Kawasaki teases three-wheeler concept

A company backed by Nest co-founder Tony Fadell is taking Andy Rubin's startup to court.

2018-kawasaki-j-concept_8

You probably don’t remember, but back at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, Kawasaki was hinting at a future street-legal 3-wheeler, called the J Concept. Now, they’re teasing that machine again. Kawasaki has teased what seems to be the expansion of a future street-legal three-wheeler. The three-wheeler concept from Kawasaki though isn’t new. The Japanese firm’s futuristic leaning 3-wheeler concept vehicle was first shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2013. Called the Kawasaki Concept J, that machine has been teased again by Kawasaki. Last week, Kawasaki’s US YouTube channel had published a new teaser video of the battery-powered three-wheeler, and now Kawasaki Europe’s YouTube channel has posted a video of the J Concept too.

But it seems likely that Kawasaki is involved in three-wheeled research, and this isn’t just an empty promise. The time would certainly be right for such a move: Yamaha’s Niken leaning three-wheeler stirred up loads of controversy and grabbed lots of attention when it debuted at Tokyo this past fall. Can-Am is making so much money off its three-wheelers that it hasn’t even bothered to start making motorcycles again. The Polaris Slingshot is steadily gaining approval from transportation departments across the continent.

The J Concept is an electric three-wheeler that offers a choice of riding positions, altering the riding position by changing its geometry in motion. ‘Comfort’ mode delivers a more upright riding stance for city use, while ‘Sport’ changes the ergonomics for a more aggressive riding style. The J Concept is powered by a battery cell with two front wheels and a single rear wheel providing the drive.

The three-wheeler space seems to be heating up, and there are already several players in this space, like the Can-Am Spyder, the Polaris Slingshot and the Yamaha Niken. While there’s no other information yet from Kawasaki, including any new information on the J, the teaser videos seem to indicate that something is brewing in Kawasaki on the three-wheeled space. With the Yamaha Niken three-wheeler set to go on sale later this year, we won’t be surprised to see Kawasaki announcing a production version, maybe as early as later this year. The only question that remains is, whether Kawasaki will introduce an electric three-wheeler, or if it will be powered by an internal combustion engine.

2018-kawasaki-j-concept_8