So, a while ago I discovered a company called Tilting Motor Works that makes these really cool three-wheeled conversions for Indian, Harley Davidson, and Honda motorcycles. What makes these conversions really interesting is that unlike most three-wheeled motorcycles, these ones can lean in turns:
So it’s just like riding a two-wheeled motorcycle, but with extra grip and better braking. The only drawback is that it has a larger turning radius than a conventional motorcycle. I find the front suspension on these leaning trikes fascinating, so I set out to replicate it in Lego. This ended up being surprisingly difficult, but eventually, I figured out how to make it work.
It was quite tricky getting all of the geometries to work, and because of the way the suspension has to flex, regular Lego suspension parts don’t work in this application, so I had to make my own hubs and tie rods and everything.
The hardest part was getting the tie rods to work, because official Lego tie rod pieces 1) didn’t flex enough with the ball joints, 2) were the wrong length, and 3) couldn’t both connect at the center. That last bit was the biggest problem because it prevents the geometry from working right and makes it extremely difficult to incorporate a steering mechanism. All of my attempts with regular Lego tie rods kept jamming and interfering with the rest of the suspension, so I ditched those in favor of making my own. The solution I came up with was to use a Lego flex axle with spacers on it to limit flex and keep the center mounting point in the center:
This way, the single tie rod is rigid enough to move the wheels while keeping them in alignment but flexible enough to bend with the suspension and steering as necessary, plus the geometry works as it should because it connects at the center:
The rest of the motorcycle is something I built a long time ago and I decided to use it as the basis for this leaning three-wheeler. It features a hardtail, shaft drive, and a flat twin, so it’s most definitely not a Harley, Indian, or Honda, and I don’t think anyone makes kits like this for classic BMWs yet. They totally should, though.
I also sent this thing across my driveway multiple times and I am happy to report that it automatically rights itself just like a regular motorcycle. It is very stable at speed. I had to fetch it from under the Civic...
And now it’s photodump time.