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Written by Del Fuego    Monday, 07 April 2008 17:10     E-mail
Piaggio MP3 400ie - Page 2
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However there are rather a lot of similarities between these two apparently unrelated vehicles. They are both Italian for a start, they both have an engine and they both are somewhat specialized in the way they achieve the aim of going from one place to another. The most important and initially perhaps less obvious way they are similar is the fact that they both have a magnetic personality… or to be more blunt; they get a LOT of attention. And everyone knows that the only reason a man (94% of Ferrari’s customers are men) will buy a Ferrari is to get noticed, I could have said get “laid”, but that would be impolite … childhood dreams aside, that is their only real purpose. So why spend hundreds of thousands of dollars when for a 100th the price you can attract as much attention as setting yourself aflame and running down the high street, without the pain inconvenience of 3rd degree burns.

I couldn’t actually believe it, I couldn’t park or even stop without at least a few people meandering over to have a chat… “what is that bloody thing?” “why has it got the training wheels at the front?” “how the hell does it work?” If you like to make friends and influence people just buy an MP3.

So how is it then? Well very similar to the 250 we tested earlier really. Piaggio have made some refinements to the MP3 by adding a more powerful engine, unfortunately they have also loaded on rather a bit more weight… and I thought the 250cc version was a bit of a tank. You get the usual high Piaggio build quality, along with more acceleration and noticeably better highway performance. The MP3 400 has a larger rear wheel than its 250cc sibling, which improves yet again on the already hugely stable 250. Most of the time I spent with the 400 was in torrential rain and slippery roads and it inspired great confidence…it was forgiving in a way a two-wheeled device would not be. I made the mistake of accelerating way too hard on a very slippery piece of tarmac, the rear wheel spun and stepped to the left however with the very stable front set-up on this bike a small amount of counter steer quickly rectified what could have been a costly error on a conventional bike.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 August 2008 15:11 )


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