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British Mag Says Yamaha Three-Wheeler Headed For Production

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British publication VisorDown.com published an article indicating company sources have told it the MWT-9 three-wheel concept from Yamaha is headed for production. Unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show last Fall, the leaning MWT-9 features the 850cc triple from the FZ-09.

We very much enjoyed testing a Piaggio three-wheeler a few years ago, and were very impressed by the grip, and confidence, provided by the two contact patches at the front end. Since three-wheelers can be designed to remain upright when stopped, you don’t have to put your feet down. Together with the front-end grip, we can see these features creating popularity for this design in the future. There is added weight and complication, of course, but powerful engines (like Yamaha’s triple) could make this a non-issue for most riders.

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157 Comments

  1. Bill Pollack says:

    I think it’s a great idea for oldsters like me. I’m in my upper 60s, and am one or two winters away from an artificial hip. For my last four bikes, I went from a BMW R850R (1997-2000) to a Valkyrie Interstate (2000-2007) to a Burgman 650 (2007-2012) to a Victory Cross Country Tour (2012-present). The Victory has a much lower CofG and seat height than the Big Burger, despite being c. 300 lbs. heavier, which is why I can manage that.

    About seven years ago, when Piaggio’s MP3 came out, I managed to rent a 250 while on vacation. (I wanted to try out their then-largest 400, but couldn’t find one.) It was great for city riding, even two-up. I especially liked the button that locks the front geometry when coming to a red light — no feet down requirement. And the stability of the two front wheels was very noticeable, especially in gravel parking lots and suchlike. And the fact that it leans like a bike is a real plus; contrast that to, say, the Can-Am Spyder or Polaris’ car-like SlingShot.

    And keep in mind that I can go either way, in terms of clutches. Shifting is indeed, IMHO, an integrated, visceral, part of the riding experience. OTOH, stopped on hills or in city gridlock, I certainly appreciated the twist-and-go nature of the Burger; no hand cramps with that one.

    All of these are “real” bikes, in my view, if anyone’s wondering. I got the Burger up to a GPS-verified 101 MPH a few times, which is the same top-speed that Motorcycle Consumer News noted on its radar gun. Try to get there on, say, an 883 Sportster.

    And on the big Victory, I took my first track day last year, and easily cracked the ton each lap. And had a lot of fun doing it, and the Vic has a good deal of clearance for its full-boat dresser genre.

    So I’m not quite dead yet, and I like all of these bikes.

    I remember reading a review of the early MP3s that said — what with its leaning, and extra traction and forgiveness up front — something like “it might be the perfect Deals Gap weapon.”

    What I don’t like about the Yammy is the feet-back position. If you’ll take another look at my four-bike history, you’ll see that my leg position has gone from back, to down, to forward, to more forward. This is what happens to a lot of us as we age: riding for hours with knees bent back gets progressively brutal. And I see a market for people like me with this Yammy, but then its foot position seems like an oxymoron. If you’re young and healthy and flexible, you might as well just get the Fizzie 9.

    As it happens, I was at a Piaggio dealer just this morning, and got to sit on a 500 MP3. It’s only very marginally a feet-forward bike — more like feet down. The (two-wheeled) Burger has a lot more leg room, so that was a bit of a disappointment for me. I was examining how I might go about adding highway pegs (and after all, on a twist-and-go, with left and right brake levers, your feet don’t have to be in position to do anything).

    So I think there’s definitely a market for these leaning two-in-the-front bikes, but I think Yamaha is going about it the wrong way (unless there’s a “cruiser” version of this three-wheeler in the planning stages).

  2. Paul G says:

    I,m a paralyzed biker rider that still rides but only at racetracks. This is a fantastic bike for disabled riders. Simply because it remains vertical despite the camber of the road surface. The one problem of using retractable “training” wheels is they need a level surface. Reverse would be helpful for parking and so would a wheelchair rack.

    This machine can also bring non bikers into our world.

    You could do stoppies in the rain with this baby.

    If it is a production motorcycle the thumbs up to Yamaha.

  3. pete rasmussen says:

    its just marketing crap. No other reason for this. A motorcycle is just as fast, near as, to any 4 wheeler so how is this going to make one faster?

    • todd says:

      Actually, I think it would force you to slow down because of it’s cornering limits. Check the video below.

    • Tank says:

      There are several reasons for this bike- older riders, handicapped riders, anyone that rides a lot in the rain (Europeans ride, rain or shine). “Marketing crap” is Polaris selling Indians. At least Yamaha is giving us something different.

    • dicknuts says:

      Pete, I see you never road a piaggio mp3. It’s awesome. So shut your piehole about things you know nothing about.

  4. todd says:

    This video gives you a pretty good idea and view of the front end working.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bBDlEC04OW8&ebc=ANyPxKoLTwkS0ort4L1xSZzpUoPLwKU0H4NUigvj_lwI-O88LxSgBywCttj2t_CqGGqYoc73VpnYRybLA1MK5XZKww_5PO5ppw&time_continue=52

    It looks to me like lean angle (and therefor cornering speed) is severely limited.

    • Scott says:

      A choppy 2 minute video of an experimental prototype, tooling around at 10mph, inside a warehouse full of pylons, in the dark. And you feel this shows the full potential of what the production machine will do. Okay.

  5. Tom R says:

    For anyone considering this: it might be time for a small sports car instead.

    • Scott says:

      Been there, done that. It’s not the same.

    • Brian says:

      Normally I would agree, Tom, but unlike the other offerings with 3 wheels, this thing leans through turns, which is the only reason I would consider it. (when I can no longer hold my bike up at a stop)

  6. JVB says:

    I’m going to be immature now. Put that front end on a V-max: WHOOOOOT!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Neil says:

    I like it. Too $$$ for me, but I like it. I’ll take the XSR900 myself. Actually with your feet under you like that, I would appreciate putting my feet down now and then. I can see it in places that get quite a bit of rain and you want that extra traction. You could even take it down dirt roads and just cruise along nicely. Plenty to talk about at Bike Night. Just give me some more exciting colors.

  8. Tank says:

    This design actually makes sense when you think of all the work the front tire of a bike has to do as far as steering and braking. It’s just going to take a while for people to get used to the idea of 3 wheels. At least it isn’t another cruiser.

    • Doug says:

      The Adventure touring crowd is already accustomed to weird looking motorcycles where form follows function rather than the other way around. Might be a welcome market there.

  9. Stuki Moi says:

    That is one crazy looking vehicle! If these things take off, wonder how long before BStone releases Blizzak snow tires for bikes as well. And a ‘Stich becomes THE outfit for cutting edge ski bums.

  10. arbuz says:

    Taller windscreen, reverse gear, FJR 1300 motor with 6 speed. ABS. Under 14K — and will absolutely buy it.

    • Scott says:

      Yeah, good luck! ๐Ÿ˜„

      Seriously, if they do build this thing – and IF we even get it in the US – it’ll be priced close to $20k. That’s the reality of the situation…

      • Curly says:

        Being based on the FJ-09 I can’t see why it would be any more than 25% over that bike. That could still give it a retail price under $14k.

        • Scott says:

          It’ll be great if you’re right about that.

          But I figure if it costs $500 to add yellow paint to an XSR900, and they charge, what, $1200 for a set of saddlebags for an FJ, then there’s no way this massively complicated piece of engineering won’t cost several thousand dollars.

          That company that makes the dual front ends for Harleys charges 10 grand for the base model, and 13K for the one that self centers when you stop! I don’t think Yamaha will have to raise the price quite that much, but it’s going to be up there..

  11. Ed says:

    I like this. Yes it’s foreign looking and quite different. The idea behind this is that anything that inspires confidence will improve the ride. This isn’t for old people or for those who need training wheels, this is for people who like to push their bikes on the street with an enhanced margin of safety. I have almost fallen several times in the past, each time was the front slipping or sliding on something and almost washing out. If you ride enough it happens. This addresses the problem brilliantly. Thanks Yammy-hah!

  12. Max says:

    I’ll ride/drive anything once. It may give better traction and still feel like a bike.

  13. Licorice says:

    True, not a two wheel motorcycle. The market is non-bikers wanting a close to bike experience or bikers that have become unable to ride two wheels due to injury or age. The average age of bikers is getting higher !!!

    I may be looking for something like this myself some day.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Or bikers that dig lots of front end grip.

      • Kevin Newell says:

        I agree this would really be a lot of fun for the street. Iโ€™d also like to see Yamaha make an off road version with something like the 700 Raptor engine or the old Banshee motor!

      • Vern says:

        Or bikers who are handicapped and want to keep riding because the can’t hold a bike up with a bum leg.

      • wjf says:

        I guess it would be pretty tough to tuck the front on this machine…

    • DCE says:

      …or riders that want to ride year-round where bad weather abounds (i.e., in snow, ice and rain).

    • kpinvt says:

      “The average age of bikers is getting higher !!!” Great news. It means old farts like me are not dropping like flies.

  14. Scottie says:

    Too bad they didn’t move forward with the Tesseract.

  15. stratkat says:

    yeah, i see it as “look what we can do”design exercise.
    that said, i never thought the whole Can-Am Spyder thing would catch on. zero interest to me

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      The fact that this machine leans to turn is what makes it appealing to me. That probably more than anything is why I enjoy riding motorcycles on the street. The Can-Am can’t do that which I is why I never gave one a second thought. This is a different animal as far as I am concerned.

      • Scott says:

        Same reason I can’t get into cruisers. It’s all about the cornering for me. Obviously, everybody has their own reasons for riding motorcycles, but carving corners is #1 in my book!

  16. chase says:

    This is a bad idea. Either Yamaha is seeing a market we all just don’t see or they are smoking dope.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      It’s (At least the scooter versions are) bang on awesome for utility riders in locales with highly variable weather and road surfaces. The extra front wheel really adds lots of safety and confidence in that kind of conditions. And, as wide and ungainly as they look next to “real” bikes, they still lane split perfectly fine. In theory, although I’ve never tried it, perhaps even better than a single front bike on Botts dots afflicted freeways.

      For more sporty type riding, I doubt it offers much; as current sport tires, even with a single front, grip well enough to most likely outlean this thing’s front end on dry pavement. And I can’t imagine transitioning from two front wheels to only the inner one and back, does much for consistency nor confidence.

  17. pete rasmussen says:

    All the disadvantages of a car combined with the disadvantages of a bike. Genius.

    • Scott says:

      OR…

      All the fun of riding a motorcycle, but with car-like stability! Half empty or half-full. You decide…

      • andrew says:

        Stability is not car-like! It is definitely improved, but it has its limits… as I witnessed personally on a test ride of Piaggio MP3 when I watched the rider in front of me lose her balance and go down like a brick in a slow-speed manouver. Stability is definitely improved but the steering is very heavy, and that’s because, well, the front is heavy.

        • Scott says:

          Right, but front end traction is doubled, while front end weight is not. Therefore, net gain in grip.

          I’ve seen people in cars crash into stuff during “low-speed maneuvers”, too. Nothing is foolproof!

          • andrew says:

            Oh, sure. And it really does help when you hit an oil slick in a turn! I don’t mean to pooh-pooh it, just bear in mind it isn’t an end-all solution for every problem. In particular, it might not be the answer older and frail riders are looking for – you still need to balance the thing and to push it around parking spots, and you might need to hold up its considerable weight at times.

          • Scott says:

            Points. ๐Ÿ‘

            If they could fit a reverse gear on it, that could alleviate a lot of those issues for the “older” set. Even something basic like an electric motor that could engage the drivetrain. It wouldn’t have to be built into the transmission.

            No, certainly not the end-all. But I do think it’s a very interesting concept with tons of potential and it just might be a boatload of fun to ride. I would be first in line for a test ride!

          • Stuki Moi says:

            Front end traction on uniform surfaces is very, very far from “doubled.” Twice the contact patch area, but also only half the weight per unit of such. And friction/traction varies with weight*area, at least to a first approximation.

            Where the big gains arise, is on non uniform surfaces. Think wet and oily cable cart tracks in the rain, or ever just lane markings. You are much, much less likely to have two wheels simultaneously hit such traps, as you are only one wheel. These are situat8ions where more wheels increase safety super linearly. And, in the parts of the world where motorcycling is secularly growing, most bikes are bought for utility. Not just fair weather play.

          • Scott says:

            Okaaay…

            I’m not an engineer. So explain to me in English how having twice the contact patch area doesn’t double your traction.

            If you’re saying that more weight placed upon the contact patch makes it bigger, sure, but then you’ve got more weight trying to fling itself outside the corner (centripetal/centrifugal, whatever, force), so that’s a wash.

            If you take 100 lbs. of weight off a given bike, it doesn’t hinder its cornering ability because the contact patches are smaller. It corners better because it’s lighter.

            So if an FJ09 weighs 650 lbs. with a rider on board, and let’s say 300 of those lbs. are on the front end, then that front tire is carrying those 300 lbs.

            Now, you modify it with this dual set-up, and let’s assume the whole assembly adds, say, 150 lbs. to the front of the FJ. Now you have an 800 lb. machine (with rider), and about 450 lbs. of weight divided onto two front tires. Now, each tire is carrying a 225 lb. load, which seems to me like you’ve increased your front grip substantially.

            Am I way off here?

          • tom says:

            If you replace a single contact patch with two and with the contact force at each the same as the contact force for the single contact patch, the traction will double. Since this is not happening, because the contact force is being divided between the two wheels, it is obvious that total traction does not double. The increase in weight does not count, because lateral forces also increase in proportion with weight.

            The increase in traction is the same as it would be with a much fatter tire running lower air pressure, where the contact patch area would be twice what it is for just one of the two tires here. Reduced tire pressure is implied with this setup, the same as with a fatter tire, because the contact force is determined fully by the weight being supported, and this force is also determined in the familiar manner by the combination of gas pressure and area, the same as for a piston. In fact, a piston makes for a good analogy. If you take a single piston and double its area, then if there is a requirement for the force to remain as it was, the gas pressure has to decrease by half. If instead of doubling the area of a single piston you replace it with two pistons and require that the total, combined force again remain as it was, then here again the gas pressure will need to drop by half for each piston.

            The actual increase in traction with this two-wheeled arrangement will still be appreciable, but will be attributable to the increase in the total coefficient of friction, for the two wheels combined, the same as will occur with a much fatter tire running lower pressure. The improvement in the coefficient of friction is presumably very significant, but it would not improve in a linear manner. If you keep increasing the area of the contact patch, eventually a huge increase in this area would be needed to accomplish a modest improvement in the coefficient of friction. It isn’t going to be linear, intuitively, but this doesn’t mean that it won’t be a significant, meaningful improvement. Almost certainly it will be. How great it will be, exactly, is not apparent and not discernible from the rudimentary facts. In other words, I have no idea how much improvement there is likely to be in the coefficient of friction, beyond the fact that it seems certain to me that it will not double.

            It also occurs to me that there is another effect by which the improvement will not be as great as it may seem. Because the sliders on the inside of the turn compress quite a bit more than the sliders on the outside of the turn, and because the force at the contact patch is the same as the force of the compressed spring, it is apparent that the contact force will not be evenly distributed between the two tires. As the lean angle increases, the distribution of contact force between the two tires will become increasingly less even. There are just two obvious ways to mitigate this effect, one of which is keeping the two wheels and their respective sliders as close to each other as possible, which conflicts with the goal of the design. The other is to use very long forks with very long springs that are weak. The third (meant to say three) is to use air springs and remote reservoirs. The fourth (meant to say four) is to use air springs and a pipe or hose to equalize the air pressure. Hmmm. Now that I think about it, I am inclined to speculate that the sliders use air springs, at least partly, so that the spring force will equalize across the two sides. But who knows. It’s past my bedtime.

  18. tc2wheel says:

    If you take up as much road as a car, you might as well be in a cage.

    Learn to ride on 2 wheel, folks.

  19. Crazy Joe says:

    If these things start showing up on track days and if it keeps up with sports bikes in turns they might catch on. Probably cost around 12k to.

    Personally I would like a third wheel on a dual sport like the klr. Thing is if the after market people do it, it would cost as much as the bike.

    • todd says:

      This won’t be able to go ’round corners as fast as a conventional sportbike. There’s no way you could lean this thing very far over. Once leaning stops, tilting over to the outside starts.

  20. Joe Bogusheimer says:

    That suspension system looks bulky and heavy.
    It’s not clear to me, does the whole front suspension, including the part that the dual telescopic tubes attach to on each side, turn with the handlebars, or just the tubes?

    Other than that, I’m not sure that two front wheels are any more necessary for traction than two rear wheels.

    Might be interesting and fun to ride, although the extra bulk and weight of the front suspension looks like it would dampen things a bit, but it might also provide a more secure feeling against front-end washouts. That’s something that I’m always concerned about, even though I know, intellectually, that the rear end is just about as likely to get loose. In fact, in the one crash I’ve had that resulted from a loss of traction, it was the rear tire that stepped out and came around.

    • Scott says:

      Looks like each dual-fork assembly has its own “steering head” at the ends of the central lever arm. I think that arm only rocks left to right, like an airplane wing.

      There are some better pics and a video or two if you Google it, that may make it more clear.

  21. Jerry says:

    I ride all the time, have a BMW and a wr250r. I’m over 80, whats the big deal?

    • Scott says:

      You’ve beaten the odds, my man. There aren’t too many 80-year-olds who can physically handle a motorcycle. Congrats.

  22. fred says:

    My wife had a 400 piaggio it was a blast in the turns, the center stand would touch down to quick. great handling scoot.

  23. Ronbob says:

    I’m riding hard at 73. I could be a customer in a few years, if it keeps me leaned over in a corner. My wife won’t buy a cruiser, but can,t get both feet on the ground. Another possible customer?

    • Scott says:

      That’s what I’m talking about! First of all, good on you. I’m 20 years behind you, and if I’m still riding when I’m your age I’ll be thrilled. But if I find that my reaction times and sense of balance aren’t up to par, a 3-wheeler like this could add another 10 years to my riding career, yet still feel like the old days. What a fantastic concept!

    • Tim says:

      I’m 56 and I’ve always said I want to ride into my 80’s. Something like this would definitely help extend my riding career, so I’m all for it. I have no interest in trikes, they’re heavy and handle poorly. Can-Am fills a nice niche, but from what other people have told me they don’t lean into corners or handle like a traditional motorcycle. One thing I love most about motorcycles is leaning into curves and transitioning in S curves. Every review I read on the Piaggio three wheeler was pretty favorable, but after years on real motorcycles, I would definitely want something a little faster. To me, this is a perfect niche bike for motorcyclists as they age, as well as for new riders who may feel intimated by a heavy two wheeler. Unlike Harley or Gold Wing trikes, this is likely to be pretty reasonably priced, opening it up to more people. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for this to catch on, but I think Yamaha has a winning idea here.

  24. Bill says:

    I think this is fantastic. the day will come when my cycling choices are limited to something like this or a Can Am. I find riding a Can Am to be too much like riding a jet ski. I can see one of these in my future. I don’t even care what it looks like — it’s got the motor, it’s got the lean and it’s got Yamaha reliability.

    • Joe Bogusheimer says:

      At least jet skis / PWCs lean into turns. The Spyder is more like an ATV or snowmobile. Which might be a certain type of fun, but it’s not even close to the same thing as riding a motorcycle, in terms of the dynamics.

  25. Bart says:

    So, do I order the matching Batman or Predator suit?

    I think this could be a lot of fun!

  26. tuskerdu says:

    just buy a car.

  27. Doug says:

    Enough space between the front wheels for a regenerative electric motor. Hmmm, additional 20 hp hybrid high performance reverse trike getting about 75 mpg? That might shake things up a bit.

  28. Denny says:

    Suddenly – I can’t hear Kumbaya being sung around the motorcyclists’ campground. Too much negativity – Yamaha is trying to expand its market share and open up motorcycling to a new segment. And, provide a way for us “older” riders to extend their riding years. I’m in Yamaha. I will seriously consider this in the future.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Heck, I’m not even old, but I would definitely consider this. I does everything just like a regular motorcycle except fall.

  29. ApriliaRST says:

    >> Since three-wheelers can be designed to remain upright when stopped, you donโ€™t have to put your feet down.

    Okay, but putting my feet down is usually a plus as I can straighten my knees to give them a break.

    About the bike: Adding another fork leg to each side can’t be good for overall weight, steering feel or un-sprung weight, can it?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      You have twice as much unsprung weight, but then you have twice as many wheels. So unsprung weight for each wheel set is no different than your typical motorcycle.

      And just because you don’t have to put your feet down doesn’t mean you can’t. ๐Ÿ™‚ Besides, it has a sidestand, so I am not sure it has a mechanism like the Piaggio that keeps it completely stabilized on its own.

    • Brett919 says:

      As far as unsprung weight goes, each front wheel is going to have the same as the front wheel on a regular motorcycle, so the response to road irregularities for each front wheel should be the same. You will have more total unsprung weight, but it will be dispersed among more springs.

    • Scott says:

      I’m sure you’re still allowed to put your feet down if you want to. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Overall weight? Of course it will go up.

      Steering feel? Yes, you won’t have as much “feel” for the front end. But is that really so important? On a regular motorcycle, it’s good to have feel because you want to know exactly what the front end is doing – especially when you’re pushing things – so if it slips you can react. On this thing, the extra front wheel will save you from many of the hazards you face with a single front wheel. So what you lose in “feel”, you gain in confidence and sure-footedness. Yes, that’s a word.

      Unsprung weight? Yes, technically there will be more overall unsprung weight. But again, the extra wheel is independently suspended, so if one wheel hits a bump, pothole, rut, it doesn’t really affect the other wheel. So I’m not really sure there’s any negative effect from the extra unsprung weight.

      It’s really a different kind of vehicle than a two-wheeled motorcycle, and some of these factors you can’t really compare. Just as cars are bigger, heavier, and have more unsprung weight than a motorcycle, yet some of them can go around corners as fast or faster than a bike.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if you can carry more corner speed on this thing than you could on, say, an FJ-09…

      • Dirck Edge says:

        Having tested the MP3, I suspect most riders will be considerably faster through corners on this type of bike, and have correspondingly more confidence (and “feel”).

      • bikerrandy says:

        Being the owner of 2 MP3s, going thru a corner is so much more secure feeling w/2 wheels and riding in the rain it’s like driving a car as far as tire adhesion.

        If 1 of your front wheels goes over an object the other wheel keeps you moving as if nothing happened. Try that on a MC.

  30. Tommy D says:

    This was an answer to a question never asked. “How can I keep my MT09 front wheel on the ground when I exit a corner?”

  31. Eddy G says:

    Might be a better set up for 2-up riding

  32. john says:

    I would like to see an off road version of this 3 wheel riding machine .

    • mattf says:

      Ditto. The reverse leaning trike with some long legs and hiking boots makes lots of sense in slippery off-road conditions. But that triple is very sweet on the street. Combine them and I am very intrigued by the potential.

      • Scott says:

        The problem I see with an offroad application is that it has 3 different wheel tracks, which could make navigating obstacles a little problematic. That, and the overall width.

        But for fire roads and open terrain it would be pretty cool!

        • Joe Bogusheimer says:

          Just like 3-wheeled ATVs back in the day – damned hard to avoid any hole, rock, bump, etc on a three-track vehicle. I still thought they were fun, though, in some ways more so than the quads.

  33. LarryC says:

    What’s the sidestand for?

  34. Bob says:

    The more I look at this thing, the more I think it was styled by M.C. Escher.

  35. Provologna says:

    Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion shared the 3-wheel/2 front wheel architecture. Beyond that, the Dymaxion was FWD/rear steering while this Yamaha is RWD/front steering.

    I suspect the approximately twice as large front contact patch provides shorter stopping distance vs. similar weight 2-wheel bike.

  36. skybullet says:

    When I get too feeble to ride a 2 wheeler, I would rather buy a Buick and roll the windows down than be seen on this thing.

  37. Dino says:

    Looks like the perfect weapon to chase down the Joker, the Riddler, or the Penguin!

    Kinda like this…

  38. bobolink says:

    I would love to see Yamaha make a racing video of this MWT-9 trike against the FZ-9 two wheeler on a real tight and twisty paved track.

    I imagine the lighter FZ-9 would be fastest to the first corner, it would get the ideal inside apex racing line. But maybe the MWT trike could keep a much higher corner entry speed due to it’s superior front contact patches and higher cornering g ability. In short, it might take the turn’s outside line and power drift the corner sideways like a dirt tracker on the Ascot Mile. If the MWT can rail the turn faster than the FZ, then it has a chance to pass the FZ at the turn’s exit.

    If the MWT can then keep its lead into the next turn, then the MWT will have the ideal inside racing line. Then it might be real difficult for the FZ to try and pass the MWT as the trike can turn harder. The MWT could even power drift sideways if required to force the trailing FZ to have to take an even wider path to pass around the MWT. Would the FZ bike lose the tire contact patch adhesion resulting in a low-side flop trying to keep pace or pass the MWT?

    I have no expertise on this subject. Perhaps some other readers/riders/racers could expound upon this scenario. Your thoughts?

    IMO, it sure would make for some exciting racing with different bikes and trikes attacking various multiple racing lines around the track. As we now often see a racing railroad train, instead we might see multiple bikes and trikes going three or four abreast thru the corners!

    • TimC says:

      I’m interested in people who know more about this stuff chiming in, but my off-the-cuff take is if the front gripped that much better than the rear, the rear would just come around?

      Also, dirt trackers ride that way because it’s the fast way around a dirt track; sliding on pavement beyond a certain small amount is generally not the fast line, right?

  39. My2Cents says:

    I must be the luckiest guy in the world. I have always said I like all motorcycles and this being a three wheeler gives me the ability to stay true to my comments. Thankfully I only consider motorcycles to have two wheels.

  40. Mick says:

    City people are weird and will buy things like this. Yamaha already has a Tricity 125cc model. They put the fork tubes on the inside on that one. They probably put them on the outside of this for the visual impact. It would work if the plastic around it wasn’t such a ridiculous shape.

    And forgive me if I’m wrong. But aren’t the perspective buyers paying extra for a super scooter that has no storage to speak of?

  41. jim says:

    That is a truly ugly contraption.

  42. Big thumbs up to the concept. Big thumbs down to the styling and fuel capacity. Know one knows what the future holds. REMEMBER “Never say Never”

  43. bobolink says:

    I would like to see how this trike does racing against two-wheeled bikes–>At the start of a race, I could see it taking the outside line around a corner at full lean while pitched sideways power-drifting the rear tire. If it could do this as fast as the regular bikes taking the inside apex line, then it might be able to exit onto a straight-away faster–>then it could take the inside apex line on the next corner. I then think it would be difficult for a regular bike to go around the trike in the next corner as the trike has the superior front contact patches. In summary: the regular bike may low-side and crash as the trike can always power drift thru a corner at a higher cornering g.

    I would be interested in reading opinions from more expert riders. Your thoughts?

    • TimC says:

      “Good evening. Tonight on ‘It’s the Mind’, we examine the phenomenon of deja vu.”

    • todd says:

      I don’t believe a conventional motorccle is limited by traction, especially on a track. If you noticed, cornering clearance is the only drawback, elbows and shoulders start to touch down… I would think it would be rather advantageous to tip this bike over on two wheels to get more lean and increase cornering speeds. There’s the problem of all that mass hanging on the outside of the centerline of the bike when it would be best suited on the inside of the bike. I don’t think this bike is ideal for cornering speeds, just peace of mind.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Good point, though for mediocre riders like myself, peace of mind and cornering speed have a very high correlation.

  44. Grover says:

    This will make an excellent ADV platform for riders that complain they can’t touch the ground because of their short inseam. Should sell millions of them.

  45. Grover says:

    This will make an ideal ADV platform. People that complain about not be

  46. allworld says:

    I now know that I can ride into my 90’s
    Thank you Yamaha. ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. Duffer says:

    Nice golf cart

  48. ABQ says:

    I see only one problem that will stop me from buying one:
    Fuel Capacity (gal/l) 3.7 / 14
    With extra wheels up front they could get away with a large gas tank.
    The Can-Am Spyder has six gallons with a similar sized engine. Could they make the gas tank on the FJR fit?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Where did you find the specs for fuel capacity?

      • bmidd says:

        He’s referring to the FZ-09 fuel capacity. The FJ-09 uses the same engine and has 4.8 gallon capacity.

      • ABQ says:

        I was using the specs from the FZ-09. the article said the concept was based on that. If they did choose to use the 4.8 gallon gas tank from the FJ-09
        then I would seriously consider buying one. I have cash.

        • Scott says:

          It shares only the engine and rear end with the FZ-09. The frame is completely diffeent, and the front end is like 3 feet wide. You can be pretty certain it will have a good sized fuel tank.

  49. mechanicus says:

    I like the concept, but hate the styling. Looks like something Beelzebub would ride up out of Dante’s Inferno.

    • Eddy G says:

      And that’s somehow a bad thing? Lots of bikes would do well to have the wicked look that this one has.

    • Scott says:

      Again, this is a CONCEPT. We’ve all seen how production vehicles can look nothing like the concepts shown beforehand (AHEM! Victory Octane)…

      But Honda has shown a 3-wheeler that looks much more vanilla, and there’s even a guy making 3-wheel conversion kits for the front ends of Harleys and Gold Wings if you like that old-school look.

      So if you like the concept of a leaning 3-wheeler, it looks like your choices are going to multiply in the next few years…

  50. pacer says:

    So what if you just go all out and make it a 4 wheeler? Would the rear wheels tilt the same. I think Dodge made a concept along these lines with a V10 out of a Viper.

    • Delmartian says:

      You’re thinking of the Dodge Tomahawk, introduced at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Tomahawk

      I saw one for the first time yesterday at the new Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, one of only nine in existence. Looks like it came straight out of the movie Tron.

    • KenHoward says:

      “what if you just go all out and make it a 4 wheeler?”

      That might be the (Swiss) Quadro Vehicles’ leaning “Quadro 4,” sold in Europe, but never reaching the U.S. Check it out. In the U.S., 4 wheels = car, with all the extra safety regulations.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I think Kawasaki displayed a tilting four-wheeled “motorcycle” concept like that sometime in the past couple of years.

  51. beasty says:

    As a geezer, I should be interested in this, but I’m not. I’m overwhelmed by the ugly. I didn’t think they could do it, but Yamaha has yet again set a new standard in grotesque design. When my hip finally breaks, I’m just gonna buy a Jeep.

  52. The Spaceman says:

    I think this could be a hell of a lot of fun. Using the 850 triple engine guarantees high-performance (who wouldn’t like a scooter that does 0-60 in < 4 seconds?). You could probably open up a whole new type of hooligan riding pushing that front-end past it's limits.

    IMO the 3 wheel concept of the Can-Am Spyder is a failure because you have all the downside of m/c riding with none of the benefits. But, if you take the 3-wheels and add leaning and high-performance back into the equation, now that's got to be a hoot.

  53. Gham says:

    I think it looks like huge fun,I would love to test ride one and see.

  54. azi says:

    I’m going against the prevailing cynicism and say that I like this. There has been a lot of negativity lately regarding “not another cruiser!”, so I’m going to give a thumbs up for a manufacturer’s attempt to release genuinely new and innovative product. Yay Yamaha.

  55. Scott says:

    I get it.

    I rode a Piaggio MP3, and it was as fun to ride as any scooter, but the best part is how forgiving the front end was. After seeing what it could do, I intentionally ran through a patch of sand in a parking lot at a pretty good lean, and all it did was push the front end a couple of feet and then popped right back up and I was on my way. Try that on a street bike!

    I don’t know if I would ever be in the market for a 3-wheeler, but compared to the Can-Am Spyder or ANY kind of “trike”, there’s no doubt I would pick this one first…

  56. Tony says:

    I’d love to have those forks on the regular FZ09!

  57. DaveC says:

    Looks like a sport bike. Seems like a this skill set would be more useful on a commuter or light touring bike, something with bags or other storage.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I’d think that with two contact patches up front while leaned over that “sport” might fit quite well with the design depending on the lean angle available.

      • Tom K. says:

        I’m reasonably sure I saw a video on an early prototype of this machine several years ago, they had it on a smooth concrete or steel pad covered with motor oil, I believe, and the rider kept trying to lowside it, and all he would do is spin out, he always stayed upright. Looked like a WHOLE lot of fun to ride. With a snowmobile suit, one could ride deep into below-freezing temperatures without worrying as much about ice. Not that there’s likely a huge market for that, but….

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I’m sure you’d spin out on oiled steel or ice, but I’d wager that would result in a pretty magnificent highside if one accidentally brings the rear around that far going around a corner. ๐Ÿ™‚ Though I suspect it is more difficult to highside as well than a regular motorcycle.

          This machine would definitely be a winter rider’s friend. I think I’d have to mount some knobbies right away were I to have one.

          • todd says:

            What’s winter? You have one of those in Texas?

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Haha. Well, here winter equates to riding season in this part of Texas. So does the rest of the year fortunately (though I confess I ride very little during the brutally hot and humid summer months. The knobbies would be for the dirt!

  58. Jdilpkle says:

    Why???

    • Dave says:

      The end of the low-side crash.

    • Half Baked says:

      Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, ‘Because it is there.’ Well, the 3 wheeler is there, and it is going to be ridden.

  59. Jeremy in TX says:

    I confess I like this. I’ve never ridden one of the leaning three-wheelers, but I bet they feel pretty natural (as in like a motorcycle) once underway. Looks like this one would have sufficient power and appears to have a traditional manual tranny which I like. I’d be very tempted to give such a machine a try. Given the number of Can-Ams I see running around, I suspect it might post some decent sales figures as well.

    Bet it is a bee-yach to wheelie, though!

  60. mattf says:

    I’ve often thought leaning 3-wheelers would be great for Snow, Sand, Mud etc.. Basically off-road exploration in slippery surfaces us mere mortals hesitate to ride 500lb motorcycles in.

    I’m sure the gods of motorcycle skill on this comment board can sling their 900’s like a trials bike, but for the rest of us I say throw on some knobbies and lets see how this does in the dunes/spring-mud/fall-snow.

    I can understand most people not being interested though, since they tend to stay on asphalt. I imagine after a riding-ending injury/illness or age related issues our opinions of riding this on-road might change though.

    As always the more options the merrier, kudos Yamaha!

  61. Orphan of the Road says:

    As someone whose health and physical strength no longer permit me to ride two-wheels, this is interesting.

    But the price is out of my range if the Can-Am is the target.

    There is a very interesting three-wheeler being made in Utah. Forget where I read about it.

    • Yort says:

      When I get to the point I can’t ride I am just going to shoot myself …

      • Scott says:

        You say that now.

        • mickey says:

          LOL..I once said when I got too feeble to kick start my own bike I would have someone else kick start it for me, then I would run it into a bridge abutment and just end it all. Ahh the brashness of youth. Now they no longer even have kick starters and I am so happy they have electric starters.

  62. Jabe says:

    It looks very complicated, very heavy and very ugly.

    • mattf says:

      Not real pretty and it does look complicated.

      But for some perspective, even adding 100lbs to the FJ09/MT09 Tracer the wet weight would be ~560.

      If I am not mistaken the lightest Harley Sportster is ~550-ish?

  63. North of Missoula says:

    It will be perfect for those who kept training wheels on their bicycles until they were teenagers.

    • KenHoward says:

      Or, those who vividly remember their last low-side (possibly including a hospital bill).

    • Half Baked says:

      What does a 3 wheeled vehicle that can lean into turns have to do with a 4 wheel vehicle that doesnโ€™t lean at all.

  64. TimC says:

    Styling by Omni Consumer Products

  65. mickey says:

    I too rode a Piaggio three wheeler and it felt surprisingly normal (as compared to a 2 wheeled version of the same genre). That said I’m 65 and wouldn’t be in the market for something like this until I’m too old and feeble to hold up a 2 wheeler, which I’m hoping is another dozen years or so. would test ride this though (heck I will test ride ANYTHING lol)

  66. Tank says:

    Don’t bother bringing it to the US. It won’t sell.

    • Dave says:

      Can-Am seems to do pretty well with the Spyder and I see Mp3’s around pretty frequently.

      Might as well try something, the US moto market can’t get much worse.