Tilting three-wheeled motorcycles look like going mainstream with the showing by Yamaha of a sporting MWT-9 concept at its press conference at the opening of the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. The three-cylinder 850cm MWT-9 concept is described as a "cornering master" and the indications are that it is likely to extend the existing three-wheeled 125cm Tricity scooter into an entire family of three-wheelers. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of tilting three wheelers is their ability to corner faster and safer than two-wheelers due to the extra traction available by two tire footprints at the front.
The exceptional cornering performance provided by the twin front wheels and the bank angle maximized by the outward positioned front suspension forks enable a high level of performance that lets the rider go freely through twisty roads with ever-changing road surfaces and dotted with tight curves in succession, is what Yamaha officials have stated.
Leaning Multi-Wheel (LMW) vehicles have been inevitability for close to a decade now, mainly because expanding the world's urban road infrastructure is too costly to contemplate, the world's population is moving to cities, and there's not enough room for everyone to have a full-sized car. Toyota, the world's second largest car manufacturer recognized this in developing the i-Road. Honda was the first of the Japanese manufacturers to experiment with Leaning Multi-Wheel (LMW) concept models and it's three-wheeled Gyro has now been a mainstay of Japanese urban transport for more than three decades. The Gyro has it's two-wheels at the back though and although the bike tilts, the two rear wheels remain flat on the road and the chassis pivots on the rear driving platform.
The first tilting three-wheeler to hit the roads was Piaggio's 125cm MP3 and then followed it up with a 500cm version dubbed the Fuoco and marketed under the sister Gilera brand and a subsequent 250cm version. Yamaha was the first of the powerful Japanese manufacturers to get into fully tilting motorcycle-like vehicles when it showed the remarkable Tesseract four-wheeled motorcycle concept at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. The Tesseract was designed for Yamaha by Luciano Marabese, the man who also designed the Piaggio MP3 three-wheeled scooter and the Yamaha Tesseract four-wheeled motorcycle shown in 2007. Marabese has subsequently designed a third generation tilting system and has built his own company, Quadro, to market its three- and four-wheelers.
Yamaha was also the first to get an LMW into production with its three-wheeled 125cm Tricity which debuted at EICMA in Milan in November 2013 and has been on the roads since early 2014. Yamaha is mum on technical details, even on the launch of it for sales. Since three wheelers are becoming an evolution, we can expect this motorcycle to enter into sale sometime soon.
Yamaha tease trike concept at the Tokyo Motor Show.
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