Three-wheeled vehicles have some peculiar licencing requirements. You’d probably think that you’re obliged to pass a motorcycle test if you’re riding something that leans from side to side. But you’d be wrong. It all depends. If the front wheels are more than 460mm apart it is legally classified as a tricycle; meaning you can ride it if you’re over 21 and hold a ‘B’ car licence. That’s the case for Yamaha’s latest leaning multi-wheeler, the Tricity 300.
Of course, that means there’s a potentially massive audience that could be tempted to swap four wheels for three, and swing their leg over this thing each morning to head into work. That’s what Yamaha think anyway. If you’ve never ridden a motorcycle or scooter before, the first thing you’ll notice will be the size of the thing. It’s a big scooter – tall, wide and heavy; but somehow, not ungainly. I’m 6 foot and a bit and had no problems getting my feet flat on the floor and moving it around. If you’re a little shorter and can’t reach, don’t worry. Yamaha’s come up with a clever bit of technology that’s as simple as it is brilliant. The ‘Standing Assist’ feature allows you to lock the leaning system up front as you’re coming to a halt. Only available at speeds below 6mph, all you’ve got to do to activate it is tap a button on the left hand switchgear. Easy. And when you want to get moving and leaning again, just open the throttle or double tap the button. It’s a clever bit of kit that takes a little a bit of getting used to – but there’s no doubt it works well. If you’re suited and booted on your way to a meeting, it means you won’t have to dirty your shoes when you come to a standstill… that’s got to appeal to commuters.