The idea of a leaning three-wheeler has been around for more than a decade, since Piaggio’s MP3, but the concept is now gaining traction as other big firms dive into the market. Yamaha is there with the Tricity and plans to expand to larger trikes, while Honda has also hinted that it’s following suit, showing the NeoWing concept bike last year.
As well as the NeoWing, which might well reach production in some form, Honda has been working on leaning trikes based on the NC750 engine and chassis. But this new patent shows the firm is also developing a scooter to directly compete with the MP3 and Tricity.
Like both the Tricity and MP3, the Honda design is based on a parallelogram leaning system at the front, and the suspension itself is via leading-link (like the MP3), instead of the Tricity’s telescopic tubes.
Where Honda’s design differs is that the lower link of the parallelogram, mounted below the one-piece top suspension mount, is made in two wishbone-shaped halves, both pivoting on a common axis.
Its rivals both use one-piece lower links, centrally pivoted like the top cross-member which allows greater flexibility in terms of the geometry of the tilting system.