As the leaning multi-wheeler scooter class is booming, Yamaha has announced a new addition next to its European best seller, the Tricity 125. The brand new Tricity 155 boasts a larger engine and, although the extra 30 cc may not sound as much, they do make a big difference in the eyes of the law.
It's been a decade since Piaggio introduced the MP3 three-wheeler, and changed the way we think about scooters. Realizing that car commuters looking for a way to tackle heavy traffic can potentially amount to a sizeable chunk of the scooter market, Piaggio offered exactly the kind of vehicle that would make even the most inexperienced of riders feel safe.
Yamaha had been toying with the idea for several years and generated some very interesting concepts, but only in 2014 did it unveil its official response. With a new front suspension setup, the Tricity offered a rather inexpensive alternative to the majority of tilting three-wheelers that are available in the market by Piaggio, Quadro and Peugeot.
The strategic choice of 125 cc obviously targeted new riders that hold the European introductory A1 license (limited to 125 cc and 11 kW); offered at a price below €4,000 (US$4,450) it made for an immediate success story. Now Yamaha introduces a new model that does not substitute the 125 but rather complements it.
The Tricity 155 looks almost identical to the existing model, with the big changes hidden beneath what the eye can see. Yamaha has employed a new liquid-cooled 155 cc engine with Variable Valve Actuation system, built according the company's new Blue Core initiative – marketing lingo for the latest generation of Yamaha engines that target the magical combination of maximum efficiency with minimal environmental impact.
This is a brand new unit and not just an oversized version on the 125 cc Tricity motor, producing 14.9 hp (11.1 kW) and 14.4 Nm (10.6 lb-ft). Compared to the smaller engine, these translate to an increase of 4 hp (3 kW) and 4 Nm (2.9 lb-ft). We are therefore talking about a significant power boost indeed.
Apart from the extra power, the new Tricity has another ace up its sleeve. According to European legislation, vehicles up to 125 cc are not allowed on highways, but anything with an engine bigger than 126 cc is free to roam any road. This is the reason why for almost 20 years the Italians have been escorting every 125 they produce with an overbored 150 cc version. In this sense, the Tricity 155 is meant to appeal to those people whose daily commute includes highways.
The new engine is housed in a brand new frame, giving Yamaha the opportunity to improve on some key values of its scooter. The 155 has a slightly bigger fuel tank that holds 7.2 l (1.9 gallon), compared to the 6.6 l (1.7 gallon) of the 125. It also offers more underseat cargo space and runs on a larger 13-inch rear wheel – one up from the 125.
Most of the running gear is identical in the two Tricity scooters, including suspension and brakes, as Yamaha adorned the latest model with ABS and a Unified Braking System, a new LED headlight and a parking brake lever that sits on the left side of the handlebars. The bad news is that the new model now weighs in at 165 kg (363.8 lb), or 9 kg (19.8 lb) more than the 125.
The new Tricity 155 will be manufactured by Thai Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and is expected to hit European showrooms in September, at a retail price of €4,499 (US$5,000).