Three wheelers are considered as one of the convenient and cheapest means of public transports in India. Moreover, the first purpose-built automobile was a three-wheeler, which was Benz Patent Motorwagen made in 1885. However, it was a two rear vehicle. It is the usual form of three-wheeled vehicle from which motorized and manual rickshaws were evolved.
India is often referred to as a country with "Unity in Diversity". Therefore, one can find rickshaws buzzing in and around almost every streets and roads of India. To some extent, it is the cheapest form of public transportation. As India is a developing country, some people might feel it difficult to afford a car. This had elevated the preference of motorcycle in the country. Altogether, three-wheeled rickshaws and motorcycles are the two inevitable automobiles for the Indians.
The Front Two three-wheeled vehicles have a configuration of two wheels at the front and a single wheel at the back. The 'Voiturette' built by Léon Bollée Automobiles of France in 1895 is considered as the first front two-wheeled vehicle of its kind. Later, various forms of such vehicles were made featuring different types of engine. However, these were primarily based on four-wheeled vehicles, featuring the chassis, suspension and steering system similar to cars. Such front two vehicles have improved aerodynamics and it requires only a lightweight engine to drive the rear wheels.
Tilting Three-Wheeled Scooters
Tilting three-wheeler is the scooter representation of the three-wheeled vehicle. This unique scooter was developed in order to undergo the motorcycle riding experience in three wheelers. Unlike other three-wheelers, their body or wheels can be tilted in the direction of the turn. Such tilted vehicles can corner safely even in a narrow track.
The tadpole configuration of these vehicles claims both stability and traction control. The front two wheels of the vehicle create wide round surface of the vehicle, while the rear wheel enables the vehicle to taper at the back. One of the safety features of this sort of vehicles is its stability in braking turns. However, they are also prone to overturning in normal speeds when compared to normal four-wheelers.
The Yamaha Tricity
Yamaha Tricity is one of the advanced tilting three-wheeled scooters developed by joining hands with the race engineer Kazuhisa Takano. It was introduced in the year 2014, for the much lively Thailand market. The Yamaha Tricity targets people who prefer to experience the motorcycle rides with maximum safety of a four-wheeled car. The critical reception of Piaggio MP3 has encouraged the Yamaha to develop such an innovative scooter. After the launch, it scored positive reviews all around. Especially the stability, grip and braking of the Tricity were too good and even better than other basic motorcycles of the market.
Tricity is powered by 125cc, single cylinder, liquid cooled engine delivering a maximum power of 12 bhp and peak torque of 11.7 Nm. This fuel injected engine uses V-Belt automatic transmission system. It gets a pair of 14-inch tyres at the front and 13-inch at the rear which is fitted with hydraulic 220 and 230 mm disc brakes at front and back respectively. Like the conventional automatic scooter, it features telescopic forks at the front and unit swing suspension at the rear.
Basically, except for the man-powered and motorized rickshaws, other forms of three wheeled vehicles are not usually found on the Indian roads. Therefore, the front two-wheeled three wheelers like Yamaha Tricity and Piaggio MP3 might have a highly speculated market in the country. According to the recent studies, India has now become the World's largest two wheeler market and this particular fact has to be exploited by the makers of three wheelers. The wide acceptance of automatic scooters, Indian road conditions, dangerous drivers and unmatched terrains best suits three-wheeled vehicles in our country a lot.
As I mentioned earlier, India is a diversified country of land, people and culture. For the majority of millions, it is hard to own a car. Therefore two-wheelers have become their only resort for private transportation. Meanwhile, most of them do not prefer motorcycles for their own kids or ladies in India due to the safety concerns. The number of road accidents in India is the finest example for that. As a matter of safety concern, front two-wheeled three-wheelers could solve this problem to some extent.