If personal experience is anything to go by, Europeans love their scooters. One seems to zoom past every few seconds where I live, and a good many of those are three-wheelers from the likes of Peugeot and Piaggio. Yamaha is looking to grab a slice of the action with a Leaning Multi-Wheel concept named Tricity. Debuted earlier this month at EICMA in Milan, Italy, the company sees the three-wheel, tilting scooter becoming the standard city commuter when it's released next year. Gizmag caught up with the sporty little number at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Precious little about what to expect from the production model has been released, but Gizmag has been told that the concept on display in Tokyo will be pretty close to the final production model, in both specifications and performance.
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That should see it coming in lighter and more compact than other three-wheelers on the market today (with dimensions of 75 x 28.9 x 47.8 in / 1,905 x 735 x 1,215 mm, and a dry weight of 150 kg / 331 lb), and give it an automatic transmission, 125 cc, liquid-cooled 4-stroke engine to strike a happy balance between performance and low running costs.
"It is a high-quality design developed for the European customer's sense of style," designer Noguchi Hirotoshi told the company's Design Cafe portal. "We wanted to create a smart and refined design that is different from others. And above all, to express how easy to ride this vehicle is."
The sporty-looking Tricity has a narrow track and short wheelbase, each front wheel is topped by a fixed fender and has a disc brake mounted on the inside, and there's a single disc brake to the rear. There's a compartment under the seat that's big enough to stow away a full-size helmet between rides. Yamaha has not given away any specifics relating to the suspension or leaning mechanism.
The Tricity has been designed to attract existing scooter users, as well as riders new to the game. "We made it very easy to step on and off, with a flat footboard and no plastic parts in the way," said Hirotoshi. "Also the seat shape allows a good freedom of movement."
It will cost under €4,000 (about US$5,400) when released in Europe by the middle of next year. The company has also indicated that the scooter could be the first of a number of affordable, agile, compact and light new models to be introduced from next year.
The promo video below shows the concept in action.