Vehicles with a carving or tilting mechanism to assist in steering through corners make a lot of sense. We can attest to the validity of the theory following our test ride of the virtually undroppable Piaggio MP3 scooter
and we've seen numerous design platforms that incorporate this approach including the VenturOne
plug-in hybrid , the Xnovo three-wheeler
, Brudeli's Leanster
and the Lumeneo Smera
. Human-powered carvers have also been spotted on the drawing-board
, but we've never encountered a concept design that applies this principle to a four wheeled recumbent bicycle - until now.
We are on the brink of a new commuting age; cars are too heavy, too inefficient, too dirty and too big to be viable in tomorrow's traffic-clogged cities - and motorcycles are too dangerous and too hard to ride to be a real option for many. The new TVA Gazelle tilting 4-wheeler could be the answer, capable of over 100mpg, incredibly agile in the corners and with a price tag of less than US$10,000.
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.
October 30, 2007 What a hoot! Piaggio’s
new carving three-wheeler
, with two independently suspended front wheels, opens up yet another whole new category of motorcycle
– a category that will surely explode once people get a glimpse of the ability of these stunning bikes. The MP3’s triangle footprint produces some sensational handling characteristics, making it an exceptionally fool-proof learner/commuter bike – as well as a hilarious hooligan tool for more experienced riders. Gizmag spent an afternoon with the scooter
that just won’t let you mess things up.
September 11, 2007 High speed and sleek style are the two main goals of this concept yacht
. The Hawley F140 looks like a stingray with sails, its downward-sloping bow a clear sign this yacht’s for flat-water speed not wave-punching – but the key innovation is its 30-degree canting keel with a gimbaled bulb, providing turning stability at high lean angles.
May 18, 2006 Piaggio launched the first Vespa model in 1946, creating an iconic presence in the personal transport revolution that evolved in the following decades. Sixty years on, the Italian company has come up with another revolutionary product: the PIAGGIO MP3, a three-wheeler with two independent tilting front wheels that operate in a “carving” motion. The PIAGGIO MP3 provides safety, road grip and stability levels that no two-wheeler can match, with lean angles of 40 degrees or more possible from novice riders. Available in 125 and 250 forms initially, we’re licking our lips at the prospect of the 500 version. Extensive image library.
In summarizing the opportunities for different technologies, there are some that we just can’t figure out. Why for example, are three wheelers so spectacularly unsuccessful in the marketplace when they make so much sense? There have been one or two notable three-wheeled motorized conveyances in history that have achieved success on some level – the Morgan and Reliant and maybe the Asian three wheeler known as the TUK-TUK but nothing of genuine mass appeal. The advantages of a three-wheeler are so great (light weight, stability, high power-weight, great fuel economy, narrow road footprint, protection to occupants), that we expect far more commercial success from the layout, particularly as the last five years has seen a raft of stunning concepts float across our pages, but none of them has yet proven successful. Check out this stunning array of three wheelers – Magnet
, the 20CUP
and most recently, Toyota’s I-Swing
. Now there’s another exciting three wheeler to have reached proof-of-concept stage – The Phiaro P67b ETERNITY has three weheels, two seats (arranged in tandem), a 50kW 660cc motor and it banks into corners like a motorcycle. It was designed in close collaboration with Dutch manufacturer Carver.
UPDATED August 13, 2005 8 NEW IMAGES The NARO vehicle concept we featured in January
is progressing and the company is currently undertaking extensive market research prior to the construction of prototypes at the same time as testing public reaction to several new styling themes for the executive commuter, taxi, and light van trade market segments. The NARO vehicle concept is a "free leaning" vehicle that improves the mobility of the commuter and addresses the key issues of congestion, pollution and parking scarcity in urban areas.
January 29, 2005 Global automotive technology developer Prodrive
has developed an exciting vehicle concept that can best be described as a four wheel motorcycle. The "Naro" is just 2.5 metres long, the same as a Smart car, but the width of a motorbike and the height of an MPV. Its high centre of gravity means that it must be leaned like a bike to go round corners, but unlike a bike it has four wheels and the two occupants (one driver and one passenger) sit enclosed within a body with all the comforts of a car.