Test Riding the Piaggio MP3 500 LT Sport

I didn’t know how I could end this video, so Tchaikovsky did it for me.

Music: Tchaikovsky, 1812 Ouverture – Youtube free music library

“The MP3 has been the best selling scooter in France since 2009” – Source: CSIAM

“Half of the 150,000 MP3 sold in the world were actually sold in France” – Source: Leo Francesco Mercanti, marketing manager at Piaggio, quoted by Moto-net.com

Specifications of the Piaggio MP3 500 LT Sport in brief:
– Monocylinder engine, 493cc, water cooled
– 40 hp @ 7,250 rpm, 46 nm @ 5,250 rpm
– Double cradle in high strength steel tubes frame
– 265 kg (584 lb) with all operating consumable liquids
– Continuously variable transmission (CVT), no ABS
– 785 mm (30.9 in) seat height
– 12 l (3.2 US Gal) fuel tank
– 5,000 km (3,000 mi) maintenance interval
– 9,299 euros (in France), VAT included (9,899 euros with ABS)

This video was recorded at the Parc de Sceaux and the surrounding areas in July 2015.

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Gregory Faulkner says:

Perspective from the U.S. where Piaggio just barely survives within the more popular realm of Vespa Scooter dealerships. Only 500 cc version available over here, but previous version, we had 250, 400 and 500. I went on a ride with someone who had the previous version of an MP3 500 or could have been 400. Those had 12″ front wheels; the new ones have 13″ front wheels. He said that design absolutely just chewed up the front wheels; lasting no more than 5,000 miles, and that was a huge complaint and so he was looking for something different so he could keep riding and stay out of the shop for tires. Not sure if the bigger wheel/tire combination helps in that regard, but I’m sure tens-of-thousands of French folks know about how that’s worked out.At the time I had a Piaggio BV350 two-wheel scooter. Better scooter and better value than any Vespa model; none of which get that newly-designed 330 cc that’s in the Piaggio BV (Beverly for the rest of the world). Mine had 33 hp and 21 peak foot lb torque for what that’s worth; mine cost at or about $5,700 MSRP; his was at or about $10,000. A got about 67 mpg in warm weather, and even tough I don’t own it today, I still feel like it’s one of the best all-around, highway capable scooters on the market in between the very expensive maxi scooters and very limited smaller scooters. I’d choose the BV350 still today over the Honda Forza 300 and Sym 300 and Vespa 300 and Kymco 300 Downtown, with the Downtown being second place due to it’s large front fairing giving that Burgman-like weather protection. The MP3 500 rider got around 50-55 mpg though he is a bigger guy than me. He had more built in storage, but I had quite a bit too. I had better overall performance, because my scooter weighed only 395 pounds. Soon after that Honda came out with the CTX700 motorcycle with a 670 parallel twin with 44 peak foot pounds of torque (rated; not at the wheel; more like 41 at the wheel) with an estimated 64 mpg and a small fairing. I love mid-range power as a former diesel car owner and absolutely hate high revving performance, so this was just what I had been waiting for in a ride. I traded the scooter for this great machine in one heartbeat and have never looked back. Now I get 76 mpg commuting on a mid-sized motorcycle with much less prospect of shop time and much greater wear life on tires; standard chain and sprocket as opposed to all that expensive, complicated CVT stuff that I could have been looking at as a highway commuter, commuting a few thousand miles per year. I feel I have the mentality of most scooter riders who ride for practicality + fun, instead of only fun and impressing others, which is why motorcycles come out the way they do in today’s market. But some of the newer Honda models are the exception and is why a scooter-minded person can end up with a motorcycle that can have efficiency and service advantages over scooters when engineered for practicality. It’s just that we don’t see a lot of that in the market.  I can think of two other models today, from two other manufacturers; there may be more: Suzuki SV650; BMW GS650. Practical, useful, some value and fun; but absolutely exceptions. BMW F800 GT would also make the list if it weren’t so expensive. Great powerful power train with mpg as high as 60.Now a Honda 3-wheeler with the 670 cc parallel twin with engineering that makes stable riding more intuitive than stopping the MP3. That would be the best ride ever and that would make me and my wife riding partners.

aston mart says:

Pourquoi privilégier l’anglais sérieux :(. Met en français sous titré anglais. Les motovloggeurs anglais ne se font pas chier à écrire en français, pourtant c’est la deuxième langue la plus parlée

Zana Norilor says:

thanks. your review helped me a lot!

vassilij zietseff says:

dvla twice dvsa once ask the police (online) once . all said yes sir you can drive/ride the mp3 250cc tricycle without test or
cbt, now this is why i bought the bike, on my car licence passed on 8/1/74 i am 62 years old passed @ 20/21
there are a lot of barrack room lawyers so i am legaly riding a piaggio mp3 250 cc 2006/7

Faisal sm says:

very nice review

Dutch Scooter Guy says:

Great review. Much truth in it.

I had a Aprillia Scarabeo 500 Light, which has the same engine as the MP3, but is much faster (and lighter).

I now drive a Yamaha Tricity and do not notice the extra wheel in front. It feels the same like the Scarabeo, only with less power. One big difference is the better control you have when driving on a roundabout or on bad road surface. It is much more stable then on a two wheeler. +CagerOnTwoWheels noticed that also. Checkout his review on the Tricity (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2fnEmWQ7so).

I also tested the Quadro 350 scooter. Way more stable than the MP3, but those hydraulics feel strange. Also the scooter had some electrical issues.

Gázser Márk says:

Those mirrors really were PERFECTLY adjusted…… 😀 This one’s an interesting piece of machinery, though, I’d love to try it, but I wouldn’t want to own it. 🙂

Miguel Afonso says:

I’m considering buying one of these, as I’m completely unexperienced about motorcycles. For a new user like me, do you think it is a wise choice? I’m serious considering this one, because it rains a lot in my home town (Lisbon). Do you think it’s safer than a 2 wheeler in the rain? I’m otherwise considering a 2 wheeler – a VSTROM 650, they have a similar price over here. Thanks

ducatiphill says:

I’m glad I watched this some very good points, thankyou.

cybercece says:

La conclusion est tout ce qu’il y a à retenir ! ;))

Alejandro Dodera says:

What about riding it in winter? Would it make a difference having 2 front wheels in case of treacherous icy conditions on the road? What is your opinion?

floflospeed24 says:

10.000 balles ?! =o pour ce prix là, autant passer le permis moto, s’acheter un équipement correct, acheter un (scooter) 2 roues, et il te reste encore des sous de côté ! 
Et tu n’en parles pas dans ton test, mais 265kg, avec un mono (connu pour consommer à crever ces engins là) de 40 petits chevaux, ca doit consommer plutôt pas mal non ? surtout en ville, obligé de mettre la poignée dans le coin tout le temps pour lancer la bête, non ? Quand je vois déjà la “difficulté” (bon, on se comprend, 7 secondes le 0 – 100, ca va) à lancer ma bandit, qui fait le même poids, mais qui a le double de cheveaux…..
En tout cas, très intéressant ce test !

Colin Clarke says:

in reply to a couple of comments. …The fact that it can be ridden on a car licence was the main reason I bought mine a year ago and it is brilliant. ..I had years of experience on a 125 so I am not a newcomer to biking. ..I would say if you are thinking of getting one to take some training if you are not confident. ..

Sinokisme says:

Parc de Sceaux BRAAAAA

Davide Semeraro says:

my dad is about to buy it because he had an accident with the old 125cc version, a car bumped him and he thinks that because he had this big tractor it saved his life (he just broke some ribs by falling)…how can I explain to him that for 10 THOUSAND euros this is a fraud….he says it’s stable with abs comfortable bla bla bla but, no…

iniakpmarc28 says:

Good, informative review. Thanks.

Steve Summers says:

Third is is not “useless.” You forgot about more rubber on the road.

Nitroxyz says:

on peut wheel avec ou pas ? LOL

Mr B's Brain Dump says:

I would of liked to end the video by setting light to it, watch it go up in flames lol!
Terrible to ride, glad you made it through without injury.
What concerns me is, some car drivers will think it handles like a motorbike! The price is crazy, like the slow speed wobble.
Mr B

Ray50d says:

Good honest review. I can relate to both sides of the story. I ride the MP3 now for more than a year and really grown to love it. But….last year i also wanted to get a motorcycle license. Why? Because i got addicted to the freedom of moving through traffic on a “balance-vehicle”. And all the things they teach you can be applied one-on-one on the Mp3. I can imagine that unexperienced riders can be a real danger. As for me, for years i have ridden 50cc scooters to work, and i have my car licence since the stone-age (1987) 😉 so traffic wise the motorccylce exam was easy.

I now own a Kawasaki Versys 650 and my beloved Piaggio Mp3 (originally sold in Paris, then imported to Holland, hence her name “Parisienne”).
The Versys feels much more secure and rigid on the highway, the ride is indeed more agile and the seating position is superior not to mention the power delivery and acceleration.
However, because of the practicality, the fact that the Mp3 is not your everyday scooter here in Holland and the fact that i have gotten to know many other MP3 riders will make me keep her.

ThatKidChris says:

well made video

Andrew Cuthbert says:

I can only presume you have a bike licence and have actually riden other bikes? Over 40 years I’ve been riding bikes, and, after riding an LT 500 I found it very stable and safe to ride a all speeds.The slow speed to stop locking mechanism is excellent in traffic although I’ve been told over use can lead to steering notch.On a test track I’ve riden to 98 mph and at this speed I felt more safe than my Kwaka 400, this I believe would be to the 3rd centrifugal force of the 3rd wheel.I would like to see a geared version of this bike !Perhaps with a bit more riding of the 500 before giving a slight demeaning report would be more accurate? But, as I do not know you I maybe incorrect, if so, I apologise.

KTM Laranjinha says:

Diferent bike, good review. I like that girl in the well adjusted mirrors LOL
I think that riding this bike on the road needs some time to master the tecnic. Don’t like the exhaust sound!

Inaya Ivano says:


Elie Nehme says:

hi. have u tested the xsr900?

Chairman Walchn says:

Great Test…thx

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