Piaggio MP3 500/530 HPE: The Trike Scooter

Introduction

People love the Piaggio MP3 530 HPE because it has a one-of-a-kind, innovative design. Piaggio and Marabese Design worked together to make the parallelogram turning front end. It has a 530cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder (SOHC) engine that uses Piaggio’s High-Performance Engine Technology to power it. It still meets Euro 5 standards and makes 44.2hp at 7,250rpm. It also has more power than the old 500 HPE unit.

The Piaggio MP3 530 HPE has many features, such as cruise control, a locking system that comes standard, and a display feed on a new 7″ TFT screen from a rear camera when the bike is in reverse mode. The rider can choose between three engine maps: Comfort, Eco, and Sport.

Pros

  • The suspension can be adjusted and locked in place.

Cons

  • Its 573-pound weight is noticeable.
  • The lights aren’t all LEDs.

Piaggio MP3 530: HPE First Ride Only

In November 2014, it’s a cold, typical German day in Berlin. We’re riding the brand-new, cutting-edge Piaggio MP3 500 on Unter den Linden, the city’s beautiful east-west stone-paved street. The road is shiny from the rain and snow, and the smooth, wet surface doesn’t look like it will give you much grip… But the amazing Piaggio three-wheeler gives you a very solid, accurate reaction and feedback when you tilt the wheels. A brave Berliner is riding his BMW R1100GS smoothly and quickly off in the distance. On the wet, slick road, it only takes two roundabouts to catch up to him and pass him on the outside. That’s how safe the MP3 500 feels.

The MP3 first came out in 2006 as a 250, which was Piaggio’s biggest engine at the time. It’s true that the machine (is a three-wheeler really a “bike”? A “trike” doesn’t seem right in this situation either. It was definitely underpowered for its size and weight. It was a complete revolution, with independent front suspension(s) connected to a steering system that let the two front wheels tilt into turns. The camber, caster, and toe of the double-arm leading-link front suspension were all fixed. It felt very precise going straight on and tracked very accurately when leaning into turns.

Others have tried to make a leaning three-wheeler, but the MP3 from Piaggio is the best one yet.

1. The MP3 changes the rules

From the start, the MP3 gave riders, even those who had never been on a bike before, a lot of trust. Simply put, it completely changed the rules for scooter safety, making the slim urban commuter class available to people who normally drive cars with soft seats and would never ride anything that needed to be leaned around bends.

The public’s reaction has been different in each area, with France by far the most positive. The MP3 became very popular in France when paparazzi caught Francois Hollande, who was president at the time, sneaking out of his official residence on a Piaggio MP3 to meet up with his secret girlfriend. Given how badly the streets in Paris were paved, this was a smart choice for transportation.

2. Changes to your style and more

The top-of-the-line MP3 players have been fully redesigned and improved for 2023. They now come in two versions: the great 400 HPE/HPE Sport and the new 530 HPE Exclusive, which we tested. The main difference between the two is their electronic kits. Other than that, they look and feel pretty much the same. In the US, you can only get the 530 type.

For better rider comfort, especially when two people are riding together, the 2023 MP3 changes in size. The wheelbase has slightly grown to 61.0 inches, but the handlebar has been moved 10 mm up and 10 mm back to make it easier to reach. The floors have also been lowered 20 mm. All of this leads to a more relaxed riding position that fits with the new goal of the top model. Medium-range touring is now possible in addition to the usual city travel, thanks to their more powerful engines and safer front bodywork and windshields. At that point, there is also a new seat that is longer and has better contours to make it more comfortable for a guest.

  • The MP3 is very weatherproof, in part because of its wide body, which is made possible by its unique front suspension.
  • The MP3 is very weatherproof, in part because of its wide body, which is made possible by its unique front suspension.
  • The radiator has been moved lower and closer to the front wheels to make the front end more responsive.
  • That meant the artists could change the front leg shield in any way they wanted, making it more aerodynamic and more aggressive-looking, though this rider thought it was a bit too aggressive.

The front suspension parts that tilt are more physically rigid, which is a good thing since the two power units produce more power and torque. The SOHC four-valve single-cylinder 400 HPE (High Performance Engine) is cooled by liquid. It is based on the 350 HPE, which is thought to be one of the most polished engines in its class. The engine still delivers a claimed 35.5 hp at 7,500 rpm and 27.8 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 5,750 rpm, even though it has a bigger displacement. It is also very reliable and performs well.

3. Updates to the engine

The 2023 engine went through a lot of changes that made it more efficient while keeping its power and torque levels and meeting the stricter Euro 5 emissions standards. A longer but lighter connecting rod is especially important: The secondary instability that comes with a four-stroke single engine can be fixed by making the stoke-to-con-rod length ratio better. This makes the engine run more smoothly. Piaggio engineers also “cleaned” the shape of the combustion chamber to make the combustion process even more efficient. The Piaggio R&D team came up with a unique positive crankcase ventilation system that almost completely cancels out crankcase pumping losses.

  • The 400 engine is small and light for its class, and it comes with a very high-tech CVT drive. Instead of the rotating dry clutch that most CVTs use, this one has a multi-disc clutch that works in an oil bath. It makes the whole thing go much more smoothly.
  • The MP3 is also a good fit for the GT scooter idea, and it has great storage built right under the seat.
  • The MP3 is also a good fit for the GT scooter idea, and it has great storage built right under the seat.A Piaggio
  • The top-of-the-line 530 HPE engine came from the well-known 500 HPE engine, which was made bigger from 493cc to 530cc. Even though this isn’t a brand-new engine, the most recent version is better than the last one. The shape is from the last generation, and it’s not as light or small as the 400 HPE. The extra cubes come from the bore getting bigger (from 94mm to a huge 97.5mm), but the stroke staying the same at 71mm.
  • The displacement bump was made so that the engine can make as much power as the old 493cc unit while still meeting Euro 5 emission standards. The engine now makes 44.2 hp at 7,250 rpm, while the old 493cc engine had to work harder to make the same amount of power,
  • Which it did at 7,750 rpm. But the extra displacement has paid off in terms of peak power, which has gone up from 35 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm to 36.8 lb-ft at 5,250 rpm.

This liquid-cooled SOHC four-valve single engine has a more improved combustion chamber, just like the smaller engine. It also has a bigger catalytic converter and a new, more powerful ECU. There is still a centrifugal dry clutch in this form of the CVT transmission, but there is also a reverse gear. On the new 7-inch TFT instrumentation screen, there is now a camera that lets you see clearly what is behind. This makes backward operations safer or for people who don’t want to turn their head and look back.

4. Putting the MP3 to the Test

Late November and early December in Lombardy are great times to enjoy the extra safety features that the Piaggio MP3 chassis offers, just like that first ride in Berlin. In other words, the weather here is terrible. It’s just above freezing outside, and there’s a thick fog that makes the roads slippery with condensation. The Piaggio MP3 530 HPE Exclusive we tested came in full trim and with heated grips, which is a nice feature this time of year. However, the fairing shape means that even at 41 degrees Fahrenheit, you only need a pair of lightly padded gloves.

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