Combining the high ground clearance and wheel travel of a motocross bike with the unparalleled grip of four leaning wheels, it looks like Wesll Corp (no relation) may have found a way to combine the attributes of two- and four-wheelers to achieve an exponentially greater result.
Wesll's secret is in a leaning mechanism that consists of two control
arms and hinges on the unsprung side of the shocks. The lower control
arm is decoupled from that shock, allowing 28 inches of travel, which
in turn permits lean angles Wesll claims are in excess of 50 degrees.
Because four wheels have more grip than two and leaning shifts the
center of gravity lower and to the inside of a corner, these machines
should also have more cornering grip than equivalent non-leaning quads.
This mechanism claims to allow the above advantages with gaining
significant weight because the unsprung components lean, therefore only
requiring load-bearing ability in one direction as the machine isn't
subject to the same lateral loading as non-leaning four-wheelers.
We're impressed by the concept's apparent ability that's evident in the
videos; it looks like it rides like a motorcycle, but slides like a
quad. That's cool.
The Wesll concept differs from machines like the Piaggio MP3 not just
because it has four wheels, but because it's able to lean so far over.
The MP3 is limited to a 40-degree lean angle and employs its extra
wheels for safety and stability, not performance. A better analogy
would be the Brudeli Leanster, which is performance oriented, but
still lacks that back will, meaning there's less grip available for
cornering and acceleration.
In addition to the dirt bike, Wesll has mock ups of its leaning system
on sportsbike. We look forward to finding out how well the system works
off-road and on.