MP3 with steering wheel
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2010 MP3 250, 2009 BV250
Joined: 26 Nov 2019
Posts: 16
Location: Michigan, USA
Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:01 pm quote
Have you ever seen an MP3 with a steering wheel? Here is one:

It's not photoshop, we really did build it. And then we added a foot throttle.

We're doing research on the driving experience of tilting three-wheelers, and experimenting with different control systems. The MP3 is a great test mule. You can ride (drive?) this thing with the steering wheel and the pedal, never put your hands on the bars. It steers like a car, no countersteering and no bicycle-like balancing required. And yes, the tilt is unlocked and it leans into the corners as it should.

Fun and interesting!



Moderatus Rana
MP3 250 (sold) MP3 500 (current)
Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Posts: 21608
Location: Nashville, Indiana
Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:08 pm quote
If it unlocks as it should then it has to use countersteering. Physics. A bike cannot take corners without countersteering. Putting a steering wheel on it is a gimmick unless you are also doing a trike conversion.
Piaggio MP3 500
Joined: 21 Nov 2017
Posts: 288
Location: Austin, TX
Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:18 am quote
Yes, I suspect the driver was countersteering without being aware of doing so- if you just wrenched the wheel in the direction you wanted to go, you'd fall right over. Or maybe there are more control systems involved, like drive-by-wire that does the countersteering for you? If so, very, very cool.

One of the kids in my neighborhood had a steering wheel on his bike instead of handlebars. I didn't see the point, but it looked cool and different.
Gilera Fuoco
Joined: 13 Aug 2020
Posts: 20
Location: Russia
Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:55 am quote
As a child, I installed a truck steering wheel on my bike. No sensations from this remained in my memory and I do not remember that I fell.
2010 MP3 250, 2009 BV250
Joined: 26 Nov 2019
Posts: 16
Location: Michigan, USA
Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:35 pm quote
Ah, I tricked you, or you didn't examine the photos closely enough. The steering wheel is NOT connected to the handlebars or to the steering in any way. Yes, if it was connected then the rider would need to countersteer.

Instead, the steering wheel is connected to the tilt mechanism. When you turn the wheel, it directly tilts the bike. You can hold the bike upright at a stopsign with the steering wheel, you don't need to use the lock.

The steering wheel tilts the bike, and because it is tilted it turns. No countersteering and in fact no steering at all.

The handlebars do whatever they want to do, which because of caster is to follow along with the vehicle.

The MP3 is not well optimized for this, and in some cases it behaves oddly, but it works well enough to demonstrate the concept. You can google it, it's called "free to caster".

There will be drive by wire aspects to the finished vehicle, but we were looking for a direct mechanical connection for simplicity. We built an experimental vehicle that had steer-by-wire and tilt-by-wire and getting the software to work right was a big job.
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