Narrow and compact
The project leader is a former MotoGP and suspension specialist
He continues: “Other three-wheelers are not a solution for them, because they are very heavy and bulky. They make it difficult to drive in heavy traffic. That’s why our model has a completely different approach. It is so narrow and compact, you can immediately feel how easy it is to handle.”
A survey regarding the Tricity concept model (revealed to the public in November 2013) surprised us with many replies. Obviously, there was a high interest in this vehicle already! Respondents said they were most interested by the good design, by the idea that it looks easy to ride, and by the compact size of Tricity.
What would they use it for? Most often is mentioned commuting (80%) but also leisure (50%) and shopping (33%).
Due to its compact size and confidence-inspiring design, many also see it as a vehicle that more members in the family can share.
No stress riding
“The riding feeling on Tricity is very natural and intuitive” confirms Giovanna Camisa from Product Planning. “You are in close contact to the front wheels, which gives a good feel for the road, so you can ride without stress.”
She continues “Riding enjoyment was a main goal in the project, and also the suspension is a big factor for this. Luckily, our project leader is a former MotoGP and suspension specialist. Also the weight distribution proved crucial for an easy and natural riding feeling. All in all, it was a big effort to get this right, and in the end Tricity has got a great finesse in its handling!”
Yamaha’s motorcycling experience
Project Leader Kazuhisa Takano explains
Telescopic suspension for a natural feeling
Expertise from racing - Main focus is to make it easy to ride
50-50 Weight distribution Natural handling = fun
Project Leader Kazuhisa Takano explains he has been in de development department for race machines like the YZR500 and the YZR-M1 that Valentino Rossi raced on, before he moved to the development of Tricity.
“I actually have a sort of personal obsession with linked mechanisms and suspension structures, and did a lot of research in this. Not only by computer simulation, but also by making mock-ups with chopsticks or paper models! In the end we found a variation that moved and functioned very well. This was a parallelogram link mechanism, combined with telescopic suspension. A telescopic suspension gives a very natural feeling to the ride and is an extremely refined piece of technology in the field of motorcycles.”
Easy to ride
“I was long involved in race machine development, and in fact, the thing we place most importance on with a race machine is making it easy to ride. You might think that the main focus with a race machine would be to make it very fast. But the important thing is fine-tuning the machine to move as the rider feels it should, with a natural, linear movement and feedback. We apply this philosophy to all our production models, and especially in developing the Tricity.”
He gives an example: “An extremely important item for this is the machine’s center of gravity. With Tricity, we have achieved a nearly 50:50 weight distribution between the rear and front wheels. This is a similar ratio as a race machine, and it’s an important factor in creating natural movement for a motorcycle. The center of gravity is also set at an ideal height, so the way the weight shifts to the front and rear is very natural. All this helps to give this model a comfortable ride and natural handling as well.”
The project leader’s wife
“With race machines, you develop the bike for one specific rider. But Tricity should appeal to a wide range of people. That was troubling for me at first. But then I found somebody very close by to fit the profile: my wife! She had very little experience with motorcycles or scooters and I was able to hear from her about what she thought was difficult about riding and operating them. It gave me a sort of alternative product concept in my mind: “a model that your family and loved ones can ride and that’s fun and comfortable.”
That’s what I tried to build and I think we’ve been successful.”
Helmet box under the seat
Modern and economical engine
A new standard in personal transportation
Braking operation is very good, with dual front wheels and dual front brakes plus a unified braking system that applies front and rear brakes together for a smooth chassis behaviour when braking.
The passenger has a good seating position, slightly higher than the rider for good forward visibility, and an aluminium easy-to-grasp grab bar is included as well.
The large flat footboard makes stepping on and off the vehicle easy.
The helmet box under the seat can even fit a full-face helmet and there's also a luggage hook in the front panel.
The modern and economical engine is a long-stroke 2-valve design for good acceleration from low speeds. Priority in its development was inner-city use, and obviously top speed is lower than for example an X-Max which has a more expensive 4-valve design. Tricity features Yamaha’s YMJET-FI system with an extra air passage directly to the injector to improve combustion efficiency. The system uses 3D digital mapping and controls both fuel injection and ignition timing, and includes a 3-way catalyser built into the muffler. Fuel consumption is remarkably low.
LCD instruments include a fuel meter, clock and outside temperature meter.
A new standard
All these items contribute to the clever Tricity package. After all, Yamaha’s ambition was clear: to set a new standard in personal transportation!