Saturday, February 24, 2007

3-wheelers to penetrate American market??




An article about three-wheeled transportation? Three wheels? WHAT?

Joking aside, the article posted on the Detroit News site by Susan "the ill informed" Carpenter of the Los Angeles Times is actually kind of funny. In the piece, Carpenter explains the benefits of two wheels over three and backs them up by saying that they have "been roaming Europe for years" which isn't exactly true. The Can-am Spyder by BRP just hit the trade-show circuit as a finished prototype this year and isn't due till November and the Piaggio MP3.. Well, we're all still sitting on our hands for that bike to arrive here after its inital release (and quick sell-out) in Italy and the UK last year. Years, indeed.

Being a nit-picking nerd, I thought her explanation of the MP3's phenomenal stopping power was funny too: "...it has twice the stopping power of a regular scooter: Double the wheels and, basically, you double the brakes."

Double the wheels... If you're unfamiliar with the MP3, it indeed has more "wheel power" than the traditional scooter or motorcycle by having an extra wheel up front, but that brings the number of tires up from two to three. That isn't exactly "double." Sure, in percentages, its 50%, but that's not double the amount is it? Wouldn't that be 100%? I'll be the first to admit, I'm dumb when it comes to numbers, but you're more than welcome to correct me if you know better.


Aside for that rant, the article is another decent review of the MP3 with the author's only gripe being that the steering lock system beeps when its activated. I assume that she found it grating because, like most folks in Los Angeles, she's an expert driver and the need for dummy indicator systems is just a little bit redundant, especially when trying to talk on her cell phone while sipping her coffee.

Check out the article here.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Double the wheels... If you're unfamiliar with the MP3, it indeed has more "wheel power" than the traditional scooter or motorcycle by having an extra wheel up front, but that brings the number of tires up from two to three. That isn't exactly "double." Sure, in percentages, its 50%, but that's not double the amount is it? Wouldn't that be 100%? I'll be the first to admit, I'm dumb when it comes to numbers, but you're more than welcome to correct me if you know better.


Err, sort of. On a motorcycle, when full braking power is applied, it's all at the front wheel, more or less, the shorter the wheelbase the more true this is. So for braking tires, yes the MP3 has twice the tires doing the braking. However, even normal motorcycles can't use all their braking power because they would flip before they skid. I'm refering to sportbikes and scooters here, not cruisers which tend to skid before they flip. So the MP3 can't use any more braking than any normal scooter, but it is much more stable under panic braking, look up some videos on youtube of test drivers grabbing the brakes madly and giggling while the back wheel swings in the air. That's where the two extra wheels come in handy.

ron said...

I am not even sure the BRP is much of a motorcycle. It seems more like a a front end chasis of a car with a motorcycle back end. Also with only 30 miles to the gallon, the need for a whole parking spot, no leaning required, power steering, etc... The only thing making it a "cycle" would be the exposure to the elements. When looking at the website for sea-doo it appears there is not enough structure to pull a small travel trailer you see pulled by the large cruisers. Overall I do not see the purpose in the can-am vehicle. btw nice rant, well deserved