It's a smart move from Piaggio . The Italian motorcycle and scooter consortium have released the PMP , which stands for Piaggio Multimedia Platform. PMP is an optional kit you can buy for the Piaggio X10 - 125, 350 and 500cc models, that will allow you to connect your scooter's telemetric data to an iPhone, without wires.
The iPhone gets mounted on the handlebar of your ride, and connects to your engine wirelessly. Your iPhone will then become your dashboard, since a range of data can be selected by the rider. You can see the "normal" stuff, like speed, revs, fuel left, but you can also decide to look at the engine power and torque, acceleration, and even how much battery voltage is left.
If your scoot is equipped with the optional ABSAnti-lock braking system (ABS) is a system on motorcycles which prevents the wheels from locking while braking. The purpose of this is to allow the rider to maintain steering control under heavy braking and, in some situations, to shorten braking distances (by allowing the driver to hit the brake fully without the fear of skidding or loss of control). and traction control, the iPhone/PMP will even tell you your tire pressure and can even tell you when you need to replace your tires.
What's more interesting, is that the Piaggio iPhone app will interact with your GPS/navigation app (if you have one). Since it knows how much fuel you have left, it will warn you that you are running out, and tell you where to go to get more gasoline. But it will also help you find your scooter. When you turn off your motorcycle, the last thing the iPhone/PMP does is store the actual location of your bike. Then when you want to go and ride again, it can tell you exactly where you left it. Handy when going to big events...
If you've got a problem, or don't know what to do for a certain function on your X10, there's even a built-in manual. No need to bring your manual with you, it's on-line.
Like with sports motorcycles, you can even later download your telemetric data to a PC and analyze your riding style.
An Android version is on its way, and you could see this PMP on future models of Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and of course Vespa. The idea is excellent, though not novel (the Mini scooter concept had one as well - link ). Scooters are used predominantly by business folks, who all have iPhones (and Androids, though many still have Blackberry phones). So they'll always have their phone on them.
My only question is, why did they make a dashboard? If they have the electronics inside the scooter already, why not leave out the dashboard altogether, making the scooter cheaper....
It's going to cost about €185 here in Europe, which is not a bad price.
Click here to read more about the Piaggio PMP