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Old 08-05-2011, 01:22 AM   #1
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Default Shelved Harley-Davidson Penster Tilting Trike Prototypes Revealed

The Harley-Davidson Museum has pulled the covers off discarded prototypes of a leaning three-wheeled motorcycle developed by The Motor Company.

Harley-Davidson commissioned automobile hot rodding legend John Buttera to build the original prototype (pictured above) in 1998. Codenamed the “Penster”, the Trike looks like it could have been an earlier version of the Can-Am Spyder, but it had a tilting front end similar to the Piaggio MP3.

According to The Kneeslider, Harley-Davidson filed a patent for the leaning front end which uses hydraulic actuators to tilt the trike and return it to a vertical position.

Harley-Davidson spent years refining Buttera’s design, and in 2006, two years before Buttera died from complications of a brain tumor, produced the orange version pictured below.

The updated version has* a wider stance than the original, perhaps to allow room to place the foot controls further forward. The orange version also has vertically aligned shocks that leaned along with the front wheels instead of the horizontally-positioned suspension on Buttera’s original concept. The seat is also noticeably higher on the newer version.

It’s hard to say how close the Harley-Davidson Penster came to going into production. It appears Harley-Davidson decided to go in a less dramatic direction with the Tri-Glide Ultra Classic in 2008, a non-leaning trike with two wheels at the rear and resembles a conventional Harley-Davidson motorcycle from the seat forward.

The Harley-Davidson Penster leaning trike prototypes are currently on display at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Wisconsin as part of the “Collection X” exhibit, featuring several rare items and engineering experiments.

[Source: The Kneeslider, Harley-Davidson ]

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Old 08-05-2011, 10:02 AM   #2
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I like the looks of those...way before the Can Am stuff...
I shall never bow down to an enemy...nor back away from a fight. I will live the best life I can...and will suffer death before dishonor. This is my promise to brothers in arms. BigJohnD, 2011

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Old 08-05-2011, 10:56 AM   #3
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I saw the patent for this a few years ago and the mechanism looked very good, shame they shelved it.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:56 AM   #4
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I'd put something like that on my list of possible purchases.
Air cooled... HD... Looking ahead... Modern... Etc...
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