Honda and Yamaha are preparing to go head-to-head in a completely new field as patents reveal both Honda and Yamaha are readying new leaning three-wheelers based on some of their most popular motorcycles.
Yamaha already makes the Tricity scooter and has shown several other concepts including the 01Gen, 03Gen-F and 03Gen-X. Most importantly, in 2015 it revealed the MWT-09 – a concept motorcycle that was a step closer to reality, being largely grounded in readily – available MT-09 parts including that motorcycle’s 847cc triple-cylinder engine and even its swingarm.
Now several patents have emerged that appear to show near-production versions of the Yamaha MT-09, including a second, unfaired derivative.
The patents, which relate to the body panels that cover the leaning front suspension mechanism, show side-on views of the motorcycles. The faired version still looks like the MWT-09 but loses the ‘floating’ windscreen. The naked version of the motorcycle gets a different front section to the tank and a separate headlight.
And Honda published a patent on the same day as the latest Yamaha ones, showing a leaning trike based on the back-end of the NC750. It shows the third tilting suspension design Honda has developed around the NC750, and the most likely for production. Previous patents showed a similar motorcycle but with trailing links from longer, curved front uprights and a more ambitious version with twin front swingarms.
Whichever suspension Honda opts for, it’s clear the firm is working on an NC750-based leaning three-wheeler that will rival the Yamaha MWT-09. Should it reach production, its 54 horsepower engine won’t be close to the Yamaha MWT-09’s 118 horses triple-cylinder but its DCT transmission will make it easier to ride.