The patent application was filed July 10, 2009 by Daniel Mercier, advanced concept engineer at BRP, but was only recently published. The patent application describes a three-wheeled vehicle like the Can-Am Spyder only equipped with a tilting mechanism.
While current Can-Am Spyders turn in the direction the handlebars are pressed, the leaning mechanism in the patent will require countersteering, something familiar to conventional motorcycle riders.
BRP’s system is assisted by an actuator motor that will lean the vehicle into a turn. The actuator is controlled by electronics that monitor the vehicle’s speed, lean angle, steering torque and lateral acceleration. At low speeds, the system prevents the vehicle from leaning too far, or even at all, but at higher speeds, the system allows for steeper lean angles. The electronic control unit can also be configured with different riding modes allowing the rider to select the degree of lean assistance.
The actuator also keeps the vehicle upright at a stop unlike the tilting Piaggio MP3 which requires the rider to put his feet down or press a tilt lock button.
The patent is still awaiting approval and there’s no telling whether it will ever be implemented on a Can-Am Spyder or other vehicle. BRP is working on a hybrid version of the Spyder with a prototype currently on tour with the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows.
BRP Developing Hybrid Can-Am Spyder