Harley Davidson Leaning Trike Patent Application

Harley Davidson Leaning Trike

Here's something a bit different from the Motor Company, it's a patent application from Harley Davidson for a leaning trike. It's looks like a cross between the Can-Am Spyder and the Brudeli 625 but it is distinctively Harley with the big twin power plant in there. Whether they are thinking of producing this or something similar, they probably wanted to get the paperwork in to make sure they were covered. Filed on either September 27, 2006 or April 5, 2007, I can't figure out which dates apply, reading patent paperwork can be a bit confusing.

From the application:

The present invention relates to a suspension system for a three-wheeled vehicle. The suspension system permits the vehicle to lean while cornering, much like a motorcycle. This is accomplished via hydraulic actuators that force the bike into a leaning position while turning, and back to an upright position while tracking a straight line. A transverse beam is coupled to the hydraulic actuators and to spring dampers to allow the suspension to operate independently, even while the vehicle is cornering.

More drawings and links below:

Harley Davidson Leaning Trike

Harley Davidson Leaning Trike

Harley Davidson Leaning Trike

Link: US Patent Application via Motorcycle Daily

Comments

  1. Dudel says

    Confusing. This trike leans while cornering but it’s not clear to me whether it counterstears like a motorcycle. The Piaggio MP3 counterstears and handles just like a regular motorcycle but provides the added stability and cornering ability of three wheels. Unfortunately, the Piaggio MP3 will only attract scooter riders (and not motorcyclists) because of the small engine size and step-through design. If Piaggio built an MP3 with the 850 engine/transmission from the Aprilia 850 Mana and designed it more like a motorcycle (i.e. no step-through) I would be first in line to buy one. It would be an awesome wet-weather commuter and wildly fun in the twisties.

  2. says

    What is Harley trying to accomplish with this patent? I dont quite get it, Is it that they are just patenting a minor variation in leaning three-wheelers? Or is it an attempt to CYA against litigation from another company?

  3. todd says

    I guess overheating is now even less of a concern for Harley…

    I’ve never ridden a leaning three wheeler (but I did see an MP3 splitting lanes on highway 24 through Orinda yesterday). Why would it need a hydraulic leaning system? If you aren’t compressing the suspension when leaning what forces are there to actuate against? I think it could easily be done with a simple “free” system.

    -todd

  4. Sean says

    Wow, a parallelogram system of turning. Why the hydraulics though? This is the sort of three wheeler design I’d prefer to something like the T-Rex or MP3. It’s definitely the back end of a motorcycle, but the front end is more in line with an F1 car. Who knows, maybe the first Harley to handle well regardless of the weather?

  5. Dante says

    well, I am puzzled: in looking at the drawings supplied in the article I fail to understand if the trike is two wheels in front or the back.
    The perspective drawing and side elevation, shows the machine with two front wheels. However, the front to back elevations – showing the leaning dynamics – shows as if it was a the opposite; with the two wheels in the back… So, what is it Mr. HD?

  6. Tom says

    Looks very similar to the Can-Am Spyder, but the leaning suspension should give it better stability and higher cornering speed.

    There’s been a lot of talk of three wheelers (my wife is even interested in one), but nobody (except Bombardier/Rotax) seems to be actually bringing anything to market.

    If they unveil a production model soon, I think they’ll sell quite a few.

    The sketches are probably intentionally mis-leading. They shouldn’t be obligated to show the exact production version and, since they know patents are public record, they have probably altered the non-suspension details.

    I’d bet that the V-Rod engine is more likely than the air-cooled version they seem to be showing.

    The dealer show should be in July, so maybe we’ll see a production version then. I’ve been hearing rumors of “big things” but this is the first time I’ve heard or seen any suggestion of a three-wheeler like this.

  7. PO says

    I think non-tilting reverse trike provide just as much cornering performance thrill plus lower cost of production ala Can Am Spyder. Now consider a 3 wheel drive reverse trike that should enhance handling stability plus the flexibility of on and off road use. Lastly, add a full weather protection body and you should end up with a personal vehicle for work and play all year round. “PO”

  8. Alejandro says

    Kneeslider: They filed a provisional patent in Sept 30, 2005. They then had 1 year to file the non-provisional patent which they barely did on Sept 27. 2006. A patent app will publish 18 months after disclosure, so it published on April 5, 2007, about 18 months after original filing.

    Tom: A leaning reverse trike can’t have better stability and cornering than a non-leaning reverse trike due to tire contact patch. The Spyder has car tires, this invention uses motorcycle tire with a smaller patch.

    Tom: Futhermore, the sketches CAN’T be misleading or else that is inequitable conduct to the PTO and the whole patent will be invalidated. They are OBLIGATED by law to disclose everything they know and NOT to keep the best method or suspension a secret. That is the quid pro quo for having a monopoly for 20 years. If they hold something back, it won’t be covered by the patent!

    I just think Harley is exploring the concepts like a bunch of other companies, even if they never go that route. Remember, Harley purchased TriHawk years back but never did anything with it, other than shut it down.

  9. Tom says

    Alejandro,

    Contact patch – Nice catch phrase, but doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Imagine the spider going around a hard turn. If it goes fast enough, won’t one of the tires tend to lift? How’s that leave the contact patch? Also as it tilts, the other tires (because as you say they have flat, auto style tires) will tilt into a non-ideal position, and when that happens, since the tire doesn’t have the spherical nature of a motorcycle tire, you’ll be on an edge. Not good contact at all.

    The key is not only contact patches, but normal forces acting on those contact patches. In stright-line driving, the forces will be very simple and two dimensional. You will have gravity providing a downward force, and you will have the force of the engine acting through the tires to accelerate the vehicle forward. Wide flat tires work best for that situation, but as soon as you include centripetal acceleration of a curve, you have problems with wide, flat tires and the tendency for the vehicle to tilt. . . . which is, of course, why a wide flat tire on a traditional motorcycle would not provide the best handling even though it would appear to have a superior “contact patch”.

    Keep in mind that friction is a function of not only contact patch, but the normal force on that contact patch. The key is to keep the normal forces directed to the contact patches and this design will do that much better than the Spyder design.

    As for the patent disclosures, I have authored several patents and I am VERY familiar with the process and legal requirements. I didn’t read this particular patent, but from what I’ve seen, it is related to the suspension system. If they are not including the details of the engine in the patent (and for the life of me I can’t imagine that they would), they could use that suspension system with a 45 degree air-cooled twin or a 60 degree water cooled twin. Body work etc. would not be covered by the patent, so they could vary body work, engines, etc. and still be within the patent as long as the suspension is the same.

  10. kneeslider says

    Alejandro, thanks for sorting out the dates.

    The sketches are not really misleading, it might seem that way at first glance but the drawings here show a reverse trike in all views. There are a few more diagrams in the patent application with exploded views of the parts for those interested.

    Leaning gives a more motorcycle like experience while three wheels enhance stability. Leaning would increase contact patch due to the profile of most motorcycle tires. Motorcycle tires on a non-leaning trike make a lot less sense and would end up squaring themselves off in short order anyway, a lot like they do for riders who cover lots of highway miles and don’t get very aggressive in the turns.

    A leaning trike, whether or not it makes sense in absolute cornering capacity, enables riders to feel a lot more like they are on a regular motorcycle, it means you can still lean way over in the turns even if there might be a little dirt or gravel on the road or when it is a bit slippery in spots from rain or even ice or snow.

    Motorcycles are very much about the riding experience and everything can’t be reduced to pure engineering or technical reasons. I think motorcycle riders are more likely to enjoy a leaning trike than a non leaning version, non riders may find the straight up Can-Am Spyder does everything they want it to.

    Tom: Yep, the patent is for “Leaning Suspension Mechanics” nothing in there about engines or anything else.

  11. todd says

    Leaning is not for the trike it is for the rider. Imagine a 200 pound mass sitting high up on the seat of the trike. Now take a hard turn and the mass will want to yank the vehicle up on its outer two wheels. Now lean that mass to where it is as far into the inside of the turn as possible and the trike is now more stable. Tire grip is hardly a problem these days even on skinny little motorcycle tires. You will flip a trike sooner than you could make it slide just as much as you can do stoppies or wheelies on a motorcycle long before you can get the front to skid or the rear to burn rubber.

    Besides, leaning on a trike just looks so cool regardless if it’s more fun or not.

    -todd

  12. Bryce says

    Though a reverse trike may not have any more grip than a regular trike, it does have some benefits with regard to braking.

  13. Alejandro says

    I have had this debate before and I respectfully disagree with Tom on the whole contact patch debate. A non-leaning trike has better overall performance, BUT may not be as FUN. Look, any sports car can out corner and out brake a motorcycle. For instance, the T-Rex has outstanding cornering and braking, far better than any motorcycle. Yet, it may not be as fun.

  14. Richard says

    You’re all missing the point: this will save Harley riders from dropping their chrome machines when they park at the next bar. :)

  15. chris says

    this is too good a thing to just sit on. they had better actually do something with it. here’s hoping the patent application isn’t just to thwart others from selling there own.

  16. Diesel says

    Years ago Harley paid an outside firm to build a reverse trike , then things went sour and when Harley tried to goto court to get possession of it, they lost even though they had six figures invested, because the design firm had all the paperwork in their name and not Harleys.

  17. deerkisser says

    I’ve been riding with a Voyager kit for years due to an accident that prevents me from riding on 2 wheels. I’ve avoided regular trikes due the the non-leaning issue, and the Voyager gives me something, albeit I’m usually leaning the wrong way. So FINALLY a Harley that will give me that sensation of riding on 2 wheels again, yet still give me the stability of a trike? BRING IT ON!!!

  18. Frank Spencer says

    Well this is an interesting subject, to lean or not to lean that is the question more or less.I have test drove the Spyder on some pretty sharp curves going faster than I should have.When I didn’t lean into the curve it felt like centrifugal force was going to throw me off.When I did lean naturally I felt better in control but still it’s not like a bike as we know.To me this is just a four wheeler missing a wheel and that’s how it drives and handles there is no comparison at all to motorcycle.I own four wheelers and have a Harley Davidson soft tail and if you didn’t know it had only one rearwheel you would think it was a four wheeler.

    Now I’ve heard rumors for a long time that Harley Davison was going to make a production trike.If it does lean I can only say from my experience it would be a positive more likable ride like Alejandro had said.I ordered a Spyder because of the ride not because it’s like a motorcycle far from it. It will be the most powerful street legal production four wheeler with three wheels out there. If Harley Davison makes this leaning trike I’m sure it will cost almost as much as two Spyders. A lot of my friends who I ride with ask me why did I order one, most of them see it as a old man’s handicap motorcycle.

    I told them don’t knock it to your ride.

  19. Hawkeye says

    this is what I have been waiting for. Had accident 2 yrs ago & have been unable to ride, with this, I can see myself out there again.

  20. Jeff Hammonds says

    The essence of this trike is simple…..lean like a bike, with the stability of a trike. I have been working on this concept for a little while. I like the design, but they still don’t have it quite right. There are changes that can be made to the suspension geometry to make the trike act EXACTLY like a bike with regards to the lean and the feel of the bike. They are close, but they don’t have it perfect yet in my opinion.

  21. neville thomas says

    Somehow a Harley that handles just doesn’t sound right – it’ll probably be a tractor that will only be able to handle if you spend a ***load more cash on extras.

  22. Danimal says

    I’ve ridden the Can-Am Spyder (and ordered one). They DO lean a bit, and the stability control system will NOT allow a tire to come off the ground.

    These are tons of fun to ride… VERY fast and handle like a charm. I took 35 mph curves at 65 without a problem.

    Can-Am has been working on this for over 10 years. I’m a bit shocked Harley would file such a patent.

    Can-Am has done a great job with this bike… can’t wait to get mine in January!

  23. E T says

    I had the opportunity to talk to Tony Divey.

    For those of you who have no idea who he is, he has built a reverse trike in the UK based upon a Moto Guzzi and sold somewhere near 200 copies of it.

    He told me that he was aproached by Harley Davidson a few years ago and that they purchased a pair of his creations.

    His vehicle dffers greatly from this style of of stuff and the Can Am. He placed the motor out front of the front axle line and allows for lower placement of the operator. Besides that, in my opinion, it just plain looks cooler.

    I wonder if the three wheel segment, no matter how small it is, this drawing is just a way for HD to cover their bases. Just in case the Can Am exceeds sales.

  24. says

    It amazes me that Harley would go through the trouble of leaning the front wheels. I’ve been building Reverse trikes for years with a Harley powered model and a Yamaha V max powered model, low seating and great suspension is the key. If they want to lean something it should be the frame, engine, rider and rear tire as a whole and leave the front tires alone. Leaning the body and not the front tires moves the weight to inside of the turn where you need it. Tilting the front tires is a lot of unnessary work and expense, it’s more for show and oooooohs and aaaahhhs. Of course this is just my opinion. I’m not real happy with HD because there design is so close to my Roadstercycle design. I actually believe they saw my design and thought that they’d better do something. With over 22,000 hits on my site in the last 8 months
    I think their right!

  25. OTTOMAN says

    First off, Thanks Danimal for the info on the Can-Am. I would love to try one if they ever get here in n.c. . But i hope Harley doe’s not put this one in the paper basket. I have good friend, His wife heard about this and walked over to ask if this was real crying her eye’s out. See he is a parapegect, She ask me after i explaned the deal with patent’s and prototype’s. To go with her so she buy one. For her oldman of course i would. If harley build’s this i can see two more people very happy. I just hope they do”.

  26. Dwight Diederich says

    With 50+K on conventional trikes I’m really glad to see the interest in trikes. Hannigan has just announced a reverse trike kit for the Gold Wing. HD signed some sort of agreement with Lehman Trikes about a year ago so that they could offer HD trikes from the factory. I work part time installing kits for the local HD dealer. I’m currently riding a Ultra Classic/CSC Trike conversion and we like it (needs more power!). Hopefully soon I’ll be able to take one of the Spyder’s for a test ride. More power stock than I can build in my HD and I could buy two of them plus some accessories for what I’ve got in the HD. If they do build it I sure hope they use the V-Rod motor! I doubt that we will see it, but you never know.

  27. jomion says

    Frank S got it right…This bike/trike with a “H-D” emblem will cost two to three times as much as the Spyder. The price point will be too high for it to have a significant impact on the market.

  28. Karl Wagendorf says

    Why? I ordered a Can-Am Spyder Roadster. Its alot cooler and more fun to ride. I don’t get the leaning. On a trike??? I’m going to love my new Can-Am Spyder because theres nothing like it a whole new thing and Harley is trying to copy it and they failed already.

  29. steve cowper says

    Harley has been looking at their ridership demographics and knows that their base is aging rapidly with all the younger riders riding something else, like real motorcycles…so they are going to have this for their riders when they are too old to do the two wheeled thing anymore. And just imagine how much chrome you can hang on of these babies….

  30. Alex Lowe says

    For me, the potential in the recent fascination for tilting trikes, from both the car and motorcycle industries, is that someone will eventually design a vehicle that combines soem of the practical advantages of cars and motorcycles.
    That is, an ultralight, weatherproof machine, with an ergonomc riding position (as in a car), more luggage capacity and better crash protection than a bike, excellent fuel economy and stability.
    If it can be kept within about a metre’s width, I think there is a possibility…

  31. Albert says

    From what I hear,the Can-Am Spyder basicaly steers and handles like a rear wheel powered small car. And it takes some Manual Armstrong steering to make U turns and tight corners. I have an MP3 but pretty much hate the front wheel locking system. With a comfortable custom saddle to ride on, the front wheel leaning Harley would be my choice. I’d even sell my MP3 to buy it!

  32. Mike Hartwell says

    I am handicapped. I ride an 06 Road King with a sidecar. All controls are up on the handlebars. The only thing that ever tempted me to get off the King is the Can-Am Spyder. If Harley puts one of these things in production I will buy one. Imediately.

  33. Rob says

    Believe it or not, my contacts at harley say July of 2008 it should debut. I just test rode the spyder, and it was quite fun. My wife wants one. I will definately keep my ultra-classic, but at least we can ride together. I imagine it will also be good for handicapped riders, as your feet never need to touch the ground except for mounting and dismounting. And the spyder is coming in automatic…i imagine harley will do the same. Kinda takes some of the fun out of riding if you ask me.

  34. Brian says

    If a round cross section tire is better around a turn than a flat cross section tire, tell me why an Indy car can get faster lap times than a Super Bike.

    If you position the Center of Gravity correctly, and 3-wheeler history has shown weight over front wheels works better, then a non-leaning reverse trike with flat tires will spank a leaning trike with motorcycle tires.

    But, having a low CG is also important. So the rider sitting way up high is a negative. The leaning trike will get the rider closer to equilibrium in a turn, but the leaning front wheels is overkill in my opinion.

    Bob Riley wrote a good book on various 3-wheeler configurations:
    http://www.rqriley.com

    I don’t agree with needing to tilt the front wheels either. This is more or less for show. But I do know that the hydraulic actuators and beam are important to induce the leaning and return it to normal, otherwise it wouldn’t work.

  35. Richard says

    Leaning is to ensure that the forces on the rider are primarily down vs lateral.

    Two tires in front is called the Tadpole design and has proven to be far more stable than the traditional trike layout.

  36. ralf says

    Dante – i don’t know if anyone has addressed this yet – what you think is a rear elevation is actually the front elevation. what looks like the gas tank is actually the front “fairing”. look at the direction of the mirrors.

    the wheel leans because it minimizes lateral forces on the wheel – specifically the bearings in the hub as well as the spokes of the wheel – it can then be lighter. (although i don’t know that all the extra linkage and hydraulics to accomplish this will cancel that out)

  37. Brad says

    tadpole designs usualy spin out before they tip, normal trike designs usualy tip before they spin out. All in all the patent could most likly be broken by inteligent persons finding previously published works ie. drawings, pictures or text. Remember this company patented their sound nuff said. The best design is the one that is right for you, all are compromises. Remember the one constant in life is change.

  38. ROHORN says

    Harley never patented the sound. They did try to register it as a trade mark. They dropped it.

    Does anyone remember the TriHawk? Harley bought that company then shut it down over 20 years ago.

    Does anybody also remember the Car & Driver road test of a FireAero, also about 20 years ago? It was a “tadpole” style trike with a motorcycle engine between the seats and the back wheel. C&D had a great photo of it – after they flipped it.

    Both trikes, and a whole lot of others, can be seen at http://www.3wheelers.com

    Tadpoles & deltas can corner just as hard and without flipping – only of the CG is placed correctly (low and very close to the parallel wheels) and they have a decent amount of track width.

    A tilting trike can corner a LOT harder than a non-leaning one – when the CG is high. And the steering effort will be a whole lot less than one with flat profile tires.

  39. Bob says

    I don’t think anyone checked for the patent the link is for an exhaust system mod. It has nothing to do with a trike suspension. Although it’s a good idea! It is just not base on a real patent or the link is bogus.

  40. kneeslider says

    Bob, check it again. The proper link is in there now. Somehow the link was misdirected to the later story about the exhaust patent.

  41. FastJohnBuell says

    Harley did this because other companies, such as BMP, were trying to copy their idea. Matter of fact, Bombardier must pay HD rights for the use of their suspension.

    Harley is going to market with this very soon. Price? About 30k.

    Harley had a never before, never again open house for friends and family at the PDC. I spoke to a couple of engineers on this project.

  42. Boo says

    Alejandro had the best point here… a non-leaning trike can enjoy the advantages of square-section rubber.
    No trike’s design has a particularly high C of G, so I think leaning’s not going to help stick to the road.
    I think the design’s more for the biker experience than ultimate grip – I’ve known non car-driving bikers who get very freaked out by lateral forces on the body!
    …but I’d go for a Morgan any day!

  43. says

    QUOTE:
    “No trike’s design has a particularly high C of G, so I think leaning’s not going to help stick to the road.”

    The CGs of the various trikes – unoccupied – might not be that different, but the location of the rider’s mass makes a HUGE difference. Add passengers and other stuff over the rear wheel and the CG goes up and back a LOT.

  44. jamesbowman says

    Well the patents must be for very specific applications because most of these ideas and leaning concepts have been around for a long time, as I found out for myself. Everytime I come up with a concept as I did independently for this I find out I am very late, Da Vinci Aristotle or who knows else was already there ;o]. If implimented correctly it would have to improve cornering forces tremendeously as the trike would increase the grip by driving the tire into the pavement rather than rolling over the CG. I assembled a small LEGO model demonstrates this very well, by pushing on it latterally it grips way harder with tilt than non tilt. The sensation to the rider has to be better in my opinion on something that leans into a corner. Any animal ( Think big Feline here) that makes quick changes in direction usually lowers its cg spreads its base and leans into the desired direction. As far as spinning out that is probably the inherant trait that needs the most consideration and F/R weight bias seems to be critical to me, I have a few ideas for that as well and what I think are novell ideas but am usually wrong about that aspect. God willing maybe I wil have my RC prototype done this summer, any one that might have old higher end RC stuff they want to unload cheap could help.

  45. strohkr says

    So – when is this Harley Trike actually suppose to appear on showroom floors?? They’ve been talking about it for quite some time – so far nothing!
    Anyone have a clue or two???

  46. says

    The idea is great but I don’t believe you can feel that you are on a motorcycle if it has two wheels in the front. I’m in a wheelchair and my idea accommodates my disability by having a place to put my chair on the bike. Mine leans but not as dramatically as this idea and the stability is not compromised by leaning wheels. Every idea is based on the designers need to accomplish the desire to successfully prove his claims…

  47. Bill Tobey says

    So, if Harley Davidson is behind this it might actually come to market? That would be neat. Priced right with factory backing and a warranty.

    Just an aside. I remember seeing a Honda Four back in the 1970s with sidecar that could lean. I watched a road test from LA on TV. A regular bike… a regular sidecar… but it articulated and forward & leaned into the corners.

    Looked simple but I think it was a one-off.

  48. says

    having read the foregoing comments, i can only conclude that to lean or not to lean means very little ride at four fifths not five fifths,you will enjoy the ride much more I have a can am spyder and its great fun particulary when a two wheeler is not an option

  49. says

    what would keep a group of us (?) from building one of these for the xprize competition(s) and taking home the $5MIL?? MAYBE HDwill throw in some cash!! How much would the first prototype cost??

  50. says

    a lower seating position farther fwd would give a much greater feel of control at the expense of greater risk of bodily harm in a screw up. not a bad trade-off.

  51. BillEggert says

    Regarding the HD patent application on the leaning tadpole trike, I just went to the USPTO website to see if there has been any progress on the patent. The most recent correspondence between the USPTO and HD appears to have happened on March 4, 2008, and is simply a list of previous patents (there are easily over 100 patents on the list!) related to leaning three-wheelers. In any case, for us anxious riders, things in the patent world seem to move at a snail’s pace! But, manufacturers can produce and sell a product even if they are only in “patent-pending” status, so who knows, maybe HD will take a risk and start selling their three-wheeler before they have the patent! Build now, get sued (and settle out of court) later!

  52. says

    My wife would love to commute on a smaller “tadpole” three wheeler, preferably a scooter. Maybe 450 cc and 375 lb. max. How about a conversion kit. Leaning chassis and wheels would be nice but not necessary.

  53. Nick says

    i think this version of a trike looks ridiculous. they should stick with the traditional trike design for harleys. the tadpole design is cool, just not on a harley. the motor company should take the tadpole design and apply it to one of the buells to better compete with the spyder.

  54. Lynn Ryan says

    Hi everyone~

    I need some advice. I have been riding a 2-wheel bicycle, but have fallen off several times. I thought maybe a 3-wheel scooter would be nice, with better stability. I called the Vespa dealer in my area, and asked about the Piaggio MP3, 250, and he said it would not be good for me. I am very bummed! Does anyone know if someone else makes a scooter with 3-wheels. I am not afraid to ride, if I fall, I get up and ride again, but I need more stability, but don’t want a 3-wheel bicycle. I would appreciate any advice…thanks

  55. Justin R says

    Not being insincere, if you have trouble on a bicycle where you control the power by method of your own input, I can only advise Not looking to something powered unless it has at least 3 wheels and probably doors. Alternatives are Rascal scooter, segway, vw Thing, maybe a T-Rex. But if balance is the issue, practice should be had before adding power. You don’t want more than you can handle because that defines what is dangerous for you. We aren’t seeking direct danger, so don’t hurt yourself. Let us know what you come up with :)

  56. Robert Coy says

    I would prefer to see a trike with the two wheels in the back instead of this can-am spyder look. This type of set up with leaning is ok but very uncomfertable for people with handycaps. Also a two wheel in back design still makes it easier for people to keep that Chopper look that we have all come to like and want. More style you might say. I don’t think you a can keep the bike look and style of Harley in this bike! But now a leaning rear wheel trike would be great and improve the handling ability of any trike and still alow you to go for the chopper look.

  57. Robert Coy says

    I had forgot to mention that the trouble with the Can-Am Spyder is it was designed like a Crouch Rocket. Very uncomfortable for people with Back and leg problems. People with handycaps and older riders need 3 very inportant things a cruiser set up where their legs can stretch out, a back support so you can lean back comfortably even an adjustable back rest would be great, and handlebars that can come up and back to driver so that you don’t have to lean foward. Then you could maybe concider both designs with leaning technology. This front wheel design and than for us Chopper guys the 2 wheels in the back with the same setup that I mentioned above for comfort and the leaning technology. Then you would have 2 great Trike Designs that would sell great! Also try to keep the price low. I know me myself I like the leaning idea but I don’t like the looks of this 2 wheel in front. I’m Old School like alot of others out here and just because I can’t hold up 2 wheelers no more don’t mean I can’t still ride a nice 3 wheel Trike. But I would prefer a Trike that still looks and rides like a Chopper only with a little more comfort. Just wish someone would think about the Old School Chopper Riders when creating a Trike. The genuine Chopper looking Trike will insure hot sales of Trikes especially with the leaning technology. You can still keep the Can-Am spyder look for the younger generation that go for that but for me and I’m sure alot of others Old School is best.

  58. todd says

    Robert, the two wheels are in the front for safety and maneuverabilty first. For those people without knee problems (most people) the slight lean forward is more comfortable because it takes weight off the back and tail bone and you don’t have to grip the bars as much against the wind blast.
    I understand your dilemma, no one makes the two-rear-wheel trikes that you prefer; at least they may be hard to find. If you do find someone still producing this type of trike (even if it has a VW motor) let the Kneeslider know and he may run an article on it.

    -todd

  59. says

    It has the same kind of double wishbone suspension as the CarvX. It’s a 4 wheel tilting recumbent bicycle, invented in 2002.

    Here you can see the comparison: http://www.carvx.com

    I like the idea, especially for the offroad twisties, with a high torque engine.

  60. says

    Two wheel forward trikes are called “Cyclecars” according to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), while one wheel forward three wheelers are “tricycles”. They have long established definitions for all wheel configurations.

  61. Brian says

    FastJohnBuell: “Harley did this because other companies, such as BMP, were trying to copy their idea. Matter of fact, Bombardier must pay HD rights for the use of their suspension.”

    This makes no sense to me. The Bombardier design (the Spyder) does not lean, and thus does not have any lean-related front suspension feature; it does not in any way conflict with the H-D patent, and there is no reason for Bombardier to pay anyone to use a conventional double-wishbone suspension in their Spyder.

    The Spyder is not a copy of any particular design, and especialy not the H-D proposal.

  62. Chas says

    All very interesting, but has anyone thought of a traditional trike (two wheels on rear) that can lean up to 35 degrees while still under power?
    There must be something around but I have failed to find it.
    Regards.

  63. Kevin says

    I don’t see the point. Besides the added complications of making a traditional trike leaning, I can’t imagine it would have near the benifiets a reverse trike offers.

  64. cyrus says

    I lov to convert my motorbike to a reverse trike with tilting suspention .but dont have the knowlage and skill to make the leaning suspention .who knows where i can buy the complete kit?ta

  65. Ronen says

    Alejandro, and all others that have commented on the issue of patenting, so to speak…:

    1. You DON’T file an application just because someone else came out with a similar PRODUCT… You ONLY do it if you have a novel and inventive product or process, otherwise it will fail examination by an examiner.

    2. Colntrary to the opinion expressed by Alejandro, there is certainly NO NEED to disclose ALL details, especially those that are otherwise known, or unrelated to the specific invention – especially with a product as complex as a motorcycle, which includes SO MANY components… For example, Harley got (either patents or applications) related, among other things, steering, the steering lock, air intake, exhaust, and more. BTW, there are more than 400+ patents, applications and designs assigned to Harley-Davidson…

    Ronen, an Israeli Patent Attorney.

  66. Ronen says

    Just to be more specific, the Harley application relates mainly to “…at least one lean actuator pivotally connected between the frame and the transverse beam, the lean actuator configured to extend and retract to tilt the left and right wheels and to lean the vehicle while cornering. ”

    Ronen.

  67. Jim says

    Check out http://www.trikealternative.com. Their Harley ghost wheels are a hydraulic system that allows you to lean your 2 wheel motorcycle but locks when you want them to at stop signs and slow speeds. Great for people with bad knees or people that need that stability but don’t want a full time trike.

  68. steven hunn says

    A vehicle very similar to this was in a popular mechanics in the sixties. They offered plans using an off the shelf motorcycle engine and rear suspension. It had a very low rectangular body, 2 front wheels, 2 seats with a very sloped front end. Remember sleeper go-carts? you sat in this thing like that. The idea was you could use plywood to build the forms to make the fiberglas body. I bugged my dad for months to bank roll me on building this beast. I ended up buying a 59 VW with money I saved up from my paper route and mowing lawns. I still think of the car 36″ high that had open wheels that leaned into the curves, Way ahead of its time Steven Hunn

  69. Frank says

    As always, some peoples think Harley invent all….Not…The look Harley have is a copy of Indian and biker having Harley…..Not From the corporation!!!!!

    Bombardier Can-Am try to reproduce the feeling and look of is snowmobiles but for the road!!!!! simple but take time do just do it rigth PERFECT score for this great corporation to help peoples to have this with quality Can-Am is know for

  70. Mark says

    enjoyed reading some of the opinions expressed as facts here. :-)
    Anyone got any (real) inside info on if/when this concept might go into commercial production?