The 2023 Japan Mobility Show is currently still underway—and many manufacturers, including Yamaha, saw the event as the perfect place to showcase new electric concept vehicles that they’d been working on. As with all concepts, some are closer to moving toward production than others.
While we doubt that we’re going to see Motoroid2 come to life in full production form any time soon, the same can’t be said for the Yamaha Tricera. This electric three-wheeler resembles Yamaha’s take on an open-top roadster, much closer in concept to the Polaris Slingshot than the KTM X-Bow. Except, you know, it’s fully electric—and it has rear-wheel drive.
Yamaha announced that it was bringing the Tricera to the 2023 Japan Mobility Show in advance of the show’s opening—but it didn’t share its official promotional video for the Tricera ahead of time. If you’re like me, and you grew up playing video games, the uncanny valley nature of this video may seem extremely disconcerting.
Are we watching a virtual simulation of the Tricera, roaming the curiously empty streets of Paris? Actually, the act of writing that sentence makes it clear that we must be, because the streets of Paris are surely never as empty as they appear here.
The incredibly enthusiastic overreactions of the non-playable characters (NPCs) in this video are also completely comical. OH MY GOODNESS, YOU GUYS, LOOK AT THAT TRICERA! You almost expect to hear Simlish, but it doesn’t quite reach that level.
The streets are narrow and tight, as is common in urban areas that developed well before the advent of modern automobiles and their comparatively gigantic physical sizes. Even in this simulation, the Tricera nearly takes up the entire width of the streets that it occupies.
The handling appears nimble enough, but because Yamaha is the company that it is, I can’t help imagining how well its entire motorcycle and scooter range would do if it was to take the same course.
Then again, most motorbikes of all sizes probably wouldn’t turn the heads of random NPCs the way that the Tricera does. That’s kind of the point of a vehicle like this, isn’t it? Sure, it’s probably fun enough to drive—but the real draw is the attention it gets.
Like the Slingshot and the X-Bow, the Tricera might be motorcycle-adjacent, but is still not an actual motorcycle. If you’re an attention seeker and this gets you to your goal, though, does that even matter? Maybe only in terms of which license you need to legally operate it in your area.