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Yamaha leaning into motorcycle future

Yamaha OR2T leaning four-wheel motorcycle
Yamaha OR2T leaning four-wheel motorcycle

Yamaha seems to be leaning toward tilting bikes with the release of an official video showing its leaning OR2T four-wheel motorcycle prototype being tested.

It follows on from their Tricity production three-wheel scooter and their MWT-9 three-wheeled concept motorcycle unveiled at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show last month.

The OR2T is powered by the MT-09 triple and features what looks like 16-inch wheels.

Yamaha has been developing this leaning suspension technology since the Tesseract four-wheeler concept in 2007 and the new OR2T prototype four-wheeler is an extension of that.

Yamaha four-wheeler
Yamaha Tessaract

Advantages of leaning multi-wheelers is the extra tyre footprint on the road for improved grip and their stability over uneven surfaces.

On the Tri-City scooter launch ride I even rode one at an angle over a gutter without any adverse steering reaction.

It makes these a great proposition for the urban environment with its slippery surfaces and footpath parking.

The disadvantages are that the complex suspension is more expensive, it makes the bike heavier and you have extra tyre wear.

Yamaha OR2T leaning four-wheel motorcycle
Yamaha OR2T leaning four-wheel motorcycle

Another disadvantage – going by this video – is that they can be as ugly as sin!

However, there are many manufacturers now making or developing leaning multi-wheeled vehicles including Piaggio and even car manufacturer Toyota because they believe they are safer than conventional two-wheeled motorcycles.

Toyota iRoad leaning three-wheeler
Toyota iRoad leaning three-wheeler