- The cannibal family
- With the arrival of the MP3 300 LT, Piaggio is confusing a little the cards of its family of three-wheeled scooters. Especially since the 300 is only displayed 700 € less than the 400. Mystery…
- 20 km / h more or less
- Similar consumption
- Lighter in weight as in torque
- Hybrid in July
The cannibal family
With the arrival of the MP3 300 LT, Piaggio is confusing a little the cards of its family of three-wheeled scooters. Especially since the 300 is only displayed 700 € less than the 400. Mystery…
It is certain, with the new 300 MP3 LT, Piaggio has given up on the 250 cm3 which staged the family of its three-wheeled scooters, from 125 cm3 to 400, even 500 cm3 to go to another brand of the group. , Gilera.
Increased to 278 cm3 (and € 7.299), the fire block the 250 is promised as more modern, less polluting, less voracious in fuel. It is flanked by the ride by wire, a device found on racing machines like the Aprilia RSV4, to stay in the group. This box which connects the throttle opening control of the eponymous handle is responsible for the electronic opening of the injection body by butterfly valves. Sounds impressive like that, but what about the flapping of the wings of these electronic devices against the venerable mechanical flapping of the MP3 400 LT. Only one solution, to confront them.
20 km / h more or less
Visually, nothing really differentiates them apart from the displacement which is displayed in chrome numbers on either side of the apron, 300 IE or 400 IE, an Italian flag against a symbol of European standard on the other, under the saddle..
On closer inspection, the exhaust pipes are different, the 2,000-rpm tachometer units are more generous for the 300 and the counters graduated up to 180 km / h for the 400 and 160 km / h for the 300. Even the builder will not try to cheat.
This is exactly what separates the two machines. It is up to the user to put them in the balance with the price opposite. 700 € against 20 km / h, that’s 35 € for the graduation.
Because in terms of consumption, the average of our test even gave a slight advantage to the 400 cm3 with a consumption of 5.4 l / 100 km against barely more than 5.5 l / 100 km for the 300. The 300 has beautiful being more modern and lighter by 26 kg (227 against 253 kg manufacturer data), the difference in displacement is there.
And to keep pace with the fast lane, you have to drive at full speed all the time with the 300 when you are on reserve with the 400. Downhill, the 400 hangs a small 160 meter when the 300 approaches 140. C ‘is sufficient in terms of top speed for a scooter. Except that this only happens under optimal conditions. On a flat road, it’s a big 120 km / h for the 300 MP3 of our test which admittedly only displayed a thousand kilometers on the odometer. As soon as the relief was felt, performance suffered as much. Imperial, the 400, without much demonstration, kept a little notch in the grip to pass the bumps effortlessly. In any case without giving up its pace.
It’s nice on fast roads and it’s as reassuring in traffic as being able to get out of the flow of cars without feeling vulnerable from its lack of power..
Lighter in weight as in torque
Far from the side wind and endless false flats, the 300 finds its colors on the secondary network of the Templar route. On the Andelys side, the Seine valley offers a breathtaking landscape a stone’s throw from Paris. Direction the ruins of Château Gaillard by the Andelys hill climb route.
Regular and tight laces reveal at very modest speeds the dynamic qualities of the two crews. Going from one to the other, we tend to think the 300 is lighter than the 400, and also easier to swing from one curve to another. Placebo effect or reality. What is certain is that both are very easy to take along. And both a little tight in ground clearance on this type of playing field. If the 400 shows very quickly that the torque at its disposal is not only an advantage on paper (38 Nm against 22.5 at 300 MP3), the 300 cm3 is not voiceless. Because more modern and by necessity, the engine block is very voluntary and swift when it comes to taking turns to get a little power.
If he did not have to suffer the comparison, the performance would be very honorable. This is also what we notice to start head-on. The 300 almost tied the game for the first few meters before handing over. And very quickly reached the 80 km / h mark. Nothing to be ashamed of. More fat, the mill of the 400 gives more, all the time, quite simply.
Hybrid in July
Just released, no question for Piaggio to consider for a moment to review its copy on the side of the 300 MP3. He even sees further. The replacement of the 250 cm3 must become infatuated with hybrid technology for this summer (at what price?). The machine is expected to be presented to the press in June for immediate marketing in July. In addition to the MP3, all the scooters of the group will go from 250 cm3 to 300 cm3 by adopting this new engine block which releases less CO2 into the atmosphere. This rationalization of production is immediately accompanied by exclusive production of the 300 MP3 in LT version. In view of the demand from first-time buyers and the resale market extended to holders of the B license, there is no longer any question of cluttering up the chains of marginal production with a reduced track from 465 to 420 mm between the two front wheels for only holders of a motorcycle license. We will have to learn to ride with a pedal to the right of the apron, that of the coupled braking essential to pass under the caudine forks of the homologation to holders of the B license..
Not convincing compared to a 400 cm3 which offers the same envelope but superior performance for "only" 700 € more (7,999 € against 7,299 €), the MP3 300 LT will have to find its audience with urban or peri-urban users. who only occasionally use the highways of large urban areas. But it’s a safe bet that the increase in displacement from 250 to 300 will very quickly be accompanied by an increase in displacement from 400 to 500 cm3. The 300 will then have cannibalized the 250 and the 400.
This latest development should not cost too much since the 500 already exists at Gilera. In addition to re-establishing a significant price gap and offering higher performance for the MP3 family, this is simply called marketing. All that remains is to find a new engine in the group’s organ bank to drive the point home of the three-wheeled scooter and impose it as evidence on the sporting side of the group, Gilera..
- MP3 LT 300 tech. Sheet
- MP3 LT 400 tech. Sheet
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