3 wheels bike or car? Harley- Davidson takes a look

A few years ago some Harley-Davidson patents made waves; they showed a clever leaning three-wheeler that you could ride like a bike without needing either a bike licence or a helmet in many countries.

The designs were clearly well-advanced and the potential market was huge; the machine would offer the Harley brand and a real motorcycle experience to non-bikers as well as creating a machine that might appeal to injured or elderly ex-motorcyclists who were unable to use a conventional two-wheeler. It seemed likely to go into production, but the real thing was never shown or even admitted to by the company. Until now, when two prototypes have turned up in the company's museum.

The first dates back to 1998, the second - appearing identical to the leaked patent drawings - from 2006, showing just how close the idea came to production. There were years of development in the design, including computer-controlled suspension to give the leaning effect without the need to muscle the bike around. It even has a name: the Penster. No, we don't know why it's called that either.

The firm's own information says that five generations of prototype were made during the bike's gestation, with four examples of the final version in existence when the project was canned in favour of the traditional trikes that appeared in Harley's range around the time the Penster should have been launched. Shame, it looks like it might have been a lot of fun.

But it's not a bike; it's a car with handle bars...

File Filed by Louis Whitaker. | Comment Leave a comment.
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