A Three-Wheel Maxi-Scooter With Reverse Gear, No Kidding

Piaggio Group continues to expand its Delta-scooter program with an all-new High Performance Engine that falls in the 500 cc range to bring even more power and fuel economy to the MP3 family. The MP3 Sport 500 hpe boasts top-shelf shocks and front brakes along with four distinct and dedicated paint and trim packages, but the real gem here is the “Sport Advanced” model that adds even more value with LED tech and even a reverse gear. Of course, all of this is on top of its general design that is already a shot of Pure-D awesomesauce that puts it in a league almost all its own.

  • 2019 Piaggio MP3 Sport 500 hpe
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    493 cc
  • Top Speed:
    89 mph
  • Price:
    9199
  • Price:

2019 Piaggio MP3 Sport 500 hpe Design

Your phone becomes part of the electronics through the miracle of Bluetooth connectivity with an app that turns your phone into a ride computer.

The “Sport” leads off with its unusually wide front end that houses the stroke of genius that is the leaning front suspension system. An automotive-style, blackout grille dresses up the visage with the brand badge for a splash of color under large, eye-like headlights that dominate the head-on design.

Up top, a smoked windscreen parts the wind like Moses parted the Red Sea for the pilot’s comfort with a large vent that relieves the vacuum behind the glass and prevents the wearisome head-buffet effect. I gotta’ say, the factory missed an opportunity to clean up the front end when it decided to use standoff LED turn signals instead of integrating them with the mirrors, but what are you going to do? It is what it is.

The broad front end contains wheel wells that are necessarily tall to allow for the suspension travel and lean-tastic hardware that makes the magic happen. From that point back, the rest of the machine is very like unto the general scooterdom following a rather well-established pattern.

Behind the glass, a generous hood shades the two round gauges and digital display that make up the instrument cluster and gives it a little more protection from the weather, though of course, all bets are off if you get caught out in some of that sideways rain. An enclosed handlebar dresses up the hand-control area quite nicely, and just below in the inner legguard area you’ll find a pair of kneepads in the same upholstery as the saddle that will give you some protection in the event of a catastrophic halt without benefit of brakes. Oh yeah, plus there’s a compartment complete with USB port to charge your smartphone on the run and a retractable cargo hook behind the steering column that kinda make up for the lack of ’tween-feet storage caused by the tall, sloped tunnel section in the step-through.

Your phone becomes part of the electronics through the miracle of Bluetooth connectivity with an app that turns your phone into a ride computer. The heavily sculpted saddle has a new foam core for added long-term comfort, and as you’d expect, it pops open to reveal a secure storage area capable of holding a pair of full-face buckets, decent amount of schoolbooks or passel of groceries. It boasts a mat to protect your gear, and comes with a courtesy light for ease of use in low-light situations.

Not only does the pilot enjoy a lumbar support that doubles as stadium pillion seating, but the passenger benefits from a short butt-stop that is sure to engender a feeling of confidence in your riding partner. A set of flip-up footrests and large J.C. handles finish out the passenger’s amenities over a classy-looking ass end that mounts recessed lights with a short mudguard/tagholder to wrap things up.

2019 Piaggio MP3 Sport 500 hpe Chassis

2019 Piaggio MP3 Sport 500 hpe
- image 828941
The dual contact patches up front give it uncommon tracking in the corners, a feature that endeared earlier versions to the hearts of riders who live in cities old enough to have cobblestone streets.

The parallelogram articulation for the front wheels is the main selling point here. Not only does it deliver a stability and ease-of-use that is unheard of in the two-wheeled sector, but it maintains the sensation of flight by banking in the corners just like a bike. Additionally, the dual contact patches up front give it uncommon tracking in the corners, a feature that endeared earlier versions to the hearts of riders who live in cities old enough to have cobblestone streets in general, and those in Paris in particular.

Cast aluminum rims mount a tubeless 140/70-14 out back with a pair of 110/70-13 hoops to lead the way. Coil-over shocks float the rear end and dampen the motion of the swing-mount drive with adjustable spring preload, but the front suspension looks to have fixed values. Tubular-steel members make up the double-cradle frame, and you can pencil me in as a fan ’cause I prefer that method over the stressed-skin monocoque structures.

Petal-cut, 258 mm brake discs haul down the front wheels, and a 240 mm disc takes care of business out back with hydraulic calipers and ABS protection all around. This ride should be considered in the same league as other maxi-scoots, and it isn’t what you’d call a “small machine” at 31.5-inches wide and 60.6 inches between contact-patch centers.

Frame: Double cradle in high strength tubular steel
Front suspension: Articulated quadrilateral - Stroke: 3.3 in (85 mm). Electro-hydraulic suspension blocking system
Rear suspension: Double hydraulic shock absorber with four-position spring pre-load adjustment (double gas shock with continuous spring pre-load adjustment on the Sport and Sport Advanced versions) - Stroke: 4.3 in (108 mm)
Front brakes: Dual 258 mm discs
Rear brake: 240 mm disc
Front wheel rims: Aluminum alloy 13" x 3.00
Rear wheel rim: Aluminum alloy 14" x 4.50
Braking system: ABS with braking integrated with the pedal
Front tires: Tubeless 110/70-13”
Rear tire: Tubeless 140/70-14’’

2019 Piaggio MP3 Sport 500 hpe Drivetrain

2019 Piaggio MP3 Sport 500 hpe
- image 828948
With a 14-percent increase in performance over the previous gen, it opens up the Sport as a viable commuter, no matter where you drive in the urban jungle.

Piaggio built a brand-new, liquid-cooled plant to power its newest line of MP3 500 units. It packs in a four-stroke thumper that rocks a 94 mm bore and 71 mm stroke for a grand total of 493 cc, and uses a single over-head cam to time and actuate the four-poppet valvetrain with roller tappets for reduced wear. Dual spark plugs ensure positive ignition, and for safety, an immobilizer disables the fuel delivery if the lean angle exceeds normal operation. That ain’t the only safety feature either; a traction control feature (ASR) joins the immobilizer and ABS to complete the package.

Ride-by-Wire throttle control rounds out the electronics with a pair of performance profiles — Standard and Economy — so you can dial in the performance you want. As for said performance, the factory claims 44.2 horsepower at 7,750 rpm and 35 pound-feet of torque at 5,500 rpm for an approximate top speed of 89 mph. Yeah, that’s plenty of juice if you want to hit the interstate, and it opens up the Sport as a viable commuter, no matter where you drive in the urban jungle. This is something on the order of a 14-percent increase over the previous “500,” and it meets Euro 4 emissions requirements so it should be legal everywhere in the States, even in hard-to-please California.

Power flows through a continuously-variable transmission, which is the norm for scooters in general, and it delivers twist-and-go operation for the effortless riding that the masses love so much.

Engine: MASTER hpe single-cylinder, 4 stroke
Displacement: 493 cc
Bore x Stroke: 94 mm x 71 mm
Power: 44.2 hp (32.5 kW) @ 7,750 rpm
Torque: 35 lb-ft (47.5 Nm) @ 5,500 rpm
Distribution: Single overhead cam shaft (SOHC) with 4 valves and roller tappets
Fuel system: Electronic injection
Ignition: Electronic with inductive exhaust and variable advance integrated in the injection CPU. Closed loop system with Lambda probe for the exhaust. Electronic immobilizer, block of injection pump when the vehicle is tilted. Twin spark ignition. Dual map for throttle valve management (STD and ECO). Traction control (ASR)
Cooling: Liquid
Lubrication: Wet sump
Starter: Electric
Transmission: CVT continuously variable transmission with torque server (reverse gear on the Sport Advanced version
Clutch: Automatic, centrifugal dry clutch

2019 Piaggio MP3 Sport 500 hpe Sport Advanced

2019 Piaggio MP3 Sport 500 hpe
- image 828952
In a scooter first, the Advanced comes standard with a reverse feature that makes maneuvering around the parking lot a breeze.

The “SA” version adds a couple of tasty tidbits like LED DRL headlights for added safety and visibility, and in a scooter first, a reverse feature that makes maneuvering around the parking lot a breeze.

2019 Piaggio MP3 Sport 500 hpe Pricing

2019 Piaggio MP3 Sport 500 hpe
- image 828932
MSRP on the Advanced is still TBA as of this writing, but the MP3 Sport 500 hpe rolls for $9.2k.

The 2019 MP3 Sport 500 hpe rolls in black, Glossy Gray or Matte Green for $9,199. At the time of this writing, the Sport Advanced price is still up in the air, but I feel confident calling it no more than a grand higher than the base Sport.

Color: Matte Carbon Black, Matte Green, White, Grey (Advanced: Matte Grey, Matte Gold, Matte Blue)
Price: $9,199 (Advanced: TBA)

2019 Piaggio MP3 Sport 500 hpe Competitors

2019 Can-Am Ryker
- image 795082
2019 Yamaha Niken GT
- image 806060
The MP3 opens up riding to people who want/need that extra traction and stability, and it's definitely a comfort knowing that you can't drop the thing.

Right now, Piaggio enjoys something of a monopoly on this particular combination of genre, displacement and cool leaning technology. Sure, there are larger Delta trikes such as the Spyders and Ryker from Can-Am or the Nikken from Yamaha, but that would be like comparing chalk to cheese for reasons of power, price and handling. Yeah, the Can-Ams corner like they’re on rails, but they don’t lean, and that’s a large part of the charm of the MP3 family. The Nikken leans, but is way above this class. Bottom line, the MP3 opens up riding to people who want/need that extra traction and stability, and it’s definitely a comfort knowing that you can’t drop the thing.

He Said

“I like it! Would I ride it? Probably not, at least not until I reach a point where I can’t hold a two-wheeler up any more. But, that’s just me. This ride is a shoe-in for folks who want something more in their scootering experience, and the extra safety is undeniable. Oh, and that top speed just opens up all sorts of commuter possibilities, so I’m giving this ride two thumbs up.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “My husband can be such a noodge sometimes. Would I ride it? Hell yeah, like I stole it! Piaggio is really filling out the MP3 stable, adding this to the MP3 500 hpe Business and the new 350 cc version that replaces the MP3 300.”

2019 Piaggio MP3 Sport 500 hpe Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: MASTER hpe single-cylinder, 4 stroke
Displacement: 493 cc
Bore x Stroke: 94 mm x 71 mm
Power: 44.2 hp (32.5 kW) @ 7,750 rpm
Torque: 35 lb-ft (47.5 Nm) @ 5,500 rpm
Distribution: Single overhead cam shaft (SOHC) with 4 valves and roller tappets
Fuel system: Electronic injection
Ignition: Electronic with inductive exhaust and variable advance integrated in the injection CPU. Closed loop system with Lambda probe for the exhaust. Electronic immobilizer, block of injection pump when the vehicle is tilted. Twin spark ignition. Dual map for throttle valve management (STD and ECO). Traction control (ASR)
Cooling: Liquid
Lubrication: Wet sump
Starter: Electric
Transmission: CVT continuously variable transmission with torque server (reverse gear on the Sport Advanced version
Clutch: Automatic, centrifugal dry clutch
Chassis:
Frame: Double cradle in high strength tubular steel
Front suspension: Articulated quadrilateral - Stroke: 3.3 in (85 mm). Electro-hydraulic suspension blocking system
Rear suspension: Double hydraulic shock absorber with four-position spring pre-load adjustment (double gas shock with continuous spring pre-load adjustment on the Sport and Sport Advanced versions) - Stroke: 4.3 in (108 mm)
Front brakes: Dual 258 mm discs
Rear brake: 240 mm disc
Front wheel rims: Aluminum alloy 13" x 3.00
Rear wheel rim: Aluminum alloy 14" x 4.50
Braking system: ABS with braking integrated with the pedal
Front tires: Tubeless 110/70-13”
Rear tire: Tubeless 140/70-14’’
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length/Width: 86.6 in / 31.5 in (2,200 mm / 800 mm)
Wheelbase: 60.6 in (1,540 mm)
Saddle height: 31.1 in (790 mm)
Fuel tank capacity: 3.2 gals, including 0.48 gal reserve (12 liters, including 1.8 liter reserve)
Fuel Economy (WMTC cycle): 48.8 mpg (4 l/100 km)
Top Speed: 89 mph (est)
Details:
Color: Matte Carbon Black, Matte Green, White, Grey (Advanced: Matte Grey, Matte Gold, Matte Blue)
Price: $9,199 (Advanced: TBA)

Further Reading

Yamaha Nikken

2019 Yamaha Niken GT
- image 806063

See our review of the Yamaha Nikken.

Can-Am Spyder F3 / F3-S

2018 - 2019 Can-Am Spyder F3 / F3-S
- image 771846

See our review of the Can Am Spyder F3 / F3-S.

Can-Am Ryker

2019 Can-Am Ryker
- image 795076

See our review of the Can-Am Ryker.

Yamaha Tricity

2015 Yamaha Tricity High Resolution
- image 625882

See our review of the Yamaha Tricity.

Piaggio MP3 500 hpe Business

2018 Piaggio MP3 500 HPE Business
- image 785551

See our review of the Piaggio MP3 500 hpe Business.

Piaggio MP3 350

2018 Piaggio MP3 350
- image 783656

See our review of the Piaggio MP3 350.

Piaggio

ALLYN IMAGES - DO NOT DELETE
- image 828957

Read more Piaggio news.

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