Wesll 4 Wheel Leaning Suspension System

Wesll quad prototype - 4 wheel leaning suspension

Wesll quad prototype - 4 wheel leaning suspension

Tilting 3 wheelers are getting to be old hat, after Piaggio introduced the MP3, there was a flurry of attention and activity related to the technology and it looks like it works very well. Now both manufacturers and homebuilders are turning out their own versions and there seems to be a ready market. So, yesterday, I get an email from Thomas Melcher of Wesll Corporation with a bit of information about his Wesll suspension, a 4 wheel tilting mechanism that can be used in place of the usual non-tilting suspension, replacing the 4 wheel setup as found on an ATV or the 2 wheels as found on a motorcycle. I took a look at his website and it got my attention.

Wesll quad prototype - 4 wheel leaning suspension

Wesll quad prototype - 4 wheel leaning suspension

Tilting 4 wheelers are not new, the Chrysler Tomahawk concept had closely spaced wheels with a small amount of tilt and Yamaha had a concept called the Tesseract, also a tilting 4 wheeler, but concepts were the end of it.

Tom began working on this idea when his brother was injured in an auto accident. After doing some work, he came up with the configuration where the entire leaning mechanism was placed outboard. After a lot of refinement, he says it works perfectly. The Wesll suspension certainly seems to be very well developed and Tom says the prototype quad, shown above, weighs only 310 pounds! Nice.

The video below shows the Wesll quad in action and if you watch it, you'll immediately see how well this suspension works. This is quite impressive, it has the kind of lean associated with the Brudeli Leanster but with 4 wheels it has more stability. The videos of the sportbike concepts shows how far it leans, it's not limited like the MP3 and looks like a rider could do some very serious corner carving with twice the traction available.

One thing Tom was very clear on was that this is not available as a kit. He is working to have this licensed through OEMs and he really hopes they stay with 4 wheels instead of trying to adapt it to 3 wheelers for ease of licensing. I can only imagine what your state DOT would do when trying to register this and, unfortunately, that could be a real issue. It would be awfully frustrating to have technology that works this well and no way to use it. Motor vehicle laws may need to adapt more quickly.

The Wesll suspension is very cool technology, I like it!

More photos and videos below:

Ducati with Wesll 4 wheel leaning suspension

Ducati with Wesll 4 wheel leaning suspension

Kawasaki with Wesll 4 wheel leaning suspension

Kawasaki with Wesll 4 wheel leaning suspension

Link: Wesll Suspension

Comments

  1. Phoebe says

    28″ of wheel travel?? Seriously? That’s crazy! I love it =)

    I did cringe seeing the guy get the quad sideways without any safety equipment or even a helmet, though.

    It would be incredibly cool if DOT laws catch up to make registering vehicles like these easier. I see no reason why a motorcycle-based quad shouldn’t be street legal.

  2. Jim says

    Existing quads have significant stability issues in corners and at speed and this expands the envelope adding to stability. The wheel travel allows a more compliant suspension adding to straight line stability and the ability to lean places in rider with in the angle of force (not how to say what I’m thinking more technically) reducing the risk of being pitched off.

    One objection quad fans will have are the narrow tires, reducing the vehicles ability to ‘float’ on soft surfaces.

  3. WOL says

    I have been waiting for this for so long. Sorry, but a machine that flys like a bike but doesn’t fall over is just so appealing. All the thrills and none of the spills. I’m sure you could high side it if you tried hard enough.

    I like the idea of one wheel at the back to minimize cost though. I don’t think you need to at the back. Or even 2 at the front is not a necessity – but I love it.

    Absolutely stonking!

  4. buzzer says

    Wow I love it! I can’t wait… do you think i can get one in atv 4 wheel drive? maybe with snow tires for up here in the great white north?

    Looks like a winner, if he can get the OEM’s to buy into the idea and get past the licencing issues everywhere regarding 4 wheelers on the street.

  5. daddyc479 says

    I’d really like to see one of the sport bike versions. they seem to have a lower center of gravity than the quad and double the contact patch area of two wheeled bikes. As i age the thought of crashing again gets less and less apealing (not that it ever was i just heal slower) i find myself driving my S2000 rather than my RSV1000R. This would be a perfect blend, I don’t care for the CA Spyder (i don’t think it leans like this) i hope Wesll can make it work!

  6. WOL says

    The major difference between this and the Brudeli Leanster is that with this design the inside suspension is compressed when it leans over, there by making it self supporting and also loads the inside wheel more than the outer wheel. The further you lean the more it will want to right itself. Brudeli went to a lot of trouble to make sure that this doesn’t happen with the Leanster. It is more bike like, in that it will fall over to limit of the allowed lean, if not supported. The Leanster should be more balanced when cranked over.

  7. says

    Seems like this would, by necessity, have a higher CG than an equivalent “normal”-suspension-based ATV, but maybe it’s just those weird not-ATV wheels he’s got on the prototypes. High CG + skinny tires looks like a recipe for disaster to me, but the concepts with motorcycle tires on them look pretty reasonable.

    cl

  8. James Bowman says

    Chris I think a high CG is not a problem for a vehicle that leans over in the same way it isn’t on a motorcycle. The forces of cornering are not trying to simply tip the vehicle over as in a typical quad, car or what ever other kind of non tilting platform we can imagine, they are vectored into the road surface just like a motorcycle increasing traction. The only down side I can see to a higher platform is similar to a highside on a motorcycle, the arc in which the rider is on increases in speed and force the farther from the rotational axis he is and if that axis was through his center of mass it would be more ideal.

    Besides that as you lean the center of gravity actually moves lower and to the inside. Just my 2 cents but I love leaning vehicles althought three seems to me to be the best compromise for stability vs mass and complexity, however like most everyone else here mine has two. Cool video as well ;0]

  9. Motoxyogi says

    Sorry call me conservative or elitest but i just don’t like this design. Maybe cause i don’t like quads anyway but i can’t imagine this machine giving you quite the same feeling as riding a dirtbike. I could be wrong though.
    Chris, i doubt that the entire machine will be a complete disaster but when you try to cross the traction of a 4-wheeler with the instability of a bike, some bad things are definately going to happen. It ain’t foolproof

  10. taxman says

    i think it looks pretty cool. maybe it’s just me, but it sure looked like when he used the brakes the fron end had a lot of dive. maybe that can be adjusted though.

    it really does look like fun.

  11. Hawk says

    Last summer I tried a Can-Am Spyder and was unimpressed. I constantly felt that the thing was trying to pitch me off. Trike conversions give me the same uneasy feeling. Leaning suspensions such as the MP-3 or Carver seem much more stable, but I have not tried them. When I develop equilibrium problems, my hope is that some of these wonderful concepts will be in production so I don’t have to use the cage.

    Someone is going to have to mount quite a legal challenge to get the Motor Vehicle Acts changed to permit these concept vehicles. As “automobiles” they may escape the exorbitantly high motorcycle insurance rates and still retain most of the fun … until someone stuffs in a 454 V-8, of course.

    For a production vehicle, I’d like to see a lower GC and better wheels and rubber. A 4WD and studs whould make an awesome winter machine too. In fact, a disconnectable 4WD might give awesome traction control on wet roads. Disconnect it in the dry … or to play.

  12. FREEMAN says

    Is it just me or does the rear right hand side tire on the Ducati four-wheel concept look awfully close to where, say, the rider’s leg would be in that type of a corner? Just like on an atv there would probably have to be some sort of a guard or foot platform to prevent the rider from sticking their feet under the rear tires. I would probably go with a three-wheel design for the street application.

    I can see issues for those that want to have a passenger on the back of one of these motorcycle concepts. Just where would their passenger’s legs go?

    I like the atv concept. I’m not sold yet on the streetbike concepts though.

  13. Egeek says

    They should go for Mil Contracts 1st. Something with this much travel, speed, and agility might be a big advantage for out “Spec-Op” teams.

  14. says

    i would LOVE to have one of those quads! frankly, i just find dirt bikes to be a bit of a hassle compared to quads, and this suspension combines the best of both! my only concern would be stability when climbing over major obstacles at slow speeds.

  15. rover215 says

    I don’t see this as a motorcycle or a quad, really. The term quad conjures up off-road four wheelers with fat tires. Motorcycles, with only 2 taller, skinnier wheels, allow for lean angles that quads cannot perform (until now, that is). I see this as just another type of fun! It’s definitely got a little bit of both worlds and looks like a blast to ride. Even at 450lbs and maybe a BMW motor, this thing would be serious fun in the moutains! Swap out the wheels for some knobblies and off road you go. Sure- you’d have to ride differently, but it’s a different machine. I’ll be a 4×4 version will arrive in a year or so.
    I love it!

  16. LN says

    Quards are for tards, but this thing looks amazing. This one’s obviously targeting the upright two-wheeled crowd because I didn’t see a cooler chest rack or a tank-mounted cup holder.

  17. Nicolas says

    “All the thrills and none of the spills” … I’d rather say no spill, no thrill, just my personal opinion.

    But it’s a nice engineering.

  18. Nicolas says

    Not sure to see correctly, but it looks like there is no differential. That’s acceptable offroad, but I wouldn’t like to try cornering too hard on the macadam with the ducati or kawi model …

  19. says

    I pity the first guy who is used to splitting lanes, but momentarily forgets that today the wife took the two-wheeler and he got the one with four wheels.

  20. OMMAG says

    Ya …. new ideas are fun …… but does this thing have any advantage over a two wheeled dirt bike?

    Really??

  21. protojoe says

    I designed something like this about ten years ago with the idea that you could get a lot more power to the ground. Think MotoGP with out all the tire issues. I even used a Ducati to model it up. Im very glad to see someone get this far. Best of luck. Maybe in five years Ill have one parked out back.

  22. 30secBoardboy says

    I would be curious to see how this quad reacts to a real motocross course. It doesnt appear to be that stable “mid-turn” when the rider needs to make an adjustment (imagine a whoop in the middle of a high speed turn). This thing does scream “ICE RACING” though!! Imagine what it would do on the lake with studs?!?!?! It appears to be very well engineered though, unlike other “experimental designs” and would immediatley appeal to the OEMs for consideration.

    WHY DO THE POWERS AT BE MAKE STREET LEGAL DIRTBIKES SO HARD TO COME BY WHEN THEY ARE BUSY SHAKING A STICK AT THE AUTO INDUSTRY. QUADS AND BIKES CAN EASILY MAKE 40MPG BUT ARENT ALLOWED ON THE ROADS….IS A RHINO WITH DOT TIRES AND SIGNALS MORE DANGEROUS THAN A CROTCH ROCKET????

  23. Miro Kontio says

    This is the best tilting system invention so far. I have search for a long time different motorbike conversions from the internet. Like these tilting three wheelers (Brudeli, Tilting Motor Works, etc.) But this idea works because it’s not too wide, looks cool and it’s possbile to put this in a sportbike frame also. If these come to production I will be buy one!

  24. says

    Nice pair of hot wheels you got there but since when did safety get thrown out the window? I know 10 people that died from no helmets last year. THINK what’s cooler..a hot ride or a smashed face? Idiots!

  25. rfileger says

    I’m not certain how the author determined that the tilting 4 wheeler has better stability than a tilting 3 wheeler. As we all remember from geometry 3 points determine a plane. I believe
    that the chances are taht the 3 wheeler will handle better and provide beter stability.