I guess I am showing my age - while I would sure like to try one out, it looks strange, and I am not sure I'd want to buy one. Of course Schvetz is such a fine writer that he can make anything sound good. If his assessment is correct, Piaggio should sell them as fast as they can turn them out.
Now we need to have a comparo between the Piaggio and a traditional 3 wheeler. Surely the MO petty cash account could come up with the scratch to get, say, a Morgan 3 wheel with a JAP engine mounted out in the air stream. (OH, are you going to tell me that $50 might be all right, but not the $50,000 that a restored Morgan/JAP would cost..)
Great job Yossef, this is one very interesting machine, as the italian version of the video on the Piaggio website states, this thing is capable of turning at 40 degrees of lean! And the way it does the slalom in the wet as well as doing stopies also in the wet makes it a very promising piece of technological prowess by the italians. It might as well, as you said, be the way to a very capable sport bike, and since they own Aprilia and Moto Guzzi, I would not be surprised if we see something like that in the future. Again, great piece.
This thing looks fantastic. I want to try out the 500cc vertsiion as soon as it is on the market. As an experienced sidehack rider, I find the three wheel concept adds a great deal to the "security" of the ride. But I don't particularly like the inherent imbalance of forces. Piaggio has done a great job of engineering here, the characteristics of a motorcycle and the stabillity of a sidehack in one machine. If it works as good as Yossef says, I think Piaggio could have a hit on their hands. Too bad an American manufacturer could not be as innovative.
File this one under "Because we could build it we did".. I predict that this will die a quick death in the market like that Corbin V-Twin 3 wheeler...3 wheeler is like a hybrid bike (mountain crossed with a road bike) you get the worst of each world not the best.
Oh, that is just bloody effing brilliant! I predict massive popularity, from both the motorcycling and non-motorcycling sides of the fence. And this innovative bit of engineering has been brought from concept to concrete not by the Japanese, but the Italians. Innnnteresting...
3 wheelers which don't lean (eg corbin -> Disaster)
3 wheelers that lean like this don't have the center of gravity problem. This one in particular looks very VERY interesting: 2x the front-end grip of a motorcycle, but motorcycle steering dynamics, and the "its not two wheels, I feel more stable" is a big deal for a lot of the untapped market.
Combined with ~50mpg for a 500cc version and you'll sell it like hotcakes: all the mileage of that Prius, but 1/3rd the price.
I like the idea that you can hit that patch of gravel w/o doing a low-side. I am forever looking ahead at the road for things to avoid; with this setup I can relax and enjoy the scenery. Braking with two wheels up front should also be a lot safer than with a single.
Wonder if Harley will bring out a three wheel soft-tail soon
As always, great job Yossef. Being the scooter geek that I am, I remember seeing the MP3 a while back. Very cool, indeed. I sure hope Piaggio gets their act together here in the states. There's way too many horror stories about lousy dealers, poor support, crummy parts supply, etcetera. I'd love to give the 500 a try.
Nope, since this one really leans and increases stability and the scooter market is HUGE in Europe and some other places, it's likely to be a huge seller. The key will be styling since the scooter crowds tend to be more about looks and storage utility than performance.
Practice some dirt/trail riding on 2-wheels and you'll actually find most gravel patches won't take you down unless your at an extreme lean angle or apex of a curve. That said, I seriously doubt the MP3 will save you in a gravel patch if both tires are in the gravel.
The breaking thing should be cool... again though, most modern bikes break fine (even during extreme breaking) when you apply 'em correctly.
O.K., that thing is pretty darn cool. Best around town machine I ever had was a Honda 125 scooter. $3.00 in gas and I was good for about two weeks. Never got stuck in traffic, never paid for parking, and it was actually fun to ride. I would love to make a home for something like that in my garage.