AKO tilting electric trike

AKO tests tilting trike prototype

Lithuanian start-up AKO is now testing its electric-powered tilting trike prototype which is somewhere between a motorcycle, trike, car and plane.

Like the Piaggio and Yamaha leaning scooters, the Yamaha Niken leaning motorcycle and the non-leaning Can-Am Spyder roadster, it has two wheels up front and a single wheel at the back.

But the most interesting departure is the steering system which is somewhere between an aircraft yoke, car steering wheel and motorcycle handlebars.

Riders turn the bars/wheel the same as a motorcycle to steer, but can also move the steering column side to side to tilt the machine up to 30°.

AKO leaning electric itrike
AKO leaning electric trike

The hefty 500kg AKO is powered by a 26kWh battery and electric motor driving a shaft to the single rear wheel.

Output is 200kW with 600Nm of torque.

Range is claimed to be more than 300km with a top speed limited to 240km/h.

That compares with the Harley-Davidson LiveWire with 150km of highway range and 235km of city range.  It will arrive in Australia later this year costing probably more than $40,000.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle
MBW tests the LiveWire in the US

 

AKO applied for the patent in July 2019 and is now in the prototype testing phase so production is be a long way off yet.

The company is now asking for manufacturers interested in production to contact them via their website: akotrike.com.ako trike

Tilting into the future

Several other companies are also working on tilting three wheelers.

Yamaha is particularly keen on a leaning trike future and has applied for several patents.

Yamaha Niken VMax leaning three-wheeler coming AKO
Yamaha patent drawing

Honda was the only one that has applied for a leaning trike patent with an electric motor until the AKO.

Honda Neowing Goldwing leaning three-wheeler trike patent granted aka
Honda patent

And late last year, Kawasaki applied for a patent for a tilting trike.

Kawasaki leaning three-wheeler patent drawing
Kawasaki leaning three-wheeler patent drawing

We can see the advantages of a tilting three-wheeler:

  • More front contact patch means great cornering confidence;
  • Better braking performance from the extra contact patch;
  • Safer and therefore attractive to more people; and
  • No need for a side stand or to put your foot down when stopped.

There are also disadvantages compared with a traditional two-wheeled motorcycle or scooter:

  • Costlier and more complex suspension;
  • Less lean angle;
  • Wider footprint and less ability to lane filter;
  • Heavier and therefore higher fuel/power consumption; and
  • Greater tyre replacement costs.

 

 

  1. At present, a motorbike (or similar) is the only motorised vehicle that can transport a single person (and sometimes a passenger) from A to B in congested urban traffic. It can park practically anwhere, it can filter through traffic and can usually be at the front at traffic lights. It can accelerate faster than most cars, is cheap to run and can usually be taken off the street and recharged overnight. The downside is that a bike (or scooter) does need specialised handling capabilities; it can be dangerous and it does not provide protection against inclement weather conditions.
    Leaning technology can provide a narrow (max. 85cm) three or four wheeled electric vehicle that is enclosed and has the performance of a traditional motorbike. Why hasn´t one of the major car or bike manufacturers progressed beyond presenting a plethora of futuridtic prototypes?

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