Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Piaggio MP3 is a tilting three-wheeled scooter

The Piaggio MP3 is a tilting three-wheeled scooter from the Italian manufacturer Piaggio. It was first brought to market in 2006. It has two wheels in the front and one at the rear.

Because of its unique three-wheel mechanism, it can be brought to a stop and parked like a car, without using a traditional kickstand or centre stand. The front suspension is similar to the single-sided trailing arm of Vespa-style suspensions, linked by an alloy parallelogram and a central steering arm. Care must be taken when the vehicle is stationary as the suspension rolllock is disengaged when the engine speed exceeds 2,500 rpm. When moving at slow speeds or stopped, the rider must maintain balance through forward motion or with feet on the ground. The front suspension locks or unlocks with the flick of a switch, located just below the throttle on the right handlebar. The suspension lock can be activated only manually, and only at low speeds or at a stop. A parking brake is used in conjunction with the locking mechanism to park the bike. A traditional center stand also is provided, useful in situations where the suspension cannot be locked, such as with a dead battery.

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