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View Poll Results: How long have you been a trike owner?

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Thread: Making The Switch - Bike to Trike - Great Info!

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  1. #1
    Cut N Shoot Customs
    Conroe Texas
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    Default Making The Switch - Bike to Trike - Great Info!

    I would like to solicit the help of you veteran trike owners who don't mind sharing your experiences and knowledge with novice trikers. Please share your stories and advice with those making the switch from bike to trike. Adjusting your riding style, handling, safety, group riding protocol, touring are a few suggested topics.


  2. Love Jugs
  3. #2
    2500+ Posts Ozarkryder's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Anderson, Missouri


    I have been triking about 15 years. 11 years on a VW based Trike Shop Runabout, the past 4 or so on a 1995 GW1500 Motor Trike. Feel free to pick my brain (such as it is)! Pics of both are posted in the garage.

    For new trikers, especially those coming from a 2 wheeler, a few tips:
    -Keep that front wheel in the middle of your lane.
    -Point the front wheel in the direction you want to turn (no countersteering!)
    -Don't put your feet down at a stop.
    -If you think you will be able to reach out and touch something to the side, you're too close! Watch out for curbs, toll booth & gas pump barrier poles, etc.
    -When you hit a pothole or bump with one of your rear wheels, the bars will shake a bit. Don't worry, this is normal. The effect is a little more pronounced with solid axle rear ends.
    -Add extra time at stops on a ride for answering questions from interested folks asking questions about your ride, from both two wheel riders and nonriders. (We could retire if we got $1 from every little kid we gave a quick 5 minute ride around a parking lot, and a couple of parents, too.)
    -Don't worry about the small decrease in gas mileage. You now carry more weight, bigger wheels (and an extra one) and there are 2 air brakes right behind you, also known as "fenders"
    -The soreness around your mouth and cheeks is from the extra big smile you will have for hours at a time. It doesn't go away, but don't worry - you'll get used to it.
    Don - 2004 GL1800 Champion trike, 2018 Can Am Spyder RT Limited
    2 wheeler: 2013 Triumph Bonneville T100
    FORR Local 11, AMA, MRF, Mid-South MILE Committee

  4. #3
    Contributing Member Patches's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Urich, MO.


    Excellent message! I especially liked the 'soreness around your mouth'. I love my ride also.

    GL1800 Goldwing trike-Motortrike
    Arlene - Missouri
    2006 White GL1800 Goldwing MotorTrike ;)

    Live honestly, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly & Leave the rest to God.

  5. #4
    Tour Master Trikerjim's Avatar
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    Feb 2008


    One thing we don't seem to mention to new trikers is the physical size of the trike. When you ride you look ahead and in your mirrors. You hardly ever turn and look back at the rear of the trike, so you tend to forget how wide you are now. Very good friend found his fender the FIRST time he stopped for gas. Took of half of the left fender with one of those concrete poles the put next to the pumps. He's been riding bikes for 30 yrs. and a very good rider. He just didn,t think about it..
    Also, I know the aqua-shields on my Motor-Trike will catch on speed bumps, medium rocks ect. Be careful what you try to go over. Enjoy the ride and be safe...
    "Making it home on our Wing and a Prayer"
    Jemison, Alabama
    GWRRA chapter: AL-Z
    '06 GL-1800 Motor-Trike 2+2 & '09 Aluma MCT

  6. #5
    10+ Posts Diamonde8's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Commerce, GA

    Default Trike Rider

    First Trike in 2000. Have over 135K on trikes. CSC first one on 1999 and Champion on present 2005 GL1800. Willing to give advice (it's free (and some would say worth the cost))!


  7. #6
    2500+ Posts Ozarkryder's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Anderson, Missouri

    Default Trike pulls to right?

    Hope this is clear and makes sense....

    Does your trike pull to the right? (Or left for our international friends that drive on the left. Please substitute right and left as appropriate.) Trikes are pretty sensitive to the crown in the road, built so water will run off to the side. On a 2 wheeler, it is almost not noticeable, (though on the flatlands that is why tires wear and cup more on the left side) but on a trike, the rig wants to turn "downhill" toward the shoulder. Some roads crown more than others, and on an interstate if I ride in the left lane Her Purpleness tends to pull slightly to the left. This can be disconcerting to new trikers, and there are a few things you can do about it.

    1- Deal with it. If your trike rides without pulling either way on a flat parking lot you can steer slightly to the left when on the road. You'll get used to steering to compensate for the pull - remember different roads will have more or less crown, that equals more or less pull, that equals more or less steering to the left. After a while it wil become second nature.

    2- You can drop the inside tire pressure 2 or 3 pounds. Trikes are sensitive to air pressure in the rear tires.

    A few pounds won't affect the tire wear much, but the trike will pull toward the tire with the lower psi.

    (Another good reson to check you rtire pressure often) As tires and suspensions are so variable, some experimentation will be needed.

    3- Ride with the front tire just to the left of the lane centerline. Most roads, if they are well used, have 2 slight valleys or wheel ruts where 4 wheelers wear or compress the road surface. If you ride a bit to the left of the centerline of the lane your front tire is running on the side of the left wheel rut, being pulled slightly back to the left against the crown of the road, cancelling out the pull to the right. Again, as roads vary, how much off the center will depend on the original crown of the road and how much the road is worn by cars and trucks. You'll have plenty of room - you needen't ride much off center and your trike won't be close to the middle of the road.

    4- On some trike kits you can play with the suspension, moving a tire front or back, on some changing the angle of the rear tire tracking. My opinion is that I would like the trike to run straight and true on a flat surface, not "dogtracking" when running on level pavement.

    I use a combination of #1 and #3, staying away from #4. Option #2 works well in an area with mostly straight roads. Here in the Ozarks, it is very twisty, and reducing psi in one of the tires makes turning away from the lower preassure tire slightly harder than the opposite turns. I do the psi reducing trick on occasion, though.

    It is slightly less work when riding long straight roads like in Kansas or Nebraska.
    Last edited by Ozarkryder; 04-15-2008 at 12:55 AM.
    Don - 2004 GL1800 Champion trike, 2018 Can Am Spyder RT Limited
    2 wheeler: 2013 Triumph Bonneville T100
    FORR Local 11, AMA, MRF, Mid-South MILE Committee

  8. #7
    One Of The Origionals
    TOI - New England
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    Mar 2008


    Ok nobody mentioned this yet/ The first ride will be scary (scarier for some more than others) Don't be discouraged! If you are not feeling comfortable even after 100 miles it may take 200. After you get the hang of it it is second nature.
    Also POWER thru corners.
    I have been triking for 6 years

  9. #8
    100+ Posts Yellow Trike's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Pahrump, NV


    I've had my trike since July 2005. Prior to the "real deal" I had a Tow-Pac on a Silverwing and prior to that I had ridden 2-wheels.

    I didn't have time to be uncomfortable on the new-to-me trike because we flew to Florida and I immediately got on it to ride it home to California.

    First addition - the one inch convex mirrors so I can see the fenders.

    What people say about planning on extra time at stops for questions is absolutely true. This last weekend I had someone admit to FOLLOWING me into a gas station to ask questions. That was a first.

    We live in an area with lots of curves in the roads. Best advice I ever received was to SLOW DOWN BEFORE the curve and POWER IN the curve. Since there is no lean to the trike it makes life so much easier to be SET for the curve before I get into it. (I probably do this less now, but I still remember how important it was.)

    My trike doesn't have an emergency brake so I put the trike in reverse.

    It is a good thing I have a large windshield or my teeth would be full of bugs from smiling!
    2003 GL1800 MotorTrike - Pearl Yellow (106,000 miles and riding)
    USA-Four Corners Finisher June 2009, 6,401 miles
    Torches Across America, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012
    Run For The Wall - Southern Route ATW, FNG 2013; Midway Route, Fuel Team 2014
    49 Continental States

  10. Love Jugs
  11. #9
    5+ Posts goldwingerx2's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Central IA

    Smile Riding

    We rode hack's for over 2 years before going to a trike (TriCar). When group riding there is a reason that trikes should be at the back. They will outstop the 2 wheelers you are riding with. After you become more familiar with the trike and are riding with a group of 2 wheelers in the twisties take care that you do not run over them in the turns. Ride all you can and enjoy.
    Dean & Mary

    Everything looks better through a motorcycle helmet! ;)

  12. #10
    10+ Posts Tri-3's Avatar
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    Mar 2008

    Default All Good Stuff

    I should be picking up my trike next Saturday and riding it home with several 2 wheeled friends. Thanks for all the great shared experience.

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