• Aug 4, 2011
Once upon a way back when, a few scant patent drawings of a Harley-Davidson leaning trike made their way to the web. Apparently, the company went so far as to produce a few prototypes under the codename Penster. The trikes were penned by none other than legendary custom car builder John Buttera, and despite the inherent awkwardness of the trike design, the Penster looks pretty good. For reasons that remain unclear, the design was never given the go-ahead for production. Instead, Harley buyers with a heart for three wheels wound up with the Tri-Glide.

Not surprisingly, the Penster makes use of a 45-degree air-cooled V-Twin for its propulsion, though details on exactly how the leaning mechanism works are still scant. These prototypes were hewn in 2006 and now reside in the Harley-Davidson museum. They stand out as an impressive piece of forward thinking from a company that holds steadfast to its traditions.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      feralchimp
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a design nightmare from nose to tail, and all the comment down-ranking in the universe ain't gonna fix it. As trikes go, though, this looks like it would handle better than everything else currently available.
      Mike Pulsifer
      • 3 Years Ago
      It looks like it would be a nightmare to clean the bugs off it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Myself
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks amateurish and outdated... a typicall Harley, then.
      jonnybimmer
      • 3 Years Ago
      For those who want the obnoxious characteristics of a hog but can't hold their balance?
        Timothy Tibbetts
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jonnybimmer
        Duh. Who do you think the majority of trike buyers are? For many it lets them ride again.
      Rick
      • 3 Years Ago
      Almost looks like something created in one's backyard.
      JR
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dependster.
      Timothy Tibbetts
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think the problem with it is the fact that it is sporty but not something to take long rides on. I just acquired a Can Am Spyder last week and put on 400 comfortable miles already. I would love to have my Harley rumble back, but not at the expense of a comfortable ride. Also, at first glance it looks V-Rod inspired but does not have the V-Rod engine. Then again we are talking 5 years ago.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      M Hugo Rodriguez
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks like horrible.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      what the hell is all that "stuff" between the 2 front wheels? (especially on the orange trike) I mean you can see where the V twin engine ends under the gas tank. And below that is the transmission. So what components are taking up soooo much room between the 2 wheels? It can't all be a steering box or some kind of tilting mechanism. This really has no cohesive design. I mean I love the idea that HD would be considering to think of different ideas, but I am glad that this never got the green light... it looks terrible and looks like a Chinese knock-off of the Can-Am trikes.
      Making11s
      • 3 Years Ago
      In concept, a leaning trike is light years ahead of what CanAm is doing. In execution, it looks like an especially unattractive aftermarket kit put together in a garage.
        Timothy Tibbetts
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Making11s
        Agreed. I really wish my Can AM leaned. I hear it might be coming but I believe it would only be for the "feel" and not the function since it really is designed more car like in many ways including this.
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