Our time with the Scootersales.com.au long term MP3 400 is coming to an end. Our final thoughts are with you, MP3.
The MP3 range will long be regarded as one of the best all round scooters on the market today, if not the best. Big Call?
It probably is if you ride the MP3 around the block and hand the keys
back. But the beauty of a long-termer means you get to appreciate a
scooter such as the MP3 in a more intimate way. Its no longer about
And that's the way it panned out for us at Scootersales.com.au.
Australia has been home to the MP3 range for a while now picking up the
"Scooter of the Year" award from our affiliate magazine " Scooter". It
won for all the reasons that still make sense today. Innovative, safe,
unique with a high degree of technology used, the MP3 is far from just
another scooter. After six months in the box seat we feel the same.
First and foremost is the two 12 inch tyres up front. This
extraordinary feature still amazes onlookers yet for the most part
whilst riding the MP3 you wouldn't even realise this technology is at
So what are the benefits of three wheels?
Firstly for me you can just about park it anywhere, uphill, downhill or
on a cross-slope, its all too easy thanks to the locking three
wheel/park brake combination. Secondly wet or dry, just point and
steer. Any surface, any condition, the MP3 will abide by the rules.
Superior grip means that if your riding skills are up to the task,
anything is possible on the MP3. The 400 in particular due to that nice
blend of power the big single delivers. Liquid cooled and fuel injected
the 400 produces 25 kw of power at 7500 rpm. And last of all with the
front wheels locked into place and the engine turned off the MP3
becomes an easy to manoeuvre object. Handier then you realise
initially, but again that's the beauty of a long term review.
The MP3 also features a cavernous key operated storage area that will
swallow just about anything you throw at it. This area combined with
the rear flip open boot, turns the MP3 into a rolling trunk. The
seating position at 785 mm high is both comfortable and upright. Room
for the pillion is ample and its just as comfortable on the pillion
perch. Full marks go to the integrated pillion grab handles.
All controls are top quality easy to use items. The dash is easy to
read with a wealth of information. Most of the time its not all needed
but if required you have a number of mode settings, tripmeters, temp
gauges and most of all, the all important digital clock. The most
practical items that I look for are speed and fuel, both of which are
easy to read.
I also became pretty fond of the mirrors, which by scooter standards
cover a heap of ground behind the scooter and don't vibrate as much as
some. They are also well out of harms way, another great long term
feature. Fuel capacity is a sufficient 12 litres enough for well over
300km's of highway use.
Braking is taken care of by twin 240mm discs up front whilst an unlinked 240mm single disc takes up duty on the rear.
On the road
In my opinion the MP3 400 is every bit the ultimate all round scooter.
Around town the MP3 400 makes light work of potholed roads and these
tend to make up quite a few of our city streets. Corrugations, gutters,
median strips that might come into play with two wheels, just don't
feature when your talking three, or the MP3. When out on the inner city
motorways the 400 capacity comes into its own. Doing the traffic light
shuffle the MP3 can be a little slow off the mark but once rolling, its
all smooth sailing. I found the MP3 surprisingly nimble and small
enough to fit through most gaps that I would normally only contemplate
with smaller scooters.
For regular freeway work just add "screen" and its ready to tackle
whatever, whenever. Quickly accelerating to legal highway speeds (its
best from 60 - 110 Km/h and over) the MP3 will easily cruise all day
long and if ever required you've got plenty left on tap for those quick
take over manoeuvre's.
The way the MP3 propels forward is placed into perspective when you
latch onto the front dual disc brakes for the first time. Its good to
know that if required pulling up quickly isn't out of the equation, its
apart of the package. Rear braking is good but insignificant to the
pulling power of the front brakes. And this is the way it should be. So
use the back to steady yourself into corners or hold yourself steady at
the lights and use the front for those times you need to pull up
quickly. A few times a degree of emergency braking was required and
rest assured two front tyres braking together are far better then one.
The MP3 hasn't sold in the numbers that maybe Piaggio Australia and the
rest of the scootering community had envisioned. This breakthrough
model is very much the benchmark model today, just as it was when it
was released a few years ago. Slower then expected sales maybe due to
price, perceived value for money or even the fact that its different
and we Australians just may need a little more time to comprehend such
technology. One thing is for certain though - your not going to learn
to love the MP3 400 just by riding it around the block from the dealer
on a test ride. You need time, and once engaged, marriage will follow.
For 6 months now the MP3 400 has performed every task in a manner that
can only be commended. No gremlins, easy to start every-time, with a
sheer competent convenience that would have you thinking two wheels are
And testament that the MP3 400 is a true winner can be given by the
fact that initially the rest of the family showed very little regard
for the big fella. Early calls were met with laughter and remarks about
riding on three wheels were regular. But time heals everything and the
love now flows thick and freely. The MP3 wins over the hardest critics
in the end.
Do yourself a favour, ring your dealer and see if you can snatch a demo
for a couple of days. But be careful as marriage could be just around