MP3, the three-wheeler that tilts its front wheels and leans into corners like a motorcycle, is one of the smartest vehicles that Piaggio has ever produced. Rain or shine, the MP3 will never backfire on you; I can’t think of a safer “two-wheel” urban commuter. In fact, the MP3 responds like it has just two wheels, and that is where the fun starts. In poor weather conditions, this nimble, narrow-track machine remains absolutely surefooted, with solid directional stability, safe steering response, and great stopping power from its triple-disc brake system.
On a wet and very cold afternoon in Berlin, with a mix of rain and snow making the stone-paved Unter den Linden shine, I was testing the Gilera Fuoco, a more aggressive-looking 500cc derivative of the MP3, when a guy aboard a BMWR1200GS passed me. When we approached a wide roundabout, I easily out-braked him and, while still leaned over, opened the throttle, causing the rear tire to slide. I countersteered to control the drift then slowed just to see the astonished look on the other guy’s face. That was a lot of fun, but it also demonstrated how relaxing riding through town can be on the MP3—rain or shine.
Piaggio unveiled the latest, slightly updated version of the MP3 at the EICMA show in Milan, but media attention was focused on the VespaPrimavera. More recently in Paris, the MP3 had the floor all to itself. Paris is a special place for the MP3 because the French capital has the highest concentration of three-wheelers, which are enormously popular for their ability to sneak safely through congested traffic.
For 2014, the MP3 comes in two versions: LT and LT Yourban. LT stands for Large Tread and indicates the MP3 family has undergone an increase in front-wheel track to comply with European regulations that do not require a specific driving license for three-wheeled vehicles with a track greater than 460mm; both MP3s now measure 465mm (18.3 inches). Thus, MP3 is now in an even stronger position in Europe, making it accessible to middle-age motorists who don’t want to spend hours in traffic but would never attempt to get a motorcycle license. Continue reading →
Not often do I get the chance to post about a special topic and special friend. Not often will you read a post about a book that is about to be released that has been written by someone I know. Continue reading →
I think this bike will be a hit and find its way into the ADV market place. Just seems like a whole lot of bike for the price and will make to non hard-core off-road rider very happy. Perhaps just a great overall everyday ADV bike
The adventure doesn’t really begin, they say, until something goes wrong. When we combine adventure bikes with guys that have seen too many BMW commercials, this inevitably entails picking adventure bikes back up from the dusty trail (or in my case, having them extracted by helicopter). Suddenly, it’s very clear why weight matters. Continue reading →
Biker n00b: “Wait, you chose to wear a neon colored jacket?”
1. You choose your helmet based on your motorcycle.
You’d love to wear a full-face, but only if borrowing a friend’s Honda CBR600RR, otherwise you stick to your Bell Custom 500, no matter the riding conditions, when riding your Bonneville. Sure, the full-face is more comfortable and far safer, but what will people think?
Standard riding uniform as soon as the sun comes out.
We hope KLIM gets their act together and come out with a DUAL SPORT suit in female sizing that is the same quality as the guys in the very near future. We LOVE KLIM but it seems other companies such as BMW are a head of the game treating grrls as equals when it comes to the ADV suits.
We all know about changing gears on the bike. Up is “up”, and down is “down.” How about that riding skill called changing gears between your ears? Autumn is a great time for riding. Temperatures are moderate and, in many parts of the land, beautiful color tours await. But the change in seasons also brings some different riding conditions that may require some mental gear changes. Continue reading →
It was August and I was riding a newly acquired Honda Rebel, my first motorcycle. Riding north on Mills Avenue in Claremont, California, a generously wide, two-lane road with a center turning lane, I saw a motorcycle in the distance riding toward me. This was it, the moment for my induction into the brotherhood of riders, my chance for my first motorcycle wave. As the other motorcyclist approached he casually removed his left hand from his handlebars and threw me a tasteful two-finger salute, arm extended slightly below the level of his grip. My response was to violently and awkwardly throw my clenched fist into the air at a slight diagonal, kind of like a Jersey Shore dance move but on a motorcycle, going 45 mph. It was awkward and completely ridiculous, but I felt the connection. To me, that wave was affirmation that I had been seen an honest to God motorcyclist, who had been acknowledged by another as one of their own. Continue reading →
If you do plan on going to Alaska in the Summer of 2014 promise us you will ride this road….take a look at one of our posts from our trip in 2011….if you don’t want to read the entire post scroll down to the McCarthy-Kennicott section…you will thank us if you ride this road…;-) Many pass up this little side trip and we don’t know why. If you have been on this road feel free to comment.
July 27th 2011
It was a good thing we decided to motel it last night. It poured in Valdez all night. As for Cheryl and myself we do not feel the need to camp in the rain on a holiday because, well, it just makes us miserable and not worth it. Our trucker neighbour finally settled down in his room around 12. Motel walls are so thin! When we woke up it was really foggy but you could see the sun. Had a bite to eat at the motel restaurant and headed out to the Salmon Hatchery about 5 miles out of Valdez to see if there were any bears or otters around.
I have been asked many times “how can you ride such a tall bike”? So, I have put together some pics to try to show as close as I can with the specs I know what I might look like on all the recent bikes I have owned or “borrowed”. My height is 5’5″, well almost 5’5″ with an in seam of 30.5 inches.
Cheryl is about 5’5″ and her in seam is 31.5. Big difference when it comes to our ’13 BMW F800GS bikes. She has more footing than I will ever have. So, this post is for the vertically challenged.
I have hopes that a few in seam inches will not deter anyone from buying the bike of their dreams…where there is a will there is a way. Trust me I should know…I am shortish and I have ridden successfully, comfortably, confidentially and most Continue reading →