Piaggio MP3/Gilera Fuoco – waterproofing | WORKSHOP
As mentioned in my previous article about steering bearings, the main advantage of the Piaggio MP3/Gilera Fuoco is their improved road-holding ability in adverse weather conditions due to the twin front-wheels.
An ideal vehicle for all-season-use one might think… if it wasn’t for their irritating habit of having a leaky helmet bay. As I was rather unhappy to find out, the helmet bay lets water in both when riding in the rain and also when parked up, and there are only few things more annoying after a trip in the autumn rain than finding not only yourself, but also your spare gear soaked with water, which you thought you had safely tucked away in the helmet bay.
No more soggy sandwiches
I spent some time investigating where the water comes in and finally found two culprits: one is the little hatch that provides access to the frame number in the rear of the helmet bay, the other are the screws that hold the rear panels alongside the outer edge of the helmet bay.
While the hatch lets water in when riding in the wet, the screws will allow water in that runs down from the back of the vehicle when parked up. As the water ingress when riding is much worse, I decided to tackle this issue first.
In order to do the mudguard conversion all you need to get is the mudguard itself (Piaggio Beverly, Gilera Nexus or Peugeot Satelis 500 will all fit), plus two short M6 screws that will hold it to the right hand side swing-arm. You can actually use any screw with an M6 thread here, but for a factory-like finish, I opted to order the genuine black screws together with the mudguard.
Now you could of course simply seal the hatch with silicone or a similar instant gasket that might solve the problem. However I realised that actually the issue is caused by the fact that, for reasons nobody knows, Piaggio don’t use a rear mudguard with their three-wheelers. Contrary to other scooters sharing the same engine, like the Piaggio Beverly or the Gilera Nexus.
First thing to do is modify the original mudflap, as this will be in the way of the mudguard. You can either take it out completely, or simply trim it to the required shape as I have done.
The next step is to prepare the fixing points on the left hand side. You will be using the standard screws that hold the airfilter-box to the casings, plus their original threaded clips. These will have to come off the airfilter-box and then be fitted to the mudguard. The screws will then simply run through the holes from the airfilter box and hold it to the casings together with the mudguard. So you will have to unscrew the airfilter box, take off the clips and fit them to the mudguard instead.
With this done, you can wiggle the mudguard into place – I found this just works out without having to unscrew anything else. Now you will have to line up all the holes from the airfilter box, the casings and finally the mudguard with the threaded clips. This is the most awkward part of the job and requires some patience – the best way to do this is using two long thin screwdrivers to get all the fixings in line. Once the first screw has found its thread in the clip, the second one will follow easier. After the lefthand-side is fixed, all that’s left to do is fit the two screws on the right. And there you are – it looks as if the mudguard had been there from day one.
With the underside of the scooter done, the screws around the edge of the helmet bay are fairly easy to sort out – simply take out all four of them, dip their thread into silicone, and refit.
The result of these rather easy changes is a helmet bay that will finally keep your stuff cosy and dry no matter what the weather conditions are, which is exactly what you’d have expected it to do in the first place.
Words and photos: Boris
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