Charles Bombardier, creator of the highly controversial Can-Am Spyder and grandson of the man who invented the snowmobile, thinks he has an idea to make trikes cool. It’s a tall order, considering most motorcycling circles banish three-wheelers as some kind of second class device, not worthy of mingling with true two wheelers.
While Bombardier’s Trailtrike still has two wheels in front and one in back, he tells Popular Science the difference is that the Trailtrike can be ridden both on- and off-road. The design sketches show what appear to be tires with paddles, like that seen on sand buggies, which, obviously, wouldn’t work well on asphalt. Meanwhile, the riding position, with the bars low and rearset footpegs emulates that of a sportbike.
Continuing this theme, the “carving seat,” design which uses an electric motor to pivot the seat with the rider as they lean into turns, will add a dynamic element nobody else has, though we question how well it will work with the various different riding styles.
Bombardier says the Trailtrike would incorporate ride modes, not too dissimilar to what’s already seen on many of today’s motorcycles, though the system on the Trailtrike would adjust according to ground surface — asphalt, snow, sand or trail and adjust power, braking and traction control accordingly.
Speaking of power, the Trailtrike would use a two-stroke, direct-injection engine producing a claimed 165 hp, with power being delivered to all three wheels. Suspension configuration isn’t clear, so we wonder whether the Trailtrike leans into turns like a Piaggio MP3, of if it stays stationary like the Can-Am Spyder.
As it is, the Trailtrike is still in the design stages. We’ll follow up if this story develops. In the meantime, tell us what you think of the Trailtrike in the comments section below.