The Piaggio Group has filed a patent for a leaning three-wheeler. However, it’s not the conventional kind. This one has leaning REAR wheels.
Piaggio already has a number of three-wheelers on offer, such as the MP3 and the more conventional Ape. However, it thinks there’s still room for one more, this time with leaning rear wheels.
The new patent filed by the company shows blueprints for a motorcycle with this feature. The rear wheels are designed to lean in the same angle as the rest of the motorcycle, while the differential remains stationary. It makes use of constant velocity joints (found in cars) to transmit power from a solid axle to the rear wheels. Several linkages ensure that both rear wheels are leaning at the same angle. There may even be a mode where the rear wheels can be locked in the vertical position while the rest of the bike leans.
Three-wheel motorcycles have been gaining a lot of interest lately. Most of these three-wheel models have two wheels in front in a reverse trike configuration. This has proven to return better front end grip and the best balance of fun and stability.
Peugeot also has the Metropolis model, similar to Piaggio’s MP3. Yamaha has entered the arena with the Niken and Tricity. Yamaha is also putting a lot of investment into the tech, with concepts like the Tritown three-wheel leaning scooter and even a four-wheel leaning vehicle.
Conventional trikes like Harley’s Tri Glide Ultra are designed more for touring and not known for handling. Honda has one too, called the Gyro, which is still on sale, but only in Japan.
As such, it will be interesting to see how Piaggio‘s innovation could impact the niche segment, if at all.