Posted: 26 Oct 2013
I’m sure you’ve all seen those quirky looking three-wheeled Piaggio MP3’s buzzing around our cities, they’ve proven to be very popular abroad, especially in France where it became the best selling machine. This prompted Peugeot to develop a tilting three-wheeled machine of their own…welcome to the Peugeot Metropolis.
So what is it?
The Metropolis is a 399cc, liquid cooled, fuel injected scooter with twin front wheels set just the right width apart to class it as a tricycle, this has advantages and disadvantages. A tricycle can be ridden by anybody who passed a car test before January 19th 2013; if you passed after that or haven’t got a car licence you’ll need an A2 licence. On the downside a tricycle costs £78 a year to tax as opposed to £37 for a bike but parking and congestion charging are free in most places and you can still filter through traffic as well as you can on a bike.
The Metropolis has an extra front wheel, just in case you’ve not noticed! That extra contact patch is fantastic, especially on wet or slippery surfaces and slow speed stability is excellent. The body still leans like a conventional scooter but you’re getting more rubber on the road, you’ve also got an extra disk brake to help you stop. Talking of brakes, they’re linked so the foot pedal (trikes have to have one) operates all three disks, as does the left lever. The right lever just operates the twin front disks. Braking is good but not outstanding.
The Metropolis team took some design cues from their car department, so it has a typical Peugeot feel to it, it also has a keyless ignition (just have the key in your pocket to start it) an electronic handbrake, tyre pressure monitors, multi spoke alloys and provision for a sat nav. There’s also a vertical LED daytime running light and two LED ‘eyebrows’ to help get you noticed. Storage wise there’s a small boot space (just about large enough for an open faced lid) and underseat space (not too roomy), these can both be accessed by pressing a button in the rear of the fairing, only if you’ve got the key with you though to prevent theft.
It takes a little bit of familiarisation whether you’re an experienced or novice rider but basically if you can ride a scooter it won’t take you long to get to grips with the Metropolis because the controls are virtually identical. The body itself locks using a switch on the right handlebar, blip the throttle and it unlocks. You can only lock the body at slow speeds (around 4mph) or whilst stationary but it means you can coast to a stop without putting your feet down. The scooter leans to 39º so you can still get around corners quickly, you do need to put a bit more effort into cornering though because that front end is heavy.
What’s it like to ride?
The 399cc engine produces 37.2bhp and enough torque to get its 256kg of bulk moving quickly too. It’s good for just shy of an indicated 100mph and feels stable and planted at speed. Handling is good but it does take a bit of getting used to, once you’ve mastered it you’ll love never having to put your feet down again!
The bad news
Technology doesn’t come cheap and with a machine like this you’ve got to stop thinking of it as ‘just a scooter.’ Piaggio have sold over 130,000 of their MP3’s…mostly in Europe and France in particular. That’s because Europeans welcome new technology and see a maxi scooter as year round transport, rather than just a plaything to use whilst the bike is wrapped up in the garage for winter. The Metropolis is a serious machine and attracts a serious price so if you’ve got £6999 burning a hole in your pocket get down to your local Peugeot dealer, he’ll be pleased to see you.
+ Points: Year round usability, styling
- Points: Price, no ABS
Engine: 399cc, four stroke, liquid cooled, fuel injected
Wheels: Front 120/70-12, rear 140/70-12
Brakes: Front twin 200mm disks, rear 240mm disk (linked and with parking brake)
Suspension: Front deformable parallelogram with DTW and hydraulic shock, twin rear shocks
Dimensions: Length 2152mm, width 775mm, height 1450mm, wheelbase 1555mm
Seat height: 780mm
Price: £6999 (RS £7199)
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