Report: Piaggio Is Developing A Leaning Four-Wheeler

In this patent drawing unearthed by Cycle World's Ben Purvis, we see a leaning four-wheeler scooter design based on previous Piaggio patents. Credit: Piaggio

Here’s a question: The saying goes “Two Wheels Good, Four Wheels Bad”—but what if it’s a leaning four-wheeler? Sounds crazy, but webcrawling patent sleuth Ben Purvis believes that’s what we are about to see.

In an article for Cycle World, Purvis shared patent drawings from the Piaggio Group; they show a leaning four-wheeled platform, based off the company’s pre-existing leaning three-wheeler technology, as seen on the MyMoover trike (with two wheels in back, one in front).

While there are a few leaning three-wheelers on the market now, including options from Yamaha in both the scooter and motorcycle segments, Piaggio really pioneered the leaning trike with the Piaggio MP3 scooter. Reaching wayyyyy back into the annals of CMG history, you can see a review of the old Piaggio MP3 500 model here (please don’t judge us for the article’s formatting; that was posted all the way back in 2010, before the Internet looked nice).

Back then, reviewer Jamie Leonard pointed out “Because this three wheeler acts like a two wheeler, it will flop over like a drunken Scotsman if not propped up at a stop. Therefore, those hyperactive engineers at Piaggio provide a front-end lock that operates with the push of a button. Hit the button when stopped and the MP3 locks at the angle it was at when you hit it.” Presumably we’d see some sort of similar tech on the leaning four-wheeler, lest riders end up in an embarrassed, crumpled heap at a stop sign.

Who’d want this kind of vehicle anyway? Purvis’s Cycle World write-up suggests it’s intended for urban deliveries. That’s the MyMoover’s market, and this new four-wheeler is definitely based on that design. And as shoppers increasingly move towards online purchasing, we see more and more need for innovative vehicles to carry those packages to their final destination, especially in the cramped urban congestion of Europe, where Piaggio is based.

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