Last week we covered the introduction of the new Piaggio MP3, dual front wheel scooter. After a little while to think about it and after watching the videos Piaggio has up on their website, this scooter looks like it may be the beginning of something.
Two front wheels, as engineered by Piaggio, don't look as complex as you might imagine them to be given their ability to lean with the scooter in the turns. The locking mechanism which means you can park without a centerstand and even wait at stoplights without putting your feet down is pretty cool.
The impressive ability of the scooter to handle irregular roads, train tracks, cobblestones and whatever else sets it apart and I wouldn't be surprised to see other companies implement this same technology in their scooters or even some motorcycle variants. The videos also show the scooter doing stoppies with the two front tires giving huge braking power.
A comment by Francesco on the earlier post says it is going for 5000 euros in Italy ($6400). While that is not cheap, there is something oddly appealing about this 3 wheel scooter. From the video you can see it has storage enough for two helmets and Piaggio also offers a number of options such as a "winter pack" that includes a windshield, taller and wider than the standard one and also special winter tires, a heated waistcoat and heated leg warmers plus handshields to keep the wind off. The windshield is specially treated to help rain slide off.
They also offer the TomTom Rider GPS unit, a Bluetooth intercom helmet and a disc lock anti theft with siren. In other words, this is no basic entry level scooter but rather a real commuter vehicle.
Of course even the larger 250cc version can't run the freeways here in the U.S., but there is a larger engine possibly being considered and there is certainly a lot of commuting you could do with the 250, even here in the land of wide open spaces.
It's going to be very interesting to see how it sells. I have a hunch Piaggio has a winner here. I'm curious though, how the $6400 price tag, (based on the Italian selling price) comes across. It may be priced much different when it appears elsewhere. Obviously everyone always wants something for less, but considering the advanced design here, is this about right, too much or ... ?
UPDATE: We are getting a LOT of questions here at The Kneeslider about when and where the MP3 will be available. The place to go is the nearest Piaggio or Vespa dealer. For Locations check the dealer map.
The Kneeslider: Piaggio MP3 3 wheel scooter