2014 Piaggio MP3 500 ABS/ASR Review - First Impressions

Piaggio‘s MP3 has been one of the most distinctive motor vehicles of the past decade, using two wheels up front, but able to lean like a true motorcycle. And it’s attracted an amazingly large fan base. The Italian company says it has sold 150,000 MP3s since the model line’s introduction in 2007.

And with more than 12,000 of them sold in France, it was only natural for Piaggio to launch its latest 500cc high-tech version in Paris. Paris is in fact, the world leader for three-wheeled scooters. You can’t go anywhere without seeing one.

Read our review of the first Piaggio MP3s

The new and longer seat is superbly comfortable, and underneath it boasts more space than ever. Piaggio have eliminated the thin wall separating two compartments and made them into one large one. This easily accommodates two full-faced helmets.

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Evans Off Camber - Asphalt Doesn't Care

Riders have two important events to look forward to each spring. First, as the weather warms, layers of clothing come off, exposing more skin and allowing us to remember why we’re so attracted to the gender of our preference. Pause for a moment, close your eyes, breathe in through your nose and think about the smell of spring and the sight of your favorite fantasy date in a swimsuit rather than a parka. OK, exhale. The second – and more important event for riders who live in climates with real winters – is the beginning of the riding season. The bikes get dusted off, checked over, and put back out on the road.

This year, however, in my little slice of suburbia, I’ve noticed a trend that worries me. Scooter riders are wearing no protective gear other than the state-mandated, DOT-approved helmets. While I am aware that more than a few motorcyclists also neglect to wear protective clothing (my six year old spends as much time pointing out riders with proper/improper gear as she does the colors of taxis), the number of scooter pilots I’ve noticed riding around with naked flesh hanging out in the wind – ripe for the scarring – is between 80 and 90%.

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2014 Vespa Sprint 125 Review – First Ride

Sitting on the egg yolk-colored Vespa Sprint, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I felt like a spring chick’. It is tiny, agile and fast even with a broiler sized journo onboard. Please join me in welcoming the new “Vespino” one fine spring day in Rome.

Twist and go, it’s yellow, it’s comfortable and I’m in Rome. It doesn’t get much better and as we head off I place myself at the front like the rooster in a hen house. “Cock-a-doodle-doo” the Sprint says and I’m where I like to be, in heavy “be fast or be dead” Rome traffic.

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2013 Uber Scooter Shootout – Video

Here at MO we like scooters, especially big ones. Laugh if you want, but when it comes to practical, versatile, comfortable, and fun two-wheeled transportation, scooters often get overlooked. Well, we’re here to give them their fair share. What other motorcycle will take you to the grocery store, have room for the box of cereal, gallon of milk and six-pack of beer you just bought, then welcome the chance to take the twisty road back home – all while having your left hand free to sip a latte?

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2014 Vespa Primavera Launch in Barcelona

First used in 1968, Vespa is recycling the Primavera name in 2014 with a 50cc two-stroke and two 3-valve four-stroke versions (125cc & 150cc). We recently tested all three. Vespa sold 162,000 units in 2012 for parent company Piaggio. In 2013 Vespa has already seen 40% growth as of last quarter and is hoping to beat the 2012 figure this year.

Vespa is unarguably one of the biggest brands in the two-wheeled industry. Being a former 50cc PX owner myself, it was time for me to jump into the saddle of Vespa’s latest model and give it a spin around one of Europe’s best known cosmopolitan cities, Barcelona.

Compared to the LX the Primavera has an all-new metal body with improved legroom and a closer reach to the ground for shorter riders without cramping taller ones. I’m no authority, but I’d venture to guess that those who wear high heels will also feel comfortable on the Primavera. The main new development is a more stable chassis and new front suspension tweaks to reduce vibrations.

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Best Scooter of 2013

It’s not often you’ll hear us say we were blown away by a scooter, but BMW’s C600/650 is not your average scoot. There’s nearly 600 pounds rolling on 15-inch wheels, but you’d never know it. The C-model scooters from BMW handle everything from twisty canyon roads to freeway commuting, but then ride either to the local supermarket and a week’s worth of frozen pizzas fit neatly in the under-seat storage.

The C650 GT, at $9,990 is certainly more expensive than a lot of motorcycles, but a lot of motorcycles won’t perform as well as this scooter. In an apple-to-apple comparison with the recently updated Suzuki’s Burgman, the BMW is lighter, more powerful and $1k less expensive!

Read More:
2013 BMW C600 Sport & C650 GT Review – Video
2013 Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS Review
2012 Piaggio X10 500 Executive Review
2012 Aprilia SRV 850 Review

Best Scooter Honorable Mention: Honda PCX

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2010 Sachs MadAss Review - Motorcycle.com

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2012 125cc Scooter Shootout [Video] - Motorcycle.com

Look around any college parking lot or downtown metropolitan area and scooters will be littered throughout the landscape. The red-headed stepchild of motorcycledom, scooters are a viable alternative for those looking to escape the costs of car ownership or those who would prefer not to take public transit. The cost of ownership is low, fuel mileage is high and the amount of storage space available is typically generous.

Three leading models that embody all three traits are the Honda PCX, Piaggio Typhoon 125 and the Yamaha Zuma 125. We’ve covered all three before, but never have we ridden them side-by-side-by-side. On paper, all three scoots appear rather similar: all have comparable engine displacements, all use Constantly Variable Transmissions – eliminating the need to shift – all deliver impressive MPG figures, and (perhaps most importantly), all but one have space under the seat for two six-packs and a box of wine.

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Much like the fashion world, scooter popularity follows a cyclical pattern. Scooter sales are currently on the biggest rise since the mid-`80s when "da Bears" quarterback Vince McMahon made scootering cool again. Before that time, scooters were last cool in the days when my dad rode a Vespa in college. I'm 37, so you can do the math. As Jerry Sinefeld might say, "So what's the big deal with scooters today?" To find out, I decided to do the unthinkable-ride two representative samples of the current breed to my annual religious pilgrimage to Sportbike Mecca: MotoGP at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

"Blasphemy!" my best friend Ray cried. Ray is used to me getting us the latest high-performance hardware for our

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