A friend recently told me that he is often afraid when he rides his motorbike, depite having ridden it for over 15 years. Sounds like a steep price to pay for the convenience of easy parking and dates with tattooed women.
Perhaps Toyota has been speaking to similar people in its market research, unveiling a concept tricycle at the Geneva Motor Show this year, called i-Road.
Sort of like a motorbike encased in an egg, the i-Road is a single occupant, electric-powered vehicle, which corners like a demon (in Toyota's CGI video, that is) and would appear to have a few more crumple-zones than a motorbike. It probably has some boot space too, so you needn't put your groceries in a basket on the handlebars.
Leaning heavily, driving slowly
What is most fascinating about this design is the way that the body of the car "leans" into corners. This is obviously essential for the bikes stability, but it also makes the i-Road look like a robotic insect walking, which is as cool as it is disconcerting.
According to Carbuzz, the top speed for the i-ROAD is only 28 mph (45 kpm), and it has a battery which is good for covering about 30 miles. Though, this is before you plug your iPhone into the cigarette lighter with the headlights on and air-conditioning blasting.
Still, if this is the future of the automotive industry, I want in. I might be six and a half feet tall and claustrophobic, but this coffin-like scooter still appeals to me somehow.