What’s Up with Tadpole Multi-Wheeled Motorcycles?

While seeing three-wheeled motorcycles with two wheels at the rear (Delta) is quite common, having two wheels at the front (Tadpole) is more extraordinary. In the past few years, the motorist world has seen various designs of three-wheeled motorcycles. Here we are looking at five models.

But first, let us understand the advantages of the tadpole design over the delta. As per dynamic stability, the tadpole design offers safer reaction to quick turns and rapid steering. The two wheels at the front prevents the machine to tip over during sudden turns, and the issue with weight transfer and weight distribution is lesser.


The delta design is simpler, and given a slow speed, steering is easier because only one front wheel needs controlling through turning the telescopic fork. But aerodynamically, the tadpole is better because the delta’s two rear wheels breaks the aerodynamic tear drop. When it comes to powertrain, the tadpole design is more advantageous because no differential at the rear is necessary, and there is no need to put so much unnecessary weight on the front wheel for maintaining great traction.

Polaris Slingshot

This one is a heavy-duty three wheeler that looks more like a car at the front than a motorcycle. It can sit two people side by side, with its body almost touching the ground. The Slingshot’s low windscreen and open-cockpit makes it appear like a sports car than a sportsbike.

Yamaha Tricity

The Tricity takes up the appearance of a scooter with its two front wheels so close to each other, and both are attached to a single fork that tilts the wheels when making turns. It is so far the narrowest, lightest and cheapest trike to date.

Can-Am Spyder

The Spyder is another three-wheeler with a bulky front. It is as wide as a regular car and its front wheels do not tilt. Its design makes it a bad drive in the highways; to be safe, it should be driven at very low speeds.


Honda Gyro

The Gyro is a tilting three-wheeler and precedes the Tricity’s design. For 30 years, this trike has become an outstanding vehicle for quick transport throughout Japan.

Piaggio MP3

The MP3 features twin wheels at the front that make for an easy and smooth ride over varying road surfaces. It is a trike of choice in urban Europe.

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