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· Administrator "Loose Nut"
Bandera, Texas
Joined
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2,124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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There's a point, normally some type of physical limitations, that a decision needs to be made, give up riding or alter our rides. Many will think it will ever happen to them, you're in denial to me if you want to keep riding. There are those that think trikes aren't motorcycles and ain't the same, I'll agree it's different, but you are still in the wind. Let's start a resource for those thinking about having to make a change in the future rather than giving up riding. I hope this doesn't turn into a two wheel vs three wheel debate, but a resource based on personal experience to help others. Most trikes fall into two categories, two front wheels or two rear wheels. So those of you that have made the change, please post first had experience with the change. I'm calling @Tourer out as he's recently bought a Can Am. Maybe I missed it, but never read his likes or dislikes. There's several on here that have triked out their Kawasaki, would really like y'all's input. I'll post my impressions, good and not so good on my HD trike vs a Vulcan 900 that I currently both own and swap between the two in a future post. I'm looking for first hand experience with miles under your belt to help others make an informed decision and not just about a test ride to try one. But if you road several different trikes before making your change possible explain why you made you decision.
 

· Administrator "Loose Nut"
Bandera, Texas
Joined
·
2,124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When I returned to riding again with a short layoff, Honda CB750f, 900f and 1100f were my go to bikes for many years along with a few Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki thrown into to mix.

Bought my first cruiser, Vstar 1100, and enjoyed commuting with it and putting over 65k miles in a few years. My wife enjoys riding with me, and beginning to take longer trips needed a little more comfort. Next bike was a HD Electra Glide. We really liked that bike. Totaled that one when I hit a patch of black ice after 45k miles. I couldn't go long without a bike and picked up a Vulcan 900, two weeks after wreck, while I negotiated with insurance company. So, what does all of this have to do with a trike? Just wanted to give riding history to what I'd ridden.

I was getting ready to retire and didn't want to jump into a permanent bike with research. Being a little older now, currently 67, small, 5'5 and 125 pounds, I had found it challenging when two up on a full size touring bike. Wife and I still like to take trips so needed to rethink what I wanted. Let me preface this, in the past I had been narrow minded and thought trikes were for whimps. But the more I looked, the thought of getting one was definitely inviting.

Had a friend that had a HD trike. I had ridden it a few times and didn't think negative about it. Also had a friend that had a Goldwing Trike. After riding that one a few times, found out I didn't like it. No real reason, just not my style. Another friend had a Can-am. While possibly the most comfortable it felt weird with the front two wheels. These rides had occurred several years ago and all three had changed recently.

So after discussing with wife which should be our next bike, she came up with the idea of renting each one and getting some current seat time. I would highly recommend this approach when you start to get serious. It can run several hundred dollars a day to do this. But when looking at making a forever expensive purchase, I wanted to get it right.

First we rented a Goldwing trike. We had it for two days and logged almost 500 miles. That thing is comfortable, reliable and comfortable. Wife was extremely comfortable but I found the seating position uncomfortable for me. There's way to many buttons and features I really wasn't interested in. I decided this would not be a long time bike for me.

Next was a Can-am. I also rented one for two days. Wife liked it, but said the Goldwing was more comfortable. After almost 400 miles I felt I was sitting on and not one with the trike. I really wanted to like the Can-am. But each time I got on it, just didn't feel right. I'm sure this was a me thing. It's definitely powerful and different with the two front wheels. I felt like I was on an ATV and not a motorcycle.

Next was the Harley. The second I sat on it I liked it. Wife found it comfortable and liked that she was looking over me rather than around me. The ride was a little rough at first. The first day I had it I played with shock setting and tire pressure. After doing this I found it extremely comfortable.

We also looked at buying a bike and doing a conversion. We decided not to do this for warranty and cost.


So we had it narrowed down to HD first, Goldwing second and Can-am third. But we were still open. Having the insurance money with some extra to throw in we started to look seriously to buy. Looked at dealer and individuals for a while. We came across the HD trike I bought that check all my boxes. It's a 2019 HD Freewheeler which only had 1700 miles, had a two year warranty and loved the color.

Tire Wheel Sky Fuel tank Plant


Now to the major differences between 2 and 3 wheels.

First, trike is extremely easy to maneuver in parking lot situations, no having to hold bike up, you don't feel the bikes weight at all. Love the reverse. Very powerful 114 motor. For those who don't know, it's a Road King with two wheels on back. Has cruise, ABS, traction control and integrated brakes. Parts availability is fantastic.

Biggest difference, you turn handlebars to turn, no counter steering. I was apprehensive at first thinking this would be an issue, it's not at all. Steering at speed can be tricky but factory steering stabilizer cures most of that.

On a two wheel bike you just steer around a road hazard. With the trike you need to decide, hit with front tire or one of the rear tires. It's no biggie and I normally choose to hit with rear.

I've yet to have a negative about the trike. Is it different, absolutely. But sitting there going down the road you feel like you are on two wheel.

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Many will say muscle memory from two wheel counter steering and trike turning the bars is a challenge. I'll totally disagree. I can ride the bike one day and trike the next, never had an issue.

My two together.

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Feel free to ask any questions about the trike. While not an expert, I ride both and might be able to help.
 
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