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Sidam's tilting Xnovo three-wheeler: scooter or micro-minivan?

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February 25, 2008

Sidam's tilting Xnovo three-wheeler: scooter or micro-minivan?

Sidam's tilting Xnovo three-wheeler: scooter or micro-minivan?

Image Gallery (18 images)

February 26, 2008 Riding the wave of interest started by the Piaggio MP3 and Gilera Fuoco three-wheelers, French scooter importer Sidam is planning to try its luck with a new bike that turns the concept backwards. The Xnovo gives the tilting triangle wheelbase concept a much less fun, more utilitarian application than its Italian forebears, acting like a mini-minivan with huge carrying capacity, a hard roof, windscreen and twin driven rear wheels each on its own swingarm. And while it probably handles like a barge, the Xnovo may well find a niche as a traffic-busting courier/delivery vehicle.

Three different types of Xnovo scooters are on the drawing board: a fully petrol version fitted with a 500cc Piaggio engine, a hybrid version with a 200cc petrol engine and electric backup, and a fully electric version with brushless motors mounted to each rear hub.

In the petrol version, the Xnovo's rear wheels are each belt-driven from a motor that is centrally mounted to provide for maximum carrying capacity in the bin between the rear wheels. Several body shapes appear to be under consideration, from a sporty-looking twin-seater to the far less glamorous micro-minivan in our lead photo. See the photo gallery for the full range of design sketches we've seen.

We can't foresee a huge market for a sports scooter with twin rear wheels - motorcycles rely primarily on the traction from their front wheels in order to stop and turn with any authority, the rear wheels being more or less along for the ride - but the concept might have genuine legs if it's pitched as a small-footprint, economical delivery mule.

We'll wait to learn more as the Xnovo moves towards a launch date rumoured to be late 2008. Price is expected to be around €8000 for the 500cc model.

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About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
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