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Vespa

Vespa's 150 TAP (Troupes Aéro Portées) was designed to be dropped into battle by parachute...

For motorcyclists wishing to balance the inequities of the road-going pecking order, this could be the perfect mount. Vespa's 150 TAP might only be good for 40 mph, but the integrated M20 light anti-armor cannon shoots 75 mm rounds capable of penetrating 100 mm of armor from four miles.  Read More

Quadro's four wheeler

The convergence of the car and the motorcycle we forecast last year looks set to continue with the first public showing today at EICMA 2010 in Milan of a range of three and four wheeled scooters by Italian start-up Quadro. The start-up is particularly exciting because the company is to be run by Luciano Marabese, the man who designed both the Piaggio MP3 three-wheeled scooter and the Yamaha Tesseract four-wheeled motorcycle shown in 2007. The new machines will use an hydraulic tilting system patented by Marabese. In 2011 we’ll see the 350cc three-wheeled Quadro and later in the year, a 500cc four-wheeler. The four-wheeled motorcycle will evolve into a full family of supersports, hybrid, electric and off-road models, offering better braking, faster cornering and more safety and stability than a motorcycle.  Read More

Piaggio's USB

Piaggio's MP3 was the world's first hybrid three-wheeler and at EICMA this week, it showed what is likely to be the first two-wheeled hybrid – the Piaggio USB (urban sport bike). The combination of a highly efficient, low-emmission GDI (gasoline direct injection) two-stroke motor and an electric motor, the USB is much smaller than it looks in the images and weighs in at just 130 kg. The USB runs 50km (30 miles) on electric only, and returns 1.5 l/100 km (156 U.S. mpg and 188 imperial mpg).  Read More

Piaggio ready to release 170 mpg hybrid two and three wheel scooters

Italian manufacturer Piaggio, the maker of Vespa, is set to become the first company to release a hybrid drive scooter following an announcement that it is developing hybrid versions of its Vespa LX, Piaggio X8 and Vespa MP3 (the carving three-wheeler) models. The new hybrid system, which has a working title of HyS (Hybrid Scooter), can operate in full electric mode with a range of around 20 kilometres as well as hybrid mode - whenever the rider needs to accelerate more aggressively, the electric motor kicks in, providing about 85 per cent extra performance. Piaggio’s HyS system is a parallel hybrid in which a combustion engine and an electric motor incorporated into the gearbox casing are mechanically and electronically linked and simultaneously supply power to the rear wheel. The system uses drive-by-wire and the in-built electronic management combines the two engines to offer not only better acceleration but also a significant reduction in fuel consumption (up to 170 mpg or 1.67 liters/100 km) and in CO2 emissions, only 40 g/km (using 65% the hybrid modes and 35% the electric one). Perhaps the most exciting prospect is the hybrid MP3 which enjoyed such success as a 250cc it has since been developed as a 400cc version and was recently shown as a stylish 500cc Gilera – a sportier hybrid version of the 500 would enjoy exceptional performance.  Read More

Vespa's very sporty three wheeled scooter

May 18, 2006 Piaggio launched the first Vespa model in 1946, creating an iconic presence in the personal transport revolution that evolved in the following decades. Sixty years on, the Italian company has come up with another revolutionary product: the PIAGGIO MP3, a three-wheeler with two independent tilting front wheels that operate in a “carving” motion. The PIAGGIO MP3 provides safety, road grip and stability levels that no two-wheeler can match, with lean angles of 40 degrees or more possible from novice riders. Available in 125 and 250 forms initially, we’re licking our lips at the prospect of the 500 version. Extensive image library.  Read More

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