Lithuanian start-up AKO is now testing its electric-powered tilting trike prototype which is somewhere between a motorcycle, trike, car and plane.
But the most interesting departure is the steering system which is somewhere between an aircraft yoke, car steering wheel and motorcycle handlebars.
Riders turn the bars/wheel the same as a motorcycle to steer, but can also move the steering column side to side to tilt the machine up to 30°.
AKO leaning electric trike
The hefty 500kg AKO is powered by a 26kWh battery and electric motor driving a shaft to the single rear wheel.
Output is 200kW with 600Nm of torque.
Range is claimed to be more than 300km with a top speed limited to 240km/h.
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AKO applied for the patent in July 2019 and is now in the prototype testing phase so production is be a long way off yet.
The company is now asking for manufacturers interested in production to contact them via their website: akotrike.com.
Tilting into the future
Several other companies are also working on tilting three wheelers.
Yamaha is particularly keen on a leaning trike future and has applied for several patents.
Yamaha patent drawing
And late last year, Kawasaki applied for a patent for a tilting trike.
Kawasaki leaning three-wheeler patent drawing
We can see the advantages of a tilting three-wheeler:
- More front contact patch means great cornering confidence;
- Better braking performance from the extra contact patch;
- Safer and therefore attractive to more people; and
- No need for a side stand or to put your foot down when stopped.
There are also disadvantages compared with a traditional two-wheeled motorcycle or scooter:
- Costlier and more complex suspension;
- Less lean angle;
- Wider footprint and less ability to lane filter;
- Heavier and therefore higher fuel/power consumption; and
- Greater tyre replacement costs.