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Old 09-20-2012, 10:27 AM   #1
flavioguy OP
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Question Bike sitting unused for years

Greetings!
I'm considering a 2007 Piaggio MP3 250 with 230 miles. Obviously it's mostly sat in a garage with the current owner. My question - what are the caveats here? what should I look at when purchasing this bike? It is fuel injected not carbed.

Any input is greatly appreciated. Searched forums but couldn't find any previous thread of this nature.....sorry if I missed that.

Thx
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
cdwise
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Generally speaking you need to change the fluids, most recommend removing old gas and putting fresh gas in before trying to start it and adding seafoam to the gas as well, particularly if you cannot remove the old gas. Unless it has set hooked up to a trickle charge you'll most likely need a new battery as well. Beyond that I don't have many suggestions other than asking over on the MP3 forum at Modern Vespa http://modernvespa.com/forum/forum13 where folks knowledgable about that specific scoot hang out.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:15 PM   #3
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Caveat Emptor would be the first Caveat that comes to my mind. I'm a former MP3 250ie owner, danced a jig in the Garage (cash in hand) when it sold. Here is one recent thread on ADV:
http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...hlight=piaggio
There are very few Vespa/Piaggio Dealers competent in MP3 repair in relation to the front suspension and it's related tilt-lock mechanism.
Here are some other topics to Google:
Piaggio MP3 Recall
Piaggio MP3 Notch
Piaggio Fuel Pump Failure
Piaggio Graphite Collar
Piaggio MP3 rear tire life
For further reference, modernvespa.com in the MP3 section has invaluable information.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:22 PM   #4
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Forgot about this gem, Thanks Hexnut:
http://wickedscholar.wordpress.com/tag/modern-vespa/
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warney View Post
Forgot about this gem, Thanks Hexnut:
http://wickedscholar.wordpress.com/tag/modern-vespa/
Yeah thats a hoot and a lot of it is dead on concerning MV.

I joined thinking I wanted a Vespa but after spending a couple of months of listening to them on that forum I decided I wanted no part of it or Vespa.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:36 PM   #6
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While I don't have anything bad to say about Vespa that would not apply to most modern scooters (I own an '09 Genuine Stella, which is basically a 40 year old Vespa) and love it. But anyone can work on it, including me. The MP3 is definitely an oddball machine for sure. I would definitely not want one. I can see it being a mechanical nightmare. The Can Am Spyder went through years of problems because the dealers that sold them didn't know anything about them, and never set them up correctly, plus they did not know how to service or repair them. The MP3 has been around for a while, but I would still be wary of one. Give me a 2 wheeled scooter anytime.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:58 PM   #7
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flavioguy, what is the asking price on the MP3? Are you aware of the link below?
http://www.piaggiousa.com/promotions...les-event.html
Piaggio's cutthroat sales policies take returned inventory from their bankrupt dealers and resell way below what the original MP3 buyer paid. How's that for Customer relations? Original (full msrp) buyers take the hit on resale value.
Piaggio could care less.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:28 PM   #8
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One thing is the fact that pango has been blowing out old new stock at around 5000 grand for 250. You ll need new tires, and maybe a carb clean if they left gas in it. Tank my need to be cleaned to if gas sat all these years. Also belt change at 6000 miles and 12000 miles at 100 bucks a belt. Also from my research you might end up waiting for parts if it breaks down. Great scooters but not so great support is what I ve read. I would offer around 4 grand for it and show him a print out of the ad thats online showing the 5 grand price.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:50 AM   #9
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I wonder since it s 2 wheels in front you almost have to take it to a car shop to get the alinement done if something went wrong there? Who else has the gear to do front end alinement?
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warney View Post
flavioguy, what is the asking price on the MP3? Are you aware of the link below?
http://www.piaggiousa.com/promotions...les-event.html
Piaggio's cutthroat sales policies take returned inventory from their bankrupt dealers and resell way below what the original MP3 buyer paid. How's that for Customer relations? Original (full msrp) buyers take the hit on resale value.
Piaggio could care less.
Piaggio COULD care less, about pretty much anything having to do with its N American customers. Wait till that part you need is weeks or months out.....

And to the OP, your closest Factory Service will be in "nearby" San Diego, or Riverside (not scooter-centric though) just saying....
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by fullmetalscooter View Post
I wonder since it s 2 wheels in front you almost have to take it to a car shop to get the alinement done if something went wrong there? Who else has the gear to do front end alinement?
There is no alignment setting ability on the this vehicle, aside from indexing the handlebars. In fact if you look at a used Mp3's front tires, most of them show differing wear patterns.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:49 PM   #12
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Oh wow, Consumer Reports likes it. I guess it doesn't get any better than that. NOT!! I have owned 2 Corvairs and 1 Samurai. Fine vehicles. Toyotas on the other hand........

Since these are one of a kind scooters, Piaggio dealers are probably the ONLY ones who know anything about them, and the only place to get parts. Some people say Piaggio parts are easy to get, some say they are almost impossible. I passed up a good deal on a BV500 because I didn't want to take a chance.

Piaggio is a completely different company than they were back in the '70s and before. They used to be cool. Old Vespas are cool, just like VW back in the air cooled days. Vintage Vespa enthusiasts accept my Stella, while wanting nothing to do with new Vespas.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by gogogordy View Post
There is no alignment setting ability on the this vehicle, aside from indexing the handlebars. In fact if you look at a used Mp3's front tires, most of them show differing wear patterns.
taking what I know which most women say is far to little, or is it that it was to little always confuses me , you have to have alignment in 2 wheels. If they don't track the same you, . What the hell going to happen to an mp3 that has front end damage ? Like a hit to the left or right? Are you screwed. Myself I ll waited till they start showing up from 2 to 3 grand and then maybe buy one. Even if I do I worry about simple things like drive belts. What gates don't make an after market belt for you bike it's says something.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:34 AM   #14
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Used to be most cars had three different things to align on the front end. Caster, camber, and toe. Most new cars have done away with caster and camber. All the old trucks with solid front axles and leaf springs up front, and Ford trucks with Twin-I-Beam front suspension didn't have caster or camber adjustments either. If something was out of line, it was due to worn parts or something being bent.

I have no idea how the MP3 works, and quite frankly would be afraid to ride one. I do see an advantage for a handicapped person, since you don't have to hold them up at a stop. But as long as I can ride on 2 wheels I will, then get a sidecar.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
I have no idea how the MP3 works, and quite frankly would be afraid to ride one. I do see an advantage for a handicapped person, since you don't have to hold them up at a stop. But as long as I can ride on 2 wheels I will, then get a sidecar.
Ride one if you are given the chance, MP3's are quite fun and way different than most people think.
The MP3 tilt-lock feature is an extremely clever idea (with numerous patents) but operates only in select circumstances and until a new rider understands how and when it works, should not be used. There are several status lights on the dashboard, one flashes when the tilt-lock can be engaged (below 3mph), one lights steady when the tilt-lock is engaged, no lights are lit when you are underway (unless below 3mph), one light indicates the park brake is engaged (and a safety feature won't allow the engine to rev), the seat has a deadman switch (and won't allow the engine to rev) if someone isn't sitting on it, there are a couple of other redundant operational/safety sensors that affect how/when the tilt-lock engages/disengages amongst other things.
The tilt-lock is computer controlled (with multiple feedback sensors) and if a sensor reads a fault the MP3 either won't run above idle or goes into a limp mode where the Scooter is not operational or partially operational. There are speed sensors on each front wheel which provide feedback to the computer and if the feedback doesn't agree with both wheels, the Scooter goes into limp mode. Tony (hopefully with MP3 diagnosis/repair experience) better be close by or you have a heavy pooch to load up in the truck; keep in mind you'll need a wide ramp (3 wheels wide) and helpers to roll it up. The MP3 should never be towed with the suspension compressed and the tilt-lock engaged. Nor is it recommended to be parked for long durations with the tilt-lock engaged. There are specific tie down points that must be used or Tony will have more repairs. If you park and lock the front suspension you should engage the parking brake or it could roll away.
One fun trick to do is to lock the front suspension while rolling to a stoplight and not put your feet down (better know how it works before you try that) or it will fall over. Other drivers seem confused when that move is done correctly as there is nothing but the wheels (and front suspension) holding it up.
At least in some markets, the tilt-lock feature is non-operational.
The MP3 rides nicely albeit with heavier steering at low speeds, no question once understood the tilting suspension is excellent in wet conditions and the front brakes are quite powerful in wet or dry conditions. I've not ridden the 400 or 500 (definitely the 500 is powerful); they are all pretty heavy. MP3's have nice features and are fun to ride but once the complexity of the front suspension is understood the potential problems are an area to consider if specialized repairs are ever necessary. The steering notch issue is one of those things to consider.
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