Kawasaki showed variable-architecture three wheeler EV concept
6/23/14 7:14 am chumakdenis 1
The once clear delineation between the car and motorcycle has become somewhat muddied in recent times with the emergence of an array of narrow tracked vehicle designs sporting two, three and four wheels. Kawasaki threw another fascinating oddity into the ring at the Tokyo Motor Show with the unveiling of the outlandish, shape-shifting "J" 3-wheel electric vehicle concept.
This machine takes design from the 19th century into the 21st by way of enabling the machine to adapt itself to us rather than the other way around. In this, it is truly ground breaking, because despite such devices as sport-tourers or dual-sports, our bikes demand that we adapt to them, not vice-versa.
Changeable physical layout
Concept J changes its physical layout as its rider decides to go from sportbike to touring bike or in-town cruiser. The key to the genius of this design is that the actual posture of the rider changes from the “under-the-paint” crouch of the racebike to the upright, relaxed position. As all experienced riders know, posture is immensely important in defining the experience of a ride.
Kawasaki’s elegant suspension design also changes the front-wheel track (distance between the wheel hubs) from very narrow in sportbike mode to wide in touring/cruise mode.
The safety advantages of this ought to be obvious, at least to any rider who has strafed apexes with a Piaggio MP3 leaning three-wheeler in any of its versions.
Of course, you can overcook a corner on one of these as you can on any two-wheeler, but in my opinion, your chances of steering out of your mistake are better than with a conventional two-wheeler.
Combining this adaptable three-wheel layout with an electric powertrain puts Kawasaki on the greenies’ lust list, but by now, everybody knows the torque advantages of e-bikes, even though the charging-time problem remains a deal-killer for riders who can leave their prejudice for the motor-music of an internal-combustion engine behind.
Problems during the ride
Well, here are some problems too.
If you have watched this video attentively, you must remember that during the fast speed, highway type of rides, the tires comes together and the bars lower, allowing the rider to have optimal positioning and posture.
The basic idea behind the bike is for it to stretch out as speeds increase, but not everything works smoothly. The radical and mean looking machine has been generating some serious buzz since the premiere, however it is just a concept for now.
The Concept J remains a concept, we’re told, but its unprecedented adaptable design ought to be pursued for production, so that we can at last ride a bike-trike-thing that allows us to knife through the esses with a two-wheeled sportbike’s excellence and then allow us to sit upright for creeping through town or savoring the wonders of nature on a leisurely tour.Yamaha's recently announced “Tricity” three-wheeled machine shows that, as expected, the big Japanese companies with the resources to create and then sell machines that only remain dream machines for other manufacturers understand that yesterday’s designs, while terrific for some purposes and some riders, can’t do what tomorrow’s designs can. It’s about time.