– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Harley Trike That Leans?

On April 5, 2007, Harley-Davidson applied for a U.S. Patent concerning a three-wheeled vehicle that leans like a motorcycle. In operation, it appears that the Harley design would lean in a manner similar to the Piaggio MP3 that we tested here. The mechanics of the leaning process are different, however. Harley summarizes the patentable design in the application as follows:

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.

The drawings accompanying the appication show two wheels in the front and one in the back (different from the traditional, after-market “trike”). The application states, however, that the unique suspension design could also be used with two wheels in the back.

Does this mean we will see a production trike from Harley any time soon? It is hard to say, but the application indicates Harley has been working on this design for at least two years. You can read the full text of the U.S. Patent application here.

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