The Three-Wheeled Motorcycle


There’s something new to see in Paris.  Unlike most Parisian things, it’s not fashionable, attractive, romantic, or particularly French.  What it is, is a very uncool, but quite practical, three-wheeled motorcycle.  They don’t tip over and yet they are as manoeuverable as a scooter or a two-wheeler.  And they’re everywhere on the Parisian streets, perfectly stable on their two-front wheels and driven by seemingly everyone.

What’s remarkable about these tricycles for grown-ups is why it took so long for them to be developed.  It’s not like it’s a revolutionary design.  I wonder how many engineers went up to their CEOs with a blueprint for a three-wheeled motorcycle only to be turned down with a haughty ‘No one would want to buy one of those!’  And now you can’t swing Pepe Le Pew without hitting one.

For me, the three-wheeler conveys a very simple lesson.  Sometimes, it takes a long time for a eureka moment to catch on.  An idea might seem too simple, too obvious, too naive, yet sometimes, it just might be that kind of idea that does the trick.  It makes me think of our current economic woes and wonder whether or not there might very well be a three-wheeled tricycle out there, ready and waiting for someone to give it a chance.