June 16, 2007 We've always been excited about the prospects for three wheeled conveyances. Way back in September 2006, (which seems like ancient history in internet years), Lehman Trikes and Harley-Davidson announced that they had entered into an agreement for the development of three-wheeled machines based on Harley “motorcycle product” and sold as Harley-Davidson branded vehicles through authorized Harley-Davidson dealers. Given that Lehman has been making a range of turnkey Harley trikes, conversion kits and accessories for 20 years, with two wheels at the back and a motorcycle front-end, the announcement didn’t get a lot of attention. A recent patent filing by Harley makes the whole story suddenly much more exciting. It appears that Harley isn’t far from releasing a stunning new “carving” model based on similar existing machines as the Piaggio MP3, Electric Vectrix, Brudelli Leanster and Mercedes-Benz F 300 Life-Jet and previously published concepts such as Heikki Naulapaa’s Aprilia Magnet, Dimitrios Scoutas' Skipee and Tommy Forsgren’s Hermes – three wheeled vehicles with the power-to-weight ratio of an elite sports car and the cornering dynamics of a motorcycle.
Though the companies have not announced the timing of the product introduction, the accompanying drawings from Harley’s patent application show a machine certain to broaden Harley’s market into citizen territory without alienating its enthusiast and one percenter clientele.
Perhaps with this new platform, we’ll get to see Erik Buell work with the V-ROD motor at last and indeed, what a sporting carver might do when focused on sporting endeavours.