Three-wheelers aren’t the easiest things to maneuver, but one Oregon startup is hoping to change that.
Arcimoto has just unveiled a new electric trike known as the Mean Lean Machine, which is fitted with a unique suspension design that allows it to lean like a traditional bike for a smoother, more stable ride.
The pioneering design is the brainchild of Arcimoto CEO and founder Mark Frohnmayer. The entrepreneur has been working with Bob Mighell, founder and CEO of Tilting Motor Works, over the past decade to try and crack the code for tilting three-wheelers.
“A three-wheeler needs to lean,” Frohnmayer explains. “Every three-wheeled vehicle architecture I saw was either overly complex, expensive or had strange corner cases that made it unstable.”
Arcimoto eventually acquired Tilting Motor Works in 2019 and subsequently unveiled a patented tilting technology that is the foundation of the Mean Lean Machine. The nimble new trike allows riders to lean naturally and enjoy the thrill of the ride while increasing safety, stability and confidence on almost any terrain. As per the demo video, the trike seamlessly switches between positions just like an ordinary two-wheeler.
Tilting is not the Machine’s only cool feature, though. It’s also equipped with a unique pedal generator that controls speed in place of a regular throttle. The innovative system works out how much power you get from the hub motors based on how quickly you’re pedaling.
The pedal generator also allows you to recharge the battery simply by pedaling. That means you don’t even need to plug the bike into a wall outlet when you need more juice. Arcimoto says the trike has a massive range of up to 200 miles when combined with an auxiliary battery. It can also fit up to two people, according to the company.
Arcimoto is currently taking fully refundable $100 reservations for the Mean Lean Machine now. The trike is due to roll out in the fourth quarter of this year.