Review: Piaggio MP3 Yourban 300 ie LT
File under Product Review Piaggio Scooters
Author: David Morcrette
Location: Paris, France
The 3 Wheel Scooter €1100 Less Expensive Than The Standard MP3
Piaggio haven't stopped after bringing out the popular MP3 scooter, and have now released the Yourban version, in this case a 300 cubic centimeter (cc) three-wheeled scooter at a much more affordable price: 6,099 Euros, cheaper by 1,100 Euros than its standard MP3 brother. So, is this a good or bad deal?
The Yourban has almost just the name in common with the standard MP3, it differs that much. The looks and in particular the characteristic "tie" associated with the front grill. More than just elegant, it is mostly a more sporty model. For the rest, it is very close to the original MP3, both at the nosewheel, known as the LT (for Large Thread), which allows one to operate the 300 cm3 (278 cm3 to be precise) without a full motorcycle license; just with a simple car license (and a 7 hour training). The Yourban 300 shares the frame and package with its smaller 125 cc brother, with which it differs only by its engine size: 22.4 hp against 15 hp for the 125 cc.
A double headlight with 4 LEDs, indicators built-in to the shell, aesthetic small windshield, and slender mirrors giving it a nice appearance. We find this pretty design as well at the rear with double LED lamps in the curved body. This is the side where the distinction is less, but where the side gills associated with the two-level saddle with elegant red stitching (for the Sport version of the test) confirms the excellent package.
In The Saddle
As with many scooters, the seat rises reasonably high (780mm) but it is very wide, leaving barely the possibility to put your feet on the ground for a rider measuring 1, 70m. But its reduced weight (-15 kilos), compared to the same displacement MP3, allows you to handle it more easily. The front seems very light compared to the usual MP3, with an easier to handle nosewheel.
At the front, there is the dashboard shared with the Beverly version: 3 circles embedded into each other, with analog dials; speed, fuel gauge and engine temperature. Some digital information is available in the center of the speedometer (claiming a maximum of 160 kph) such as a digital clock, a double trip meter, an odometer, outside temperature, battery voltage and a freezing temperature warning (below 1°C). You move between displays using the "mode" button on the right switch, something easy to do even when riding. It is also this same "mode" button that resets the trip meter or sets the clock (assuming you have selected the mileage indicator beforehand).
We note the night display on a bluish background, very nice and very visible, both day and night.
Some may have seen that there is an "eco" display, something we've seen previously on the Scarabeo and on the Piaggio X10. It is not - yet - used on the Yourban, but could be in a future update if the manufacturer is to be believed.
Talking about night, the lights of the Yourban are excellent and sufficient for the road with normal beam. It gets even better with high beam. A fact so rare on this type of engine displacement that it merits to be told.
The riding position is more natural than the standard MP3, legs at 90° and your knees do not rise. The handlebar feels more natural in your hands. As a whole, it feels more enjoyable and less tiresome to ride it everyday.
The single cylinder four-stroke EFI purrs quietly. A safety device prevents the scooter from leaving by itself when turning the throttle while you are not sitting on the saddle (that said, just place a lightweight item, like a helmet or shopping bag to disable the security placed under the seat). The action of the right wrist causes an immediate reaction of the scooter which promptly jumps to the request, feeling faster than its standard MP3 counterpart, due mostly to its lighter weight.
Low speed maneuvers are also easier with a nosewheel that requires less input from the rider. Even braking is easier, even without locking the wheels. Like with the MP3, the Yourban has a parking aide for immobilizing the scooter when upright. The manufacturer reminds us that it is a parking aide, that should normally only be used when you are no longer sitting on the scooter. In 99% of cases, all riders use it when approaching a red light so they do not need to put their feet on the ground. And the technique is easier to perform with the Yourban than the MP3 which has a heavier steering. Result, it is possible with the throttle closed but the scooter still in its momentum, to engage the system (normally only less then 5 kph).
In The City
Stop, start, stop. From red light to red light, the Yourban proves to be nimble and agile, boldly leaping from red light to another. The acceleration is sharp and dynamic, even if less brutal compared to the 500 cc of the model range, allowing you to rapidly reach speeds that are forbidden in the city. The lightweight and compact size make it possible to split lanes (filter) in between cars without even thinking about it. We feel that as the result of the lightweight (despite its actual 212 kilos which you do not feel on a daily basis) with low speed maneuvers, it moves easier than the MP3. And here, the three wheels are another advantage over two wheels, allowing you during really slow speeds to slip into the traffic.
The almost big wheels, 13 inch (the MP3 has 12 inch), contribute equally to the daily use as well.
On The Motorway/Freeway
The Yourban quickly reaches 100 kph and the quietly stretches to 110 kph ... on a flat surface. It will take a downhill or a very long straight line for it to tickle the 120 kph, the maximum speed, solo. Protection of the windshield here is more aesthetically then effective, but sufficient for the attainable speeds. At this speed, the scooter retains all its steering and precision qualities, allowing you to consider riding a long trip at this pace ... even if the scooter prefers the country roads.
On the back roads, the Tourban finds its mark and especially its versatility for a sustained speed of up to 90 kph. Furthermore, its exemplary handling ensures a good pace from curve to curve.
The single disc rear brake ensures a highly efficiency, allowing you to block the rear with a slight sliding effect. Fortunately the front stays perfectly in line and the three wheels reassure here as well. The front brakes are powerful and progressive, even if it's a bit soft at the beginning. You can pull the brake fully without the front diving forward excessively, the scooter remaining straight. The feeling is very good, but not excellent. In any event, both brakes allow to stop short, enough to stop the 22 horses.
Whether solo or duo, the Yourban confirms the comfort offered by the MP3 family. Defects in the pavement are relatively well erased, and you will not feel the violence of potholes as is the case with many other scooters. A deserved comfort for both the rider and the pillion.
The pillion has a folding footrest which disappears completely into the scooter's body. In this regard, the grab handles are well positioned. You might eventually regret the lack of a backrest, present on the MP3 version.
The Yourban offers a fairly accurate fuel gauge ... the first quarter is displayed at 60 km, half at 125 km, the last quarter at 170 km. And then there is still about 60 kilometers left. And if you don't look at the fuel gauge, the yellow light will signal that you are on reserve. With a fuel consumption of about 4.6 l/100 km and a fuel tank of 10.8 liters, the Yourban thus shows an overall range of around 230 km in the city, depending on the speed, and a bit more on the road at a steady speed.
The saddle opens from the ignition switch. There is no hydraulic lever to raise or hold, but the saddle hinges very well towards the handlebar, allowing you to put anything under the saddle; for example an integral helmet or a bag. We would have liked to see two integral helmets stored, but that remains rare in this category. As is the case with many scooters, the trunk has a nightlight, allowing the inside to be lit up, distinguishing the inside.
We also regret the lack of storage space in the front, especially because of the parking brake. A parking brake that is easy to handle, as well to block or unblock without twisting.
Piaggio recommends unleaded SP95, even 98, but certainly not the E10 fuel. The revisions thereafter are every 5000 km. More precisely, there is a check every 5,000 kilometers (tires, brake pads, levels) which takes 15 minutes. Every 10,000 kilometers there is a genuine revision with an oil change (synthetic oil please). For a 100% city utilization, some dealers will propose an oil change every 5,000 kilometers ... which is not as crucial as that of 10,000km.
Lighter and more manageable than a standard MP3, the Yourban will be the preferred choice for urban but also suburban use, although it remains limited in top speed, especially when overtaking on the fast lane. But with a sporty and urban look, a quality finish and a less expensive price by over a thousand Euros over its brother (€6,090 against €7,199), it is a real alternative - without denying any point - especially since it has not sold as much as its brother, and is therefore not as common, specially in its white livery. It fights mainly against fierce competition in the 300 and 400 cc range, with prices often inferior without the benefit of three wheels, its undeniable asset.
Click here to read the original review of the Piaggio MP3 Yourban 300 ie LT (in French)
|Strong Points ||Weak Points |
- handling / stability three wheels
Via: Le Repaire des Motards