Piaggio MP3 Yourban

It’s really no surprise that at a time when scooter sales are dipping Piaggio is bucking the trend and selling more.

At the initial launch we had a chance to sample the new trio from Piaggio with the X10 (see November edition) and the Piaggio BV350 (see December edition).

I remember when the first three-wheeler from Piaggio first came out and how much more exciting it got when the bigger 500cc Gilera-badged Fuoco appeared.

I make no attempt to hide the fact that I really liked the Fuoco. My light weight, the bigger 500cc engine and three discs on three wheels gave a whole new meaning to “going into a corner a little too hot.”
So I was a little sad to see the MP3 500 dropped last year but glad at least that the configuration lives on in the new Yourban.

The front suspension and steering system is unchanged from my memory of the early models in as far as it was exactly the same procedure to lock the two front wheels so you can sit at the lights without putting your feet on the ground and then simply hit the deactive button or accelerate through to disengage.

In official language it’s described as “composed of an articulated parallelogram suspension with die-cast aluminium control arms and two side headstocks plus shock absorbers with hydraulic locking system.”

The single cylinder, four-stroke liquid cooled engine is the familiar 278cc Qasar engine and the thought struck me that perhaps the next iteration of this model should have the 350 new cutting edge engine out of the BV350 which I rode at the same launch.

In fact a good many comments were made relating to the new engine appearing in more Piaggio’s in the future.

The Yourban weighs in 20kg lighter than the MP3 with a kerb weight of 212kg and the front wheels are up one inch to 13inches while the rear remains at 14. Rims are light alloy.

The power output is infinitessimally higher at 16.6kW at 7500rpm instead of the older model’s 16.5kW at 7500rpm. Like the other models you’ll find the power delivered via a CVT transmission unit.

The frame is tubular with sheet steel and most of the weight saving for this model has come from the frame.

Perhaps the biggest change in the heart of this Piaggio is the 32mm Marelli integrated ECU and throttle body which is a departure from the previous fly by wire set-up.

The rear suspension comprises two double-acting shock absorbers with four preload adjustments and it handles quite well in both city traffic and also out beyond the ‘burbs.
I’m sure the bigger front tyres improve the ride as well.

The fuel tanks holds 11 litres and you would expect it to be pretty frugal in the consumption stakes.
The brakes are quite adequate with three 240mm discs on hand to get you out of those hot corners.

Our launch venue on the NSW North Coast saw us cover everything from towns, coast and hinterland to get a feel for what the three models could handle.

This model doesn’t come with ABS or traction control but with two wheels up front and three discs all round, is it really necessary?

There are all the other features you’d expect to find like a park brake and an engine immobiliser and nice clear instrumentation that includes things like voltage, ambient temperature, clock as well as all the regular warning lights you’d expect to see.¬†Of course there’s heaps of underseat storage.

It’s a quality machine so, obviously, they’re not giving them away. You can expect to pay $9,990 plus on-road costs and that comes with 24 month warranty.

The fun you’ll have riding it comes free!

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