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2012 Piaggio Mp3 Touring LT 500 I.E. Review
2012 Piaggio Mp3 Touring LT 500 I.E.
Levels of safety and roadholding that would be impossible with a two-wheeler, matched with power and verve delivering pure fun and maximum riding enjoyment: these are the unbeatable characteristics that have made the Mp3 such a brilliant success.
The arrival of the Mp3 Touring brings completely revised looks and functionality to the most “classic” version of Piaggio’s three-wheeler, while broadening its appeal with the addition of an all new 500cc variant offered in “Sport” and “Business” spec levels.
The new Mp3 Touring is also available as the LT version, which may be ridden by holders of a normal passenger car license.
The technically revolutionary three-wheel layout with two front wheels is the basis of the extraordinary success of the Mp3, a scooter unlike anything else in the world which, with its innovative design with two independently sprung and tilting wheels redefined the very concept of dynamic stability.
This winning formula – as proven by over 100,000 Mp3 scooters sold worldwide – has, over the years, spawned a multitude of different versions and spec levels to cater for the needs of every possible user. These include the Mp3 Hybrid, the world’s first scooter with parallel hybrid drive and plug-in technology, and the Mp3 Yourban, which offers the exceptional stability and safety of the Mp3 in a vehicle conceived for urban use and simplicity.
The Mp3 Touring brings completely revised looks and functionality to the most “classic” version of Mp3 while retaining the exceptional comfort, space and load capacity that have made the scooter a firm favourite for thousands of users all over the world.
There is also a new and more extensive choice of engines: the new Mp3 Touring is available with the classic 125, 300 and 400 engine sizes, which are now joined by an all-new 500cc version offered in “Sport” and “Business” spec levels.
2012 Piaggio Mp3 Touring LT 500 I.E. Model Highlights
The evolved styling of the new Mp3 Touring is immediately evident at first glance. While retaining a distinct resemblance with the rest of the Mp3 family, the new Touring boasts a new honeycomb front grille and a satin-finish centre moulding in the front shield.
The design of the windscreen is also completely new and offers even more protection than before. The new windscreen is adjustable, with three different settings: the gap between the top fairing and the windscreen splits the air flow into two parts, directed over and under the windscreen itself to eliminate turbulence at mid and high speeds.
The new design of the top fairing has also freed up space for a practical storage pocket with three compartments under the windscreen.
Other new features are the hand grips, with improved grip and ergonomics, the silver colour finish of the wheels, and the saddle, which is now upholstered with new materials and enhanced with relief stitching. The Touring retains the same class-beating features of the Mp3 in terms of comfort and functionality, such as the large, ergonomic rear grab handle with integrated backrest, and the luggage compartment, accessible from under the saddle and from the rear hatch, with a record-breaking 65 litres of load capacity and the ability to accommodate objects up to 1 metre in length!
Touring 500ie: Mp3 to the Nth power
Mp3 Touring 500ie has been created to cater for the user looking for a vehicle offering superlative performance without sacrificing the elegance, comfort and unparalleled standards of active safety typical of the Mp3.
Powered by a high-performance 500ie engine with twin-spark ignition, the Mp3 500 delivers class-beating performance and is offered in two different spec levels: “Sport” and “Business”.
Mp3 Touring 500ie “Sport” offers all the new technological and functional features of the Touring range, but enhanced with a number of race-inspired details, such as aluminium footpegs, silver saddle stitching and sleeker, more aerodynamic rear view mirrors which, together with the dedicated Matt Grey colour scheme and the aggressive black finish of the wheels, the grab handle, the exhaust heat shield and the headlight tub, emphasise the sporty character of this variant.
For those looking for performance but with more restrained, elegant looks, there is the Mp3 Touring 500 in the exclusive “Business” spec level, offered in the dedicated Perla White, Perseo Bronze and Orione Grey colour schemes – which come with a brown saddle and matching trim for the passenger grab handle, and with a chrome finish for the exhaust heat shield – or in sophisticated Cosmo Black with a black saddle. This variant also boasts all the new features of the Touring family.
The Mp3 Touring 500 boasts a 492 cc liquid cooled 4-stroke powerplant with twin-spark ignition, 4 valves and electronic fuel injection, producing 40 hp at 7,250 rpm and a maximum torque of 44 Nm at 5,500 rpm. The introduction of a twin spark plug system optimises combustion in the cylinder, reducing both noise and exhaust emissions. The result is a flexible, high performance engine with plenty of low and mid range torque, giving the Mp3 Touring 500ie a top speed approaching 145 Km/h, with total respect for the environment ensured by the advanced “closed loop” injection system with an oxygen sensor and a three-way catalytic converter.
Riding the Piaggio MP3 is an experience that revolutionises the very concept of mobility, with the dual wheeled front suspension system ensuring levels of stability in curves far superior to any normal scooter. At speed, and even when riding behind other vehicles, the Piaggio MP3 Touring stays glued to the road and always delivers maximum performance in total safety. The benefits of the three wheel revolution can be felt particularly on wet roads and in other riding conditions that are critical for conventional two-wheelers.
On city and urban streets, Piaggio MP3 is unrivalled in terms of safety: cobblestones, poor surfaces, tramlines and manhole covers are dispatched with previously unattainable ease and stability.
Measuring no more than a maxi scooter and boasting incredible agility, the Piaggio MP3 Touring is completely at home in the city centre. It is also remarkably easy to park, as the electrohydraulic front suspension hold system keeps the vehicle upright without using the stand.
The revolutionary Piaggio MP3 boasts incredibly short braking distances unmatched by anything else in the scooter world: the powerful triple disc brake system and the incredible grip of the front end ensure stopping distances 20% shorter than the best performing scooter in critical grip conditions.
When the road leaves the town behind, the Piaggio MP3 really shows what it is made of. Road holding, cornering safety and lean angle unattainable for conventional scooters guarantee immense riding satisfaction on fast country roads.
LT: The MP3 for everyone
All engine variants of the Piaggio Mp3 Touring above 125 cc are also available as LT versions. These versions comply with requisites for a specific type approval class, making the Mp3 the world’s only scooter which may be ridden by holders of a standard passenger car license.
The Mp3 Touring LT differs from other variants in a number of modifications necessary for specific type approval, such as a front track widened to 465 mm, motorcycle-type turn indicators, a daylight running light integrated in the lower part of the leg shield and integral braking, allowing both the front and rear brakes to be applied simultaneously on the Mp3 Touring LT from an additional brake pedal on the footrest.
The “Sport” spec level of the Mp3 Touring 500 is available in aggressive Matt Grey, while the “Business” variant is offered in the elegant Perseo Bronze, Perla White and Orione Grey colours with a brown saddle, or in Cosmo Black with a black saddle.
2012 Piaggio Mp3 Touring LT 500 I.E. – International Specifications/Technical Details
MSRP Price: TBA
Engine Master single cylinder with dual ignition, 4 stroke, 4 valves, electronic injection
Engine capacity 493 cu cm
Bore x stroke 94 mm / 71 mm
Power 40.1 hp at 7,250 rpm
Torque 46.5 Nm at 5,250 rpm
Valve timing system Single overhead camshaft (SOHC) – 4 valves
Fuel system: Electronic injection
Lubrication Wet sump
Transmission CVT with torque server
Clutch Automatic, centrifugal dry clutch
Frame Double cradle in high strength tubular steel
Front Suspension Articulated quadrilateral consisting of four aluminium arms sustaining two steering tubes, and pull rod suspension geometry with offset wheel axle – Wheel travel: 85 mm
Rear suspension Double dual action hydraulic shock absorber with adjustable spring preload – Stroke: 110 mm
Front brake Two 240 mm discs
Rear brake 240 mm Ã˜ disc
Front wheel rim Aluminium alloy 12″ x 3.00
Rear wheel rim Aluminium alloy 14″ x 4.50
Front tyre Tubeless 120/70-12″
Rear tyre Tubeless 140/70-14”
Length/Width 2,180 mm / 760 mm
Wheelbase 1,550 mm
Seat height 785 mm
Fuel tank capacity 12 litres (including 1.8 litre reserve)
Emissions compliance EURO 3 (EURO 2)
2012 Piaggio Mp3 Touring LT 500 I.E. – US Specifications/Technical Details
USA MSRP Price: $TBA USD
See international specifications listed above.
2012 Piaggio Mp3 Touring LT 500 I.E. – Canada Specifications/Technical Details
Canadian MSRP Price: $TBA CDN
See international specifications listed above.