is freaky. It's so freaky that Warren D'sylva might just
be willing to start riding to work once again
Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz? Actually,
that may be pushing it a bit, so forget the Merc and get
me a Piaggio MP3!” It’s freaking awesome.
I haven’t ridden one nor have Iseen one in the flesh,
but then again, the same goes for the Russian circus girls
I see on television. I’ve prayed for those too,
but all I’ve got so far is an obese Hema Malini
lookalike waving at me at the Jumbo circus in Bandra.
Somebody once said that good things come to those who
wait. I think it was Robert De Niro. Whoever it was, I’m
going to heed their advice and wait. But will something
like the Piaggio MP3 ever come to India? My guess is not
even in the fairly distant future. So for now, I will
just read about such things. Ivan Magot has just been
tempting me with a piece that he’s written about
the Piaggio MP3 in L’Automobile.
things first, the Piaggio MP3 is not some kind of pocket
music player. It’s just a model number because the
first Vespa was called the MP6 (internal code name in
1946) and 60 years later they’re using the same
nomenclature. The revolution however, is that they’ve
added a second wheel to the front of the scooter. It’s
called the Piaggio GT. It took 3.5 yearsto develop this
product. The idea was to put two independent wheels in
the front to give a certain sense of direction and ability
to corner. The solution was to provide a kind of deformable
parallelogram which comprised of four aluminium arms in
articulation hidden behind the nose of
the scooter. This ensemble consists of two oscillating
independent arms, each connected to one wheel along with
shock absorbers and a disc.
principal called the quadrilatero is more efficient when
mated to a mechanical hydraulic system than with an electronic
system. The idea was to develop a vehicle that also attracted
the enthusiast and at the same time keeping in mind non
The front assembly is far more stable than any scooter.
It grips the road even when tailing other vehicles, providing
top performance in total safety. The full extent of this
three-wheeler’s stability can be tested on wet asphalt
or tough riding conditions that would sorely challenge
a traditional two-wheeler.
With its compact super-scooter size and exceptional maneuverability,
the Piaggio MP3 is at home in traffic. It’s a cinch
to park: an electro-hydraulic suspension locking system
means there is no need to put the vehicle on its stand.
It requires far less braking space than any scooter –
the three-disk braking system and exceptional front-end
road holding reduce braking space by 20 percent compared
to the best scooters.
MP3 is available in two engine displacements, a Piaggio
Quasar 250 ie and a Leader 125. The Quasar 250 ie is the
all-new Piaggio 4-stroke, 4-valve, liquid-cooled engine
that already meets Euro 3 standards. The advanced closed
loop injection with a Lambda sensor, together with a three-way
catalytic converter and electronic ignition control system,
considerably reduces emissions as well as fuel consumption
and provides immediate throttle response. As a result,
the MP3 is fun to ride, quick off the mark in traffic
and comfortable with short motorway trips as well as extended
The Piaggio MP3 125cc version uses a latest-generation
4-stroke, 4-valve, liquid-cooled Leader engine, also compatible
with Euro 3 standards. The improved variator provides
for an even smoother and more progressive power output,
enhancing the easy-ride features of this engine category,
perfectly suited to city commutes.
The Piaggio MP3has an exceptional range thanks to low
fuel consumption by both engines (about 25kpl) and a sizeable
12-litre fuel tank. The riding style is a tad too upright.
But it feels like a normal scooter. The steering is very
precise and the ride comfort is excellent. This innovative
vehicle marks the start of a new personal transport revolution
from Piaggio. So again, Lord, won’t you buy me a
Piaggio MP3? Please, pretty please?