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Piaggio MP3 400 Scooter Motorbike Review

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Piaggio MP3 400
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The largest incarnation of the Piaggio MP3 retains the same reassuring all-weather grip and stability afforded by the third wheel, but with more power for motorway cruising. It’s no Goldwing, but if your daily commute mixes town work with high-speed open roads, this could be the motorcycle you’re looking for.


MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 0

As with all twist-and-go engines, the MP3’s 400cc single has flat and featureless power, but it picks up quickly away from traffic lights and cruises happily at 70-80mph. Flat out, you’ll just about see 100mph on the clock, which is likely to be a real 90mph. It’s never going to the thrill you, but it’s got enough power for every situation you’ll realistically put it in.  

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 0

Like smaller MP3s, the 400 has unflappable stability and grip. It clatters through potholes due to having crude suspension, but it never changes course or loses grip. To crash it you’d have to ride it far to hard in to a corner and understeer it off the road – for normal riding the wheels grip tenaciously. Even if they do slip on diesel for a moment, they quickly refind grip before you have chance to crash. Ground clearance is limited by the centre stand and exhaust though, which stick quite far out to clear the wide engine.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 0

The dash gives a comprehensive selection of information, there’s a vast amount of underseat storage, a pillion seat big enough for two medium sized adults and a protective fairing. New for 2009 is a sensor in the seat which won’t allow the bike to move forward or disengage the suspension lock without someone sitting in the saddle – previously it was possible to send the bike flying forward riderless by opening the throttle accidentally. Compare and buy parts and gear for the MP3 in the MCN Shop.

Piaggio MP3 400 (2008-current)

Detail Value
New price £5,349
Used price range View Piaggio MP3 400 bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 398 cc
Power 34 bhp
Top speed 95 mph
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 0
Engine rating is 3 rating is 0
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 0
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 0
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 0
Value rating is 3 rating is 0

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 0

Piaggios suffer if they’re not looked after – the engine, exhaust and suspension riders corrode at the hands of owners expecting the enclosed machines to survive like a car. Reliability seems OK, but Piaggio machinery in general can be subject to occasional foibles typical of any Italian machine.


MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 0

£5349 is a lot of money for a bike that’s only really useful for commuting, but if you’re serious about commuting and only need it as a form of transport, the safety and practicality of the MP3 makes it seriously worth considering – especially given that the 400 will cruise on a motorway happily enough. Find a Piaggio MP3 400 for sale.


Insurance group: n/a

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Model History

2008: New model, using a modified version of the 250 chassis with a larger engine.
2009: New colours, plus sensor in the seat to prevent bike moving without a rider on board.

Other Versions

Piaggio MP3 250ie – Same principle as the 400, but cheaper with a less powerful engine. Will handle A-road and dual carriageway riding, but longer high-speed rides are cruel to the town-orientated engine.
Piaggio MP3 125ie – The learner legal MP3 variant offers safe handling and grip for first time riders, but is sluggish due to the modest power output trying to propel the heavy dual front wheels and suspension mechanism. Worth a look as a first bike, but be aware it still needs some confidence and strength to handle it and a standstill or low speed until you get the hang of locking the suspension.


Top speed 95 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 34 bhp
Max torque 27.3 ft-lb
Weight 244 kg
Seat height 784 mm
Fuel capacity 12 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group of 17
Engine size 398 cc
Engine specification 4v liquid-cooled single cylinder four-stroke, constantly variable transmission
Frame Twin tubular steel cradle
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment None
Front brakes 2x 240mm disc, twin-piston floating calipers
Rear brake 240mm disc, twin opposed-piston calliper with cable-actuated parking brake
Front tyre size 120/70-12
Rear tyre size 140/70-12

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 0(0 reviews)

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