Tuesday, March 01, 2011

A Piaggio MP3 with a Sidecar

I stopped at Kissell Motorsports after work today and Craig Kissell showed me this Piaggio MP3 with a sidecar. A lot of people have been suggesting I get something like this so Junior and I can adventure together. Now that the opportunity has presented itself I'm not so sure. Would Junior really stay in the sidecar or would he leap out at every squirrel and dog?

And he doesn't have any Doggles!

Regardless, I'll take this rig home with me on Friday and see what it's like. Anyone have any advice for a sidecar newbie? Or riding with canines??

Check with Kissell Motorsports if you're interested in this unique set up.


Samuel Perry said...

So... when you take a three wheeled vehicle like the MP3 and add a sidecar, doesn't the fourth wheel mean it now has to meet all the regulations and restrictions applied to other four wheeled vehicles? Just Curious...

SonjaM said...

Samuel has a point, was going to ask the same question. Be careful when you ride this, I have been told that the MP3 is a total different animal, plus the sidecar? Maybe you take Junior with. I am certainly looking forward to you and your dog's experience.

Thumper said...

I will *really* be interested in how this rides...now I'm looking at the MP3 in my garage in a whole new light...

Sergei Belski said...

Looking forward for your review, I can't even imagine how MP3 will handle with sidecar.

Orin said...

@SonjaM, I'm here to tell you an MP3 rides just like any other scooter or motorcycle, once you put how weird it looks out of your mind and just ride it. It will be just about the best "bike" you ever ride, stable in corners in a way you can't imagine is possible, and it stops quickly and surely because there are two brakes working on two wheels up front. A new, smaller one called the Yourban in the rest of the world, and to be called the MP3 300 Sport when it arrives in North America later this year, is something I'd be very interested in. If I weren't so broke... :-(

Scootin' Old Skool

RichardM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RichardM said...

What a great arrangement you have with a great dealer That looks like a really interesting combination. I guess I'm also interested in how it handles. You may want to put some ballast in the sidecar to help with the right turns.

Looking forward to your review.


Conchscooter said...

I always thought the MP3 was an engineering solution to a problem that didn't exist, and the idea of tacking on a hack seems weird beytond belief.
I rode an MP3 and it handled just like a two wheeled scooter except when stopping, so cornering should be just like a regular hack- ie no fun at all if you are into the lean angle.
Now you have a rig that can't park like a bike, doesn't have the weather protection (or dog protection) of a car and costs an arm and a leg no doubt. All running on a rubber band in the tranmission. Wheee!

Mike said...

So it'll be "MP3 with a Sidecar in the Sticks".

I'm looking forward to your review too but curious about your thought of having Junior with you. I can't remember if he's been to obedience class but some training before riding might be in order. It would be cool to ride with him though!

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Scooter In The Sticks (Steve):

There is never a dull moment with you. The BMW K75 has often been compared to a sewing machine. The MP3 (plus sidecar) has got to be octogenarian transportation for a future I hope to miss. Please monitor the dog carefully on these runs, and be ready to pull over if Junior displays overwhelming sysmptoms of canine embarrassment.

On the order of this MP3 (with sidecar), I have been asked to road test a new zeppelin. The manufacturer wants to see how I lean it into the curves. Honestly Steve, there are times when you should have an adult with you when you go into the dealers.

I can hardly wait to read this ride report.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Road
The Biker Blog That says, "To Hell With It."

bikerted said...

Hi Steve. Riding with Junior may not be all that difficult. Over here in the UK a dog harness for a car can be bought at many pet stores. This restricts the pooch's movement. I would be surprised if one cannot be purchased in Canada. Try asking at your local pet store for advice on this, I'm sure they will be able to help.

Steve Williams said...

Samuel Perry: You are correct in your assessment. Because the rig has four wheels it has to be inspected as a car. Not sure how that effects anything. I'll let everyone know if I get pulled over by the police!

SonjaM: I've put a lot of miles on MP3s so I know how they handle. With the hack attached I think it will just me a big slow ride...

Steve Williams said...

Thumper: I really like the MP3. But I'm skeptical of sidecars in general and this rig in particular. I am going to have to clean out the garage to get it in.

Steve Williams said...

Sergei Belski: I'll probably post a review towards the end of next week. Maybe sooner. My expectations are low right now but who knows.

RichardM: I feel fortunate to have the relationship with Kissell Motorsports. They are supportive of my writing and blogging and are open to me exploring their product line. The MP3 with a sidecar is an eccentric setup. Maybe someone reading hear will be thrilled to find it. Can't imagine there are a lot of rigs like this around.

I'll pay close attention to those right turns!

Steve Williams said...

Conchscooter: I thought much like you until I started piling miles up on an MP3. The big advantage I see for them is amazing stability in turns and a major reduction in the potential for the front wheels slipping out on gravel or other slippery inducing road surfaces. For year round riders not living in a fru fru climate it could be a welcome means of managing some of the road risks.

But adding a sidecar.... Man, I am open to some magic but can't imagine what it is.

BTW-- your green eyed envy of rubber band powered machines is evident. The Triumph just can't sufficiently medicate that void... *grin*

Steve Williams said...

Mike: I'm with you about Junior. I am almost ready to say it would be completely irresponsible for me to take him for a ride. My plan is to just see if he will get in and maybe ride slowly in the school parking lot across the street.

As I picture riding with him I see him leaping away...

Steve Williams said...

Dear Mr. Riepe,

My initial reactions to the MP3 placed it squarely in the octogenarian pigeonhole but I've since come to realize that was just my pin-headed, narrow-minded, wrong-headed, frightened, and embarrassed reaction to something that was different. Unlike yourself who has real reasons to fear the chariot.

Junior is probably more openminded so who knows what he'll think. I will find out over the weekend what he has to say.

I would be thrilled to ride in a Zeppelin. If you can arrange it please reserve a first class berth for me on the first possible trans-atlantic voyage. And my preference is for a non-hydrogen ship.

If I took an adult like yourself along to the dealership I would just end up on some big, tired old bike and miss most of the magic in the world. So I'll have to keep going on my own, wide-eyed and innocent as usual.

I hope you find my report satisfying. Perhaps each reference will be reflected against a K-Bike. Or a zeppelin. The more I think about it the more I like the idea of a road zeppelin.

Steve Williams said...

bikerted: I should probably get a harness for him to ride in the truck. Definitely if I was going to ride him in the sidecar beyond a slow jaunt across the street.

Charlie6 said...


I too look forward to your review of this rig, if only from morbid curiosity. I've no idea re the handling on an MP3, but adding a sidecar to it will surely add "interesting" variables.

My guess is the sidecar caveats fully apply in spite of your tug having three wheels. Be careful on sharp right hand turns at speed, centrifugal forces will "fly your chair" and if you're not ready and know how to deal with it, it's not good news, and its dangerous.

Here's a link to the sidecar operator manual, strongly advise you read it.

The way neophyte sidecar riders get hurt is not reading the above or not getting training....hate to see you get hurt.

All these dire warnings aside, if you take it easy and get used to it in a safe area, you should have a blast.


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Steve:

The top of the line Victory is damned close to a zeppelin.

Fondest regards,

Steve Williams said...

Charlie6:(dom) Morbid curiosity. That sounds about right. I'm curious too and a bit worried now that I will ride on to disaster.

Thanks for sending the sidecar manual. Great intro to technique. Hopefully I will learn how to turn into the sidecar.

Mr. Riepe: There is a Victory dealer just down the road, a half mile beyond the Harley dealer. I'll ask them both if they offer test rides of their Zeppelin lines.

Low Buck Rider said...

Don't pay attention to Dom he traded a perfectly good RT for a Ural. So we must discount his judgment. Though with every one of his Examiner post it makes me want one all the more. If one is to put a sidecar on a MP3 it should be a leaner, like a Flexit http://improvelife.info/links/v65/special/bikes/flexit.htm or a Equlean http://www.wingnutcycles.com/id3.html. have fun, I'm looking forward to the write up.

Anonymous said...

I have an MP3 and have been thinking about a sidecar, so I am looking forward to your review. I would also be interested in how it affects your speed.

David Sherjan said...

Awesome, love it!!