Author: Iggy Grainger Posted: 17 Oct 2013
If you’ve ever fancied riding a bike or scooter but can’t be bothered with the hassle and expense of taking a test, the PiaggioYourban LT300 ie may be your answer because you can ride it on a full car licence thanks to its slightly wider front axle.
The idea of novice riders taking to the streets on a machine like this is a bit worrying and to overcome these legitimate concerns every new Yourban LT is sold with a free one-day familiarisation session. Piaggio also insist buyers have a valid CBT.
The Yourban LT is based on Piaggio’s very successful tilting three-wheeled scooter, the MP3. This one differs from the ‘ordinary’ MP3 because its front wheels are set over 460mm wide, which classifies it as a trike rather than a motorcycle, hence the licencing loophole. LT, or ‘Large Tread’ also has to have indicators on stalks, as opposed to flush mount indicators, daytime running lights and a rear foot brake. The Yourban comes with a liquid cooled automatic 278cc fuel injected engine; it’s good for around 70mph and gets there fairly quickly too, so is just as at home on the motorway as it is around town. The scooter handles very well, you can tilt it to the max even in the wet and lapping roundabouts in the rain is great fun. It’s a perfect winter machine.
One thing that does take a little time to get used to is not having to put your feet down while at a standstill. You push a button on the bars and the machine locks into place making it perfectly safe to keep your feet on the floor boards, twist the throttle and it releases automatically and you’re away. As a safety feature the lock only operates when the machine is stationary or at very slow speeds.
Although the Yourban looks a bit bulky, the actual front profile isn’t any wider than a conventional maxi scooter so it can still get through traffic (as we found out in central London) so you can still filter quite easily. The extra front wheel gives a great feeling of stability and control, especially on less than perfect road surfaces, or in the wet and stopping distances are reduced by 20% over a two wheeled scooter, thanks to those triple disks. Although sceptical at first I was an MP3 convert the very first time I rode one at the original launch a few years ago, they’re great fun to ride. Since then the MP3 has sold very well around the world and you literally trip over them in France (hence Peugeot releasing their own three wheeled Metropolis).
The Yourban LT300 offers all the usual practicalities of a scooter, ease of use, weather protection and ample storage but isn’t cheap, it retails for £5,932. Road tax is expensive as well compared to a bike (£78 a year) so buying one is comparable to buying a second car. Factor in the added insurance costs of a car and the extra cost of fuel and it starts to make a bit more sense. Piaggio claim 87mpg for the Yourban. If you work in a congested city and choose four wheels you’ll also have parking costs and the thought of spending a 1/3 of your life being sat in traffic to give you an added incentive to switch to two, or in this case, three wheels.
The twin front wheels act on a parallelogram system, which is composed of four aluminium arms and hinges fixed to the central tube. It also has two guide tubes located on either side of the parallelogram; these are connected to the arms using suspension pins and bearings. The extra stability and traction from the third wheel allows the scooter to lean further than the laws of physics usually dictate.
+ Points: Great in winter, skidding is brilliant!
- Points: Expensive to buy, maintenance isn’t cheap, road tax is £78
Engine: 278cc, fuel injected, liquid cooled, four stroke
Power: 22.8bhp @ 7750rpm
Brakes: Front twin 240mm discs, rear single 240mm disc (plus combined foot brake)
Wheels: Front twin 110/70-13”, rear 140/60-14”
Dimensions: Length 2040mm, width 760mm, track 465mm, wheelbase 1440mm, seat height 780mm, fuel capacity 10.8 litres, weight 211kg
Images courtesy of Andrew Robinson