New Bikes

Yet more tilting trike patents from Honda

Come on Honda, just get on with it and launch one...

FOR YEARS now, Honda has skirted around the idea of building a tilting three-wheeler. We’ve seen various patents in the past – like this one for a three-wheeled NC750 – and even concept bikes like the crazy-looking NeoWing

So there’s no doubt that the Big H is dedicating a not-inconsiderable amount of its substantial R&D muscle to developing a tilting three-wheeler system, no doubt intended to rival Yamaha’s Tricity and Niken, not to mention the additional three-wheeled models that the company has already confirmed to be on the way.

Now Honda has filed a patent application for yet another tilting suspension system. We’ve lost count of the number of different trike ideas the firm has patented so far, but this one is quite different to its previous attempts.

It’s a rather over-complicated-looking arrangement. Like most tilting three wheelers including Yamaha’s and Piaggio’s MP3, there’s a set of parallelogram links mounted crosswise at the front, but in this instance the top one is just below the headstock while the lower is right at the base of the bike. Beefy vertical castings connect the upper and lower parallel linkages on each side.

From these, there are two swingarms reaching forwards to the front wheels, each with a hub-steering pivot, while vertical members containing the front hubs reach up to meet additional, upper longitudinal suspension links running back to mountings higher up on the vertical side castings.

Still with us? Good. 

At the top, above the upper longitudinal links, there are a pair of angled shock absorbers, their rear/upper ends attached to piers on top of the vertical side castings.

The whole arrangement looks immensely complex, not to mention heavy and bulky. Any trike using the set-up would inevitably have an enormously long wheelbase, too. And we haven’t even got to the intricacies of the steering linkage yet, which involves an inverted T-shaped bar going down from the headstock and connecting to two linkages that run to the front, vertical, hub carriers.

Honda, honestly, we’re looking forward to seeing your rival to Yamaha’s three-wheeler range. But perhaps not with this front suspension arrangement…

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