2009 Piaggio MP3 500 Three-Wheeler
The 2009 Piaggio MP3 500 looks like it just ate your neighbor’s Vespa. The MP3 500 isn’t your typical lightweight, low powered scooter nor is it a high-powered superbike. What Piaggio does is take the best of both worlds and provide a vehicle that doesn’t require manual shifting and won’t tip over. But don’t think that because Piaggio has taken the fear factor out of motoring that you will get lots of slack. In fact, its appearance is so intimidating that nobody will peg you as a chump. The thing looks like it just stepped out of a modern day Mad Max movie.
So, what’s the real deal with the Piaggio MP3 500? This vehicle is powered by a four-valve, liquid-cooled 492cc engine rated at 40 hp. This is enough juice for a top end of 89 mph and a run from 0 to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds. Okay, so it’s not lightning fast or a sub-5-second vehicle but it’s so badass that we had to bring it to your attention. (One quick note, the MP3 doesn’t have anything to do with a music player or iPod. I know we just showed you the MotoCzysz with iPhone dashboard and if you read that article that’s where your head was…)
The MP3 500 is super easy to ride with Piaggio making the driving experience as carefree as possible. Turning actually mimics riding a motorcycle with the MP3 500 providing up to a 40% lean angle without any pushing or tucking of the front patches. The transmission is a stepless CVT automatic that requires no gearshifts or popping it into neutral at stop lights. Speaking of stopping, when your speed drops below 10 mph, there is a switch than can be activated which locks the MP3’s front end fully upright, thereby keeping the bike totally balanced and eliminating the need to step down.
The Piaggio MP3 500 is available in either matte-black or red. You already know our preference. Gas mileage is shown as 55-57 mpg. The list price is a little steep at $8,899 but this three-wheeler is a pretty amazing amalgamation of the scooter and motorbike and is well worth checking out if switching gears is too daunting or the thought of riding on a scooter too dainty.