When Piaggio first introduced their three-wheel MP3 scooter in 2006, it was about as alien as a Mars rover. However, the first road tests quickly confirmed that the three-wheel oddity was a blast to ride.
The concept has caught on in both Europe and the States (80,000 MP3s sold worldwide to date) providing riders with the added confidence acquired with the stability of a three-point platform.
Jump forward to 2011-with the Piaggio’s MP3 integration and acceptance into the scooter market-and the new MP3 Yourban (European model). The latest incarnation within the chic three-wheel Piaggio family, the Yourban evolves its class dominating style and technology with a host of changes and improvements. The new Yourban is available in both a 125cc and 300cc displacement, both of which are fuel-injected.
Reduced weight contributes to a more agile and responsive scooter, allowing the two independently sprung, tilting front wheels to achieve maximum lean angle more quickly and more sure-footedly.
The appeal of the MP3 isn’t merely quirkiness, as a functional means of transportation it blends the necessary ingredient of Italian presence with performance. The scooter’s nimble manners and stable demeanor make it perfect for cutting through rush-hour traffic (Italians have turned this discipline of riding into an art touching on madness).
The distinctive dual front wheels are enhanced by dual domed headlight for a balanced aesthetic. Two-tone paint scheme on the bodywork accents the aluminum-look paint of body panels.
The instrument panel is comprised of three, easy to read, circular gauges; speedometer, water temperature and fuel level, with LCD displays for odometer, clock, voltage and external temperature. The panel also has an array of indicator lights for fuel reserve, high-beam, turn signals, oil pressure, hazard and injection system check. There is also a warning light for parking brake and roll lock.
A reduction in weight has enhanced the handling characteristics of the MP3 and contributes to increased maneuverability in slow-moving traffic, when a motorcycle’s weight is most noticeable.
The theory behind the three-wheel configuration is more than balanced stability; it increases the contact patch of the front end, granting more rubber on the pavement for added control and response. This, naturally, leads to a more confident ride and feel.
Alloy wheels and a racing-inspired tail section with twin grad rails for a passenger compliment the clean lines and modern styling of the MP3. LED running lights and tail lamp provide high visibility for added safety.
Piaggio, understanding the individualistic nature of motorcyclists and scooter owners, has an extensive line of aftermarket accessories to personalize the MP3; taller windshield, clear hand guards, quick-release top box (holds a full face helmet) with comfort backrest for the passenger, matching helmets (w/ Bluetooth), and an anti-theft system. There’s also a bike cover to keep your little beauty clean.
The Piaggio MP3 Yourban is available in 5 brilliant metallic colors; Cosmo Black, Ibis Red, Orione Grey, Perla White, and Ghiaccio Grey.
Piaggio MP3 Yourban 300 ie – Specifications
Engine Single cylinder, 4 stroke, 4 valves
Engine capacity 278 cc
Bore x stroke 75 mm / 63 mm
Power 22.4 hp at 7,500 rpm
Torque 23.2 Nm at 6,500 rpm
Valve timing system Single overhead camshaft – SOHC
Fuel system: Electronic injection
Lubrication Wet sump
Transmission CVT with torque server
Clutch Automatic, centrifugal dry clutch
Chassis Closed double cradle in high strength tubular steel
Front Suspension Articulated quadrilateral
Rear suspension Double dual action hydraulic shock absorber with adjustable preloading
Front brakes 240 mm double disc with 30 mm dual piston fixed calliper
Rear brake 240 mm disc with 22 mm dual piston floating calliper
Front wheel rims Aluminium alloy 13" x 3.00
Rear wheel rim Aluminium alloy 14" x 3.75
Front tyre Tubeless 110/70 – 13"
Rear tyre Tubeless 140/60 – 14"
Length/Width 2,040 mm / 760 mm
Wheelbase 1,440 mm
Seat height 780 mm
Fuel tank capacity 10.8 L
Kerb weight 206 Kg (194 Kg for NRL version)
Emissions compliance EURO 3