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Blade runner has three in-line wheels

Marabese Blade three-wheeler

Why would anyone think this Marabese Blade with three in-line wheels is a good thing for motorcycles?

The Marabese Blade is the work of the family owned Luciano Marabese design company that also designed the Piaggio MP3 scooter with two side-by-side front wheels.

PIaggio MP3 trike
PIaggio MP3

The company has also designed bikes for Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Triumph and Yamaha.

Their Blade has been designed by Luciano’s sons Ricardo and Roberto specifically for Asian markets.Marabese Blade three-wheeler

Pros and Cons of Marabese Blade

The advantages could be more braking power and cornering confidence given the increased contact patch of the third tyre.

Marabese Blade three-wheeler
Locking up the wheels in a brake test

That’s also true with other three-wheelers with two side-by-side front wheels such as Yamaha’s Niken and TriCity scooter.

It also makes the wheelbase longer which provides more seating space.

That makes it particularly suitable in Asian and African countries where they often fit whole families on motorcycles and scooters.

However, it would also make it heavier and more expensive to buy and maintain given the extra tyre.

We also don’t buy their argument that it is narrower for lane filtering as the two Yamahas are not much wider than normal bikes and scooters.

We’re also a bit sceptical about the designers’ claims that it is more stable over bumps.Marabese Blade three-wheeler

Despite the complex and heavy front suspension system, the impact on the handlebars of the two wheels taking a bump at different times must double the chance of kickback and instability.

The original prototype Blade used 10-inch wheels, but they have now gone up to 12-inch wheels.

That could make steering geometry fairly fast, but it may also contribute to some steering issues we’ve experienced with 12-inch-wheeled scooters.

It is powered by a single-cylinder 300cc engine, but the designers say it will also fit a twin-cylinder 550cc engine.

Marabese is still working on the prototype and it is not yet confirmed for production.

  1. I have been looking at the “Tilting Motor Works (TMW) Reverse Trike” as an option if I were to buy a (BIG BIKE like any of the Big H-Ds, Indian, Victory) new Honda Goldwing to replace my current Honda Goldwing.
    Due to a SMIDSY in 2011 stopping a bike falling at low or car park speed would see the bike on the ground & the TMW job seems to cover that situation where the Yamaha Niken is the same as any of the big bikes.
    The TMW essentially takes away the single front wheel of the Motorcycle and replaces it with two side by side wheels as you see on the Yamaha Niken. The difference is that the TMW front end is self supporting like the Piaggio MP3 scooter where the bike will stand at traffic lights or as you get off you don’t need a Kick Stand.
    It currently costs (USD$13,999) about AUD$20,800

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