Piaggio MP3 530 HPE Unique First Experience



Want some real front footprint? Then you owe it to yourself to experience a Piaggio MP3. The new 530 Exclusive is the latest model.

Need some actual entrance footprint? Then you definately owe it to your self to expertise a Piaggio MP3. The brand new 530 Unique is the newest mannequin. (Piaggio/)

It’s a chilly, sometimes German day in Berlin, November 2014, and we’re using the then new and revolutionary Piaggio MP3 500 on Unter den Linden, the attractive stone-paved boulevard operating east/west via the town. The street floor is glittering from a mixture of rain and snow, and the sleek, moist pavement doesn’t promise a lot grip… But the unimaginable Piaggio three-wheeler returns very strong, exact response and suggestions from its tilting from wheels. Within the distance forward, a courageous Berliner proceeds easily and well on his BMW R1100GS. It solely takes two roundabouts to seize his tail and go him on the surface—that’s how secure the MP3 500 feels on the moist and slippery pavement.

The MP3 debuted in 2006 as a 250, Piaggio’s largest engine on the time. Though the machine (is it correct to name a three-wheeler a “bike”? A “trike” doesn’t appear proper on this utility both) was positively underpowered in relation to its measurement and mass, it was an absolute revolution with its impartial entrance suspension(s) joined to a steering system that allowed the dual entrance wheels to tilt into corners. The double-arm leading-link entrance suspension was utterly sorted out when it comes to camber, caster, and toe, and it returned a really exact straight-line feeling and really correct monitoring when leaned into corners.

Others have attempted the leaning three-wheeler, but Piaggio has it dialed in with the MP3.

Others have tried the leaning three-wheeler, however Piaggio has it dialed in with the MP3. (Piaggio/)

The MP3 Resets the Requirements

From the beginning, the MP3 impressed nice confidence, even for completely inexperienced riders. Merely put, it radically reset scooter security requirements, opening up the svelte city commuter class even to persistent soft-seat motorists who would by no means consider using something that wanted to be leaned round corners.

Public response has assorted from market to market, with France main by a strong margin. The MP3′s recognition there reached a excessive mark when gossip-media paparazzi caught the then president of the republic, François Hollande, sneaking out from his official residence aboard a Piaggio MP3 for a liaison together with his secret girlfriend—an knowledgeable transportation selection given the poorly paved Parisian streets.

The MP3′s front suspension is a combination of scooter, motorcycle, automobile, and pure innovation. Picking a line is different than with a conventional two-wheeler, but the front-end security—especially on poor surfaces—is admirable.

The MP3′s entrance suspension is a mix of scooter, bike, vehicle, and pure innovation. Selecting a line is totally different than with a traditional two-wheeler, however the front-end safety—particularly on poor surfaces—is admirable. (Piaggio/)

All through the years the MP3 grew in displacement and class, however all the time stored a fundamental, extra compact model in its vary. Known as the City, was additionally essentially the most reasonably priced mannequin. Powered by the 250cc Piaggio SOHC four-stroke single, it grew to its current 300 HPE normal, delivering 26 hp and 19.2 lb.-ft. of peak torque.

Fashion Upgrades and Extra

For 2023, the upper-displacement MP3 fashions have been vastly restyled and upgraded. They now come within the very environment friendly 400 HPE/HPE Sport model and our take a look at automobile, the brand new 530 HPE Unique. The 2 are mainly similar when it comes to styling and format, with the principal distinction of their respective digital suites. The 530 is the one mannequin accessible within the US.

From a dimensional perspective, the 2023 MP3 evolves to supply improved passenger consolation, particularly two-up. Whereas the wheelbase has fractionally elevated to 61.0 inches, the handlebar has been repositioned to supply a better attain: 10mm up and 10mm again, and the floorboards are actually 20mm decrease as nicely. All of it leads to a extra relaxed using posture that goes with the highest mannequin’s new mission. Given their greater energy ranges and more-protective entrance bodywork and windscreen, medium-range touring is now a risk along with the standard metropolis commuting. To that time there’s additionally a brand new, extra precisely contoured seat that’s longer to extra comfortably accommodate a passenger.

The MP3 offers excellent weather protection, in part thanks to the wide bodywork afforded by the unique front suspension’s width.

The MP3 affords glorious climate safety, partly because of the huge bodywork afforded by the distinctive entrance suspension’s width. (Piaggio/)

To enhance the entrance finish’s dynamic response, the radiator has moved decrease and nearer to the entrance wheels. That in flip gave the stylists a free hand to revamp the entrance leg defend, making it extra aerodynamic and visually aggressive—perhaps a bit too aggressive on this rider’s opinion.

The tilting entrance suspension elements are extra structurally inflexible, an acceptable enchancment in view of the additional energy and torque generated by the 2 energy items. The liquid-cooled 400 HPE (Excessive Efficiency Engine) is an SOHC four-valve single developed from the 350 HPE, a powerplant thought to be one of the refined engines within the class. Within the current bigger displacement, the engine stays excellent when it comes to effectivity, reliability, and strong efficiency, delivering a claimed 35.5 hp at 7,500 rpm and 27.8 lb.-ft. peak torque at 5,750 rpm.

Engine Updates

The 2023 engine underwent significant refinement to enhance its effectivity and keep its energy and torque ranges whereas conforming to extra stringent Euro 5 emissions requirements. Notably related is an extended but lighter connecting rod: Bettering the stoke-to-con-rod size ratio helps make the engine run smoother by decreasing the secondary imbalance typical of a four-stroke single. As well as Piaggio engineers “cleaned” the combustion-chamber profile to additional enhance combustion effectivity. Crankcase pumping losses are nearly utterly canceled because of an unique optimistic crankcase air flow expertise developed by the Piaggio R&D crew.

The 400 engine could be very compact and lightweight for its class, and likewise contains a most superior CVT transmission. Slightly than the customary centrifugal dry clutch most CVTs use, right here we now have a multi-disc clutch setup operating in an oil bathtub, and the entire affair is way smoother.

Also fitting with the GT scooter concept, the MP3 offers excellent integrated storage under the seat.

Additionally becoming with the GT scooter idea, the MP3 affords glorious built-in storage below the seat. (Piaggio/)

The highest-of-the-line 530 HPE engine developed from the well-known 500 HPE, enlarged from its earlier 493cc displacement to 530cc. This isn’t a brand new engine, however this newest model exhibits optimistic enhancements, although this design belongs to the earlier technology and is neither as gentle nor as compact because the 400 HPE. The additional cubes come from a bore improve (from 94mm to an enormous 97.5mm), whereas stroke stays unchanged at 71mm. A need to ship as a lot energy because the earlier 493cc unit whereas complying with Euro 5 emission requirements lies behind the displacement bump. The engine’s 44.2 hp now comes at 7,250 rpm whereas the earlier 493cc unit needed to work tougher, needing 7,750 rpm to ship the identical energy. The extra displacement, although, pays additional dividend when it comes to peak torque, which has grown from 35 lb.-ft. at 5,500 rpm to 36.8 lb.-ft. at 5,250 rpm.

As with the smaller engine, the combustion chamber on this liquid-cooled SOHC four-valve single has a extra refined profile, and there’s additionally a bigger catalytic converter and a brand new and extra highly effective ECU. This model of the CVT transmission nonetheless makes use of a centrifugal dry clutch, however right here it additionally features a reverse gear. To make reverse operations safer—or for these too lazy to show their head and look again—a digital camera now gives a transparent view of what’s behind on the brand new 7-inch TFT instrumentation display.

Highway Testing the MP3

As with that first trip in Berlin, late November and early December in Lombardy provide the proper environmental situations to understand the extra security margins the Piaggio MP3 chassis ensures—in different phrases, the climate right here sucks. Temperatures are barely above freezing, and the fog is thick sufficient to put down a tough layer of condensate on the roads. Our take a look at unit was Piaggio’s MP3 530 HPE Unique in full trim and with heated grips, an appreciated choice this time of the yr, although the fairing profile typically implies that even at 41 levels Fahrenheit solely a pair of calmly padded gloves are known as for.

Parking the MP3

This newest MP3 530 Unique feels heavy the second you unlock the entrance suspension items from their frozen vertical “parked” place. If the suspension is left unlocked, the system retains making an attempt to achieve a secure situation and retains “pumping” the shock absorbers, even when the MP3 is on its centerstand. This may drain the battery, which in flip causes the beginning system and the entire digital package deal to operate poorly, or in no way. The treatment is straightforward: A swap on the correct grip actuates the locking system, and a hand-actuated parking brake retains the MP3 from rolling on a grade. The steering nonetheless works even with the entrance suspension locked, so pushing the MP3 by hand for last maneuvering is lifeless simple.

The silver lever in the center is part of the MP3′s parking brake system, a necessity due to the no-shift CVT transmission.

The silver lever within the heart is a part of the MP3′s parking brake system, a necessity because of the no-shift CVT transmission. (Piaggio/)

The seat is huge, comfy, and set 31.1 inches above the bottom, so it’s a snap to flat-foot it when stopped. It is a particular plus, as a result of in each variations the MP3 weighs greater than 440 kilos, and also you’ll really feel it when balancing it whereas standing.

Our MP3 supplied three energy response settings: Eco, Consolation, and Sport. With it set in Sport the throttle is easy, takeoff is exact, and there’s no hesitation because of the very environment friendly CVT transmission. The revised big-bore single progresses simply to previous 60 mph with minimal vibration and good wind consolation, solely a bit of turbulence on the tip of the shoulders. Previous 60 mph and as much as the highest velocity of 77 mph the acceleration is much less vivid, and up there gasoline consumption clearly larger than the official 59 mpg of the homologation exams. However cruising at 60–65 mph is nice and ample even on a freeway journey.

The GT Scooter Idea

Piaggio calls the brand new MP3 530 a GT Scooter, and this appears acceptable. The massive underseat storage compartment will accommodate two helmets. The straight-line stability is superb, and the steering proved very exact when leaning into corners, with only a contact of understeering that may be simply countered given the additional grip. (This tendency to understeer is extra perceivable when maneuvering at very low velocity.) In slippery situations the MP3 proved each agile and surefooted.

As we’ve seen with many other Italian motorcycles, the MP3 fully integrates with the rider’s phone. The large instrument display also functions as a video panel and a monitor for the backup camera.

As we’ve seen with many different Italian bikes, the MP3 absolutely integrates with the rider’s telephone. The massive instrument show additionally capabilities as a video panel and a monitor for the backup digital camera. (Piaggio/)

Hand levers actuate the dual entrance discs, whereas a flooring pedal calls all three discs into motion. A criticism: The pedal is positioned very awkwardly, too near the entrance cowl. A rider instinctively applies a lot of the foot stress to the cowl reasonably than to the pedal, with apparent embarrassment. Positively room for ergonomic enchancment right here.

However, the MP3 530 Unique is supplied with a full suite of electronics that embody ABS, traction management, and a extremely glorious instrument monitor that, as beforehand talked about, capabilities as a video display when selecting reverse. As well as, front and back sensors help in tight parking situations.

The 7-inch TFT instrumentation display capabilities because the management and connection heart for Piaggio’s MIA connectivity system. This is among the strongest in manufacturing, and consists of what Piaggio calls ARAS—Superior Rider Help System—based mostly on a complicated 4D imaging radar platform that gives blind-spot and lane-changing warning.

Options like this make Piaggio’s classification of the brand new MP3 530 Unique actually outline what a GT scooter must be. It’s received extra consolation, is sure-footed within the worst situations, and will get strong gasoline economic system. Oh, and you’ll go these adventure-tourers on the surface within the rain.

Piaggio MP3 530 HPE Unique Specs

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MSRP: $11,999
Engine: SOHC, liquid-cooled single; 4 valves
Displacement: 530cc
Bore x Stroke: 97.5 x 71.0mm
Transmission/Last Drive: CVT/belt
Claimed Horsepower: 44.2 hp @ 7,250 rpm
Claimed Torque: 36.9 lb.-ft. @ 5,250 rpm
Gasoline System: Digital gasoline injection
Clutch: Centrifugal dry clutch
Engine Administration/Ignition: Digital w/ inductive exhaust and variable advance built-in within the injection CPU
Body: Double cradle tubular metal
Entrance Suspension: Articulated quadrilateral; electrohydraulic suspension blocking system; 3.3 in. journey
Rear Suspension: Twin fuel shock w/ steady spring preload adjustment; 4.3 in. journey
Entrance Brake: Twin 258mm discs w/ ABS
Rear Brake: 240mm disc w/ ABS
Wheels, Entrance/Rear: Aluminum alloy; 13 x 3.0 in. / 14 x 4.5 in.
Tires, Entrance/Rear: 110/70-13 / 140/70-14
Wheelbase: 61.0 in.
Seat Peak: 31.1 in.
Gasoline Capability: 3.6 gal.
Claimed Moist Weight: 617 lb.
Contact: piaggio.com