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

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mar 09, 2010 Now how much would you pay?

Occasionally Piaggio does some strange things or so it seems. When you buy an MP3 series scooter it comes with two keys, a red or sometimes brick colored master and a second one for normal use. Both are fully functional but the master key holds all the mysterious codes needed for various secret stuff of which I KNOW NOTHING!

An ominous warning comes with the master stating in effect if you were ever to lose it a replacement would come dearly, something over a cool thousand so DON’T LOSE THE DAMN THING!

This is probably a very good thing because crooks can't start the scooter no matter how clever they are; the electronics simply won’t function without the master or the daily use key. Of course knowing that would leave them with little else to do other than strip it and sell the parts… ewww…

Having decided it’s unwise to chase around without a backup key and heeding Piaggio’s warning about storing the master in a safe place I set out to procure a spare. Doesn’t seem like too much of a problem does it? It’s really not if you know where to shop but I in my infinite wisdom figured my dealer would be the best place. Wrong. $107 for the UNCUT blank, thank you very much! At the time, not knowing what else to do I sprang for it, chewing off a lot of my tongue to keep from screaming. After all, it wasn’t the salesman’s fault; he probably didn’t make a ton of money on it. Not more than a hundred bucks anyway.
So the order was placed and I was told it would be arriving in a few days, etc., blah blah. Once that was finished I went back to surfing around on the Modern Vespa forum and while there I crabbed about the horrific price I’d paid. Immediately I was deluged with responses that one of our sponsor members was in the business of making keys for them at the very reasonable price of $19.95 including engraving!

Dammit anyway, I hate it when that happens. But as luck would have it Jim Hamilton the owner offered to engrave and clone the new key if I would send it to him. His fee for doing this was barely enough to cover return shipping, the engraving & cloning he would do free as a gesture of good will. And also a lot of pity too.

What a great guy, small wonder his reputation among scooter riders and bike riders in general is the best. He not only does keys for scooters, he makes them for nearly every bike there is so if you ever need one made he’s the guy to see.

Here’s a link to his web site:

Or you can contact him via email at:

So does that thing look like it's worth $125 bucks? At least it's red like the dog so maybe it will serve as a fashion statement.

I guess that’s about it for today, anymore of this excitement and I’ll take to drink. Umm…now that I think about it, uh, what time is it?


  1. I expect it will as everyone else says their's do. I just mailed mine to him this afternoon so it will be a few days before it comes back. Boy that darned insurance is really high but I suppose it's worth it, I wouldn't want to pay for a new master.