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Quadro 4D – Rides Like Two Wheels, But Has Traction Like Four

 

Webster’s definition of “sacrilege” includes “gross irreverence toward a hallowed person, place or thing.”  I submit that making a four wheel vehicle handle like a motorcycle, and provide the same sensations, will be considered sacrilege by many of our readers.  Nonetheless, the Quadro 4D is more than an interesting concept, it is a working prototype of a production vehicle that will be on sale late next year.  Developed by the Italian firm Marabese Design, it incorporates some of the technology already available in the Piaggio MP3.  Like countless other motorcycles and scooters, the Piaggio MP3 was designed by Marabese Design.

Marabese has developed a new branch that it calls Quadro Technologie, whose web site you can visit here, which is developing both the Quadro 4D and the Quadro 3D (very much like the existing Piaggio MP3 with two wheels in front and one in the back).  The amazing ability to articulate each wheel separately and lean the 4D like a motorcycle derives from patented technology, including the  Hydraulic Tilting System (HTS).  We have tested the Piaggio MP3 here.  We enjoyed the experience, and can vouch for the incredible feeling of confidence in the front end provided by the two wheels.  The 4D looks even more amazing, as you can see in the following video.

74 Comments

  1. Gordon says:

    Been following this interesting development and the prior Tesseract, that Randy Singer mentioned, and before the Tesseract the 4MC which no one has mentioned yet. There are some 4MC videos on http://www.4-mc.co.uk

  2. Vanson1200R says:

    That is cooler than the MP3!

  3. Ken says:

    Heh.. I wonder if it is feasible to make a “side by side” version? or would the width of the two wheels make the suspension design/motions too unwieldy to still have it act like a single track vehicle? Just thinking of the how the steering inputs would work makes me laugh…

  4. sliphorn says:

    I think it is brilliant! Just think what an amazing touring rig this could be. Especially with the Piaggio 839cc V-twin. Give it hydraulic valve adjusters for lower maintenance and other GT type amenities and this could be a real mileage eater. All kinds of miles, from paved roads to gravel roads; no worries.

    What we love about two wheelin’ is the “lean”, and this has got it……………In spades. I’m 56 and intend on riding for as long as possible. I could see a vehicle like this keeping me on the road for years longer than a two wheeler could. The possibilities are endless.

    I believe that the people that hate this type of vehicle simply aren’t thinking it all the way through. This vehicle has many possibilities with a very high FUN FACTOR. I think a lot of folks have forgot about the fun factor.

    Go Quadro 4D.

  5. guzzisport says:

    I took a look at the website. This little beastie apparently has automatic lean control via an all-hydraulic system – as in, no electronics! That’s the big advance. The MP3′s are manual. Even my wife might consider this as something she would ride (or drive). As for the Tesseract, it looks like a bug and every time I see it, I want to step on it. At least the Q4D has a somewhate svelte scooter appearance. I have bikes, retro, tour, sport whatever. They do their job but this would be a hoot for around town plus it fully fulfills that narcissitic “look at me” attitude of the cruiser crowd.

  6. Rick Hermanns says:

    Great Stuff! There is a time and a place for this bike….like ALL bikes! The fact that it seems to work so well can only mean taht all ideas are being considered. For those who think this is a crutch (training wheels) seem to think the world revolves around them. What about the new ride? What about the rider who is missing one or both legs? Should they be denided the same thrill we experience? Wait until Vale is riding one in MotoGP…….then you will change your tune! Time and technology marches on!

  7. Rudolf says:

    It would be a whole lot more interesting if it was offered in something other than a scooter. It has useful advantages that you cannot deny, but offering it only in a scooter appeals only to those interested in scooters. How popular would it be if it was offered in a sport bike chassis?

  8. Gary says:

    I would not hit my dog in the butt with that thing.

  9. leroi says:

    All the bellyaching here regarding this machine just goes to explain why so many decent ideas that others get to sample never even make it to this market.

    Fine if it’s not the cup-o-tea for you but the suggestion that it has no use/value/purpose is silly. Granted you’d be correct if nobody bought one, but do you belive in cities like London, Paris, Rome that this wouldnt be perfectly at home?

    For many, these are not recreational vehicles, they are every-day motorized transportation just to go to work, play, get groceries.

    If one has the extra cash to pay for and maintain/service a thing like this why not? Go to an older-densely populated city with narrow streets, major congestion, large pedestrian movement and imagine living in one day in and day out in a utilitarian fashion and then consider if this has no place anywhere.

    I would think Piagio wouldnt imagine that this will outsell simpler, cheaper 2-wheeled scooters and the like but for those with the coin and need/desire it will do just fine. I would think they would have smarts enough to balance their scale of cost/production to the market segment it’s more ideally targeted towards.

    And dont tell me that we all dont have the need to occasionally side-saddle in a circle! How handy that wouldve been to reach out and scoop up that box of huggies dropped by good ‘ol H.I McDunnah.

  10. Zinzan says:

    Looks sensational. What with electric engines and these amazing technological developments the future of motorcycling is right here…

  11. joe winters says:

    It bugged me for the weekend, but I finally realized what the extra wheels represented to me: TRAINING WHEELS. I learned to ride at 12 years old, switching gears, with a clutch and all. My entry to motorcycling was like most riders – a bicycle.
    I am not trying to sound down on the Quadro. Its really pretty clever. My main point is that an ‘entry level’ anything needs to be first and foremost – affordable. The Piaggio isn’t and I’m sure the Quadro won’t be either. Let’s call it what it is: a vanity bike.

    • Cajun58 says:

      The manufacturer doesn’t state that the Quatro is intended to be an entry level machine so you might be mistaken there. Also I don’t really understand the training wheels analogy either perhaps that corresponds to the bikes assumed entry level nature. To me the Quatro looks like it would be fun to ride but then just about anything that gets me in the wind I will find enjoyable – I guess that is pure vanity.

    • Austin ZZR 1200 says:

      A vanity bike on these shores, maybe. The rest of the world might see this differently as it will be play more of a functional than recreational role.

  12. Eddie Smith says:

    My Ducati trike is faster. tremoto.com

    • Cajun58 says:

      I’m pretty sure the Monstrosity has a little more power then this bike plus how can the Quatro compete with that fact your leaning vehicle suspension system is made out steel, aluminum and good old American ingenuity. Now quit bloging and get back to work on that dual sport model I’m waiting for! L-O-L!!

  13. Randy Singer says:

    Though I would never purchase one for myself, the technology behind this four wheeler is fascinating. This would be a good ride for folks who are afraid to even try a motorcycle.

    However, I don’t see how this is different than the Yamaha Tesseract:
    http://variousmotorcyclebestpicturegallery.blogspot.com/2009/11/yamaha-tesseract-best-motorcycle.html
    other than that the Tesseract is designed to look like a traditional motorcycle and the Quadro 4D is designed to look like a traditional scooter.

    In fact, I’m wondering who may have violated the other’s patent(s)?

    • Brian says:

      I forgot about the ha Tesseract.
      Remember seeing that and thinking that it would be big in Sci-Fi movies.
      Thanks for the reminder

    • clasqm says:

      Good question. However, I googled the tesseract to refresh my memory. There are gushing reports from the 2007 Tokyo show. There are pictures of it, at the show. Even videos of it, standing still on its stand at the show.

      What I don’t see is any report of anyone who claims to have actually ridden the thing. Until we have that, it is just a motor show mockup. The Quadro is still a prototype, but judging by the video, it does actually work.

      To those who say they would never ride anything like that, just remember we all get older. Trikes are seeing a revival already. The KTM X-Bow and the Can-Am Spyder are already exploring where cars end and motorcycles begin. This is another step in the same direction.

      I’ve rethought the “is it legally a car or a bike” issue. If Piaggio decides to bring this out, they will muscle through anything it takes to make the EU classify it as a motorcycle. Piaggio may not be a household name in the US, but they run much of the economy of Northern Italy!

    • Gordon says:

      And before the tesseract the 4MC http://www.4-mc.co.uk

  14. Drew Kazee says:

    Having owned the MP3 500, several cruisers, sportbikes and scooters, the MP3 will take corners that cruisers will not. Comes in handy for those unexpected curves on unfamiliar roads. Braking is also superior to cruisers.

  15. tttom says:

    After spending a few weeks in Paris I can totally see the market for this bike. Huge numbers of people in Europe commuting by scooter daily, on challenging roads, in weather that would have 95% of US riders leaving their bikes in their garage.

    The pavement quality on the highways and main roads there is very good but urban and secondary roads can be a nightmare for bikes… think wet cobblestone, etc. Like the three wheeler, this thing is designed to provide GRIP on slippery road surfaces while still being narrow enough to allow filtering thru traffic and parking on the sidewalk.

  16. Timo2Fiddy says:

    Thoughout the years, some ideals are just stupid. Any one remember the Elf F1 race car that has 4 front steering tires. This would only make since for one reason – if you wanted to increase the maximum load capacity of the vehicle, such as maybe a Gold Wing type vehicle, but Gold Wings already come in Trike form. Other than that; 1. Increases the manufacture cost (motorcycles are already approching car prices), 2. Increases tire costs (4 x $50 @ 10,000miles verses Kia Rio 4 x $50 @ 50,000 miles), 3. Increases complexity ( maintenance and repair cost), 5. Increases weight, 6. Doesn’t give you any more traction as everyone seems to claim (motorcycle’s are already capable of staying upright on street or track at excessive speeds as it is) Most dumps are driver error caused by too much speed for the condtions. The thing will cause increased confidence thus simply causing you to dump at even higher speeds. How about put ABS and Traction control on every steet bike instead?

    • fazer6 says:

      I think you need to take a physics class,

    • Chris says:

      That six wheeled F1 car was made by the English race car builder Tyrell, it was a 1976 Tyrell model P34, and won a GP, so it was actually successful. Apparently they dropped it because they couldn’t get the tire companies to keep making the odd sized small tires for it.

      A P34 (with the ELF paint job) has been showing up for the past couple years at the Monterey Historic races Laguna Seca, and it wins against a whole field of 70’s and 80’s vintage F1 cars, it’s noticeably quicker through the corners. Avon is making tires for the remaining P34s so they can compete in vintage events (bet they cost a bundle). I highly recommend any of you died in the wool gear heads go to that race. The cars that show up for that race are mind blowing, stuff that you’ve only seen in magazines over the years.

  17. Frank D says:

    I think it’s cool enough and safe looking, not bad for something in its infancy. There can be a lot of ways to improve from here. Subtle tame versions for the meek and more hard core versions for road and offroad. Think about 4wd versions, or long travel lightweight for offroad use. OR don’t make it a scooter based but a sportbike/dirtbike based for those of us not being able to accept a scooter as a vehicle:)

    For the 3 or 4 wheel thing how about for this class of vehicle we call the front end a “Wheel assembly” as it is its own independent structure and works separately from the rest of the vehicle, so if it has 3 wheels or an assembly that mimics one front then it doesn’t sound so different.

    Also the extra tires will be sharing the load so the tire wear will be reduced versus a single tire design.
    I have to wonder about the countersteer ability and feel of this design.

  18. Goose says:

    Not something I’m interested in right now but I can see a real place for it is the car/ motorcycle legal issues can be solved.

    Just to put the 4-wheeler into perspective, I did a 600 miles ride last weekend. I’ll estimate 450 to 500 miles of it was twisties. Two times I would have been really, really happy to have another tire on each end. First a little too much throttle right on the edge of the tire. Second was the need to put more steering input then was really a good idea exiting a corner with a far bit of sand on the road. The first was my own stupidity, the second was a reaction to a car that decided my side of the road looked inviting. For those two brief times I would have gladly written a check for this Quatro thing. Being able to enjoy the thrill of being on the outside and leaning in corners but with more rubber on the road and a wider stance just might be the future.

    JMHO,

    Goose

  19. dan says:

    For some of us in CA one of the key benefits of motorcycling is the ability to split lanes (“lane sharing”) with cars. If you’re going to be stuck sitting in traffic just like a car, might as well be driving a car.

  20. Norm G. says:

    wow, certainly an impressive (if not amazing) amount of all-road capability. i would’ve never thought that. a niche product in an already niche industry perhaps, but i can’t help but feeling they are onto something…?

  21. Otis Miller says:

    Comparing this to a Can-am Spyder is like comparing a Honda Ruckus to a KTM 450 SX-F. Two completely different machines. Test ride a Spyder first before you pass judgement on it!

  22. Ron says:

    Is it going to come in a 4WD version? You know, for snow.

  23. Dennis says:

    While I’m a die-hard motorcycle guy, I think that the Quadro is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. I liked the Piaggio M3 series, but this ups it in a big way.
    Forget your Spyders and trikes, this thing looks like a hoot to ride!
    Give real bike power and I’d be sold.

  24. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    Love it.

    I can see a lot of commercial application for these things, especially overseas where you see lots of two or three-wheeled delivery vehicles. Looks like a hoot to ride. Kinda makes this whole 2-wheel bias thing seem silly: practical, fun and safe.

  25. Scottie says:

    I kinda like – especially since tracks took a bicycle out from under me years ago and I bit the tarmac.

    Still waiting for the Yamaha Tesseract.

  26. Drew Kazee says:

    I am a previous owner of a Piaggio MP3 500, I regret trading it. I like the Quadro 4D.

  27. Rich says:

    I love it! My wife has a Piaggio scooter which she doesn’t ride because of size. This would give her much more confidence.

  28. MikeD says:

    Im sold. I can see how this is way better(read: less intimidating, more contact patches, SAFER acceleration, SAFER braking, still full leaning like a regular bike or scooter) for any “new to the sport aficionado(a)” to learn about the phisics,feeling and pleasures of motorcycling.
    If it helps to get more people engaged on motorcycling i see nothing but WIN-WIN.
    Hope MSRP is not higher than an Piaggio MP3 or it will not fly, specially on these days and times.

  29. Kjazz says:

    I agree with Bill. Maybe not today, but someday. And in the meantime….let’s see this sorta stuff with full size powerplants and state-of-the-art brakes, suspension and cupholders.

  30. Erik says:

    i can only assume that virtually everyone posting negative comments must be american/canadian/north american or something. in europe (and likely asia), this thing would be a huge success in my opinion. it is a near perfect solution to urban travel- small, likely good mileage, nimble yet stable, can be parked almost anywhere while staying upright… the list could go on. all throughout europe you see all kinds of crazy “scooters” trying to find the ideal replacement for cars (like the ones with a cabin/cage surrounding the seat). this thing would be AWESOME. in the US? not likely that anyone would care. but take notice that they didn’t exactly design it for this market…

    i think this thing is really cool. i can’t believe how well it handles in that video.

  31. kirk66 says:

    Nick- you are not correct. They would actually allow ATVs to be ridden on roadways if they could comply with the crash bumper standards needed for cars, but it would allow them to be registered under motorcycle guidelines. The ATV industry will not do it because it will drive up the cost of manufacturing and the segment isn’t a large enough seller to justify the investment.
    The thing that makes it qualify as a motorcycle is the handlebars. If it were a steering wheel then the company would have issues. I know that the Stallion and T-Rex have a steering wheel, but those somehow are allowed the exemption becasue they are trikes in the eys of the DOT. Don’t ask why because I am not an expert on government train of thought. I’m only a motorcycle insurance specialist.

    I like the concept. It’s clever. Now, develop it for a Supersport and put it on the track. Maybe, the highside will disappear. Be interesting to see.

    • MarkF says:

      Isn’t it ironic they stopped making ATV trikes because they were unsafe and now they make all kinds of motorcycle trikes.

  32. Vrooom says:

    Lot’s of enthusiasm, I’m a bit suprised. I need this like a dog needs a bicycle.

  33. Pat McDonald says:

    very cool But I don’t think I could afford the tire bills. Two rears every 10,000 miles?

    • robert says:

      sharing the weight and power, perfectly balanced on 4 wheels ,the tyres will last for 40.000 km at least , this it’s been confirmed by the Quadro engineer at the press conference in Milan , basically you save money on tyres !

  34. Erik S says:

    Wow! I like it. I see two possibilities here, the bike-scooter in the video, and regular cars with windows and doors that lean in to turns instead of away.

  35. Bill says:

    I’m pushing 60 years. Very few days go by that I don’t cringe at the realilzation that the day will come — at least 20 years from now, I hope — when I’ll either have to give up riding or change what I ride. The MP3 excites me. This Quadro excites me. I don’t want either one right now, but it appears that changing technology will allow me to ride much longer. I think it’s a great thing; I will be able to transition from motorcycle to trike or quad before I move on to a Hoveround.

    • Steve says:

      I agree… I ride a Road King now & I’m 54… lots of years to go but eventually, if I want to continue to ride, it could come down to riding a big scooter or trike & I hate trikes…. I skipped trikes when I was a little boy & I’ll skip them when I’m a tired old man… this quad 4 is too cool. I’d like to see the sportbikers faces when I come thru the local Sunday morning meet parking lot @ 70 years old touching my hand on the ground as I ride circles with the other hand on the bar!

      IF they could adapt this to a larger cc nike, that would be great too!

  36. falcodoug says:

    From a two wheel junkie let me just say. “that’s pretty cool”

  37. Dave says:

    Nick,

    I believe you are correct. Under current standards, this would be considered an automobile. It would be impossible to make this meet US standards. Really too bad and this looks like a fantastic machine. I know there is discussion as to what determines a motorcycle by the transportation regime here in the US. So I guess there is some hope that we may see over here.

    I liked the MP3, I love this thing. It would open up a way for new riders to get into the sport and would love to have one in the garage beside my Triumph Tiger.

  38. Justin says:

    In the US:
    “Passenger car means a motor vehicle with motive power, except a low-speed vehicle, multipurpose passenger vehicle, motorcycle, or trailer, designed for carrying 10 persons or less.”

    “Motorcycle means a motor vehicle with motive power having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground.”
    -49 CFR 571.3

    So, basically, a motorcycle with more than three wheels is no longer a motorcycle, and thus a passenger car. As such, this thing would be subject to all the Federal laws and regulations governing passenger cars. It is also likely that your state’s definition of motorcycle conforms to this Federal regulation.

    So unless the NHTSA sees fit to change its vehicle definitions to accommodate this one vehicle…

    It makes a perverted sort of sense. Riding a motorcycle takes a certain degree of confidence and competence, not a whole lot but much more than driving a car. Riding one of these things takes a lot less of both. The idea, I suppose, is that those of us who are willing to ride motorcycles accept a higher degree of risk and the government no longer feels obligated to protect us from our own decisions. Personally, I like being a member of that select group: neglected by the nanny.

    Really, how many people are willing to give up the protection that a cage offers, but are just slightly too skittish to ride a three-wheeler? That’s a pretty narrow band on the spectrum of risk aversion.

    • kirk66 says:

      Although the code section you have submitted is correct, the NHTSA has already said that the rules can be updated if the plan for such vehicles would include the use of bumbers on the vehicle. No company has come forth with such a plan because the cost isn’t worth the investment, yet. Remember that BWM Quad the GG? The only thing holding them back was the crash test for the bumpers. The weight of the bumpers is an issue. That’s why the bike (quad) is stalled in development. SO- technically you are correct, but the Dept has already submitted that that rule can change if the safety requirements were met.

      • Justin says:

        thanks for the input, I had no idea.

        do you know if they intend to classify it as a passenger car or create a new subclassification? just curious from a legal perspective…

        I also think that further highlights the difference between the way in which motorcycles and passenger cars are regulated. If you have four wheels, you need bumpers. Even though this thing can probably stop faster than any motorcycle, it needs bumpers? It’s not about the machine, it’s a presumption about who is riding the machine.

  39. clasqm says:

    Actually, the same definitions of bike vs car applies in other countries too. Certainly here in South Africa. Which is why it is illegal to ride a quad / ATV on the road.

  40. DJ says:

    Isn’t this just a quad with a $10K, street-only suspension system?

    • Goose says:

      Your quad leans IN when cornering? That makes it one of a kind, as far as I know.

      Goose

      • DJ says:

        If I added 10k in suspension upgrades it would!!!

        • Goose says:

          Speaking just for myself, that would be really interesting to see. I don’t think there would be much left of the chassis after you converted your quad to a “leaner”. Watch the video again and keep an eye on the motion of the pairs of wheels, these things are not just a quad with a few changes.

          I wouldn’t call them a bargain but I’d bet the companies have a lot of NRE and some scary product liability bills (they aren’t considered normal so they will attract slime ball lawyers and their equally sleazy clients) to pay before they even start to build product.

          JMHO,

          Goose

  41. quinn says:

    I agree with Tom on this one. While I love motorcycles, this thing has a HUGE advantage over 2 wheels. Is it for purists? Probably not…But it takes a scooter and blows it out of the water. It also blows away those Can Am Spiders for those “kinda adverturous” types that are not REALLY motorcycle riders. The best thing is that someone finally figured out gow to make a vehicle that retains ALL the benefits of a M/C (lean angle, wind in your hair, ability to slice through traffic) but exponentially improve the practical aspects (no feet down, won’t fall over at slow speeds, goes over obstacles easier) and safety (amazing stopping ability with more rubber on the ground and much much better traction in wet/dry conditions).

    I can honestly say that it looked no less fun to ride than a traditional motorcycle. In fact, my first thought was how insanely fast you could go in a tight canyon and how funny it would be to blow by Ricky Racer on his R6! Yes it looks a little different, but in the scooter world, I don’t think it would stand out as any lees appealing, and I bet there is not a person on this site that wouldnt rather have his wife or girlfriend, who is interested in riding for the first time, ride this thing over any other M/C or scoot out there. Why? Its SOOOOO much safer to opperate for the inexperienced rider but loses none of the fun factor. A win-win in my book.

    If I ever buy a scooter I’ll buy one like this, no question. And in about a half hour i’ll be able to smoke you in a tight canyon on it, then ride it across a frozen lake, down a few dirt hills, do some drifting in a wet parking lot, then hand it back over to some 90 year old lady and she’ll be able to go do the same…

  42. joe winters says:

    Scooters don’t get the respect or sales they should in the U.S., BUT adding another ‘sure to be priced the same as a motorcycle’ item to the list isn’t going to make much of a difference. If my choice is a shiny new novelty scooter with a quarter of the performance of a 600cc motorcycle or that same motorcycle for a few dollars more, what do you think I’d choose?
    Even better, I can buy a used motorcycle for half of the price of these uber-scooters, why bother?
    Since the selling point of scooters is fun and convenience, how about they realize that we’ve been passing over their same styled scooter for the same styled sport-bike and cruisers, maybe manufacturers should start making what we want instead of doing R&D on things we don’t.

  43. Brian says:

    The number of wheels touching the ground is what defines a motorcycle or a car in the USA.
    4 or more, a car; 3 or less, a motorcycle.
    This will be defined as a car in the USA, with all the requirements.
    Personally, I don’t see the benefits.
    Added complexity, cost, maintenance, minimal performance gains (for the market), added tire cost.
    All around and interesting thought design experiment, but on the whole, a failure.
    Just my opinion, I’ve been wrong before (but I can guarantee that I will never see a Piagio MP3 riding around the streets of the town I live in, and scooters are pretty popular where I live in S. FL.).

    • Chris says:

      I disagree. The only reason you do not see as many Piaggio MP3′s is the small dealer network. My wife has a MP3 400 and it is a blast to ride, and I’m used to riding sportbikes. A vehicle like the Quadro or the MP3 will draw in a lot of newer riders to the sport. Having the extra wheel up front (and rear with the Quadro) inspires confidence. You do get an extra contact patch–great for cornering and braking. I believe if products like the Quadro and the MP3 had better dealer representation in the US, more new riders would purchase them instead of trying to ride something above their ability.

      One other benefit of the more than 2-wheeled scooters–no shifting! Without having to shift, the rider’s mind can focus more on what is around them–at least that is why my wife chose the MP3 over an entry level 2-wheeler. Although the vehicles do look weird, they are very capable–easily tackling freeway trafic if need be.

    • Tom says:

      SAY WHAT????????

      How could anyone possibly watch that video and then say, “Personally, I don’t see the benefits … minimal performance gains … interesting thought experiment, but on the whole, a failure”

      Did you actually watch the video? If you did, the benefits should have been inescapable. There is no way that it is possible to watch that video without seeing the benefits. The machine was going over all sorts of irregularities in the surface that would cause any conventional motorcycle to fall to the ground. The rider even took a curb at a sharp, oblique angle, and the bike just went right over it. On any normal motorcycle, the curb would have prevented the wheel from staying under the bike, and would have changed the direction of the wheel. I can feel the twist in arms as I sit here and think about it. The bike would have fallen over dead in its tracks. This machine went right over it like it was nothing. The difference is night and day. This is an extreme case, perhaps, but the advantage is quite real and is a full time advantage. And look also at those very tight turns that the rider was taking on a very slick surface, while sitting on one side of the bike and leaned over with one hand gently touching the surface. It is extraordinarily difficult to pull over a maneuver like that on a conventional motorcycle, even for someone who practices stunt riding routinely, and anyone with the skill to do would not be keen to try it on a surface anywhere near that slick. Here again the difference is like night and day. That anyone could watch these videos and come away with the opinion that you expressed, just befuddles me.

      • Hmmmm says:

        @TOM: you must be joking. Please, tell me you’re not serious. Next time I want to ride sidesaddle in a circle, I may look for a Q4D, or maybe I’ll just practice on my big pig ST1100. “the bike would have follen over dead in its tracks..” please, how long have you been riding? If you have that little control of your machine please do yourself and family a favor and STAY OFF IT. meanwhile, may i suggest a golf cart for your daily transportation needs?

        @Brian: hear, hear. I see change for change’s sake, not for any improvement to the sport. Ive ridden the 3-wheel Piaggios and while they’re fun, I don’t see a valid offset in either fun-factor or safety for the premium paid over the 2-wheeled variety.

        • Cajun58 says:

          Hmmmm please post video of you riding your big pig ST1100 over
          a curb in a fashion which duplicates what is shown in this video. I’ve been riding for 40+ years and find it hard to believe that most bikes wouldn’t experience a rather considerable amount of deflection in that situation. Also, how many motorcycles actually fit your incredibly stringent, “improvement to the sport” criterion? Anything that rides that much like a motorcycle regardless of how many wheels it has could be fun and like everything else the market will determine whether it has value
          or not.

  44. Stacy says:

    That’s cool and all, but after watching the video it really seems like an answer in search of a question. There was no maneuver in there that couldn’t be done by a two-wheeler. Add on top of that the inevitable drop in fuel economy from the drag of two extra wheels, weight of the suspension components, lack of storage space due to same, and I just can’t see it.

    • ohio says:

      All of it CAN be done on a two-wheeler, but not as easily and certainly not with the same margin for error. I don’t think I’d buy one, but then, they’re probably not targeting moto nuts that read daily motorcycle blogs.

  45. Simon Evans says:

    Nick may be right, but that could be why there is also the three wheeled version – in Europe Piaggio have successfully exploited the `tricycle` legislation loophole by slightly revising the MP3 to create the MP3LT. With a slightly wider front track and the addition of a footbrake (addition to the hand controls, which are retained) it becomes a tricycle and can be ridden without a licence. The Quadro 3D exploits the same loophole…

    Personally, I believe that creating such a vehicle that is deliberately designed to work around training and regulatory requirements is a foolhardy move by any manufacturer, and what they should be doing is `bundling` sales with approved training courses for non-riders, not circumventing the law. The necessity for training is possibly GREATER for first-timers coming to these classes of vehicle as lacking the experience they may be lulled into a false sense of security by the hype about improved safety. NONE of these machines retain the rider, surround him in a safety cage, or incorporate secondary safety of any kind (not even ABS or Traction Control) such as offered by BMW with the C1.

    Having said that, no statute or regulation can be written in stone in these evolutionary times, and I firmly believe that if the potential of these new types is realised, then the regulations MUST change to accommodate them, not vice versa…

  46. jerrylee says:

    interesting concept. I guess one of these days we may see 2-wheel drive or even something like this added to the adventure touring class.

  47. TomK says:

    Looks interesting, fun and has some safety benefits. I looked hard at the video and looks like they are not using countersteering when traveling faster. I suppose you could get used to it and replacing 4 tires at a whack. I doubt wheather the US would allow it in under motorcycle or scooter segment… Pity.

  48. mikeard says:

    Nick you maybe right. Unless they can get some kind of exemption. How about a dirt, enduro, off road, adventure Quadro 4D?

  49. MarkF says:

    They should combine this concept with that crazy Dodge Viper powered “motorcycle” from a few years ago.

  50. Nick says:

    I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that in the USA, any vehicle with four wheels is automatically considered a to be car. As such it must meet all safety standards such as bumpers, seat belts, and airbags. This is why all of the oddball and one-off vehicles in the US are always three wheeled i.e. to avoid the EPA, DOT and FMVSS legalities. Three wheels or less is a motorcycle/scooter, and anything goes. Four wheels is a car with all of the baggage that implies. As I said, I may be wrong, but if this is true, then the 4D will never make it to the US. Which would be a shame.

    • Michael says:

      Kinda depends where you live. In South Dakota, where I live, people get motorcycle plates for 4-wheeled ATVs, Polaris Rangers, and even those mini pick-ups.

      • Scorpio says:

        Same deal in Arizona. You sign an affidavit at motor vehicles indicating you’ve equipped your ATV with a mirror, horn, and lighted license plate bracket, and voila! You have a street-legal quad/sidexside.