Scootersales.com.au has just returned from the MP3 300 launch in Melbourne where Peter Stevens Importers were kind enough to invite journos from all around the country to sample the newest member of the Piaggio team.
When Piaggio launched the first three wheeled scooter a few years ago, many were amazed by the superior handling and safety, a second wheel at the front making all the difference. In reality this meant that on uneven surfaces, wet conditions, tram tracks, you name it, the MP3 has little to no competition.
The Piaggio MP3 increased confidence significantly across a whole host of riding attributes. Unparalleled corning angles and unmatched braking distances also highlighted the clear benefit behind having an extra wheel.
So introducing the all new MP3 300 from Piaggio.....
The MP3 has not only come in for some much needed cosmetic surgery, its also had the full workover. Not only are we seeing new the 278 cc quasar engine for the first time, we are also seeing a whole host of impressive features and improvements.
Improvements like "Ride by Wire" technology. The first time in the world we have seen this on a scooter. What this will ensure is that the optimum levels of efficiency and performance are automatically controlled though one central control unit. For example if you require maximum acceleration and open the throttle fully the new system will calculate what is required to give you maximum levels of torque. This is all performed whilst maximising efficiency and smoothness. The proof is in the riding and it shows everywhere. The new MP3 300 is one smooth customer.
Other improvements include the aforementioned cosmetic changes. New angular lights, new grill, touches of chrome. A new larger screen comes standard whilst the seat's been reshaped and padded, you feel it straight away. The repositioning of the buttons to open the seat and the boot are a master stroke, extremely well thought out. A passenger backrest now comes standard.
Then you have the on the road changes. The front suspension has been tweaked to provide a more controlled, compliant ride. Pretty damn good on the last model, even better now. The rear wheel has been changed to 14 inch in diameter and again its hard to quantify but you feel the difference this makes immediately. Both front and rear working together in harmony and the work performed on matching the two has now resulted in quantifiable handling improvements over the previous model.
Our launch day had us traversing some of the best and worst that Melbourne roads have to offer. A circuit of smooth freeways and pot holed back roads that highlighted the improvements of the enhancements made. Even a tram track test that would have seen any two wheeled machine on its side, the MP3 just stuck with the program.
Last of all the motor and transmission. A new look transmission cover helping with the cooling duties, whilst the dipstick has been moved to the opposite side of the engine. The engine itself is the benchmark Quasar unit that finds itself in a host of other Piaggio models, peak torque at 6500 rpm meaning you have acceleration everywhere. Up hills, freeway duties or around town, combine "Ride by Wire" technology with what I think is the best engine on the market today and you have a clear winner.
And with all these changes we cant forget the everyday attributes. Mammoth underseat area, rear boot access, shopping bag hook, all covering the storage duties. Tons of frontal protection and a comfortable seating position for the passenger. Typical class leading ergonomics when it comes to feel, fit and finish.
Day to day life we will cover in an upcoming review.
There you have it, the all new MP3 300 from Piaggio. Its always hard to make something this good, even better. Piaggio have taken the MP3, collated all the feedback, made the changes. They have then gone and added advanced never seen before features like "Ride by Wire". The MP3 isnt just another scooter, its an advanced form of transportation that gives you all the benefits and efficiencies of being on two wheels with the safety of being on four.
The Piaggio MP3 300 has a new MLP of $9990 with all the added advancements, safety and performance. Colours available are Midnight Blue, Black, Silver and my favourite a stand out Metallic Red. A whole host of accessories are also available as per below.
Screens - Various
The new MP3 300 comes with a screen that is taller than the screen on the MP3 250, but the MP3 250 screen can be fitted to the MP3 300 as an accessory. Here are the screen options from shortest to tallest…
1. Shorter screen $346 (standard on MP3 250)
2. Standard screen on MP3 300 (taller than MP3 250)
3. “Style” Taller screen $553
4. “Comfort” mega screen (goes over riders head) $1210
Top box $1039
The top box kit includes a colour matched top box with integrated padded backrest. It also includes the full mounting kit which tilts to allow unimpeded access to storage space either when lifting the seat or opening the boot.
Hot Cover (lap rug) $260
Full scooter cover $231