The new trike has flair to spare. It’s also clever. It’s a true monocoque, as many components as possible have been given more than one job, there’s no ash frame under the stressed aluminum body panels and it even features Morgan’s first patented item in its 112-year history (a clever mounting clip btw).
To my engineer’s eyes, it’s a gorgeous piece of product design, born not from wondering how to make a traditional three-wheeler but how to make a great adventure trike. On a throwback machine, you wouldn’t, for example, find big aluminum castings at each front corner, as here. These big sculpted pieces are at once the engine mounts, the mounting points for the pull-rod suspension, supports for the headlights and the nose cowling and, finished in either silver or black, also classy body surfaces. They’re delicate yet solid like they’ve come from a locomotive, cold to the touch, visually appealing and, lastly, aerodynamically sculpted to direct air into the radiators.
There’s more. The blocky side panels profit diverted air to the radiators and act as mounting points for the vast array of luggage you can now specify (because Morgan knows accessories can be able too). They’re flat because if they were shaped, the front wheels couldn’t turn as far. The old 3 Wheeler had a terrible turning circle.
Wire wheels didn’t help its cause. They have a great classic look, but their hubs are so wide that they push suspension uprights inboard, increasing the turning radius and compromising the dynamic set-up.Morgan’s designers like the look of turbofan wheels (who doesn’t?) so designed new ones. They have the advantage of being slightly convex without seeming it. So now the wheel upright is closer to the wheel center and the wheel stands proud of the bespoke tire (but disguises it well).