The scooter that can be ridden with no motorcycle licence? Does that make sense? No, but it's true.
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?
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
Posted: 19/06/2009 at 20:27
muthaf9cka wrote (see)
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
Posted: 19/06/2009 at 21:45
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
Posted: 23/06/2009 at 12:56
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)
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
Posted: 03/11/2009 at 17:45
Speedy. wrote (see)
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
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
Posted: 27/08/2010 at 18:09
stress wrote (see)
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
Posted: 27/08/2010 at 20:00
and the police are able to tell which version is a trike and which is bike at a glance?
Posted: 27/08/2010 at 22:07
Posted: 22/03/2012 at 11:23
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