If you are not familiar with the Yamaha concept machine known as the Tesseract, take a quick second and run a search using your favorite Internet tool. Once located, you will see a four-wheeled motorcycle which looks as if it could transform into an arse-kicking robot or carry a comic book superhero to the rescue.
The engineer responsible for the design is the notable Luciano Marabese, who also brought the Piaggio MP3 (three-wheeled) scooter to the world and wild acclaim. The company which Marabese is now to run is a small Italian start-up to be known as Quadro Tecnologie. From such a mind as this man, it is not much of a surprise to hear that the first products emerging from this new concern will be something a bit different than the norm.
The first production machine will be the Quadro 3D, a three-wheeled scooter with a 350cc engine which will be very much like the MP3. In fact, the two bikes will be direct competitors. It will be priced at around €7000 (~US$9800) and will be available in April 2011.
The next model will be very new indeed; the Quadro 4D will have a 500cc single powering four wheels similar to the concept-only Yamaha Tesseract. Estimated price is €9000(~US$12,600) and should make it to the market near the end of 2011. Both machines will make use of Marabese’s Hydraulic Tilting System (HTS), which works without electronic aid, thus reducing complexity and making maintenance simple. The 3D will use HTS on the front wheels and the 4D on both ends.
Given the extra hoops, traction on these machines will be impressive, braking distances will be short and the Quadro machines are certain to enjoy outstanding handling characteristics.
Marabese has had an impact on over 450 different design projects for marques such as Vespa, Piaggio, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia, Gilera, Triumph and Yamaha over the last few decades. During that work, Marabese often had to compromise on his work for the various entities paying for his ideas – not anymore.
Quadro Technologie will allow him to create scooters and motorcycles as he desires without anyone diluting the effect of his designs. Quadro customers will likely be the true beneficiaries of this direct connection between Marabese’s ideas, design, engineering and production.
The Quadro plan is for the first two models, the 3D and 4D, to be out and on the roads by the end of 2011 and a full line of vehicles to be offered by 2014. Marabese will direct the creation of a series of vehicles to be based on these models – supersports, hybrids, electric and even off-road bikes and scooters are all possible in the next four years.
Of course, the Great Recession may have something to say about it, but the MP3 has been defying the odds for a while now. Quadro’s offerings may be what the riding, and even driving, public have been waiting for…time will tell.
Written by J.C. Current, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com