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Kawasaki’s electric multi-wheel transformer

Kawasaki’s electric multi-wheel transformer

Kawasaki has been watching too many Transformers movies judging by this video on their USA YouTube channel of an electric three-wheeled Transformer.

It starts with a recap on Kawasaki innovations over the years. Halfway through it transforms to focus on a computer-generated leaning three-wheeled transformer powered by an electric motor.

Kawasaki transformer

But this is different from other leaning three-wheelers. It is not only electric, but transforms from a narrow-track three-wheeler into a wide-track version.

We see the rider charging through a futuristic urban landscape with Kawasaki’s planned artificial intelligence system, called RIDEOLOGY, talking to the rider and showing information in a head-up display.Kawasaki’s electric multi-wheel transformer

The rider is crouched in a sportsbike position which they call “attack mode” with a narrow track for the three wheels.Kawasaki’s electric multi-wheel transformer

Then it transforms to “upright mode”. The bike’s wheel track widens, the rear wheel splits in two and the bike shortens with the rider moved into an upright position.

We’re not so sure about the narrow handlebars and what effect that would have on stability. Perhaps the extra front wheels provide stability.Kawasaki’s electric multi-wheel transformer

It’s all very futuristic. However, we wonder how long it will be before Kawasaki joins Yamaha in offering electric three wheelers like their Niken.

Yamaha Niken three-wheeler - Yamaha branching out from bikes transformer
Yamaha Niken three-wheeler concept

Kawasaki concepts

In 2014, the Japanese manufacturer unveiled their prototype J-Concept three-wheeler at the Intermot show in Cologne, Germany.

Kawasaki J-Concept three-wheeler Transformer Kawasaki’s electric multi-wheel transformer
Kawasaki J-Concept three-wheeler

It also began life as a similar computer-generated video the year before at the Tokyo Motor Show.

So the next logical stage for this new model is a similar prototype due at either the Tokyo or Milan shows later this year.

Manufacturers such as Kawasaki and Yamaha see many advantages of leaning three-wheelers. They provide the feel of a motorcycle plus the safety of extra road grip.

Yamaha - Piaggio three wheeler transformer
Piaggio three-wheeler scooter

The Piaggio MP3 also includes a lock system that keeps the scooter upright when stopped so riders don’t have to put a foot down. It attracts novices as well as ageing riders who can no longer support a big bike.

Yamaha doesn’t have that feature and we’re not sure if Kawasaki will include it in their three-wheelers.

Whatever the fine details, it seems the future of motorcycling is not only electric, but leaning multi-wheelers.

  • What do you think of an electric, three-wheeled Transformers future? Leave your comments below.

  1. The J Concept has two front wheels and two back wheels. Would it be registered as a car? A car without benefits?
    Chiropractors will love the Attack Mode posture. It would be great for business.
    And where do you attach a Gearsack rack?

    It is nice to see that in the future there will be almost no traffic in the city, allowing a speed limit of 65mph. Even rich people will have to take the tram.

    Hopefully the AI is allowed to get sassy:
    “Analyse road conditions.”
    “Look past yor visor, dumbass.”

  2. I hope other manufacturers dont follow Piaggia with a locking system. The bike is stable enough without having to be locked and for novices finding the lick button when stopping is something not needed so most riders dont use it anyway. Otherwise – great concept.

  3. I bought a Yamaha Tricity for shopping and to introduce my daughter to the wonderful world of motorcycling. Leaving aside the fact it is substantially under-powered – 125cc. It is a hoot to ride. Corners like it’s on rails. Most importantly it inspires confidence. I can deliberately ride with one tyre on a tram track and feel it slipping while the other tyre is gripping. In situations like that you begin to appreciate the safety benefits of the 3 wheel system.

    Lightweight bikes and scooters don’t require a locking system. A locking system will become preferable as the weight and seat height of the bikes increase. The next logical steps will be hill holding mechanisms – parking brakes? And semi and fully automatic transmissions.

    Don’t knock it until you’ve tried one. Three wheelers are a hoot. Not quite the same as a two wheeler but even the under-powered 125 Tricity can put a smile on your face. Surely an electric Tricity is probably already on the drawing board at Yamaha.

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