Piaggo MP3 LT Sport: License Not Needed

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Euro Scooter

Piaggo, the Italian manufacturer of the famed Vespa, has updated its famous three-wheeler for 2010, offering MP3 LT 300 ie and 400 ie “Sport” models that feature larger engines for additional low-end grunt and better fuel consumption.

But where this machine appeals most is who can drive it. The MP3 LT features a larger front track of 465mm and footbrake, which meets proper European Legislation homologation rules, giving the scooter three-wheeled car status.

This allows holders of normal driving licenses the chance to ride it; in Europe, to drive a scooter/motorcycle over 125cc, one must obtain a special motorcycle license. But with the MP3, non-motorcycle licensed riders can finally experience something over 125cc, without the need of getting the extra license.

First introduced in 2006, the MP3 “astonished the world with its two independently sprung, tilting front wheels: an absolutely innovative technological solution that redefined the very concept of dynamic stability.” But the 250 version was a bit low on power, so Piaggio decided to up that model to 300cc.

The MP3 LT 300ie “Sport” delivers 22.5 horsepower at 6,500 rpm, and 17.1 ft-lbs of torque at 6,500 rpm compared to the 15.4 ft-lbs of the 250, thanks to the single-cylinder, four-stroke four-valve 300cc motor featuring fuel injection.

The new model also features some electronic enhancements, including the Ride-by-Wire throttle control, which deletes any mechanical connection between the throttle and the intake duct that modulates air/fuel mixture; this provides smoother power delivery.

The MP3 LT 400 ie “Sport” has the same enhancements of the 300 version, but the larger engine provides much more power: 34 horsepower at 7,500 rpm, and 27.7 ft-lbs of torque at 5,500 rpm.

Concerning style, new front and rear lights emphasis “the sleekness of the forms and add a touch of elegance to the unmistakable silhouette of the new MP3 family.”

The LT “Sport” has many race-inspired features, including 10-spoke wheels, a car-like grille, premium trim, headlight assemblies with silver backing, and a protective, blue-tinted fumé windshield that provides protection against wind and rain.

The seats provide maximum comfort for rider and passenger, and its red relief stitching makes a “bold statement about the sporty character of the new MP3 LT ‘Sport’. And don’t worry about luggage space: the helmet compartment, accessible from both the saddle and rear hatch, offers 65 liters of space, and can carry objects up to meter long.

Combine these sporty upgrades with the reliability and safety of the first three-wheel scooter, and one can see why Piaggio has much success in this custom market. These machines are only available in Europe, while Americans can choose the non-LT MP3 250, 400 or 500 (which still require a Motorcycle License).

Piaggio MP3 LT 400 “Sport” (300) Technical Specifications


4-stroke single cylinder

Engine capacity

398.9 cc (278 cc)

Bore x stroke

85.8 mm / 69 mm (75 mm / 63 mm)


34 hp at 7,500 rpm (22.4 hp at 7,500 rpm)


37.6 Nm at 5,500 rpm (23.2

Nm at 6.500 rpm)

Timing system

Single overhead camshaft (SOHC) – 4 valves

Fuel system

Electronic fuel injection (with Ride By Wire





Wet sump




Twist-and-go CVT with torque server


Automatic, centrifugal dry clutch


Double cradle in high strength tubular steel

Front Suspension

Articulated quadrilateral consisting of four

aluminium arms sustaining two steering tubes, and pull rod suspension

geometry with offset wheel axle

Rear suspension

Double dual-action hydraulic shock absorber

Front brake

Two 240 mm discs

Rear brake

240 mm Ø disc

Front wheel rim

Aluminium alloy 12″ x 3.00

Rear wheel rim

Aluminium alloy 14″ x 4.50 (14″ x 3.75)

Front tyre

Tubeless 120/70-12”

Rear tyre

Tubeless 140/70-14” (140/60-14”)


2,180 mm (2,130 mm) / 745 mm

Front track

465 mm


1,550 mm (1,490 mm)

Seat height

785 mm (780 mm)

Fuel tank capacity

12 litres

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One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007 and is currently Editor at Large at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of 365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).