Yamaha seems to be pushing ahead with its leaning three-wheeled programme, and this time, as latest patent images indicate, a brand new three-wheeler is in the making. The latest innovation in three-wheeled vehicles from Yamaha seems to be a hybrid design, a more realistic version of the Yamaha MW-Vision concept which was showcased at last year's Tokyo Motor Show. The new design, as shown in latest patents, seems to be a three-wheeler with an almost motorcycle-like profile. Although there are no details available as yet on the new machine, it's quite likely that it will be a series hybrid, with both batteries, as well as an internal combustion engine.
The internal combustion engine will likely work as a generator, producing the electricity the motor needs to run and also recharge the battery. Images of the new design also seem to show what seems like an exhaust emerging out from behind the footboard on each side. They then disappear into two 'side pods' which also appear to house radiators, before reappearing as tail pipes on the back edge of the pods.
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The two exhausts indicate that the internal combustion engine may be a parallel-twin, possibly mounted near the front of the bike, between the rider's feet. And if the internal combustion engine is up front, the batteries and electric motor could be placed under the seat. While this will sacrifice underseat storage space, it's made up for by the large wraparound top box which sits behind the pillion and will also offer back support for the pillion. For the new design, Yamaha seems to have opted for a wishbone-like suspension layout, similar to the ones used in race cars.
The design seen in the patent images seem more like a concept model than a pure production model. But what it does reveal, is Yamaha's intention that there could be a future model which could make its way to production. The only question that remains is how soon will Yamaha take to develop a production ready version. Considering the fact that Yamaha already has a thriving three-wheeled range in the Yamaha Niken as well as the Tricity, it doesn't sound far fetched to consider the latest concept becoming a reality, even if it's a couple of years away.