Red Dog and Me

This is an on-going dialog between me and a certain motor scooter, namely a 2009 Piaggio MP3 500 that came to live with me in October of 2009. I've named the scooter Red Dog and as yet have not determined its gender. In the past when I've named boats, bikes, and other like characters I've thought of them as feminine due to their behavior characteristics. Red Dog I'm not so sure about...we'll see. Update: OK, Red Dog's a girl...with an attitude

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oct 01 2009 Red Dog – The Beginning

To begin with this dialog between me and a new 2009 Piaggio MP3 500 scooter started at an earlier date than this blog. I’d recently sold my 1978 BMW to a friend in Las Vegas and having a small slot in the garage available I thought I might look around for a replacement. I’ve had some experience at long distance riding on 2-wheelers, even 3-wheelers if you count the sidecar slumbering in the garage. Now I wanted to put together a rig that at the same time was both comfortable for touring and a bit different from the rest of the crowd.

It was during a visit to one of the local bike shops that I discovered a consignment Piaggio MP3 250 scooter and it was love at first sight. Well maybe not love exactly, say it was more like the same attraction one gets for something out of the norm. The Piaggio MP3 series is a strange beast indeed, it’s basically a motor scooter but with two wheels on the front instead of the usual single unit. They’re mounted close together, around 17” center to center and their parallelogram suspension design allows both wheels to tilt in unison. This results in extremely stable motorcycle-like handling while under way yet it can be locked in place during stops, thereby eliminating the need for side stands, etc.

Returning home I began surfing the Internet to learn more about this strange new creature and before long I was hooked. Piaggio makes 3 versions of the scooter, the MP3 250, 400, and 500 with the numbers referring mainly to engine displacement. There is one major difference though, and that has to do with the 500 and its overall appearance. Whereas the 250 and 400 share an attractive scooter look closer to what one might expect and not likely to cause more than a 2nd glance the 500 travels a path all its own, one that is likely to illicit startled looks and comments like “What the hell is that?” My kind of ride, I had to have one!

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