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DiamondBack trike looks "lean" and mean

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December 11, 2013

The DiamondBack leans into turns, thanks to a unique pneumatic system

The DiamondBack leans into turns, thanks to a unique pneumatic system

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There's nothing quite like leaning into a turn on a motorcycle. That said, there's also nothing quite like wiping out on one. For people who like the former but are wary of the latter, leaning trikes were invented. One of the latest to catch our attention is the snazzy-looking DiamondBack, which may hopefully soon be entering production.

The vehicle is the creation of Ohio-based electrical engineer Don Davis, who has previously worked in the automotive, pneumatics and aerospace industries. He tells us that he first came up with the concept when he became a dad, and was looking for a form of transportation that was as exhilarating and economical as his motorcycle, but safer.

The current single-seat prototype features a full steel roll cage, a Formula 1 style racing seat with a 5-point harness, and a pneumatically-raised canopy. Power is provided by a 1300CC Suzuki Hayabusa engine. The pneumatic leaning system, which also adjusts the vehicle's ride height in accordance to the weight of the driver, is Davis' own design.

Specs are still being gathered on fuel economy and performance, although Don says that the trike has a better power-to-weight ratio than a Lamborghini Murcielago.

A back view of the DiamondBack

Plans call for a two-seater V twin-powered model, along with the possibilities of a hybrid power plant and regenerative braking. A fully-enclosed canopy, which would incorporate heating and air conditioning, is also in the works.

Davis is now building the DiamondBack to order, at a price of US$29,995 a pop. He's also just launched a Kickstarter campaign, in order to fund larger-scale production of the trike.

"I love to design efficient and powerful products," he tells us. "I hope the DiamondBack touches many lives for the better."

You can see the prototype in action, in the pitch video below.

Sources: DiamondBack Division, Kickstarter

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
19 Comments

I think that is really cool. It would be neat to have a fully enclosed version so one can drive / ride it in any weather.

The cost seems on the high side. Makes me glad there is the Elio Motors three wheeler. http://www.eliomotors.com .

BigWarpGuy
11th December, 2013 @ 11:09 am PST

I was curious till I saw the price. At 30 grand I'd just buy a nicely engineered car.

Keith Lamb
11th December, 2013 @ 11:18 am PST

I don't think they will have any problem getting rid of these things at 30K. When I see new motorcycles go for 20K, this thing looks like a good buy at 30K. I just think they will have a hard time growing with their current KS campaign.

Perhaps they thought it was too early to start offering 25K KS special "pre-orders"?

Milton
11th December, 2013 @ 01:54 pm PST

Looks like a homebrew version of the Carver from back in 2008: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carver_%28automobile%29

The carver cost just over $40,000 (30,000 Euros), lack of demand meant the company went bankrupt.

I'm a bit skeptical about the $30,000 price tag. That's way too high for whats going to be just essentially going to be a toy for the weekend.

Motorbikes are half the width of this which lets you get around traffic, plus the parking is usually free and abundant. This is just going to get stuck in traffic fill a car parking spot, just like every other car.

The 'basic' take on construction for easy home repair and customization is a great bonus though. If the price comes down, I can see this being a nice little money earner. Can't see it going main stream sadly.

Andrew James Knowles
11th December, 2013 @ 02:24 pm PST

If I am going to have a trike I don't want to have to deal with alining the steering tires so I will go with a delta. If you are worried about the stability use a gyroscope as the energy storage devise for the regenerative breaking.

Slowburn
11th December, 2013 @ 03:40 pm PST

Compare this to a Can-am Spyder. Would you prefer to ride your trike or sit in it and drive it? This thing is not in the race yet but production line economics might get it there...

nutcase
11th December, 2013 @ 06:06 pm PST

@nutcase: The tilting aspect alone makes the experience superior to the Spyder. (And, just forget about those trike conversions where they put two wheels in the rear! I can't believe riders put those on thinking that they're safer! NOT!) However, if you'd rather ride, then pony up for a conversion kit from Tilting Motor Works (www.tiltingmotorworks.com). Its pricey, too, and Harley-only atm, but still far superior to a Spyder's configuration. And, with the TiltLock option, tip-over anxiety is also alleviated (which is the main reason folks opt for the dual-rear-wheel trike setup, I suppose ...)

However, the optimal setup is to go quad: vimeo.com/2892307 (!!!☺)

MzunguMkubwa
12th December, 2013 @ 06:54 am PST

All very exciting - especially two seater version - apart from the price, which is nutty... You'd get a Caterham for much less

Richard Guy
12th December, 2013 @ 06:58 am PST

Milton-

You are absolutely correct, we are taking special preorders for the DiamondBack. Just send me an email diamondbackdivision@gmail.com

with your information.

Thanks

Don Davis

Irina Sigal Davis
12th December, 2013 @ 07:02 am PST

An economy model would also be cool. Something like with a small diesel motor that would boost MPG to well over 100mpg. The 1300cc superbike motor is cool, but too many people won't need a better power to weight ratio than a supercar.

VoiceofReason
12th December, 2013 @ 10:14 am PST

Nice, but way too expensive.

Elio Motors is the way I will go. http://www.eliomotors.com

Bobbafet
12th December, 2013 @ 01:36 pm PST

Andrew James Knowles,

This is nothing like the Carver. That was a delta trike (one wheel in front) with a sophisticated computer-controlled hydraulic tilt system. This is a tadpole trike with what's very likely a manual tilt system, but it's hard to tell because he doesn't give any details.

The lean angle is very limited, which explains why it needs such a wide track. Any narrow track vehicle that leaned only a few degrees would quickly overturn. It's not going to "feel like a fighter jet" with that limited lean. Sorry, but there's no way he's putting this into even limited production with $35,000 in Kickstarter funds. Maybe $350,000 but probably not even then. Watch the recent movie "Revenge of the Electric Car" to see just how much it costs to develop and manufacture vehicles.

Gadgeteer
13th December, 2013 @ 01:37 am PST

...Of course if I should win a lottery I would rather go for the MonoTracer

It is already in (limited) production and has proven itself as a concept by winning it's class in the X-Prize competition.

http://peraves.wordpress.com/

Riaanh
13th December, 2013 @ 04:14 am PST

We would like to thank everyone for their interest in the DiamondBack. Just to clarify a few things, the patent pending leaning system is fully automatic but does not rely on complicated electronics. The system has about 30 degrees of lean each way, so it provides for a very natural and exciting feel, much like a fighter jet in that the tilt axis is around the center of the drivers body mass. We've also constructed it in such a way that it automatically adjusts the ride height and weight offset for different loads and driver sizes.

We have several variations on models that we intend to pursue including high mileage models, utilizing hybrid and diesel technology.

The DiamondBack is not the cheapest on the market. It was designed for performance and safety as primary considerations instead of cost, although if some of the other trikes on the market (with similar performance capabilities) are priced, you can see that we are actually quite competitive.

Once again, thanks for your interest!

Don Davis

www.DiamondBackDivision.com

DiamondBack Division
13th December, 2013 @ 06:58 am PST

Those shock towers look like they block the view a little too much for my taste.

Bruce H. Anderson
13th December, 2013 @ 12:41 pm PST

Where do I put my luggage?

nutcase
15th December, 2013 @ 07:49 pm PST

There is no reason for this to tilt other than ego, gadgetitis . The only real reason for tilting a 3 or 4wh vehicle is to keep it narrow and still handle well at great complication.

I'd get rid of the tilt and make it narrower as just too wide for any reason. Sixty inch wide is about the max needed for great handling without tilting in such a vehicle.

We need better, lower cost versions of this, other subcars, not more overpriced ones.

jerryd
14th February, 2014 @ 09:06 am PST

I agree with what Voice of reason said, and think a cheaper 60-75Hp version, lighter, still quick yet not too scary and under $17,500 then under $13,500 when mass produced might sell. Then the city version with a high efficiency 250cc twin Petrol or 450cc Diesel sorta sized/power and under $8,500 I even think that is too pricey and just punt the design over to China and see them on street for $3,500 for city version and 100 MPG+, or elec/hybrids with 125cc and elec motors on fronts with solar/heat/brake regen to increase range.

PaulYak
24th February, 2014 @ 04:21 pm PST

I hope ppl don't think I don't like it from my comments above, pls just offer us options, and if modular we can upgrade/ up-power at later dates. I LOOOOVE the Hyabusa engines whatever devices they arrive in ;-) ... so pls Make the Hyabusa versions with elec motors of 100BHP EACH to front wheels and keep the 200BHP thru the rear and that should be enough for now.

PaulYak
24th February, 2014 @ 04:27 pm PST
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