Sway Motorsports Introduces Leaning Electric Three Wheeler

Sway all electric leaning three wheeler from Sway MotorSports

Sway all electric leaning three wheeler from Sway MotorSports

Whether you think electric motorcycles are the future for all of us or a purely urban vehicle for the city dweller, you can definitely expect to see more of them and, at this week's Consumer Electronics Show, Sway Motorsports is introducing the Sway, an all electric tilting three wheeler.

The Sway is targeted at the in-city rider. With an overall width of only 35 inches you can still squeeze through traffic like a motorcycle and fit into motorcycle parking spots while having the stability of three wheels. It has disc brakes all around and regenerative braking to help with battery life. There's also a reverse so you can back up under power. Capable of carrying up to 350lbs, Sway can accommodate a passenger and up to 4 cubic feet of locking storage.

Your legs move in the turns like a skier

Your legs move in the turns like a skier

An interesting design feature of the Sway is how your legs move in a turn, much like a skier, inside leg rising while your outside leg extends. You're taking an active part in the degree of lean instead of having your feet planted on the pegs or floorboard. It might seem a bit strange at first for current riders, but it could be fun, once you get used to it.

The Sway will be available in three models, the Basic, the Lithium and the LithiumPlus.

The Basic at $4999 is just that, with a 20 mile range, a 35 mph top speed, lead acid batteries and a weight of 280 pounds, it can almost be called usable.

The Lithium at $7999 has a 40 mile range, top speed of 60 mph and weighs in at 220 pounds.

There's also a LithiumPlus. Though not yet shown on their site, Joe Wilcox of Sway Motorsports says:

Our market research has shown most customers want power and range and are willing to pay for it -- So in addition to the two models on the site, we are now offering Sway LithiumPlus, a 70mph version with a 60 mile range (city) and 40 mile range (Highway) at $10999

LithiumPlus will feature a 5.7kw (96v, 60ah) battery pack 10kw motor and belt drive, rather than a hub as the two smaller versions have. (At 70mph, unsprung weight of a hub motor is a consideration)

In response to the demand, we are jumping into designing and building the LithiumPlus, and expect to have final images and a working proto of highway version by summer.

The Sway has room for a passenger, too.

The Sway has room for a passenger, too.

The Sway looks like it could be a cool urban ride, leaning into turns makes any trike better, and in some settings the range and speed will be sufficient for the short runs and commuting a vehicle like this is designed for. Since the EV incentive expired at the beginning of this year, the price listed is what you will pay and Joe said the prices were set with the expiration in mind. Plans call for a California focused 2015 launch date.

For buyers looking for another electric alternative, the Sway presents a viable option. Will it attract current riders? I'm not sure, but non riders are not likely to be intimidated by it and may find it very appealing. Interesting.

Link: Sway Motorsports


  1. Sam says

    Confused. At that price point and even $5/gal, the recapture to make this a good buy instead of a 45 mpg (real conservative) 250 cc w/saddlebags and luggage rack is about 2 centuries. Convenient? Why? Because you don’t have a clutch?…buy a scoot. And the marketing vid and pics seem to show the typical peg-leg panted yupster that otherwise would be seen riding a true moped that costs thousands less, and, in the credo of that crowd, less is more. So who is really buying these. perhaps the BMW driving mom for the “Failure to Launch” son? Are there really that many urban apartmentt dwellers that will lift that 220-280 pound beasty upstairs or through the elevator instead of a 90 Lb Puch? I dunno, but it seems more of bling-toy for the not-well-informed than a serious urban commuter.

    • Warren says

      There’s also the convenience of not having to change oil, mess with gasoline, air filters, spark plugs or anything else that internal combustion requires.

      If you have money to burn, it’s a great idea. It’s for the Hammacher-Schlemmer crowd.

      • David Duarte says

        thank you for your comment. I had never heard of Hammacher-Schlemmer. I can’t afford such toys, but they are fun to look at!

  2. paolo says

    3 wheels has so much to offer and only piaggo I think has cracked it thus far as a commuter

    although the engaged foot position is interesting and I’m sure fun it takes it out of the realm of handy commuter and into a recreational item which is quite different when your tired and just want to get home
    the foot position is also uncomfortably wide and I think anyone out of their 20’s especially girls will respond negatively

    cute as hell, love the simple deep storage and the rear seat should be longer
    The engineering is basic and won’t command this price nor will the utility with so many awesome scoots out there for much less

  3. FormerTurbineGuy says

    Aerodynamic enclosure needed for rainy days (and worse) in places like NY and Chicago. Their are people yearning for a car alternative and many have gone bicycle or electric bicycle. IMHO this this enclosed w/ a Husqvarna “X-Torq” 2 stroke ( or a very small charge cooled Wankel ) that burns CNG would be the ticket. But the CNG infrastructure isn’t here yet, it is but refueling easily is the next hurdle….

  4. Tom Lyons says

    Are there enough people who can’t ride a two-wheeler, that something like this is actually necessary?
    Is this for twenty-something toddlers?

    I just don’t see it, at all.

  5. says

    If 3 wheeler then a tilter is the way to go…
    I would like to have one so i could copy it in slighly larger size with a enclosure/convertible…
    Make it a Ice/Electric hybrid and i would have the best of both world (acceleration torque and range).

  6. CS says

    Horribly overpriced considering it’s 3 times the price of a moped for the base model while you get a third of the range and honestly comparable build quality.
    I don’t see the point.

  7. Sam says

    Clearly Sway Motosports did not include @Kneeslider’s readership in their “market research”. Might not matter, because as I recall bloggers did cry for HD to bring a more baseline Big Twin (which eventually became the Blackline) and hundreds said they would buy an American made V-Twin sport bike (to which HD eventually responded with the XR1200X)…which of course were promptly discontinued due to a large dose of no sales. All this proves, of course, is that market research focused on the wannabuyers versus the got-cash-gimme-now buyers is inherently flawed to favor the dream, not reality. Here’s what The Shark Tank would advise…license it to a Chinese clone maker and get it into Walmart for 1/4 the price point.

  8. Scotduke says

    A neat piece of design and the tilting trike concept is selling well here in Europe in the shape of the Piaggio. I’ve seen someone cornering while drifting all three wheels on a Piaggio, which is certainly interesting to watch.

    Our fuel prices are sky high compared with what seems like just pennies people pay to fill a tank in the US and our urban commutes tend to be shorter, so we’ll be earlier adopters of electric vehicles. That said, for the sort of person wanting an urban scooter, Piaggio’s three wheeler is proven and a lot cheaper.

  9. Sam says

    The mindset of the European rider is definitely different than that of the American rider. In part by laws and regulation, in part by economic forces, and in part by culture. I ride almost daily a 180 mile route that takes me from a rural setting in Inverness FL to St Petersburg, to Tampa and through all the little towns in between before getting home. The route is never the same. I see Harley FL Trikes, Honda Goldwing trikes, V8 trikes and VW trikes and CanAms. In 5 years of riding this route (business) I have NEVER seen a Piaggio, not even at the beach. Nor at any bike meet except at a dealer display. I see clone scooters and true mopeds, on the really entry level, but no $5K to $7K scooters or trikes of any sort. Sure, there must one lurker out there I have missed, but as a viable market share? Don’t think so.

    On this side of the pond, buying a minimally useful trike for the novelty of leaning and the hype of convenience (yeah, find a parking space at work and haul a 300ft extension cord to plug into the nearest socket) at a price not-so-convenient on the wallet? I don’t think so. And the typical trike rider over here is, ummm, less than young and fit. The leaning factor does not play well for that crowd at all, in fact they want (need) something that keeps them vertical at all times. The young and beautiful crowd? If they can afford that price mark, they’ll buy a 5 year old Mustang and spend $20 on a custom paint job and smile while deliberately running the scoots and mopeds out of the lane.

    Perhaps you should take them up on their website offer and apply for a dealership in Europe?? Oh, that’s right, you have the Piaggio, so maybe not!

  10. B*A*M*F says

    I like the concept, but I feel like it needs to move a few steps further to justify the price. I have ridden the Piaggio MP3, and really enjoyed the heck out of it. It’s a pretty ideal commuter bike.

    This looks like a scaled down version, and the 220lb version would probably be a hoot to ride.

    A few of the details are really off to me. I like the front wheels that appear to be Piaggio/Vespa items. I like the ability to undo a few bolts and have the rim and tire off the bike. It’s a real shame that the rear wheel is a different size and format, and that the rear suspension isn’t single sided for accessibility and interchangeability.

    I’m also a little weirded out by the calipers and rotors being outside the front wheels. Perhaps I’m more concerned that the rotors appear to be larger than the rims themselves. Seems like there is a lot of potential for damage to occur. Maybe it’s fine, but it’s highly unusual.

    Finally, if there is to be more than a toy, a legshield would be imperative, even if just as an optional item. The lack of fenders on the wheels also seems at odds with some of the big reasons for owning a 3 wheeled motorcycle.

    • Sam says

      .I’m always in favor of a detailed forensic analysis of marketing hype…but

      Your off, just a little.

      1) The disk brakes are mounted inside, not outside, the rims/wheels tires except at the rear where the left/outside is the only option. In case u’r not getting it, this is an electric bike/trike and the little electric motor is mounted in the rear rim.
      2) tTe tire sizes are the same according to the spec sheet…AND, what diff does it make? Are you gonna use the entire carrying capacity for a spare? I mean whether two or three wheels, roadside interchangeability is a moot point, and virtually ALL 2 wheelers have different front/rear size and profiles…unless u’r on a 50cc moped, and even then, when one tire goes, whatchagonna do? Put the flat rear tire on the front and motor off into bliss?
      4) From what perspective do you see the brake rotors as larger than the rims?? It’s clear from every picture that they are not. What are u looking at?
      5) A leg shield?? OMG, Harley, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda, Ducati, BMW, etc., etc., have all got it wrong over decades of building naked street bikes without “leg shields”

      So, please tell me that you wrote that comment as a party joke, because it makes NO sense otherwise.

      • B*A*M*F says

        1) I thought the brakes were inside too, until about the 0:20 mark of the video. Maybe it’s an optical illusion, but I doubt it. That’s also where the wheel to rotor ratio looks off to me.
        2) You’re right, most bikes do have different tire sizes front and rear. That’s no problem, but I think it’s a missed opportunity. I’m aware that the motor is mounted to the rim on the rear wheel, but from a maintenance standpoint, it looks like a pain.
        5) This thing is basically a scooter, and a trike version at that. Much of the reason to choose a tilting trike would be the ability to ride in a lot more types of weather with less concern than on 2 wheels. Snow tires are available for the Piaggio MP3 in Europe. This design offers a less seasoned or less serious rider the opportunity to use the machine in more adverse conditions than he or she might on a normal bike. A bit of splash protection for puddles makes sense for a commuter oriented trike.

  11. Tom Lyons says

    3 wheels have more rolling resistance than 2 wheels.
    3 wheels with two across the front present a larger frontal area, thereby worsening the aerodynamic drag.

    For a vehicle which is trying to be energy efficient with electric power, and has a very limited speed and range, it seems odd that they would accept efficiency losses in both of these significant areas, just to include some gimmick 3 – wheeler profile which is completely unnecessary for anyone old enough to ride a bicycle , much less a motor vehicle.

    If there is a market for this thing, I don’t think I want to know who they are.

  12. Dr Robert Harms says

    I dicked around with the TTW (tilting three wheeler) concept for a while and saw it as interesting technically never saw any advantages over non-tilting except possibly in higher speed applications. Most are plagued with heavy “return to upright” effort which was actually the reason d etre of the well known Harley patent. I would agree with some others who are skeptical about cost and range and urban storage because of the larger footprint. I still believe that for a high density urban (aka Manhattan and similar) application the smartest move is a bicycle based (eg thin and light weight and easily stored) conveyance with augmentation via a disposable propane or natural gas cylinder or (in my mind better) an 2 second clip in battery or pack that could be charged in your apartment overnight. That IMHO would be a winner. You can say you saw it here first. Now….. back to my 1952 Lujie Lesovsky big block powered indy car resurrection.

    • Sam says

      Add to that the ultra short wheebase plus two front tire contact patches w/ no ABS and the “target market” ruder possessing minimal skills and that = instant face plant…the good news…plenty of time to recharge the batt while in the hospital E.R.. Can’t wait for the first youtube of a stunt endo contest.

  13. jar says

    Eh. Non-starter for me.

    That said, I like the Honda Gyro, circa 1984-87.
    Three wheels (if you gotta have it), made a bit safer with a roll axis, simply, and effectively.
    Really a neat ride.

    Not much here beyond “neat”….certainly not thousands of $$ neat.

    If the EV Incentive comes back, or had it not gone away, I wonder how the incentive would be applied to a product like this?
    Sway claims their pricing to be independent of such consideration which I doubt – highly.

    Anyone know?

  14. Randy D says

    My quick glance says this machine would be absolutely hair raising at 70MPH!

    Otherwise I don’t know why the comments are so negative against 3 wheelers here. In a utility/commuting role I don’t see any disadvantages, just advantages.

  15. Larry Kahn says

    One of my thoughts about this and scooters in general is the “cute” factor attracts non-riders thinking they are less likely to get hurt on something cute. You’ll still get creamed if someone in a car/truck hits you, still going to hit the road if you screw up with control or don’t read the road hazards correctly, less likely to go ATGATT in general, etc. etc. But as my granma used to say, “no skin off my a$$”.