Common Tread

Yamaha's bait and switch: Three wheels, not an R3

Mar 26, 2014

For those of you who haven’t had a browser window open to Yamaha’s Rev Station teaser site, watching the countdown timer tick the seconds away, we’re here to tell you we’ve been duped. The site went live with news of a new product, just not the one we expected to see.

The product released is the new Yamaha Tricity Scooter, which was featured briefly in the teaser video but was something we thought would be announced with a Steve Jobs-like “oh, and one more thing.” The menu option for the Rev Station products leads users to a link to the Tricity and to a “coming soon” box.

Yamaha is heralding the Tricity Scooter as the future of the urban commuter, and we don’t think they’re entirely wrong assuming they can get people on board with the idea of three-wheeled scooters. I’ve spent an incredibly brief amount of time with its Piaggio competitor, the MP3, but immediately understood the stability and usefulness a vehicle like this provides.

Many of the specifics of the Tricity’s engine have not been made public yet, but we do know it will be powered by a liquid-cooled 125cc engine whose power will be delivered via a CVT transmission. Photos show a brake rotor mounted inboard of each front wheel and a single disc on the rear wheel.

Yamaha claims the Tricity will weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 330 pounds and be “more compact than other three wheelers.”

No word on price yet, but it seems that Yamaha has made a concerted effort to keep their latest products within extremely reasonable price points and we expect to see that continue with the Tricity. While scooters and three wheelers have not really taken hold in U.S. culture, Europe and Asia can’t seem to get enough of them and I think the Tricity will do well in those markets.

That leaves me with two questions: Has Yamaha made something that can finally convince Americans to get on board with the scooter phenomenon? And also, when do we get to see the R25/R3?