Motorcycles Rise of the Tilting Trikes: Three-Wheeled Motorcycle Concepts

17:51  11 may  2017
17:51  11 may  2017 Source:   Motorcyclist

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You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience. Rise of the Tilting Trikes : Three - Wheeled Motorcyclist 4/17/2017 Ben Purvis. © Photo: Ben Purvis Could Yamaha's futuristic MWT-9 concept reach production? The world’s motorcycle manufacturers

Like Yamaha, Honda has shown a leaning three - wheeled concept bike, the NeoWing, which combined elements of Goldwing with a tilting two-wheeled front Why three wheels ? The market for leaning three - wheelers might be unproven, but in recent years sales of conventional trikes have grown

Could Yamaha's futuristic MWT-9 concept reach production?© Photo: Ben Purvis Could Yamaha's futuristic MWT-9 concept reach production?

The world’s motorcycle manufacturers are fighting on an ever-shifting battlefield as the fickle tastes of consumers flit from one fad to another. The task of predicting the next big sales opportunities and racing to catch rivals who are already capitalising on them is a mammoth one.

So when the world’s two leading motorcycle companies both turn in the same direction and focus on a completely new market, it’s worth taking note. And that’s what’s happening now, as both Honda and Yamaha accelerate development of leaning three-wheeled bikes that use technologies previously only seen on scooters and implement them on much bigger, faster models.

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Both Honda and Yamaha are accelerating the development of leaning, three - wheeled motorcycles . Could this be the next big advancement for the trike Like Yamaha, Honda has shown a leaning three - wheeled concept bike, the NeoWing, which combined elements of Goldwing with a tilting

Three - wheeled motorcycles made their way through the Trike -In in Mount Airy, N.C.. The bikes are increasingly popular. Credit Don Petersen for The New York Times. MOUNT AIRY, N.C. — In his nearly 50 years as an avid motorcyclist

Both firms are developing reverse trikes, with two front wheels and the rear end of a conventional bike, that lean into corners to give a riding experience that’s as close as possible to a two-wheeled machine while adding a new layer of grip and stability. We’ve already seen that such designs can be a hit in the scooter market, where Piaggio’s MP3 and its derivatives have been around for more than a decade, and Yamaha is also finding success with the similar Tricity. But so far there’s been resistance to applying the same thinking to larger, faster bikes.

Honda has so far patented three separate leaning front suspension systems, all shown attached to modified NC750 rear ends.© Animated GIF: Ben Purvis Honda has so far patented three separate leaning front suspension systems, all shown attached to modified NC750 rear ends.

Yamaha MWT-9 production bike

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The Honda Neowing is a tilting three - wheeled hybrid concept bike (Credit: Honda). Vaguely described as an "original Honda linkage mechanism," this system will probably be the focus point of this prototype tricycle when we get to examine it in more detail.

A tilting three - wheeler need not be much wider than a motorcycle the market – Piaggio’s excellent MP3 250cc – and while the looks and the concept of these strange-looking trikes tend to rankle the A massive success in Japan, the Gyro is a tilting three - wheeler with two wheels at the rear end, plus

Yamaha has been the most openly receptive to the three-wheeled idea. Its MWT-9 concept trike, revealed in 2015, took the engine and rear end from the FZ-09 (MT-09 on international markets) and combined it with a new tubular frame and a Tricity-style two-wheeled front end. Since then, a host of patents have emerged to suggest that it’s much more than just an eye-catching show bike, and is very likely to reach production.

Just last month a new batch of publications revealed images that appear to show a more productionised version of the MWT-9. One is a faired version, looking much like the concept but with small tweaks to the body panels that simplify their construction. Changes include separate side panels connecting the tank to the nose rather than the large one-piece design of the concept. Some of the patents (eg application US2017/088222) relate specifically to the bodywork, and particularly to small panels that mount to the tilting suspension parts to cover their mechanical elements.

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At the vanguard of the full-size tilting trike revolution is a lone engineer in a garage somewhere in Snohomish, WA. The 1197cc V-Max V-4 propelled Mighell to 132.245 mph, breaking the land speed record for three - wheeled motorcycles by more than 10 mph.

Even though trikes / three - wheelers have increased in popularity, there’s still contention as to whether or not they’re actually motorcycles . Inside the cockpit your find adjustable, waterproof seats, a tilting steering wheel, lockable glove box, and a media center with 4.3″ LCD screen.

A second Yamaha patent application (US2017/088223) relates specifically to an unfaired version of the same bike. Pictures in it reveal larger suspension-covering panels and a different front section to the tank, as well as a standalone headlight unit. Unlike the faired version, which has been previewed as the MWT-9 concept, the naked one has never been seen before.

Both bikes share the normal FZ-09’s 850cc triple, even using the stock two-wheeler’s swingarm. Japanese sources have long said that the MWT-9 will become a production model, and the mounting evidence suggests they’re right.

Just last month a new batch of publications revealed images that appear to show a more production-ized version of Yamaha's previously teased MWT-9.© Animated GIF: Ben Purvis Just last month a new batch of publications revealed images that appear to show a more production-ized version of Yamaha's previously teased MWT-9.

Honda’s three-wheeled plans

Like Yamaha, Honda has shown a leaning three-wheeled concept bike, the NeoWing, which combined elements of Goldwing with a tilting two-wheeled front and a futuristic hybrid engine.While there’s some suggestions that the next-generation ‘Wing will be offered in three-wheeled form as well as in conventional two-wheeled guise, Honda also has an ongoing trike project based around the NC750.

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The NTVNTW is a platform that allows two, three or four wheel configurations, with Knisley's preferred first run being a three wheeler in a reverse trike style with two wheels at the front. Notably, it uses flat car tires rather than curved motorcycle tires, as the wheels themselves don't tilt relative to the

A three - wheeler is a vehicle with three wheels . Some are motorized tricycles , which may be legally classed as either automobiles or motorcycles , while others are tricycles without a motor , some of which are human powered vehicles and animal powered vehicles.

The firm has so far patented three separate leaning front suspension systems, all shown attached to modified NC750 rear ends. It’s more than likely Honda has built prototypes using each of the different designs.

The design to be most recently patented is also the simplest. Like the Yamaha MWT-9, Tricity and the Piaggio MP3, it gets its leaning ability from a pair of parallel links running across the front. These pivot at their centers at the top and bottom of what would be the steering head, and carry their own head tubes at each end, again on pivots.

Simple vertical struts hold each front wheel, with a short leading-link and coilover on each side providing the suspension. The system is very close to the Piaggio MP3’s design, and rather simpler than the Yamaha set-up, which uses four telescopic fork legs, two for each wheel.

Earlier Honda patents included a similar one, but with trailing links for the suspension, and a completely different arrangement with front swingarms instead of the transverse parallelogram tilting system. The NeoWing uses yet another design, with car-style wishbone suspension.

In some markets there may be scope for car drivers to jump straight onto a leaning three-wheeler without jumping through hoops to get an additional motorcycle entitlement.© Photo: Ben Purvis In some markets there may be scope for car drivers to jump straight onto a leaning three-wheeler without jumping through hoops to get an additional motorcycle entitlement.

Why three wheels?

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In fact, he took that V-Max trike to Bonneville and set a record for three wheelers of 132 mph back in 2012, which should pretty well They turn and counter steer just like a regular two wheel motorcycle and the build quality looks to be first rate. A Harley Road King gets the tilting trike treatment.

After years of trials with an ‘underpowered’ proof of concept machine, a three - wheeled Honda Rebel 250, Mighell (pronounced ‘mile’) has solved his power problem with a tilting I built two reverse trikes (two wheels up front, but not leaning) starting with the TW200 as the motorcycle to convert.

The market for leaning three-wheelers might be unproven, but in recent years sales of conventional trikes have grown enough to get Harley Davidson to launch its own range.One reason is that there’s a growing generation of older riders who don’t want to give up their bikes even when manhandling them becomes difficult. Add to that an increasingly safety-conscious society and the pressures that many riders feel from loved ones to curb risks, and it’s becomes clear that there’s a market out there for something that provides a bike-style riding experience but with fewer potential pitfalls.

Anyone who’s tried a Piaggio MP3 or Yamaha Tricity will be familiar with how easy it is to forget their three-wheeled weirdness once on the move, so there’s reason to believe these machines will feel much like normal bikes in day-to-day use. But with twice the front-end contact patch and the ability to hold themselves upright at a standstill, there’s a safety net that you won’t find on a two-wheeler.

Moreover, in some markets there may be scope for car drivers to jump straight onto a leaning three-wheeler without jumping through hoops to get an additional motorcycle entitlement. That could provide access to a massive, untapped market of casual potential motorcyclists.

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