Leaked patents show upcoming Yamaha Tmax three-wheeler

The past couple of weeks have been filled with news of three-wheeler motorcycles being developed. Piaggio is working on one with twin leaning rear wheels, while Kawasaki is working on one with upright front wheels. Now, Yamaha is hitting back with an improvement to its old design.

Yamaha working on Tmax-size three-wheeler image

The company has just registered patents for an upcoming three-wheeler scooter design. There are several aspects of the design that stand out. For one, there appears to be a cooling fan on one side, which are typically fitted on scooters that have engines under the seats. Another is the use of double wishbones on the front suspension, unlike the parallelogram telescopic forks found on other Leaning Multi-Wheel (LMW) models.

Yamaha working on Tmax-size three-wheeler imageYamaha Niken

The double wishbones indicate Yamaha may be departing from its original fork-based design, which some criticized as heavy and complicated. With this new double wishbone design, much of the system’s weight is reduced, while also resulting in a lower center of gravity and better handling.

Yamaha working on Tmax-size three-wheeler imageYamaha MW-Vision concept

This new LMW suspension system is the product of Yamaha’s acquisition of Norwegian firm, Brudeli, in 2017. Brudeli made three-wheeler trikes out of KTM motorcycles, called “Leansters.” Brudeli’s system features an upper mounting bracket that remains upright even when the bike leans, which encourages it to right itself. Yamaha, in turn, has added a brake disc to lock this swiveling portion to keep it upright when stationary or parking.

Yamaha working on Tmax-size three-wheeler image

If it looks familiar, it’s because Yamaha has already shown this design in its MW-Vision concept at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. The concept was a tricycle with a roof and seat like a car, but retained its motorcycle handlebars and leaning ability.

The final clue in the patent is the rear section which looks identical to the Tmax 560’s platform. The position of the engine, transmission, exhaust system and swingarm look remarkably similar to the Tmax 560.

Yamaha working on Tmax-size three-wheeler imageYamaha Tricity 300

Looking at Yamaha’s LMW lineup, there is indeed a gap in the segment. So far, Yamaha already has 3 models: The Tricity 155, Tricity 300, and Niken (900cc). A 560cc three-wheeled scooter would slot in perfectly in between the Niken and Tricity 300. In addition, it would also compete directly against Peugeot Metropolis and Piaggio’s MP3. Could it be a Tricity 600?