Aerodynamics as playing a greater part in motorcycle design these days, as can be seen from the number of superbikes sporting aero wings on the front fairing. Italian motorcycle and scooter Piaggio, which holds Aprilia under its stable of brand names, has now come forward with a patent application for an active aero system.
In a series of patent drawings published on the Cycle World website, a Piaggio MP3 three-wheeled scooter is shown with a pair for aero wings on the front cowl connected to a CPU. This could mean a computer-controlled active aero system, somewhat like the units used in almost every high-tech supercar like the Bugatti Chiron, Ferrari 488 GTB and Lamborghini Huracan Performante, amongst others.
While Honda has been seen experimenting with an active aero system for its race bikes that help with braking and acceleration, Piaggio’s patents indicate the winglets move independently of each other. This could assist in stabilising the motorcycle during cornering, with the winglets generating lift or downforce on opposite sides of the bike.
This would also help in leaning the bike over in a corner or in getting it upright again. Additionally, the drawings show bar-mounted controls that could allow the rider to select active aero modes depending on speed or riding style.
The drawings show the aero wings attached to an urban scooter but this could be technical subertfugre on the part of Piaggio. It should be remembered the Aprilia RSV4 superbike, currently being campaigned in the World Superbike Championship where there is no restriction on active aero as long as it is homologated unlike MotoGP, is due for an update.