Click above for more images of the Piaggio MP3 400 and 500
Two seventy-something year old men will soon be embarking on a 3,400 mile trip across the U.S. on the famed Lincoln Highway. The trip for Bob Chase and Bernard "Buddy" Rosenbaum will start on June 13 at San Francisco's Lincoln Park and hit fourteen different states before they end on July 14 at the Lincoln Highway's eastern end-point in New York City's Times Square. The vehicle of choice for the journey is the Piaggio MP3 500, which we recently tested in New York and found to be extremely competent. The projected fuel mileage for the trip is about 55 miles per gallon. Just so long as they obey the speed limit most of the way and don't test the ninety-plus mile per hour top speed too often, they should have little problem hitting that figure. In addition to the excellent fuel mileage, this scooter was chosen for its stability and excellent handling. We certainly wish the duo the best on their trip and look forward to following their travels.
Innovative three-wheel technology fuels the spirit of adventure for two 70+ year old world travelers
Is 70 the new 50? Does four-plus-dollar-a-gallon gas have to curtail your summer road trip? Are three wheels sometimes better than two or four? The answers are yes, no and absolutely -- and to prove it, two 70-year-old retirees are tackling all 3,400-miles of the historic Lincoln Highway onboard the world's most innovative scooter -- the three-wheel Piaggio MP3 500. This no-age-limits adventure starts June 13 at San Francisco's Lincoln Park, the western terminus of "America's Main Street" and concludes at the Lincoln Highway's eastern terminus in New York City's Times Square on July 14.
In addition to enjoying the thrill of a classic American road trip on the country's first coast-to-coast route, lifelong motorcycle adventurers Bob Chase and Bernard "Buddy" Rosenbaum want to challenge the notion that chronological age and the freedom and fun of riding are mutually exclusive -- and that today's soaring fuel costs should confine senior travelers on a budget to a rocking chair. To prove their point, they've enlisted the unique talents of the Piaggio MP3 scooter, an automatic twist n' go 500cc machine that's as stable as a car, leans into the curves like a sports bike, has a top speed of 92 mph and sips fuel at the rate of 53 to 55 mpg.
"Getting older shouldn't keep you from doing the things you really love," says 71-year old Buddy Rosenbaum, the dynamo behind the Piaggio MP3 Lincoln Highway: No Age Limit adventure. Rosenbaum's philosophy about aging focuses on making adjustments to accommodate age and physical capabilities, not giving up a sport or activity because of age-related realities, such as loss of muscle mass or strength. "Bob and I have spent the past few decades on two wheels, exploring every corner of the globe, and we plan to spend the next few doing exactly that -- but on three wheels," says Rosenbaum, who, along with Chase, became the first Americans allowed to explore Russia on a motorcycle.
The Riders and Their Ride: Matched for a Lifetime of Adventure
Rosenbaum and riding partner Chase met on a motorcycle trip in the late 1990s and have since tamed blistering deserts and the world's tallest mountains in 40 countries. Buddy, a retired clinical psychologist and academic and Bob, a semi-retired industrial business leader, don't just have passports that rival those of international diplomats, they have the energy and fitness factor required to log thousands of miles and challenging terrain annually. As they approached their 70s, however, their heavy sport touring bikes became a bit tougher to handle. Enter the innovative Piaggio MP3 500, the only three-wheeled machine on the market that gets a rider's adrenaline into high-rev mode while delivering utility, such as cargo space, and long-distance riding comfort.
In addition to the MP3 500's sporty character, Rosenbaum and Chase chose the maxi scooter for its unparalleled stability. The MP3's innovative parallelogram front suspension technology is unlike anything else available in the market -- it provides category-leading stability and impeccable road holding, while large 240 mm triple steel disk brakes ensure fast stopping power. The MP3 requires 20% less braking distance than best-in-class two-wheel scooters. Best of all for sport bike enthusiasts like Buddy and Bob, the MP3's 40-degree wheel lean angle gives riders that same ear to ear grin that comes with carving a motorcycle through a turn.
"Growing old doesn't mean you have to abandon your passions -- you just need to be creative and find smart new ways of enjoying your favorite recreation or sport," says Paolo Timoni, President and CEO, Piaggio Group Americas, Inc. "The MP3 is the ideal solution for anyone who wants the pulse-pounding thrill of riding a motorcycle, with all the ease-of-riding benefits of a scooter."
The Route: Geoblogs and Adventures from "America's Main Street"
Following the June 13th, 12:00 Noon PST send-off across San Francisco's Bay Bridge (real-time broadcast provided courtesy of Seero.com), the team will begin their journey through 14 states, 128 counties and 500 cities -- a trek that literally all eyes around the world are invited to experience and track around the clock, thanks to the team's daily "geoblogs" posted to http://www.piaggiousa.com/ . Using the latest interactive Google(R) Map technology from Geotegic, a company founded by transcontinental driving record holder Alex Roy, real-time reports and images from the road are pinpointed within the route map and continually updated as the riders journey eastward. Check in often -- the No Limits Ride content debuts at noon PST, June 13.
In addition, fans are invited to meet the team in person at scheduled appearances along the route, including Vespa Provo, Orem, UT (June 17); Vespa Greenwood Village, Greenwood Village, CO (June 24); Vespa Chicago Motoworks, Chicago, IL (July 4); Vespa Pittsburgh East, North Huntingdon, PA (July 9) and Vespa Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA (July 12). Buddy and Bob are scheduled to arrive at 42nd Street and Broadway, the highway's eastern terminus, on July 14.
About The Piaggio Group:
With over 6,700 employees, an annual production of more than 680,000 vehicles in 2006, 5 R&D centers, 7 production facilities in Europe and Asia, and operations in over 50 countries, the Piaggio Group has a consolidated leadership in the European 2 wheeler market.
Its production includes scooters, motorcycles and mopeds in the 50cc to 1,200 cc displacement range, marketed under the Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Derbi, Aprilia, Scarabeo and Moto Guzzi brands.