If you’re looking for an inexpensive, lightweight vehicle for riding around town or completing short errands, scooters are an excellent choice. If you want something with a bit more performance and versatility, you might want to consider a maxi-scooter instead. Maxi-scooters, or touring scooters, offer larger engines and typically better wind protection, making a good choice as an everyday commuter or for longer distance rides.
Piaggio has filed a patent for an active aerodynamic device using winglets that rotate up or down to affect rotational torque. The patent, published today with the World Intelletual Property Office but initially filed in Italy in late 2018, uses a last-generation MP3 three-wheeled scooter in its illustrations, but the principles behind that patent can apply just as well on a two-wheeled motorcycle.
Maybe somebody beat you with a kickstand when you were a child, and you carry an irrational fear of them? Let it go, with the MP3 you can relax, you don’t need one. With a little practice, you can flip the right-thumb button inward just as you’re coming to a stop, which clamps the caliper to the ¼-of a brake-type disc which holds the MP upright. The people in the cars look at you with even greater suspicion. As soon as you twist the throttle to blast off, the lock releases and in town, most of the time, you’d never really know you had two wheels up front. (If you’re rolling backwards, though, the upright lock won’t release until you thumb the lever!) The lock-up mechanism even has its own ECU.
Five years ago this month MO reported that Bombardier Recreational Products had filed a patent as far back as 2009 for a control system that’d allow the Can-Am Spyder to lean. Later that same year it came to light that Harley-Davidson had been developing a similar tilting three-wheeler ( the Penster) for years before scrapping the project and moving in a more traditional-trike direction with the Tri-Glide and recently introduced Freewheeler. Well, guess what? The leaning reverse trike charge isn’t being led or financed by BRP or H-D and their incredibly deep pockets. At the vanguard of the full-size tilting trike revolution is a lone engineer in a garage somewhere in Snohomish, WA.
I’m really anxious to drive the new Slingshot Polaris recently launched. With 170 horsepower in a 1725-lb package with side-by-side seating and an open top, it promises to deliver a fun factor unlike almost any other machine currently in production. But it’s not a motorcycle.
The front end of the Piaggio MP3 looks a bit like an angry Mutant Ninja Turtle or, if you stretch it, like a big scary frog. It’s a quirky scooter but the French seem to love it, having purchased nearly 70,000 of them. So, it was appropriate that Piaggio chose Paris as the city in which to launch the newest version of the MP3.
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.