2017 Yamaha MWT-09 10

An un-named source from Yamaha told Visordown that the MWT-9, a three-wheeled motorcycle with two leanable front wheels, will be hitting the production line this year for a possible 2017 release. First unveiled at the Tokyo motor show last year as the LMW-MWT-9, the MWT-9 uses the engine from the MT-09, but with the addition of independently sprung twin-front wheels that lean when the rider turns the handlebars.

Claiming to provide “exceptional cornering performance” due to the contact footprint at the front end, the MWT-9’s spread front wheel profile enhances cornering ability and bank angle, according to Yamaha. Apparently what Yamaha has done is basically doubled the number of wheels and quadrupled the fork legs at the front, all tied together with a widened out-rigger yoke.

According to a Yamaha press release, the MWT-9 concept model “proposes a new type of category in the realm of sport riding. Under a development concept of a “Cornering Master,” the MWT-9 mounts a three-cylinder 850 cc engine on a seamless and dynamically styled body … the front suspension forks enable a high level of performance that lets the rider go freely through twisty roads with ever-changing road surfaces and dotted with tight curves in succession.”

A leaning trike design isn’t new, with Italian company Piaggio trying it out 10 years ago with the MP3 500 scooter. While a moderate sales success, the idea of a leaning trike hasn’t really taken off with the riding public. Some of the drawbacks would be the increased weight at the front, the lower sprung-to-unsprung weight ratio and increased maintenance complexity.