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Quadro to sell four wheeled tesseract-style motorcycle

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November 2, 2010

Quadro's four wheeler

Quadro's four wheeler

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The convergence of the car and the motorcycle we forecast last year looks set to continue with the first public showing today at EICMA 2010 in Milan of a range of three and four wheeled scooters by Italian start-up Quadro. The start-up is particularly exciting because the company is to be run by Luciano Marabese, the man who designed both the Piaggio MP3 three-wheeled scooter and the Yamaha Tesseract four-wheeled motorcycle shown in 2007. The new machines will use an hydraulic tilting system patented by Marabese. In 2011 we’ll see the 350cc three-wheeled Quadro and later in the year, a 500cc four-wheeler. The four-wheeled motorcycle will evolve into a full family of supersports, hybrid, electric and off-road models, offering better braking, faster cornering and more safety and stability than a motorcycle.

Quadro Tecnologie is not your average start-up, as it’s a family company headed by Luciano Marabese. Over the last few decades, Marabese’s design company has worked on more than 450 different design projects in the motorcycle marketplace, working for the likes of Vespa, Piaggio, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia, Gilera, Triumph and Yamaha. Marabese designed the Tesseract for Yamaha and the MP3 for Piaggio.

Marabese is obviously delighted to finally be making the transition from being a designer working under the direction of a manufacturer, to becoming the final arbiter of the finished product. His personal statement to the press at the announcement of the new company read as follows: “The highest expression for a designer is certainly to conceive products with a strong impact on the market. Certainly I have received both critiques and praises throughout my career in design. Many times my ideas were adjusted according to the perceived needs of major clients. As of today, there will be no more compromises in vision!

“Thanks to a team of people that believes in me and in my ideas, the projects I have been working on for years are becoming concrete.

“Today I have the opportunity of enjoying the appreciation of my ideas first hand without an intermediary who may dilute the pleasure of seeing in people's eyes the same dream that I have been chasing for so long. A new line of vehicles that will better suit people’s lifestyles is my dream and it is becoming reality.” Luciano Marabese

Marabese’s plans are for a suite of Quadro machinery with the first three and four wheeled machines launching in 2011 and a full line of vehicles to be released between 2011 and 2014.

As the designer of both the Paiggio MP3 and Yamaha Tesseract, Marabese has obviously been able to take on board the feedback of the manufacturers to create a second generation tilting system which the company claims has been ten years in development. Marabese’s Hydraulic Tilting System (HTS) is an entirely hydraulic technology, does not involve any electronic systems in the process (making maintenance easier and less frequent), and will be used on all three- and four-wheeled vehicles in the Quadro Suite.

Ultimately, the impact of Marabese’s bold decision to create his own company will be judged by the marketplace, but his designs seem to be tailor-made to overcome the problems the world faces on its roads. The European motorcycle industry is currently in crisis because the Global Financial Crisis has effectively thwarted economic growth and consumer confidence. It has without doubt, also failed to recognise that it has been selling to the same target market over and over and that tastes and circumstances change.

The world is running out of space on its roads, and over the next few decades, we’ll all be forced to seriously reconsider our personal transport options as point-to-point times continue to increase on public roads. Vehicles of the future will be smaller in size, and the extra stability that three or four wheels on a motorcycle-sized commuter offers will almost certainly become a major factor in purchasing decisions.

In Europe, Piaggio’s three-wheeled MP3 scooter has been one of the success stories of the last few years. Over the last few months Gizmag’s editor-in-chief Noel McKeegan and I have attended events in Germany, Holland and France we often commented on the number of MP3s we saw on the roads. Since its initial introduction by Piaggio just four years ago the ultra-stable, sweet-handling three-wheeler has been released in 125 cc, 250 cc, 400 cc and 500 cc versions plus a hybrid 125 cc plus electric and a new 300cc version with electric was shown for the first time a month ago at Intermot in Koln.

The advantages of a four wheeled motorcycle may not be obvious but with twice as much contact between tyre and road at each end, the degree of traction is at least doubled, and hence cornering speed can be significantly increased, while braking distances can be significantly reduced. On top of that, the types of road surface irregularities which could mean a crash on a two-wheeler (tram lines, potholes, curbs, cobblestones etc) are not nearly as significant when traction is being shared with another wheel not in contact with the tramline or pothole. Also, many countries allow three- and four-wheeled devices to be driven using a car licence rather than the motorcycle licence.

The first Quadro to become available to the public will be t he EUR7000 (approx US$ 9800) 350cc three-wheeled Quadro 3D which is very similar to and will be a direct competitor to Piaggio’s MP3 family of scooters when it goes on sale next April.

The 500cc EUR9000 (US$12,600) four-wheeler 4D is due towards the end of next year (2011) and is much closer in layout to the stunning Yamaha Tesseract prototype shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2007.

The 3D three-wheeler will produce slightly less than 20 kW, with a weight of less than 200 kg. The hydraulic system that drives the front wheels makes it possible to lower the center of gravity about 40% compared to Piaggio's MP3.

The four-wheeled 4D will arrive in late 2011 and the tilting system used on the 3D is also applied to the pair of rear wheels with the torque controlled by a differential. The 4D will have a top speed of around 150 km/h from a new single cylinder of 500 cc producing around 40 horsepower and the weight will be less than 240 kg.

The 4D will sell for around EUR 9,000.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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8 Comments

All it needs is a full body enclosure, and, that would make it a small car. Still, for the money, why not make it all weather?

Michael McDonald
10th November, 2010 @ 04:45 am PST

Wait isn't the the four wheel design of the Tesseract a design study of the 4-MC designed by Nick Schotter? From what I understand Yamaha received permission to do a study of the chassis and suspension design. The result was the Tesseract. To say that this Luciano Marabese was the designer of the Tesseract would be inexact to say the least! No he was the lead designer on a project by Yamaha using Nick Schotter's design as the basis. Reverse engineering to streamline and simplify. Sure and he was the lead designer on the Piaggio. But if I am correct on this you are heaping way to many accolades on this guy. that he doesn't rightly deserve, especially in light when Gizmag itself reported on the 4-MC itself and is now choosing to ignore its own editorial in this instance. Credit should be given to Mr. Scotter for his part in these evolutions of the modern Motorcycle.

James McClellan
30th November, 2010 @ 09:48 pm PST

in the uk this will qualify as a car (by virtue of its 4 wheels) and consequently require car-level road tax, a car licence and front number plates. boo.

mommus
2nd December, 2010 @ 04:52 am PST

After taking a good look at the pictures you have here and Nick Schotter's site that front linkage looks a whole lot like the 4-MC's front linkage. The rear sorta looks like the Piaggio's front linkage in reverse. I might be wrong here, I have been before but I don't don't think I am this time.

And i'm not saying there is some kind of conspiracy here. Just saying due credit should be given to those who invent, not just to those who use.

James McClellan
3rd December, 2010 @ 07:52 pm PST

mommus,

That's nothing. Just a little extra money. In the US, this thing would be completely illegal to sell at all. Four-wheeled vehicles by law require all sorts of safety equipment that this doesn't have. Bumpers, seat belts, roof crush requirements, side impact, airbags, laminated glass windshield, headrest for whiplash protection, etc.

Gadgeteer
26th December, 2010 @ 12:16 pm PST

Oh Boy another big boy ripping off ideas!

These big companies should bow their heads down in shame!!

reverse engineering is not innovation.

If and when I can buy one of these it will be a Nick Shotter MC, and not any from you big boys!

Facebook User
6th February, 2011 @ 12:01 pm PST

Most people assume that the USA does not have any street legal highway driven quads, but they make unfounded comments without doing any research first. You could simply google "street driven quads" or "street legal quads", and in 5 seconds you'd be on this page where you'd find the current offerings - http://reversetrike.com/quads.html

The GG Quad has been sold into multiple States in the USA as has the Hannigan. Many CanAm Spyder Reverse Trikes have been converted to Quads as have the GSXR1300's. Quite a few of these are registered in California, and no doubt legal in all 50 States. You simply have to find the proper category to put them in depending on your State. Homebuilt Motorcycle may work. Some States actually have a 4-wheel Motorcycle category for street driven vehicles.

streetdrivenquad
16th April, 2012 @ 02:28 pm PDT

I find it hard to believe that England would try to make a 4 wheeled tilter owner register the vehicle as a car,with or without a body.Show me a car the drives like a motorcycle.I really believe with some attention to aerodynamics,a enclosed version would be hard to pass up.Double the fuel mpg,liter's per 100 Km,double the contact patch,double the braking,the could really be big.

Thomas Lewis
23rd June, 2013 @ 08:23 pm PDT
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