Kawasaki files patent for prospective three-wheeled vehicle
Schematic diagrams point to an ATV-like side-by-side vehicle
When the average Indian thinks of a three-wheeler, they usually think of an autorickshaw. However, enthusiasts have a slightly different view, connecting with the Yamaha Niken, Can-Am Spyder or Piaggio MP3, Polaris Slingshot, and even the Morgan 3-Wheeler or the . But Kawasaki’s latest patent design seems to thumb the nose at all of them!
Now, since the closest competitor in this company seems to be the Polaris Slingshot, let’s first get to know a bit more on the similarities first. Both vehicles have two wheels up front and one at the rear, a steering wheel instead of a handlebar and side-by-side seats. However, while all three wheels on the Slingshot have squared-off profiles like on a car tyre, the rear wheel on Kawasaki’s concept has a rounded profile, like on a motorcycle tyre. This is because while the Slingshot corners flat, Kawasaki’s design means the entire vehicle (except the front wheels) leans in the direction of the turn.
This unique cornering behaviour is accomplished via a steering knuckle member mounted to the inside of the front wheels that rotates about the steering shaft. The rolling mechanism consists of upper and lower arms that connect to the telescopic twin-tube suspension forks and the chassis, with struts to keep the chassis from rolling too much.
As mentioned, what we see is a patent design, which means there will surely be some tweaks when (or if) this makes it to even a conceptual stage. However, we are already intrigued by the idea, and judging by how much fun enthusiasts the world over have had with the Yamaha Niken, we’d love to see this particular Kwacker in action.