Kawasaki J Concept: The shape-shifting three-wheeled motorcycle may be on its way to reality

Kawasaki J Concept was first showcased at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, and not much has gone into its development towards the real world. However, now that Yamaha Niken stands in opposition, Kawasaki is pulling up its socks and how!

By: | Updated: January 28, 2018 12:21 PM

Kawasaki has suddenly looked through its old dusty files and pulled a fantastic three-wheel concept back from 2013. The Japanese company is reminding fans around the world of the J Concept. The name of the concept may sound timid, however, the idea is anything but. About last week, Kawasaki US posted a teaser video of a battery-powered three-wheeler, which is capable of changing riding positions while on the move. And now, Kawasaki Europe has posted a video from 2013 of the J Concept with the description only saying ‘Kawasaki revealed the "J" 3-wheel electric concept vehicle at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show'. But, we already know that. So, why is Kawasaki posting these videos now?

We reported a while back on the introduction of the Yamaha Niken, a three-wheel 'lean' machine. The MT-09 powered three-wheeler can do tremendous angles of lean on corners and the third wheel would translate to enhanced confidence in the rider. Yamaha calls it a Leaning Multi-Wheeler, and that the LMW technology help "reduce the effects of changing ride environments and to deliver a high feeling of stability when cornering".

Not just the Niken, Yamaha just this month also bought the patent for Brudeli Leanster 654L and 625L, a fact that signifies Yamaha's seriousness about this segment of motorcycles.

So, perhaps a possibility of Kawasaki working on J Concept and coming up with a production version of it can not be ruled out. Apparently, the two Japanese manufacturers see the beginning of three-wheel motorcycles making space in the market and they both want to be prepared for when it does happen.

Read all about Yamaha's three-wheeled motorcycle Niken here

Kawasaki's take on a three-wheel motorcycle is, however, even a step ahead of Yamaha's (at least by the looks of the concept). For starters, it will be fully electric. As Kawasaki describes it, 'the J concept machine is a three-wheeler that offers a choice of riding positions. ‘Comfort’ mode delivers a more upright riding stance for city work while ‘Sport’ mode alters the ergonomics for aggressive sports riding. The J is powered by a battery cell and has two front wheels with a single rear wheel providing the drive.'

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