On December 15, 2022, the World Intellectual Property Organization published an international patent application filed by Piaggio in June, 2022. The drawings depict a Piaggio MP3 with a front fairing that stays straight up-and-down as a rider pushes the vehicle through corners. On the present MP3s that you can buy in dealerships in 2023, that fairing tilts into corners along with the rest of the three-wheeler as you ride it. 

The official title of the patent application is the fairly descriptive “Saddle-Riding Type Rolling Motor Vehicle with a Not-Rolling Front Fairing,” which appears to do exactly what it says on the tin. Although the drawing depicts an MP3, Piaggio’s language in the written portion of the application suggests that this invention could be utilized on either three- or four-wheeled vehicles where there are two steering wheels up front and at least one drive wheel in the rear.  

Why does Piaggio want to do this? If you guessed that it has something to do with aerodynamics, you’d be right. If you also guessed that it has something to do with headlight aim, you should probably give yourself a gold star. Both of these concerns are addressed directly in Piaggio’s patent application as currently written. 

Gallery: Piaggio Non-Tilting Fairing Patent Application

Like most patent applications, this one spells out every aspect of the invention and its purpose in extensive detail. In summarizing it, Piaggio writes,  

“A first object is to provide a rolling motorcycle, with three or four wheels, that has substantially the same aerodynamic behavior in any operating conditions, A further object of the present invention is to provide a roiling motorcycle with reference to which the design of the vehicle front fairing is simplified, but which at the same time can result in a more effective aerodynamic profile."

It goes on, "A further object is to provide a solution that improves the behavior of the lighting devices (headlights) associated with the front fairing without the aid of orientation devices and/or other devices with similar purposes. Last but not least, another object of the present invention is to provide a roiling motorcycle with three or four wheels that can be easily produced at competitive costs.” 

That’s pretty simple and straightforward, particularly for patent language. As for if and when we can expect to see a design like this integrated into future MP3s or other Piaggio three- or four-wheeled vehicles, a patent application is only one in a series of steps toward the beginning of the vehicle production dance. Or, in other words, stay tuned.

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