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Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by Carol Ann, Apr 4, 2011.
Good sumary, Stealthman_1
My wife is really pushing hard for a MP3 500. I rode one not long ago and it is tons of fun. I noticed the 400 and 500 to have a speed limit difference of only 1 mph. I wonder if 500 really scoots up to 60mph faster than the 400. Anyone take one off road? Seems like it would be okay on fire roads. I ll be in Boulder tomorrow and might stop and take another test drive.
I've had an MP3 250 and a 500. They are NOT off-road vehicles, despite the fact that Piaggio once made promotional videos off-road.
All of the MP3's have suspension that works great on smooth roads, but will make your teeth chatter on dirt roads. Even a large pothole will definitely make it's presence known on the MP3.
Still, on the road they are a really fun scoot. The 500 with the OEM topcase also carries lots of "stuff". The 400 carries even more.
Technically no, I haven't taken mine off-road. I've been in a few gravel driveways and some off camber, gravel wide spots adjacent to highways and I was not exactly raging with confidence. I would think a hard pack, very fine gravel fire road might be ok, but loose doesn't seem like it would be pretty at all. Even though there are two of them, those fronts ain't floating on anything.
Wish I could be of help on the 400 Vs. 500 issue. I've ridden the 250, but not the 400. I wonder about the 1mph difference as well. Only thing I can think is the 500 is limited somehow. As I said, I've had mine to 85 by GPS (97 indicated) and I had plenty of throttle left.
She was looking for something easier on gas than the Sequoia and wanted something to tag along with when I'm on the GS. She liked the idea of 3 wheels, and with the factory price reduction on a new one, we came home with a 250 in mid-August. She's getting used to it (already took one corner wide and laid it down at relatively low speed, but is still riding) and will take the MSF course here in November. She doesn't have to, but it really does ride like a motorcycle and she will benefit from the instruction. It's a blast to ride. The front end is really planted. I wish the suspension was a little smoother. I was surprised how well it does 2-up around town and we're not little people (about 400# between us). Got the 14" wheel in back, so tire changes shouldn't be so frequent. The brakes bring this thing to a stop in a hurry. First service should be before Christmas (still working up to getting it in rotation with the other vehicles).
Another friend of yours just bought one too, Hi Mike!
Thought I'd breathe a little life into an older thread just to see if there are any other MP3 owners still here. I do most of my posting on Modernvespa (hey Ponydrvr--didn't realize you were here as well!), but came over here a year or so ago for some of the great gear deals in the flea market. I saw at least one mention of a pair of MP3s--400s I believe. This is a snap of all our babies; the middle-school-girl-sparkle-purple-nail-polish-colored 500 is the wife's ride, the other two are mine. Would love to hear from anyone out there, especially if you do your own maint--I'm getting ready to replace the sliders with some Dr. Pulleys and pop some new spark plugs into place and could use all the help I can get!
If you need some limited help let me know. It does look like you're pretty well set though. Of course I vouldn't get there before I get back from the Southeast Gathering week after next.
The R1200C is awesome.
Thanks; it's taken me almost a decade and a half to realize that I still loved my old 98 R1200C I bought in Germany way back when; enough so that I simply HAD to rekindle that flame last year when I saw this 03 Phoenix advertised on cycletrader...but I admit that for around-town-scootin', nothing beats the MP3 for sheer mindless fun!
Update for me: I ended up buying a MP3 500 for the wife for her birthday in December. She really didn't get much time on it because of the winter weather till March. At first it was way too heavy for her and she was having trouble with it and her confidence was shaken. She had ridden some smaller scoots but this was her first big bike. In retrospect I think it was too much weight for her to deal with. The 500 is a heavy bike!
We practiced a lot of drills in and around our neighborhood till she was feeling more secure. She took a MSF class which really helped reinforce what I had been telling her. Now she rides it all the time and recently started taking it to work 20 miles away.
On days she doesn't take it to work I have been putting it thru a serious work out on the twisty roads around here. What a hoot. I have chased some of the sport bike guys around and made them feel insecure. Too funny! Cool bike just wish it was made as a dual sport.
Madstad windshield is a must.
BeezWife got an MP500 last spring. This winter we got a foster dog who loves to ride in the car and stick his head in the wind as much as possible. Way more that our other 2 dogs. So we thought he might be a moto dog. To test it we got a cheap but sturdy bin, hardware, a harness and some doggles. So what did Floyd think of riding?
I think that pretty much sums it up.
Problem is this rig is bolted directly to the stock grab rails. It is difficult and time consuming to take off and when it is on the seat will not open.
Ideally she would like a quick release on the stock rails that will accept a top box or Floyd's bin.
I'm no engineer, but this occured to me when I read your post. The stock OEM top box is quick release--you can easily remove it and take it with you. The mounting plate that secures to the bottom of the box bolts to the mounting bracket by four corner bolts; there is enough space between the plate and the mount to run a pretty hearty piece of straight aluminum/metal between the bolts. Make it wide enough so that the sides of the metal piece braces against the support bolts--wrap in some foam insulation or other vibration dampening material so it doesn't rattle between the bolts. Next make a small false bottom for the bin (wood, plastic, whatever) if you need to isolate your dog's butt from the materials; cut a slit on both sides of the bottom of the bin and slide another piece of similarly sized aluminum through that opening; seal and secure through the slits in the bin--maybe JB weld and liquid electrical tape or something similar (I dunno, I'm just spitballing this part)
Now you should have two long pieces of metal, each with ends hanging out past the sides of the bin and mounting plate, essentially making a sandwich with the bin's bottom and mounting plate between them. Line up and drill some holes on the top and bottom pieces of aluminum/metal and run some bolts between them with nylon spacers/washers and rubber gaskets, again to lessen vibrations. Then either snake a couple of locks through two of the holes on one side, or use wingnuts on those bolts, so they can easily be removed...and then you simply slide the whole contraption out the other side when not in use. Paint it black and reduce the fugly factor to taste.
There may well be a more elegant solution, but I figured this at least could be accomplished without modifying the OEM mounting hardware or top box, and could be DIY'd for pretty cheap.
can't see the pics ---
MP3 - 400 here. Bought it with a wreck title for a steal, and had some minor work done on it at a dealership. 100% functional but never got to register the damn thing, since I have to get it to DMV's office for inspection. So it "sits" in my friend's garage. Gotta finish this damn paperwork and finally enjoy her fully. My wife loves riding this thing, its very comfy for 2-up. I like it too, very good scoot.
I'm seeing more and more of them here in NYC. Mostly its the sportier versions without the trunk.
Best source of information for MP3s is here: http://modernvespa.com/forum/forum13
14 of us spent a few days in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Parkway area last week. Details: here: http://modernvespa.com/forum/topic98270
There will be a get together in North GA in September. Watch ModernVespa for details.
Been looking at something for the wife, since she had to sell her VStar Classic after some back surgery. The Can-Am is a no-go, she was really uncomfortable on it. Took a look at a 2008 MP3400, 500 miles on it today. I rode it around, and coming from my Harley Road Glide and Honda ST1300, this thing was FUN!! Didn't play much with the lean lock, and once I got out of the habit of trying to slip the 'clutch' (with resultant wheel grab) in tight turns, it was pretty cool. The wife, tho, could barely tiptoe it stopped. She is 5-2. Anyone have the seat cut down so they could flat foot it? Her Yamaha had a 25" height, but I don't see getting 5" out of this seat.
I've not heard of anyone getting 5 inches out of the seat height. One of my lady friends who is 5-2 found some boots with lifts. I'm thinking they were in the 2-3" range. The seat might also be modified to make it more narrow in the front and reduce the height reduction needs.
I'm not completely certain how much but I know it is possible to shave a good deal off the seat. I'm 5'4" and am planning to send my MP3 500 seat here: http://www.pirateupholstery.com/ I've heard good things about them specifically about the seats they do for the MP3s. I need to lower my seat a bit, and I need to do something about comfort - it is tough for long rides.
I think the customer actually did it themselves, but though you aren't going to be able to shave 5" off the top, just trimming and reshaping the side of the nose of the seat does wonders for being able to reach the ground.
I'd say the customer is around 5'2" and though she's not flat footing it, she has zero problems holding it up since she trimmed the side of the seat.