• Honda Eyeing Possibility of Developing Leaning Three-Wheeled Motorcycles

Japanese patent drawings from the Japanese Patent Office have revealed Honda’s plans to develop a leaning three-wheeler motorcycle, jumping on a trend that Piaggio began in 2006 with the MP3 scooter. Since the MP3’s arrival, other bookmakers have introduced similar models, including the Peugeot Metropolis, and most recently, the Yamaha Tricity.

Now it looks like Honda’s jumping on the bandwagon with a series of patent drawings showing a leaning trike with one rear wheel and a pair of front wheels. From what I’ve gathered, the Japanese company appears to be leaning towards developing a motorcycle with a design and chassis bearing a striking similarity to the Honda NC700S. It wouldn’t be surprising if Honda uses said platform since it’s already done so on a handful of other models, including the NM4 and the CTX700.

The patent drawings also reveal a few unique features of the leaning three-wheeler, particularly the suspension set-up, which makes use of a similar parallelogram suspension design found on the Piaggio and Yamaha trikes. The suspension components are set-up just behind the wheels and apparently uses a trailing link suspension that links in front of the bike’s wheel axis.

It remains to be seen if these patent drawings will ever amount to anything. Patent drawings don’t necessarily equate to given models being sent to the production line. So hold your horses and temper your excitement for now. It’s nice to see that Honda’s got these on file.

Let’s just hope that they don’t keep it on file longer than they should.

Click past the jump to read more about Honda’s patent drawings of a leaning three-wheeled motorcycle.

Why it matters

A Honda three-wheeler. Who would’ve thought, right? But times are changing and other bike makers have taken to building leaning three-wheelers to keep up with the demand from consumers.

Granted, the market for leaning three-wheelers isn’t really that big. It’s still a niche segment. But there’s a segment of people that are looking for bikes like this and they’ll pay to own them.

That’s probably a reason why Honda filed these patents at the Japanese Patent Office. It’s not outwardly announcing that it’ll build a leaning three-wheeler. But it’s doing the prudent approach of covering its bases for the time being. Who knows, there might come a time when Honda decides to green light this model. I don’t know when that’s going to be, but the mere fact that these patents are out there suggests that there are people within the company that are leaning towards building this model.

It may not be as soon as some would like, but it’ll probably happen at one point or another. For those who were looking forward to seeing a Honda leaning three-wheeler, now’s probably the best time to exercise a little bit of patience on the matter.

I don’t want to get your hopes up because I’d be doing the same for me. But let’s just say that Honda’s keeping in this in the shelf for now with the idea of hopefully dusting it off in the near future.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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