Signs of a revival?!

VMAX three-wheeler patent announced

Within the “tilting vehicle” patent Yamaha Motor Company announced to the public in Japan on 5thApril 2018, the invention of a three-wheeled vehicle equipped with a front double-wishbone suspension system has been published. Whichever section of the diagram one looks at, it is clear to see how it is the out of production VMAX engine. Could this seriously make a revival as a three-wheeler?!

Differences in the use of mechanism with the Niken

In continuance with the recent news published on 13thApril about the Niken, Yamaha have confirmed the development of a new three-wheeled mechanism. Within the heading of the “tilting vehicle” patent announced 4thApril, it states how “This tilting vehicle is equipped with a double-wishbone suspension system that allows for a large degree of tilting and steering angle”, and how the technology it uses is different to the Niken’s parallelogram steering linkage system. The Niken was named after swordsmen and philosopher Miyomoto Musashi, because the front forks look like the two fierce Samurai swords he was often known to have held. This double-wishbone system, however, seems more akin to the suspension system of a four-wheeled vehicle. The distance between the front wheels on the Niken is 410mm, but it is clear to see how the double-wishbone VMAX has a larger gap. It is similar to the BRP CAN-AM Spyder that is sold domestically in Japan, only that the Spyder is not the type that banks into corners, so it would be fair to say that the VMAX trike is a new variety. The VMAX is not so much categorised as a bike, more like a three-wheeler that banks into turns.

The distance between the front wheels on the Niken is 410mm, but it is clear to see how the double-wishbone VMAX has a larger gap. It is similar to the BRP CAN-AM Spyder that is sold domestically in Japan, only that the Spyder is not the type that banks into corners, so it would be fair to say that the VMAX trike is a new variety. The VMAX is not so much categorised as a bike, more like a three-wheeler that banks into turns.

(HONDA Neowing concept model exhibited at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show) The Neowing also appealed as a three-wheeler with its characteristics of banking into turns, so it would be fair to say that the Yamaha VMAX is of the same kind. After the show, it appeared that there was a similarity within the patent that was made public, but it appears that the difference with the Yamaha is how it leans together with the shock unit. We wonder which one will make it as a product first?

Underneath the VMAX trike is a Brudeli machine

On 19thSeptember 2017 it was announced that Brudeli Tech Holding AS had sold off their patent to Yamaha Motor Company. It is thought that the Brudeli three-wheel model has the same double-wishbone system as the VMAX, and so such mechanisms are shared. Also, a model using this three-wheeled system had already been announced in 2005, and if you look at the video you can see how equal it is in terms of sportiness with a bike. One could say that it conforms to the aims of Yamaha’s LMW (Leaning Multi-Wheeler) concept. Furthermore, because it was announced that implementing the parallelogram steering linkage system on the Niken as a four-wheeler might be difficult, we wonder if that’s why Yamaha decided to introduce the double-wishbone system.

(Brudeli 654L) Brudeli, established in 2001 announced the 625L at the 2005 Milan Show for the first time. The photo shows the more developed 654L. Brudeli called this the “leanster vehicle”, and placed significance on its ability to bank into corners. In the patent that has been handed over to Yamaha, the illustrations show how even if the bike is leant over the shock unit remains standing, just like the VMAX. Photo: Rune Baashus

So will it be made into a three or four-wheeled machine?!

At present no information has come in regarding the production of the machine. Will it be offered for sale as a three-wheeled bike? Well, we cannot deny the feasibility that it might well become a four-wheeled machine. This is because it looks similar to the suspension system of the MWC-4 that was exhibited by Yamaha at the Tokyo Motor show in October 2017. Also, the Niken is already making good use of the Parallelogram steering linkage system, so it could be considered that a four-wheeled double-wishbone system might be developed. In Yamaha’s 2015 – 2018 medium-term management plan, there are four growth strategies that were published. One of the items touches on how it wants to “spread out mobility worldwide” with four-wheeled vehicles. The plan is that it can stretch its earnings further by releasing a cluster of groups to the market, covering anything from electric assist bikes, to two, three, and four-wheel machines, However, in terms of producing four-wheeled vehicles, there has been a complete reversal from the i steam concept that was displayed at the 2013 & 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, as in 2017 such machines like the MWC-4 and cross hub concept were exhibited. So it seems as though Yamaha are fumbling about in trying to find a big hit. Also, the sales network would become a huge challenge in making four-wheelers on a full blown scale. As for now though, it seems certain that Yamaha will focus its attentions on dabbling with the three-wheeled double-wishbone system. We wonder how it’ll all turn out?

Yamaha MWC-4 concept model exhibited at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show) The LMW concept is equipped with two water cooled motors, its engine is powered in accordance with a four-wheeled model. One can say how this four-wheeled concept is the most typical looking Yamaha machine for the past few years. For example, the handlebars are similar to a motorbike which is a clear Yamaha characteristic. Also, if you look around the front area with the double-wishbone system, the shock unit stays standing and this is thought to be the same mechanism.

For the “Turning with the Niken akermann steering” article, please click here

 

いち

いち

See More

本誌編集長。雑誌は生き残りタイアップ全盛期だというのに、ひとり次期型ネタを嗅ぎまわって反感を買う現代のスクープ魔王。
■1972年生まれ
■愛車:BMW R100GS(1988)

Author recent post