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Old 11-11-2009, 07:01 AM   #1
rhinoWERX OP
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Question MP3 500 - owner experiences

Not mine, but looking for some.

Long story short, I'm looking for a maxi scooter to commute on, 26 miles one way in SoCal, LA traffic.

Considered the small car route (smart, versa, fit...), but I'd still be stuck in traffic

Back on topic - so I've been on this scooter kick before - back when gas prices were high - and luckily for me my focus, interest and requirements have remained pretty much the same.

Three top contenders are
Burger 400
MP3 400/500
T-Max

- and probably in that order.

So the other day will scooting around LB, I dropped into my local Aprilia dealer who happen to be blowing out 09 MP3 500's

It's been a couple of years now since these things have been around, and my research has shown that there isn't much in the way of major issues.

I'd like to hear from current or previous owners, more about your real world experiences - especially those of you inclined to rack up the miles.

If you owned one and got rid of it, was there something in particular you didn't like?

Appreciate any and all feedback - especially while I'm on the verge of pulling the trigger.

Cheers,
-Jack

PS - haven't ridden one yet, but did test ride a BV 500 - kinda of have a sense of what to expect from the engine at least
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:54 AM   #2
cbolling
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If you have not been to Modern Vespa that would be a great place to start. All kinds of info. They have a whole sub-forum just on the MP3.

http://www.modernvespa.com/forum/index.html

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Old 11-11-2009, 11:24 AM   #3
shikataganai
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i have a MP3 250. only complaint really is (lack of) power, which should be addressed in part by the 40 hp 500 vs my 22 hp 250, and seat comfort. the seat is not prohibitive to longer rides, just requires a stretch here and there.

only mechanical issue has been a stuck horn button quickly replaced under warranty. tilt-lock has been rock solid, and the bike always starts on the first, er, push of the button.

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Old 11-11-2009, 01:30 PM   #4
3wheelfun
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Check out the MP3 thread here at ADV rider. A lot of praise for them. I have had a 250 (4000 mi), 400 (9000 miles), and now a 500 (6000miles), all in about 1 year. Female 5'7" 110lbs had ridden 2 wheelers prior.

I absolutely love the 500 on the freeway. Very easy to ride. The MP3 is wide so you have to remember that when lane splitting, but it is very stable over the white bumps. It is really a personal preference. The 500 is very easy to add a top box to. Any other questions just let me know.

Good luck,
Jill
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:20 PM   #5
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Thumb

Thanks for the responses - have spent most of the afternoon/evening reading up on the bike over at Modern Vespa.

Good stuff

Cheers,
-Jack
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:17 AM   #6
Photog
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Love my 250. Can't say enough good things about the front end and how that changes the game completely--especially as a commuter. You have to live with it for a bit to really get it and once it clicks you'll be grinning from ear to ear. It gives a margin of safety...and grip that'll let you play hooligan.

It's one of those bikes that has made me put my other bikes on the battery tender.

I could live with an MP3 as my only vehicle, easy.

I've done light 2-up touring on my 250 by avoiding superslab (I hate it anyway) and with the right route I wouldn't hesitate to do a major tour on it.

The 500 would just be that much more wonderful.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:21 AM   #7
techguy
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My understanding is that the 400 may be in the sweet spot with a slightly better weight to power ratio and more storage but any other then are great bikes.

How is the MP3 in lane-sharing situations? I have a Kymco People 250 and lane share everyday on suburban streets when the lanes permit and mirrors can e dodged. I would think about adding the Piaggio BV500 to your list or maybe even the SYM CityCom300 and the new Kymco 300. These are smaller sized than your list but are shorter big-wheeled scoots from reliable brands.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:14 PM   #8
Moto Mark
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I have a Gilera Fuoco 500 (formerly a MP3 but I re-badged it) and I use it on my daily commute (95 miles round trip). Almost all of the ride is straight down the interstate and I think the 500 motor works great for that. I put a Leo Vince pipe and a J Costa variator and that combination absolutely woke up the scoot. Acceleration is quicker and much smoother than stock, not to mention the pipe has a great (read: LOUD) sound since I removed the baffle. I would recommend a tall screen for the winter ( I use a GIVI) and I also have a GIVI top case so storage is no problem. Really, I use this like the family car it's that versatile.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:34 PM   #9
3wheelfun
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Just to clarify, the 400 and 500 are the same weights, so the 500 beats out in the power to weight. I have had both and both have their advantages/disadvantages.

They both are wide scoots that cannot be squeezed in narrow tight spots. Just depends on how tight and frequent your lane splitting is.

Jill
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:43 PM   #10
shikataganai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techguy
How is the MP3 in lane-sharing situations? I have a Kymco People 250 and lane share everyday on suburban streets when the lanes permit and mirrors can e dodged.
the MP3 is less wide than its handlebars, so your widest point still will be at your hand level/at the cars' mirror level. i personally don't find lane splitting on it to be an issue.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:28 PM   #11
3wheelfun
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Never thought about it that way, I guess you just think of it as wide. I checked the specs and the MP3 500 is only 0.5 inches wider than my BV250.

Jill
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:31 PM   #12
Photog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai
the MP3 is less wide than its handlebars, so your widest point still will be at your hand level/at the cars' mirror level. i personally don't find lane splitting on it to be an issue.
sorta like the old adage I used with my GS that had Jesse bags...if the bars fit, the bike fits.
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:38 PM   #13
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I noticed one of your choices was the T-Max. That's a very intruguing choice, I rode one this summer and I can imagine getting into all sorts of trouble riding that scoot

In an ideal world I'd have the MP3 for commuting and the T-Max for terrorizing the sport bikers on weekends.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:48 AM   #14
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I love my 500. I was (am) a new rider about a year ago, but since I live in the mountains I was pretty sure I would want the torque of the 500. I'm still a little too timid with steering and throttle, but I have begun to hit the end of the throttle going straight up mountains through the twisties, but not until I hit about 60 or so - an accomplishment I've only made it to twice, though I'm working on it. I've cruised at 95/96 GPS speed on the interstate and still had a *little* (very little) throttle left to get me out of a pinch. I've had three of the issues that come up with the scoots, a bad seat, poorly sealed up handlebar crap, and now the water pump. All were replaced under the three year warranty with no hassles, so I can't complain.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:02 PM   #15
rhinoWERX OP
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Thumb Update...

Scored a deal on an 09 MP3 500

Got it dropped off at the house today. These things seem complicated until you get out and ride 'em. It was the first time I'd ridden a tripod - It made me laugh most of the way

Took it out on the freeway and played around on a few local roads - it seems more than capable. Tomorrow I'll ride it to work and hopefully I'll confirm, that it's the right tool for the job.

Thanks again for everyone's input.

Oh, and here's a pic



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