It’s a bike, but not as we know it!
On a quiet morning, long, long ago I encountered a strange and intriguing machine. Walking to the bus stop to begin my daily commute, around the roundabout came something that stopped me in my tracks. Was it a trike? Was it a bike? It looked like both, banked over on the bend but with TWO wheels planted firmly in front! It was my first encounter with a Piaggio MP3. I’d never even heard of them then, but I know about them now because I’ve just bought one for my wife! She was totally put off by the current motorcycle training and testing regime, but since she holds a full driving licence issued before January 19, 2013, she was entitled to ride the MP3 with just a car licence – provided she rode an LT model of MP3.
Next thing was finding a suitable used MP3 LT. I finally found a 2012 MP3 300 LT
Touring for sale within my budget. A little bit of TLC, and it was on the road. I took it for a test flight and discovered that it is indeed a total hoot to ride! It has some interesting idiosyncrasies, like the automatic locking when stopped and unlocking when moving off of the front suspension, which feels weird. Nicola actually turns that off and sits one foot down when stopped, bike style. But it literally does ride like a bike. The front end feels a bit heavy and a bit numb but it steers fine and it is planted on the road. It can lean to 40º each way and I think I got it over to that at least once on my local roundabout with no adverse effects.
My wife loves the thing.
Its under-seat storage and generous colour coordinated
Givi top box provide plenty of handbag space (I’m gonna have a bruise for saying that!), the seat is well comfy, weather protection is great, brakes are excellent (but that footbrake pedal is rubbish, use the handlebar levers for best control), it’s really nippy and manoeuvrable and can ride along at national speed limits just fine though I’d say 60 would be optimum cruising speed.
And it’s not thirsty: Nicola is getting 200 miles or more for a tenner! It’s also quite well put together and access for routine maintenance is fairly straightforward despite all the bodywork.
Ultimately, Nicola loves the MP3, and it has enabled her to begin enjoying motorcycling and start experiencing and understanding all the things about bikes that I have enjoyed for many years but without having to deal with what she considered the off-putting current motorcycle training and testing system. I’ll let Nicola have the last words:
“I totally love my Piaggio! When I ride it I have a big silly grin on my face, and people really do look at it riding by. I ride it to work every day and I get my own motorbike parking space, it uses hardly any petrol and I love the storage space, it even has a boot! But mostly I love it because it’s given me a new adventure and new things to discover and we are going to go on wee trips together on our bikes including riding over to visit our son in Edinburgh.
I just love it!”