Updated 1 year, 2 months ago

Tilting Motor Works – Leaning 3-Wheeled Harleys and Wings

We watched with wonder as the big Harley bagger cut steady arcs around our parking lot, pushing lean angles to the floorboard-scraping maximum. It’s not every day you see an 800-pound Harley with twin wheels up front that lean into corners like a traditional motorcycle spinning laps outside your office. Thanks to Tilting Motor Works founder Bob Mighell, now we have.

We first met Mighell at the 2014 Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show in Sturgis where his 2010 Street Glide with two tilting front wheels was attracting a lion’s share of attention. While vehicles with two wheels up front that lean aren’t anything new, Piaggio has been marketing its MP3 since 2006, seeing a functional system on a Harley definitely piqued our curiosity. Mighell stopped by our offices in Medford, Oregon, on his way back to his home in Snohomish, Washington, after an 8000-mile road trip around the U.S. where he busily demonstrated his invention while seeking to establish a dealer network.

We watched with wonder as the big Harley bagger cut steady arcs around our parking lot, pushing lean angles to the floorboard-scraping maximum. It’s not every day you see an 800-pound Harley with twin wheels up front that lean into corners like a traditional motorcycle spinning laps outside your office. Thanks to Tilting Motor Works founder Bob Mighell, now we have.

We first met Mighell at the 2014 Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show in Sturgis where his 2010 Street Glide with two tilting front wheels was attracting a lion’s share of attention. While vehicles with two wheels up front that lean aren’t anything new, Piaggio has been marketing its MP3 since 2006, seeing a functional system on a Harley definitely piqued our curiosity. Mighell stopped by our offices in Medford, Oregon, on his way back to his home in Snohomish, Washington, after an 8000-mile road trip around the U.S. where he busily demonstrated his invention while seeking to establish a dealer network.

We witnessed this selling point in action when Mighell hit a patch of wet leaves while doing a riding demonstration in our parking lot. The front end slid on the slick surface but because of the stability of two front wheels, he didn’t tuck the front end like you would have on a standard motorcycle.

One of the beauties of Mighell’s creation is riders still countersteer like a conventional motorcycle and lean angle is said to remain the same. The suspension system stays neutral throughout the lean angle so the vehicle still has full suspension travel. Maintaining the fun and form of a standard motorcycle was high on Tilting Motor Works’ priority list.

“The front end steers just like a regular motorcycle and has full lean until you’re dragging your floorboards. So you have that full counter-steering when you go around the corners, but when you come to a stop, there’s a locking function so the bike will actually lock up at a stop so you no longer have to put your feet down,” said Mighell.

During the demo we did notice steering looked a bit heavy and the tilting three-wheeled Harley did swing a bit wider in turns because of the width and weight of the front end.



Moto USA | Bryan Harley