Motorcycles

Piaggio shows high performance hybrid two wheeler

Piaggio shows high performance...
Piaggio's USB
Piaggio's USB
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Piaggio's USB
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Piaggio's USB
Piaggio's direct injection hybrid USB
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Piaggio's direct injection hybrid USB
Piaggio's direct injection hybrid USB
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Piaggio's direct injection hybrid USB
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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).

Quite remarkably, the performance of the USB is awesome using both to develop a claimed combined torque figure of 200 Nm which means the plug-in USB blitzes to its top speed of 100 kmh far faster than your average performance car.

For the electric propulsion only, the 2.5 Kw/h lithium-polymer batteries offer a 50 Km endurance at a cruising speed of 60 kmh and the USB will be reconfigurable as a single-seater, twin-seat, or with top-box. Piaggio's Vespa popularised the scooter in the fifties and its three-wheeled architecture is revolutionary too - this looks to be a particularly viable concept and we think it'll see production.

Once again, Piaggio has chosen a confusing, and now we must assume deliberately misleading, name - last time it named its revolutionary hybrid three-wheel scooter the MP3 (coincidentally the abbreviation for the popular digital music format) and this time it's the USB, another computer term in extremely common daily parlance. It looks like stupidity from here, particularly when both products are world-leading - can anybody think of a good reason to deliberately confuse a product's name with popular terms?

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20 comments
Michael Mantion
\"Top speed of 100 kmh far faster than your average performance car\" In what universe is 100kmh faster then an average performance car. I have never driven a street legal vehicle with a top speed of less then 100kmh (60mph).
Michael Mantion
I just realised that the author was trying to say it gets to 100kmh faster then a performance car. That isn\'t saying much, most 2 wheeled vehicles have high power to weight ratio allowing for snappy acceleration. Comparing the acceleration of a 2 wheel vehicle to that of a car is just silly.
If this were a diesel scooter and not a hybrid I might be impressed.
Raum Bances
I don\'t understand why Piaggio has such an affinity for naming their bikes after existing technology. All that serves to do is confuse people. First the MP3 and now a USB. I think I might hold out for the DVD or the much smaller bike \'SIMcard\'. :)
YukonJack
I tend to agree with you Michael, back a few decades ago a friend of mine conducted a little impromtu race out in front of his parent\'s home. He was in his brother-in-laws Dodge that was equipped with a 426 Hemi while I was on my Yamaha 80cc Trail bike. And yes my 80cc bike did beat the 426 Hemi off the line albeit was only for the 1st foot or 1/3 meter. It\'s all in the physic I suppose.
Drifter
The average consumer has difficulty changing an accustomed behavior, any chance of making a product familiar helps lend an \'air\' of acceptability. To ride on to the coat tails of an existing, albeit successful, product, ie. i _____ (fill in the blank) implies an association.
BSW
I love this site - the best info on new cool stuff - ever!
But I do not understand your fascination with motor cycles - I have had way too many friends maimed or killed on these things.
You don;t report on new guns as far as I can tell.
Who cares how fast or how far they go - they are just death traps.
Brian Callender
@Michael Mantion
It accelerates to 100kph faster than a performance car.
robinyatesuk2003
I have ridden motorbikes all my life,,,,,I\'m now 65,,,,,,,,,,never had an accident,,,,,,,,,never fell off apart from a broken chain on a Bonneville in the 70\'s,,,,
Yannick
I come here to read about motorbikes - keep up the good work
snave
Ah, the ggod old `motorcycles are dangerous` cliche. In fact in good ol\' England we have an expression \"Remember when sex was safe and motorcycles were dangerous..?\" Fact is, it\'s the training that\'s dangerous, not the bike. It\'s the user who rides without proper protection and under the influence of drugs or alcohol that is truly dangerous... aided of course by the other ill-trained, inebriated, smacked-out cretin in the 4x4 jumping the red because the phone rang. Sure it\'s a stupid name, but if it\'s green, economical AND fast, who\'s going to complain? Now all they have to do is DO it. (File under: `Italian motorcycle manufacturer promises`)