Lego, PC, Ford, Volkswagen, Ikea... You probably heard about these. At first glance, there is nothing common between these. Right? Wrong!
All these share something, and that’s a Modular System.
What is a Modular System?
A modular system is a collection of building blocks that can be configured in different ways, adapting for different customer needs. Over time, some modules will be developed to serve new purposes or to improve performance in some aspect. Optimization and cost-cutting can be done within modules without the typical ripple effect throughout the product and, when done well, without reducing the value to customers. Many companies use modularization as a tool to create configurable product platforms, reducing product complexity and making the customer order process more efficient by configuring-to-order rather than engineering-to-order.
The main benefit of a Modular System (when properly executed) is the versatility it can offer for the customer, without increasing the cost and time for development of the product while increasing the value of the product.
Soon after we started building trikes, we realized that each and every customer has a different preference and while some were looking at a very light, low and fast trike, some others were looking for a strong and reliable touring vehicle, and some were all focused on comfort. It looked as an impossible task.
In 2003 we already had a well designed steering geometry, comfortable seating position, predictable handling and a solution for compact packaging to reduce the shipping cost to minimum and keep the price competitive on the growing recumbent trike market.
With some minor changes in the design, we figured that we can use the same base and create multiple variations without any negative impact on the performance or reliability of the trike, regardless of it’s final configuration: our Modular Concept was born... The Road Shark based on 20” front and 26” rear wheel got his siblings in form of Viper (20/20), Nomad (20/20) with rear suspension, Tuareg (20/26) with rear suspension and Alien with 16/20 wheel size combination.
With just a few minor changes, we could offer five different models that shared the same platform, yet, each of these was completely different, optimized for different use. As the time passed, we realized the rigid front end had numerous disadvantages and even though we already had suspension in the back, that was just a part of the solution we needed. On a good road surface, the rigid front end was perfect, but once you hit a bump or a pothole, it’s influencing the steering and requires a lot more effort to control the steering and behaviour of the trike. It was good, but not good enough. That made us look for a solution and in 2006/07 the new platform was developed, a trike with suspended front end, the MadMax (16/20) and soon after that Mungo/Meerkat (20/20) with a wider track, followed by Explorer (20/26) and Mungo Sport (18/20) which all shared the same base and could be easily converted into a different configuration by changing the wheels and/or the rear end...
Even though these full suspended trikes were much better handling, we kept on looking for something even better, because we know well, if you stop moving forward, you’ll end up going backwards.
By the end of year 2012, a completely new, improved modular platform was developed from scratch, the Wild One. With all the experience and know-how we gathered in the past and learning something new every day, the Wild One platform was gradually modified and refined in the past ten years to accommodate almost any demand a customer might have...
Our Modular System proved itself and works well and today you can get the Wild One in five standard different variations based on the same Modular Platform (Wild One 20/20, Speedster 16/20NT, Roadster 20/26, Wild One 700C and 4x4 FAT 20/26) with two more models being developed (Wild One PLUS 24/24 and Mini FAT 20/20).
Different wheel size combinations are just one of the things our Modular Concept allows to be changed without affecting the overall quality and performance, three different seat types, different drive systems including Pinion, Schlumpf, Rohloff, Sturmey Archer, 10 and 12mm thru axles, optimized road or off-road wheel sets, adjustable handlebars in different length/height and width, different luggage racks and of course, electric assist version.
Thanks to this concept, one can change the initial configuration into something different without the need to buy a whole new trike, one of the examples is shown in this video