Can-Am Files for Leaning Spyder Patent

02/08/2011 @ 1:57 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

Bombardier has been busy over the past two years, presumably working on something new for the Can-Am Spyder. While not exactly a new idea, the Canadian company has devised a control system for a leaning vehicle…a three-wheeled vehicle shaped like a Spyder according to the patent application that was filed in in July 2009, and published this January (yes, it really takes the USPTO that long just to publish an application, let alone grant a patent). While the technical drawings have little bearing on the final product, it would at least seem logical to conclude that we can expect a leaning Can-Am Spyder in the near future.

For now this technology is just in the application process, and Bombardier hasn’t received a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office yet. Likely unable to get past the prior art for other leaning trike designs as a whole, Bombardier’s patent focuses on the linkage for the steering mechanism, and how to overcome some of the deficiencies in current designs. Diving into the claims of the patent, Bombardier actually has a pretty clever way of having the Spyder’s frame lean and not lean under the right circumstances, which should make for a more refined three-wheeled leaning chassis.

During low-speed turns for example, the linkage prevents the three-wheeler from going into a lean, or at least a steep lean, keeping the trike mostly upright. Add some speed though, and the control mechanism allows for the Spyder to go into a steeper lean angle, riding more like a motorcycle.

The design also overcomes one issue with leaning trikes: keeping them upright at a stop. Instead of having a manual lock, Bombardier’s system again determines whether the bike should lean over or not, and when stopped or parked, keeps the three-wheeler upright.

Source: USPTO via Visordown

  • Interesting from two points of view, firstly I understand HD have tied up a great deal of patents in the USA for a leaning trike (not sure of the wheel config) and secondly, I don’t mind the Spyder, it’s cool. but no matter how hard the designer tries and how clever the electronics etc. are, imho a LEANING trike will always feel more right and handle better than a solid axle/ind. rear end alternative.

    I suppose the ‘worst example’ of the Spyder’s handling at speed was watching Wayne Gardner ride one around Phillip Island at the MotoGP2010 albeit with a passenger, the Spyder just did NOT handle well, on the big screen it was getting out of shape pretty badly, particularly coming out of the turns. Yes Wayne was giving it a bit at times, but overall I was not impressed with the handling.

  • JR

    VERY COOL. I want to see this come to market so much. Not leaning was the only thing wrong with the Spyder.

  • BikePilot

    How’s it substantively differ from the Piaggo MP3 in terms of overall concept and design?

  • Carbon_rider

    I ride a Gilera Fuoco, it rides just like a single track bike, and feels natural to lean, even at low speed. I can’t see any advange to not leaning at low speed, the Spyder has lot wider front track than the MP3, maybe that makes a difference?

  • It reminds me of this guy’s work: The part in the video with the railroad ties is pretty cool.

  • Gardner’s a knob

    Deejay, dont think that what Wayne Gardner did at Phillip island is any indication. The fact is he was too full of himself to accept any training from the Spyder Training crew and tried to ride it like a Motorcycle, which Clearly its not! The Spyder requires a completely different skill set than a MC or a car and its easy to make mistakes and look like a fool if you dont know the correct technique. Even if your Wayne Gardner…
    The fact is WG was being upstaged by Doohan and felt he had to try and wheelstand the Spyder to show off to the crowd. In the process he only showed that he was a knob that was trying to roll the Spyder over.
    Before you criticise the Spyders handling at speed, you should ride one.

  • @Gardner’s a ####,

    I appreciate where you are coming from, I called the WG/Spyder ride as I witnessed it on the day, even the front ‘boot’ let go when WG pulled up on the appropriatley named Gardner Straight.

    I have NOT ridden a Spyder, I love the touring package offered with the matching trailer, well done and thought out. However I stand by my earlier posting as a ‘description of what I witnessed’.

    I am not going to get into name calling here and I believe it is inappropriate to call Wayne Gardner names, I have followed his career from early days including magic Six Hour Production Race wins and of course the ultimate prize of the 500cc GP World Championship.