Piaggio MP3 LT 400cc review

The scooter that can be ridden with no motorcycle licence? Does that make sense? No, but it's true.

Posted: 19 June 2013
by Ben Cope

Link: Piaggio MP3 Yourban review

piaggio mp3 scooter Visordown Motorcycle News
Piaggio MP3 LT400 ... safer than two wheels?

Piaggio has just launched what they reckon will sway all those London-luvvies who find the whole concept of two wheels a bit scary.

The MP3 LT is a 400cc scooter with one big difference, an extra wheel at the front. Yes this concept has been around for a while and you might have seen three wheeled scooters kicking around before, but not quite like this one. Because the axel distance between the front wheels is over 465mm this scooter classes as a trike, and can therefore be ridden on either a full car or a full bike licence, and without a crash helmet!

So anyone with a car licence can rock up, hand over their cash and wobble off down the road on it minus a crash helmet! Although at this point we should mention that Piaggio don’t recommend you ride it without a lid and offer a training course as part of the cost!

So what’s it like to ride? At first the MP3 feels like a very front-heavy scooter. It’s a bit odd to start with but as soon as you get moving the MP3 is brilliant fun. The extra wheel at the front makes losing the front end virtually impossible, so you simply charge over any bump or pothole in the road with complete confidence you won’t fall off. Where on a normal bike you might exercise a bit of caution, especially if it’s wet, on the MP3 you just plough on regardless of the condition of the road’s surface. It’s like riding a bike but with none of the skill or forward planning required!

When you eventually have to stop the MP3 is no harder to balance than a normal bike, and it comes with a neat button that locks the front wheels so they don’t lean over, meaning you can sit on the bike with both feet off the ground. This is, however, a bit of a mute point with us. The button only locks the wheels when the bike is at walking pace, and automatically unlocks them again when you start moving again, but the problem is that if you lock the wheels when they are slightly lent over (in a corner or on a camber in the road) when you come to pull away in the split second before the system unlocks itself you are forced to ride in the direction the wheels are pointing, which can get a bit scary. It’s a system that is best avoided until you get used to the bike’s quirks.

Although the front end has an extra wheel filtering on the MP3 is easy and it’s not actually that much wider than a normal big scooter, you just have to be slightly aware of the extra wheel when it comes to cutting into traffic or slipping past kerbs!

With the MP3 Piaggio has opened the door to a new type of commuter. The extra wheel makes riding it safer, the fact it does 80mph means long commutes are possible and, best of all, you don’t need to take the hugely complicated new bike test to rid it. The asking price of £6,499 plus OTR fees is a touch high, but compared to a years train ticket offers decent value for money.

What do you reckon, is this the future or a stupid idea designed to appeal to spoilt city types?


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I have a motorcycle licence but no car licence - therefore I can't ride one.

 After decades of making bikes I don't want to ride, Piaggio have now made one I'm not allowed to.  Go figure...


Posted: 19/06/2009 at 19:53

this is hugely popular in Paris, hopefully people here will adopt it as well as in France. Stop complaining about train and tube: buy an MP3 !!

Release date anyone?

Posted: 19/06/2009 at 20:27

muthaf9cka wrote (see)

 After decades of making bikes I don't want to ride, Piaggio have now made one I'm not allowed to.  Go figure...

They do versions where the wheels are slightly closer together and are therefore 'motorcycles'.  This has been made specifically for those that have not got a bike licence.


Posted: 19/06/2009 at 20:37

Great idea, ride around town winding dibble up.

Posted: 19/06/2009 at 21:45

muthaf9cka wrote (see)

I have a motorcycle licence but no car licence - therefore I can't ride one.

 After decades of making bikes I don't want to ride, Piaggio have now made one I'm not allowed to.  Go figure...

 But it says in the article:

 "... this scooter classes as a trike, and can therefore be ridden on either a full car or a full bike licence..."

Is this wrong? Have you checked with the DVLA? I'm interested to know if you can ride this with only a bike licence.


Posted: 23/06/2009 at 11:27

You can ride it with only a bike licence as long as you have entitlement for category B1!  I think you get this with the full test and so you can drive it in exactly the same way as the Reliant Robin was kept as a 3 wheeler (Trike) as it opened up cage driving to those with only a bike licence.

Posted: 23/06/2009 at 12:56


954

Could be good for the bike world if it gets a few car drivers on a bike as once they realise it isn't always wet and freezing in the UK they'll surely want a real bike and go do their test.

Here's a thought though, what if a person with a car license crashes one of these? I bet the accident statistics will say another motorbike has crashed...


Posted: 24/06/2009 at 10:29

954 wrote (see)

Here's a thought though, what if a person with a car license crashes one of these? I bet the accident statistics will say another motorbike has crashed...

My local motorcycle road safety officer has recently had to deal with that issue. 

There was a road rage incident on the M5 and the outcome was a Peugeot had a collision with a Can Am Spyder.  This looks as if it is going to be considered a 'motorcycle' incident - despite it patently not being a motorcycle.


Posted: 24/06/2009 at 10:40

Apart from cripples, who the hell would want to ride that pile of crap for over 6K when you can get a proper bike, tax, insure it and still have a load of change.


Posted: 25/06/2009 at 10:01

would think about getting one, although bit steep price wise, how much is tax and insurence on one of these.?

Posted: 03/11/2009 at 17:45

Speedy. wrote (see)

Apart from cripples, who the hell would want to ride that pile of crap for over 6K when you can get a proper bike, tax, insure it and still have a load of change.

Bless you speedy, clearly a man of taste and consideration for something different. How can you say this when you're a Harley fan?

Posted: 05/11/2009 at 09:27

Could a motorcycle test (automatic entitlement) be taken on it?

It would be the easiest U turn in history


Posted: 05/11/2009 at 09:42

Just bought one £6400 otr. I want the choice to wear a helmet, and that's the reason for buying one. Insurance was £250.

Posted: 27/08/2010 at 11:38

what, you don't have to wear a lid in the UK - r u sure?

Just read the attached test and it does seem no lid is needed - hope someone tells Mr Plod as I reckon you would be pulled first time out. Now if they put a roof on it, and I didn't have to wear a lid I might actually consider one as I recall biking as a youth with no lid - great fun until you fall off.


Posted: 27/08/2010 at 18:08

at a quick glance they look like those electric buggies for fat tossers who can't walk any more

Posted: 27/08/2010 at 18:09


stress wrote (see)
what, you don't have to wear a lid in the UK - r u sure?

Helmets are only compulsory for riders of motorbicycles not motorised tricycles.  (Motor Cycles (Protective Helmets) Regulations 1988. Statutory Instrument 1998 No 1807)


Posted: 27/08/2010 at 18:31

and the police are able to tell which version is a trike and which is bike at a glance?

Posted: 27/08/2010 at 20:00

stress wrote (see)
and the police are able to tell which version is a trike and which is bike at a glance?

Tax disk.

Posted: 27/08/2010 at 22:07

@ Speedy

Its a cripple like me you ignorant to**er, it enables me to still get around on a bike after an accident left me too crippled for two wheels... what was my bike, why, a Harley of course.

Posted: 22/03/2012 at 11:23

I test rode one of these last year, a 350 version, just for a laugh. It is great fun, not to be taken too seriously for a biker, but it makes sense for car driver who want the bike but don't know how to balance one.

The dealer told me about an amusing consequence for a couple of car drivers that have tested them, and who are obviously not bikers. Travelling slowly, they turn the handlebars like a steering wheel (no counter steering at low speeds), when they leave the showroom, then the first obstacle they meet at any speed is a small roundabout. Still riding (driving?) it like a car, when they attempt to turn right around the rouandabout, they simply turn the bars, without leaning the bike. The bike tips outwards, and they get flipped off, like a wee high-side, and end up on the road with the three wheeler wandering off on it's own!

Doh!

Posted: 11/07/2013 at 05:54

80 mph for a 400cc scoot ,are stick with me 85mph + sh 300i thanks.

Posted: 11/07/2013 at 20:31

As a disabled person, previously described as a 'cripple', these bikes are just the ticket. I use either 2 crutches (around the house) or a wheelchair so they make my ambition to be mobile again in other than a car possible, the only alternative would be something like a Goldwing trike. So expect to see me taking a road test soon with the possibility of my buying one, as for the term 'cripple', technically correct but rather tactless and slightly hurtfull. Relish your body as in a split second you could be like I am.

Posted: 24/08/2013 at 00:31

You are able to ride it with merely a bike licence so long as you have entitlement for category B1!  I do think you have this while using the full test and to help you to drive it in exactly the same way since the Reliant Robin was kept to be a 3 wheeler (Trike) since it became available cage driving to people with merely a bike licence


Posted: 03/09/2013 at 09:37

Tax disc? Thought they were being abolished, now how can they tell eh?

Posted: 04/02/2014 at 20:29

Will wait for the front wheel drive version to come out, ideal winter transport..

Posted: 19/02/2014 at 20:08

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