Yamaha Files Patent For (Electric) Leaning Trike

3 years ago by Ted Dillard 5


File this under two categories: “I’ll Believe It When I See It“, and “Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should“.

Autoblog, among others, reported that Yamaha filed a patent last week for a three-wheeled electric-powered leaning motorcycle.  Out of all the stories on this topic, the Autoblog post provides you with all the interesting links to stuff like the PDF of the actual patent. (And yes, we’re using the term “motorcycle” loosely.)

The patent filing is cool.  But means nothing, really.

Why?  Filing patents on products, just because you can, is a common strategy from companies who flirt with emerging technology and manufacturing.  Here’s why, from IPStrategy.com:

“There are two good strategic reasons why any operating company should have patents, and they both relate to financial return on investment:

1. To use a monopoly, suggested or realized by patents, to get a higher margin and/or higher revenues for products or services.
2. For the value of the patents themselves, either in license fees, enforcement proceeds, or asset sales.

There are may be other reasons why companies might have patent portfolios but they can all be tracked back to these two strategic reasons. An example is a start-up seeking higher exit value because the patents embody some protection on higher margins or market share. Another is for corporations, where patents may represent implied or definable value to investors in a fund raising. Ensuring “Freedom to Operate” is, practically speaking, just another way of maintaining margins and revenues at a reasonable level, and above zero in the worst case scenario.”

There, that’s your business management snippet for today.  If you want hours of internet patent-related fun, check out Google Patents.  Just don’t tell your boss you read about it here when you get caught.

Electric three wheeled, and especially three-wheeled tilting things seem to share the same place in the public fascination as electric one-wheeled things, no matter how unlikely they seem.  Obviously, one reason three-wheelers are attractive is because they stand up by themselves.  In some cases, the one-wheelers do too, come to think of it. The Tilting Vehicles Blog is perhaps the last word on all tilty-type stuff, and definitely worth a visit.

But just to keep this Yamaha announcement in perspective, remember what Kawasaki unleashed last year?


…yeah.  Any chance we’ll see that in production?

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5 responses to "Yamaha Files Patent For (Electric) Leaning Trike"

  1. Mark H says:

    There comes a point when you cross the “50” line, and most likely if you have ridden hard your knees are shot, that you look for an “alternative”. I am getting ready for our annual 200 mile ride through the mountains of West Va. with a bunch of engineers that are 10 years my junior. I have long since given up the superior ride of two wheels for the “old man” ATV. At least I am still laying down 60-70 miles of rough terrain a day in the saddle. I think that is where such marketing ideas like displayed in this article come from.

    1. Ted Dillard says:

      Yeah, at 59 and with 45 of those years riding motorcycles, I hear ya. But the day I trade my SRX600 for a tilty trike is the day you can take me out back and put me out of my misery. 😀

      1. Mark H says:

        still laughing..

  2. Anon says:

    Hopefully, they don’t call it “iRide”, if they ever mass produce it. 😉