Airports and Errands
I had to take a trip out of town midday Wednesday with a return on Thursday night, limiting my time with this Piaggio, but I still managed to get a few things done, all on the scoot:
- Take my 9-year-old daughter to school around the corner.
- Pick up a few last-minute items
- Ride to the airport
- Come home from the airport late at night
Not really that much, but I still managed to rack up 20-30 miles. I discovered a few amazing little details about the MP3 that really endear me to it. The little automatic fixtures for the rear “trunk” and underseat storage are just awesome. Instead of having to push buttons or use the key-switch mechanism, I just push a button.
I was told that you can’t get a full-face helmet in to the storage. This is incorrect. You can actually get TWO full face helmets in there. The first one fits under the front seat — it needs to go sideways. The second one fits sideways in the trunk, but the trick is you must first insert the helmet in upside down and with the nosepiece forward. Once it gets in the trunk, rotate the helmet on it’s side and the rear lid shuts easily. There’s still room in the front for gloves and other goodies. My daughter’s full face helmet and gloves fit perfectly in there, along with her riding jacket.
The “between the legs storage” is awesome. I tend to travel light. So as I was going to the airport I had a laptop rucksack containing a full-size laptop, jeans, shirt, toiletries, etc, I just used the handy-dandy “bag clip” on the pack’s loop and was able to ride to the airport like a Roman — Helmet, gloves and business suit. I took surface streets as I get to feeling a little creepy when I don’t have a full set of protective gear on.
Parking in the long-term lot was a breeze and you can park a lot closer since you can fit in a slot that is 1/4 the size of a car. Piaggio’s extremely high-tech immobilizer, coupled with the locking steering and parking brake and seat cover ensure that your ride will be there when you get back from your trip.
I miss California with its free Airport parking for bikes and scoots.
The MP3 has great visibility at night. Turn signals and running lights are big and bright — They could be increased with LEDs, but not necessary. The high/low beams provide gobs of light. The high riding position allow for excellent view. The excellent low-speed handling and tight-turning abilities are starting to manifest themselves to me.
On my trip I saw a lot of SMART cars. More than I ever had. I remarked to myself that the MP3 was half the price of the SMART or less, and it probably was just as, if not more, practical, and definitely more fun. Both are made to be commuter vehicles that can handle freeways and short trips with ease (you could take either anywhere, but probably wouldn’t want to…). There’s plenty of room for your “stuff”, including 4-5 shopping bags or possibly more. The SMART beats the Piaggio in weather protection, possibly safety. The MP3-400i kills the SMART on mileage, visibility and probably cool factor.
Tomorrow and the next day I run errands and pick up stuff for my wife’s birthday. Sunday I’m taking it to the Full Moon Cafe for local Motorcycle rider evaluation and “comment”…