The MP3 profile looks much like any other scooter, albeit with an exceptionally beefy front end. This perception changes rapidly with your perspective as you move around to look at it head-on. Now we see the major feature upon which all other design considerations revolve; the dual-wheel front end with its articulated quadrilateral steering and suspension, which is what gives us the fat front end, ’cause the independent suspension members need room to work. This setup grants the MP3 an uncommon combination of attributes; stable enough to be self-supporting without using the centerstand, yet capable of an astounding 40-degree lean angle in the corners.
The beating heart of the MP3 500 is the 492.7 cc, swing-mount motor. This one-lung, liquid-cooled mill produces 40.1 ponies and 33.5 pound-feet of grunt – not bad at all for a scooter, even one as heavy as this. A top speed of 89 mph puts highway driving safely within reach, but due to the engine size, mileage starts to creep down into full-size bike territory at 55 mpg.
The final drive is typical, with a dry, centrifugal clutch and “Twist ’n Go,” Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT); another feature that makes the MP3 500 particularly suited to inexperienced riders trying to break out of their cages for the first time.