Before the Gilera 500ie was the MP3! Offering much the same in handling and performance, it is also significantly cheaper. The MP3, made by the same company which produces the iconic Vespa, provides safety, road grip and stability levels that no other two-wheeler can match -- especially on uneven and wet surfaces.
It's a cinch to park. An electro-hydraulic tilt-locking system means there is no need to put the vehicle on its stand, although one is provided for ease of servicing. Simply flick the lean-locking button and apply the parking brake. The system will operate at any angle, so you don't need to find a level parking area.
The MP3's three-disk braking system and exceptional road-holding capability combine to reduce braking distance by 20 percent compared to other scooters.
A large range of accessories are also available for the MP3, including a maxi windscreen and top box, which adds to the already considerable underseat storage area.
The MP3 is available in two engine displacements: 250cc and 400cc. They both feature four-stroke, four-valve liquid-cooled engines in line with Europe's tough Euro3 emissions standards. The 250cc model is on sale at $10,990 (plus ORC), while the 400 has a RRP of $11,990.
In addition, the 500cc Gilera Fuoco (Gilera is also a part of the Piaggio group), built on the same technological template as the MP3, will go on sale in November this year.
"Not since Enrico Piaggio introduced Vespa to the world in 1946 have we seen such a revolution in transport for individual mobility," said Piaggio's Brand Manager Simon Gloyne. "It has taken six decades for Australia to embrace scooters into our culture. Sure, the culture of the four-car family in the suburbs is well ingrained, but as fuel prices increase and our urban areas become more consolidated, the time continues to be right for scooters. We are not experiencing a scooter craze; we are experiencing a monumental shift in the way we think about our personal transport needs."