As I was moving the car out of the driveway to get easier access to my motorcycle, my neighbor came up to me and said "I saw you come in on a really weird motorcycle thing yesterday and what is it?"
Never one to pass up an opportunity, I replied in my best B-movie space alien voice, "It is an alien space vehicle."
"Oh. I thought so."
Well, actually, it's a Piaggio MP3 500. Piaggio, perhaps better known as the manufacturer of Vespa scooters and owner of Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Gilera, and other brands, calls it a "maxi-scooter", and the MP3 series is unlike anything else except the closely related Gilera Fuoco, at least on this planet. The "3" comes not from any music formatting, but from three wheels. The rear wheel is conventional, if larger than the old-school scooter norm. The usual single front wheel is replaced by two, placed close together, and connected by a patented parallelogram multilink suspension system that ensures they turn and bank together. The front wheels can be locked by an electro-hydraulic mechanism so that the MP3 stays upright when stopped, with no need for the rider to put their feet on the ground. That locking system, and a parking brake, means that the center stand doesn't normally need to be used.
At $8,899, the MP3 500 is as expensive as many motorcycles.
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