PIAGGIO MP3 400 (2008 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £150
Power: 34 bhp
Seat height: Medium (30.9 in / 784 mm)
Weight: High (538 lbs / 244 kg)

Prices

New £5,349
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.  

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

£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.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Specs

Engine size 398cc
Engine type 4v liquid-cooled single cylinder four-stroke, constantly variable transmission
Frame type Twin tubular steel cradle
Fuel capacity 12 litres
Seat height 784mm
Bike weight 244kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension None
Front brake 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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 46 mpg
Annual road tax £44
Annual service cost £150
New price £5,349
Used price -
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 34 bhp
Max torque 27.3 ft-lb
Top speed 95 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 147 miles

Model history & versions

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.

Owners' reviews for the PIAGGIO MP3 400 (2008 - on)

2 owners have reviewed their PIAGGIO MP3 400 (2008 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your PIAGGIO MP3 400 (2008 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Equipment: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £150
4 out of 5
31 May 2020 by Kimo

Year: 2009

Comfortable bike

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 Good commuter / Light Tourer
25 October 2019 by Nemesis101

Year: 2009

Annual servicing cost: £150

Great commuter or light tourer. Suspension not exactly 'cushioning' but VERY stable.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Suspension a bit harsh, brakes excellent (even without ABS which later models have)

Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Some 'soft' plastics but generally fit and finish fine

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: Fine. Purchased used in 2018 for $2k

Back to top