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Piaggio MP3 400

Anybody out there have one of these?

We went to look for a new car for Kristin today as her lease on her Passat is almost up, and while we were at the VW dealership, I noticed they had these Piaggio MP3s in stock and they looked cool for a scooter and that extra wheel up front had both Kristin and I thinking this might be a good second vehicle for me to use. I’ve wanted a Vespa forever, but Kristin has forbidden it because she says a big guy like me looks ridiculous on a Vespa and she was worried I’d kill myself. The larger build of the Piaggio MP3 and the extra front wheel seems to have appeased her worries. Here’s a video:

063 Fifth Gear – Piaggio MP3
We really don’t need a second car, because I only need to get to the train station or run the occasional errand working out of the house, and if I went the scooter route, we could fit both vehicles in our parking space (plus this sucker costs much less than a car and gets 60 mpg!).

Step one: find a motorcycle helmet that will fit my gigantic head (no seriously, my head is HUGE). Step two: I’m going to take some motorcycle driving classes and get my motorcycle license and if that all goes well, I think we may seriously consider getting one of these. However, I’d love to hear from someone who actually owns one and uses it regularly. I seem to remember Rael Dornfest getting one a while back, vaguely from his Twitter. If you read this, Rael, and I’m correct, I’d love to hear how you’ve liked it.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ronbonzo 11/9/2008, 9:38 am
  • Jordan Running 11/9/2008, 12:28 pm

    I have an MP3 250 (2007) and I love it. I got it in July for exactly the same reasons you’re considering it: I’ve wanted a scooter forever, and we definitely don’t need a second car (nor have room for one) but I wanted to be able to run errands and get out of the house when my other half has the car. The 250 is plenty for zipping around town, but sometimes I wish I’d gotten the 400. I’ve taken it on a few longer trips, and it can go up to 70mph or so and is very comfortable on the highway, but it definitely feels like I’m pushing it at those speeds, and I think having the extra power of the 400 might come in handy if I ever found myself in a bad situation. I’ve always stuck to two-lane highways and I don’t think I’d take it on a four-or-more-lane unless I absolutely had to.

    Anyway, it’s a blast to ride, and though I can’t really compare it to a motorcycle since I’ve only logged about ten motorcycle hours (in my basic rider’s course), it feels very, very stable to me, especially in the front. I’ve gotten the rear end to go a little wobbly on me on slick surfaces before, but the front end has never been anything but rock-solid.

    I hang out on Modern Vespa’s MP3 forum a bit (highly recommended), and some tall riders have complained that there’s not enough knee room for them or that the pillion is too far forward (some have gone so far as to get custom seats made), but I’m 6’1″ and don’t have any ergonomic complaints.

    Be aware, however, that if you get one you’re going to get a lot of attention. You’ll get the same five questions at every gas station, and motorcyclists and scooterists will chat you up at every stoplight. Usually I enjoy it, but sometimes I don’t feel like talking to strangers and wish they’d go away. But the ride is worth it.

  • c.k. 11/9/2008, 1:47 pm

    Cool, Jordan. Thanks for the feedback! This is exactly the kind of personalized review from someone I know that I was hoping for.

  • Ryan Scott 11/10/2008, 5:34 pm

    I’ve always wanted one! But now I’m rocking a Tesla. I’m definitely hesitant to drive a scooter even though this one is really cool.

  • c.k. 11/10/2008, 5:41 pm

    How are you liking the Tesla, Ryan? I’m too big for that sucker. The one time I rode in Elon’s I felt all scrunched.

    I’ll let you know how it goes with the Piaggio once I get it. I need to take lessons and get my license first, so it will probably be a while.

  • Finnius 12/9/2008, 9:37 pm

    Being a First Timer to the Bike/Scooter scene I purchasede a 2009 mp3 400 and have Loved it since the first twist of the throttle!!!! I use it for going to and from work and even to just get away for a few hours with my wife on the back without any problems even on the Highway. I would recommend it to ANYONE considering one….. You Won't be dissapointed as far as I can see. Only problem for me is living in Canada I have had to put it away for the season.