Yamaha has unveiled a concept called Tricity Rough Road that lands in an unusual niche: off-road scooters. While boilerplate machines are extremely popular, the design study was created for the men and women responsible for monitoring and responding to natural disasters.
As the name suggests, Rough Road isn’t entirely new. It’s an evolution of the Tricity, a three-wheeled scooter sold in a number of global markets – it’s a common sight in major European cities. It gains off-road tires, extra lights, tubes that protect body panels, and luggage racks designed to hold luggage. Yamaha plans riders to pack first aid kits and medical supplies, along with a website for enthusiasts Visor down reports that there is a drone stored in the upper case. It allows rescuers to find people in need or to investigate areas affected by disasters.
Integrating two-wheelers into disaster relief missions makes sense; they’re small and nimble so they can reach areas off-limits to trucks and SUVs. But what can the rough road do that an off-road motorcycle can’t? According to for Yamaha, the Tricity is easier to use than a motorcycle, as it is a fast rotating model with an automatic transmission, so there is no gear to change. And, the unusual three-wheel layout makes the front more stable than a comparable mountain bike (or two-wheeled scooter). Simplicity is the main advantage it offers.
Yamaha has not released any technical specifications, but it does note that the Rough Road treatment can be applied to both the 125 and 155 versions of the Tricity. The former is powered by a 125 cubic centimeter four-stroke single-cylinder engine that develops 12 horsepower; the latter uses an evolution of 155 cubic centimeters of this engine which makes nearly 15 horsepower. Both weigh around 363 pounds.
It’s too early to tell if the Tricity Rough Road will transition from a concept to a production model. It’s based on an existing scooter, and Japan takes disaster relief very seriously, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see it go into production, perhaps as a fleet model only.