Although the Piaggio MP3 is a fantastic machine it isn’t without its annoyances. One of the major problems experienced by owners (and secondhand buyers) is worn, or notchy steering bearings. It’s a £500 job if your MP3 is out of warranty so they need checking before you buy one, whether you’re buying privately or from a dealer. Piaggio didn’t cure the problem with their 2014 MP3 upgrade so the latest models can still be troublesome.
Our little video shows a Midland Scooter Centre technician showing where and how to check the front end by simply using a scissor jack (a car jack can be used at home) and a piece of wood to lift the front end of the scooter off the floor.
Symptoms include a ‘notchiness’ felt in the steering as the handlebars get back to the middle. As the bearings wear it’ll become more pronounced, leaving the scooter gradually feeling less precise and stable through corners. Incorrectly torqued, or over-tightened steering is one of the causes. The factory specification was altered because they were too tight initially.
Quick home fix
Some owners have performed a relatively quick and free fix by stripping the front bodywork and slackening the two nuts off on the steering (there is a specific Piaggio tool for the job). The bearing needs re-packing with high temperature grease before the bottom nut is tightened back up to the correct torque setting (over tightening is the major cause of worn steering bearings). A grease bolt can also be used to lubricate the steering mechanism by taking the four bolts out of the side of the side of the steering arms, one at a time and pumping grease in. If in doubt always entrust it to a Piaggio service centre.
Comment and let us know if you’ve had issues or have a better solution