Piaggio plans world's first reverse leaning trike

Piaggio plans reverse leaning trike

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Piaggio has filed a patent for a reverse leaning three-wheeler with the two wheels at the back rather than the front.

Traditional three-wheelers or trikes have the wheels at the back, but they don’t lean.

In 2006, the Italian company introduced the MP3 scooter which was the world’s first leaning three-wheeler.

It had the wheels at the front and their revolutionary configuration has since been followed by Yamaha with its TriCity scooter and Niken motorcycle.

Yamaha Niken neowing leaning
Niken (Image: Yamaha)

AKO also plans a similar electric-powered leaning trike and other companies such as Honda and Kawasaki have filed for similar patents.

AKO leaning electric itrike
AKO leaning electric trike

Advantages

I’ve ridden several leaning three-wheelers and found them much more stable at high speeds than a conventional trike.

The double front tyre contact patch also makes them much safer on entering a corner where low friction from gravel or oil could cause a low-side crash.

Tricity scooter
Tricity

This configuration provides much greater rider confidence pushing into corners.

However, we wonder if this conventional trike layout with two wheels at the back but also leaning might actually decrease front tyre friction and therefore rider confidence.

It is not the first leaning three wheeler with two wheels at the back, as pointed out by a reader. The first was the BSA Ariel 3 which licensed the idea to Honda for use in several models.

Piaggio design

The Piaggio design actually only allows the front end to lean while the rear axle remains parallel to the ground via a car-like Constant Velocity joint.

It would certainly improved traction under power coming out of a corner.

The patent drawing seems to suggest a scooter with the engine in the rear like a Porsche 911.

And like the German Porker, it might be a hoot to ride — or drift — with its pendulum-like handling.

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