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Old 01-20-2020, 11:49 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I recently picked up one of these for commuting. So far I've averaged 55 mpg without any attempt at economy.


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Old 01-21-2020, 12:12 AM   #22 (permalink)
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No you didn't! It is not in your garage!
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:14 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I'm interested in hearing the pros and cons of having that third wheel.
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:34 AM   #24 (permalink)
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It leans, so is there any increased stability, or just frontal area, complexity, and various types of friction?

"Electronic safety features bolster the inherent stability of the Delta-trike design to make the MP3 as safe as possible..."
"The dual front wheels and sensitive suspension maintains its grip on the road, even under adverse conditions."
"Piaggio graced the MP3 with an Acceleration Slip Regulation feature."
https://www.topspeed.com/motorcycles...-ar181514.html

Does that impress anyone or is it just jargon?

They say it is probably a bit under $9,000.
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:10 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist
No you didn't! It is not in your garage!
That's something 'without any attempt' includes?
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:53 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
No you didn't! It is not in your garage!
None of my motorcycles are in my virtual garage. I have 4 now:

1976 Kawasaki KZ400
1979 Kawasaki KZ400
2009 Piaggio MP3 500ie
2011 BMW R1200RT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
I'm interested in hearing the pros and cons of having that third wheel.
Pros:
Safety. Two wheels in the front give a much larger factory of safety. When the front wheel of a motorcycle loses grip the front end washes out, you crash, and it happens in a blink of the eye. Mortals can sometime save it when upright under braking but only MotoGP gods can consistently save the front when it loses traction in a corner. 3 of my 4 crashes on the road have come from losing the front in adverse conditions.

With two front wheels you just have more grip to start with due to the extra contact patch. So it corners on rails in the dry. When one of the front tires hits something that causes it to lose traction the load and grip shifts to the other wheel and you continue on with a little twitch in the bars. If both wheels lose traction the front slides across the slippery spot and then regains traction on the other side. The distance between the front wheels keeps the front from tucking and washing out instantly and you have much more time to catch it. You can still lose the front but it is much less likely.

Cities are full of slippery bits: gravel, painted lines, manhole covers, oil or gas spills, etc.

I test rode one when it first came out and I was young and stupid. The dealer said "you can't crash it" so of course I tried. I went around hitting every patch of gravel I could drifting the front through corners.

Cons:
  • It looks funny. It does't look like a motorcycle "should" and that is a big deal for a lot of motorcyclists.
  • Cost. The Piaggio has always been about 1/3 more than a similar scooter and the Yamaha Niken continues the trend. That kept me from getting one for 10 years. I picked this one up for $3000 with 5,400 miles on the clock.
  • Weight. The MP3 weighs almost a much as my BMW but doesn't feel heavy due to weight distribution. The 3-wheeled Yamaha Niken is 90lbs heavier than the Tracer 900 it is based on.
  • You can only lean to 40 degrees (not a problem for mortals.)

It still rides and feels like a motorcycle. It is narrow enough to lane-split like a motorcycle. It also has a gimmicky tilt-lock that allows you to come to a stop and lock the front so you don't have to put your feet down. That system alone adds 50 lbs!
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:26 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSH View Post
None of my motorcycles are in my virtual garage. I have 4 now:

1976 Kawasaki KZ400
1979 Kawasaki KZ400
2009 Piaggio MP3 500ie
2011 BMW R1200RT



Pros:
Safety. Two wheels in the front give a much larger factory of safety. When the front wheel of a motorcycle loses grip the front end washes out, you crash, and it happens in a blink of the eye. Mortals can sometime save it when upright under braking but only MotoGP gods can consistently save the front when it loses traction in a corner. 3 of my 4 crashes on the road have come from losing the front in adverse conditions.

Cons:[*]You can only lean to 40 degrees (not a problem for mortals.)[/LIST]
Fascinating machine.

Of the 3 times I remember losing front grip, one was on a track when an instructor was braking during an acceleration area. I grabbed too much front brake (should have steered instead). Another time was due to not heeding a "bump" caution sign, catching air, and my suspension not being settled as I entered a corner. The final time I can remember, I was taking a 25 MPH freeway onramp at something near to 100 MPH and the front end was at the grip limit, but I was balanced enough that it held up. So, 2 crashes and a save... I was reckless in my youth before I learned that pushing the limits is best enjoyed on the race track.

Regarding the 40 degree lean angle; it might be a limiting factor for me on the streets, and would certainly be one on the track.

For those unfamiliar with the physics, the lean angle is proportional to the lateral G-force of the turn. That means a given lean angle corresponds to a given lateral G-force, regardless if someone is making a tighter but slower corner, or if they are taking a wide but fast corner.





As an aside to this aside, the actual angle the bike leans can be different than the effective lean angle. When the rider positions their weight inside of the turn, the effective lean angle is greater than the actual lean angle because they have shifted the center of gravity. If the rider was sitting upright, the bike would have to be leaned over even more.

A person leaning outside of a corner exaggerates the lean angle, forcing the bike closer to the ground than necessary (and scraping their pegs in the process).



One of my wrecks was due to not leaning off the bike enough in a corner, and my exhaust struck the red/white curbing on the race track.
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Last edited by redpoint5; 01-21-2020 at 12:43 PM..
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:47 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I've noticed, especially in pics, that street riders tend to lean away from the turn, tipping the bike over far more than necessary.
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:53 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
I've noticed, especially in pics, that street riders tend to lean away from the turn, tipping the bike over far more than necessary.
I've noticed mostly cruisers going so slow you can't even see the bike is leaned at all. :P

Probably mostly inexperienced kids leaning wrong on the sport bikes. It's natural to feel uneasy about leaning inside a corner because we're used to bicycles that at low speed will tip over.

My tires wear out the centers before anything else from street riding. I've wondered if I forced them to ride on the edges if they would wear more evenly and perhaps last longer.
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Old 01-21-2020, 03:27 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post

Regarding the 40 degree lean angle; it might be a limiting factor for me on the streets, and would certainly be one on the track.

40 degrees is enough for the MP3 due to the nature of scooters. With the CVT integrated into the swingarm the machine is scraping hard parts before it runs out of lean angle. I plan on taking off the centerstand to get a bit more lean angle.

The Niken has 45 degrees or lean angle.


Bennetts has a great write-up on the Niken and addresses the lean angle like this:

Q: Hang on, so what happens if you plough into a corner and you want 48 of lean to make the exit? Will you just run wide?

A: Not necessarily.
If you’re at 45 of lean carrying too much speed (i.e. you need more lean) you have two options, both of which are surprisingly intuitive. You can either brake – the NIKEN has so much excess front grip it can manage braking while leaning and simply slows down, but holds the line – braking and steering forces are separated, much like BMW’s K-series.
Your other, more fun, option is to gas it up and powerslide the back end, oversteering and shortening the corner. This sounds and feels dramatic, but with traction control on minimum, or off, it’s easier than you think...


Reviews are here:
https://www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocia...tions-answered
https://www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocia...w-final-report

I would love a Niken (It is the same weight as my MP3!) but I’m not a buyer at $16,000. I also agree with the author that Yamaha missed the mark with the Niken. It either needs a windscreen, cruise control, heat grips, a better seat, and bags to be a touring bike or it been built on the MT-10 chassis with 160 hp to be a sport bike. Either choice would have helped justify the price.

I just hope we don’t have another Yamaha GTS1000 with the Niken. I bike with a unique design with clear benefits that gets scrapped after a couple years due to the price.

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