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Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

Posted July 12, 2011 8:00 AM by dstrohl

A couple weeks ago, we ran a photo of a motorcycle featuring three wheels inline. Many of you wondered if such a configuration was even possible, and over at Ride the Machine, we see that, indeed, not only was it possible, but it was also built.

According to the European Motorcycle Archives, this motorcycle was built by Frederick Osborn of the Osborn Engineering Company (OEC), which began building bikes in 1901 with Minerva and MMC engines. OEC motorcycles were made in Portsmouth and Gosport, Great Britain.

Does anyone have more information about motorcycles with three in-line wheels?

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#1

Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/12/2011 2:14 PM

They do exist...

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#4
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/13/2011 2:58 AM

Very nice! I would'nt mind taking either for a ride.

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#2

Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/12/2011 10:39 PM

I'd have to say that your bike as shown would have some obvious chain problems because the walking beam axle will change the chain tension as it articulates, if it doesn't have a sprunk chain tensioner to control it. (based on the obverse image on the source page)

otherwise a cool idea.. thank you

Chris

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#3

Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/13/2011 12:48 AM

Juiced-up roller blades!

How do they keep the rear wheels from cross-skidding? (Unless there is sideways articulation.)

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#5

Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/13/2011 4:15 AM

http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/News/newsresults/mcn/2009/April/13-19/apr1609-Three-inline-wheels-better-than-two/

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#9
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/13/2011 7:54 AM

great stuff.

and has the chain on the same axis points (of suspension articulation)

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#6

Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/13/2011 5:57 AM

I just can't see the advantage of this design over say..a tricycle design if what you want is more traction and stability. (As I get older, the three wheelers get more interesting to me! )

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#7
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/13/2011 6:33 AM

I've looked at that picture five times and still can't find the motorycle!

L.J.

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#8
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/13/2011 7:00 AM

The advantage lies in being able to date women with vast amounts of inner beauty and still being able to split the lanes when cruising through traffic.

Not intended to be a fat joke as I, myself, aint skinny.

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#10
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/13/2011 7:56 AM

ha ha ha heee hee hee

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#11
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/13/2011 8:00 AM

As I get older, the three wheelers get more interesting to me!

Me too. I see a big potential market for a single person trike transportation. My one gripe about some of the current trikes is the high CG. If you lower the CG and design correctly you have a low powered F1.

Ron

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#12
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/13/2011 9:48 AM

The Can Am Spyder might be of interest to you.

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#13
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/13/2011 10:18 AM

Again a high CG. I envision something on the order of a sports car height where you sit inside. Let me come up with a sketch. Now the front wheel drive engine/trans appears to be a natural for this (only moved to the rear). Thats like they did it on the Fiero.

Ron

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#19
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/14/2011 6:51 AM

Another way to lower the CG is to add weight. Perhaps this would have sufficient amounts to do so. It does look a bit plain. Maybe the designer can hook up with the kid in the caption this photo with the massive stereo on a bicycle. Between the two it should really look cool.

For those that prefer to stay on 2 wheels then maybe Roadog is the answer. It could split lanes and skulls. Yes it is a real bike. There were 2 made if I remember correctly.

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#15
In reply to #12

Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/13/2011 4:46 PM

I am talking something on this order.

Ron

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#18
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/14/2011 3:00 AM

Here an idea I think your looking for.

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#20
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/14/2011 8:00 AM

coool!

did you draw that? what software?

chris

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#21
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/14/2011 9:09 AM

If you are asking me, its just plain ole Google Sketchup. I use it for presentations and such as its easy. For finalized i use 3D turbocad as it dosent cost many thousands of $ like Autocd and does basically the same thing.

Ron

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#14

Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/13/2011 12:46 PM

Seems like a fair idea. Two tires on the rear would provide more friction to prevent rear-end slide-out. Of course, unless you are racing, why bother with the complexity?

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#17
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/14/2011 2:07 AM

But you would have one heck of under steer with one front wheel. That is one of the downfalls of stander trikes. The Can Am Spider is a good way to deal with under steer.

Though trikes make is difficult to lane split.

What would be wild would be replace the rear wheel with a trike axle kit. Talk about a quad that would make.

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#22
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/14/2011 9:14 AM

But you would have one heck of under steer with one front wheel.

Ok ,so you articulate all 3 wheels, Using a normal FWD engine/tranny you are almost there.

Ron

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#23
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/16/2011 5:09 AM

I guess you could use some hydraulic components using the power steering pump to drive a cylinder to steer the auto wheels. Feed from the handle bar using articulation gear or something similar.

Though thinking about it some. If the front wheel looses traction the trike would most likely continue straight or at some odd angle the the driving wheels are pointing in.

Now some sort of independent wheel brake or cut brake on the rear like on a dune buggie or farm tractor could steer. BUT I don't know how safe at speed it would work especially in an under steer situation.

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#16

Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

07/14/2011 12:23 AM

It seems pointless to me.

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#24

Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

11/03/2011 1:35 PM

I have built an In-line three wheel motorcycle with two wheel steer and two wheel drive. The bike was built just to prove the concept, and it works well. You can see it being test on you tube http://youtu.be/W7DC4aJEBiA

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#25
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Re: Motorcycles with Three In-Line Wheels

11/03/2011 2:10 PM

Not got time to view it now, but that looks waaaaaay fun !

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