Click here to enter the gallery
There’s something about being perched above three massive plastic wheels that imbues ordinary crybaby toddlers with a terrifyingly kick-ass, gelled-hair attitude. Unfortunately, there’s something about adult trikes that is really, really uncool. Now designer Charles Bombardier, one of the creators of the three-wheeled Spyder roadster and grandson of the inventor of the snowmobile, has developed a trike motorcycle concept that looks just as fabulous to ride as your childhood Big Wheel.
Unlike the Big Wheel, the TrailTrike concept has two wheels in front and one in back. Bombardier designed the motorcycle concept to ride on asphalt as well as dirt roads and trails. The seat is another invention of Bombardier’s: To help maintain balance on bumpy backroads, the motorized “carving seat” tilts at various angles and speeds to respond to how a rider leans during turns and acceleration.
Bombardier tells Popular Science that he also imagines the TrailTrike with a so-called intelligent stability system, in which a rider can input a certain type of terrain (dirt, snow, or asphalt), and an algorithm will adjust engine power supply, braking on each wheel, and traction control as needed.
Powering the trike would be a 165-hp, 2-stroke, direct-injection engine with a continuously variable transmission. Two output shafts would provide power to each wheel. In order to concentrate most of the motorcycle’s mass around its center of gravity—thus making it easier to handle—Bombardier mounted the front disc brakes on the chassis of the vehicle instead of on the wheel hubs.
Check out the gallery for more images of the TrailTrike concept.