Treycycle Development Has NASA Engineers Playing Their Trade

If it has three wheels, it’s not a motorcycle, it’s a Trike.

And with that bit of nitpicking out of the way, it seems some former NASA engineers thrown out of work by changing times have quit looking to the skies and are now hoping to find an outlet for their design skills back here the ground.

One idea, called the Treycycle, is a prototype three-wheeled vehicle which the developers hope will offer a safer alternative to law enforcement motorcycles.

“Instead of dealing with trying to fix the problem, you have to fix the solution. And the solution is to develop a frame which is going to provide additional protection for motorcycle riders,” said Michael Shulman of the Emerging Growth Institute. “With so many NASA engineers being out of work over that period, there’s been an influx of those coming into the shop.”

The company say the frame of the Treycycle will provide three hundred and sixty degree protection for the rider and a kevlar-strengthened body will give additional stiffness.

The company got some feedback from the Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition during a meeting at USF. Unlike a conventional motorcycle, the prototype has two recumbent seats, and the developers say it’s that riding position that makes their machine perfect for law enforcement use.

“They have to drive eight hours a day and their legs are hanging down and it gets very uncomfortable,” said Ray Ackley, the designer and builder of the prototype machine.


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