in 250cc, 400cc and 500cc. And don’t let their sleek European scooter design fool anyone; these are full-fledged vehicles that can gain speeds in excess of 60 ad 90 mph, all while getting 50-65mpg or more; and, they have three wheels, two in front, one in back, thus eliminating the need for a special license. I first took a two day course from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation of America, just to see if I could do this and if I could, how to do it right…By taking the class I was able to skip the whole motorcycle permit thing and just take the test for the license. The MP3 250 is the perfect around-town and shorter distance bike. Peppy, sporty and fuel efficient, the under seat storage capacity and additional top case make it able to go grocery shopping or take a friend around town on errands. The dual front tires make corner stability unbeatable, while the automatic transmission and other creature comforts make use extremely easy. Now the 250 is perfect and will perform well at any distance – it’s bigger brother the MP3 500 is the long distance touring scooter America’s (and me, apparently) waited for to break the bike/scooter barrier. With a 500cc engine and redesigned body, the 500 is the bike for trips to Los Angeles, down the coast to Escondido to Art Throb Tattoo to see my cousin Geoff for great new ink or up the coast to Malibu for the day. To increase engine size, storage capacity suffers, and while the 500 could also be a perfect around town bike, it likes to cruise. It reaches speeds of up to 100 mph (no personal knowledge, of course) and is fully street and freeway legal (all are). I love Giotron as much as Gio, and each has their own purpose. My insurance is under $1000 a year for both. They both get 55mpg or more. The 500 could go cross country if I needed it to, and the combined purchase price of both is still around the same as a decked out Scion XA. Prices range from $7000 to $10,000, total. It was under $100 to register in CA and holds 2.75 gallons, or less than $8 for a fill up that will go almost 200 miles. Other scooters and bikes are out there getting great gas mileage, but these are leading the way in innovation, the future.

  1. Medium Comfort Screen
  2. Garmin Zumo 665 GPS Mount
  3. OEM Color Matched Top Case
  4. XFP Highway Footpeg Brackets
  5. Crampbuster Throttle Lock

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *