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Sidecar + Scooter + Trike Motorcycles

Sidecar + Scooter + Trike Motorcycles is a catch–all category that, according to guides, includes machines that have styling, controls and seating positions like those found on motorcycles, but are different in important ways. Reviews of the Sidecars category include motorcycles with an affixed sidecar rig, also known as a “sidehack,” that adds a third wheel and a car that can be used to carry a passenger or cargo. Scooters have a step–through design that offers a chair–like seating position with the rider’s knees close together, as well as a twist–and–go transmission (usually a CVT) that doesn’t require a rider to change gears manually. Trikes are typically conversions–motorcycles with the rear wheel replaced by an axle and two car–like wheels/tires.

Ridden & Rated: 2012 Motor Trike Victory Vortex

Motor Trike’s Vortex trike conversion has fenders and rear bodywork that closely match the lines of the Cross Country Tour. Lake George is in the background.

Greg Drevenstedt
November 12, 2012

Heavyweight touring bikes such as the Victory Cross Country and Cross Roads easily lend themselves to the additional stability, luggage capacity and weight of three wheels. Introduced for 2010, Victory’s Cross bikes combined the proven air/oil-cooled Freedom 106/6 V-twin and cast-aluminum hollow main... Read more »

2013 Honda PCX150 Review

Efficient and delightful around town, highway capable, underseat storage that holds a full-face helmet and more, and your choice of Metallic Black or Candy Red…what’s not to like about the PCX150?

Donya Carlson
November 12, 2012

Good things may come in small packages, but Honda’s pint-sized PCX just got bigger…and better. Honda has upped the PCX125’s liquid-cooled, 125cc single-cylinder engine to 152.9cc to make it highway legal in most, if not all, 50 states. In the process, Honda improved the PCX150’s seat comfort,... Read more »

2013 Vespa Sport Special Edition Models Now Available in U.S.

2013 Vespa S 50 Super Sport SE in Satin Black.

Press Release
November 6, 2012

Three 2013 Vespa Sport Special Edition (SE) models are now available in the United States. The SE models embody the style, comfort, safety and sportiness of the most widely recognized scooter in the world, while citing legendary models such as the 1955 Vespa GS 150, the 1965 180 SS and the T5 “Pole... Read more »

Thoroughbred Stallion Production Moves Forward

1ST-STALLION-2012

Press Release
October 8, 2012

Thoroughbred Motorsports, Inc., sister company to Motor Trike, Inc., is pleased to announce it is rolling forward with full production on the Stallion and deliveries will begin in October. Lots of exciting things are happening with both companies, as Motor Trike continues with new product development... Read more »

Hannigan Motorsports 2012 Honda GL1800 Trike

Sub-framed floorboards are weight-bearing. Optional wheels are from Performance Machine.

Greg Drevenstedt
October 3, 2012

Due to its touring prowess, the Honda GL1800 Gold Wing has long been a popular platform for trike conversions. The GL1800’s engine and drivetrain were not updated for 2012, but it got all-new bodywork, so trike builders had to integrate the styling changes into their own designs. During the Americade... Read more »

2013 Can-Am Spyders – First Look

The loaded ST Limited package offers standard detachable hard luggage that bumps luggage capacity by 68 liters. Each case can hold a full-face helmet.

Rich Cox
October 1, 2012

For 2013, Can-Am’s family of Spyders grows more legs with the addition of a new sport-touring model called the Spyder ST. Positioned between the ultra sporty RS model and heavyweight RT tourer, the ST offers a blend of comfort and sportiness that Can-Am enthusiasts have requested. The ST carries all... Read more »

Kymco Unveils 2013 Scooters

2013 Xciting 500i ABS

Press Release
August 24, 2012

Offering four all-new scooters that range from a lightweight and agile 50cc commuter to a quick and comfortable 500cc tourer, Kymco USA’s two-wheeler line for 2013 will no doubt satisfy a variety of customer desires. XCITING 500 Ri ABS The newly designed Xciting 500 Ri ABS ($6,899), Kymco USA’s largest... Read more »

2012 Ural T Side-By-Side Review

No, this isn’t one of those “dark customs.” The 2012 T side-by-side is Ural’s new stripped-down, low-cost bike-and-sidecar combo, and like the famous Ford you can get it in any color you like (as long as it’s black) for $9,999.

Mark Tuttle
June 4, 2012

Among all of the ways to ride on three wheels, I think sidecars are the most fun, and challenge your riding skills in the heart-starting way we used to enjoy before computers began saving us from ourselves. With two wheels in front like the Can-Am Spyder, the ride is fast and sporty; with two wheels... Read more »

Scooters: BMW C 600 Sport and C 650 GT Review

The narrow, agile Sport was just the thing for bobbing and weaving through the mad traffic of Madrid.

Mark Tuttle
May 31, 2012

By Mark Tuttle, photography by Arnold Debus If you live in a large city, it doesn’t take much thought to figure out why BMW is jumping into the scooter market now. Traffic congestion and parking restrictions are escalating, and in the new economy some of us just can’t afford to waste time with either—we... Read more »

Honda Announces New Scooters for 2013

The 2013 Honda PCX150 will be available later this summer.

Press Release
April 2, 2012

Honda enters the 2013 model-year season with two fun scooters that contain significant upgrades: the thoroughly revised Metropolitan and a new PCX scooter with a larger-displacement engine that makes it capable for freeway use. Both models feature an easy-to-operate automatic transmission along with... Read more »

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Sidecar + Scooter + Trike Motorcycles, Who Uses Them?

Sidecars, scooters and trikes appeal to very different riders. Road tests emphasize the fact that motorcycles with sidecars, which are considered quirky by anyone who doesn’t own one–part of the appeal–handle very differently than two–wheeled, single–track (one wheel in front of the other) motorcycles because they don’t lean when going around corners and curves, and thus require special riding skills. Scooters typically have small–displacement engines (49cc to 650cc) and are small and lightweight, making them perfect for riding around town. Because you don’t have to shift gears using a manual clutch and shift lever, anyone who knows how to ride a bicycle can operate a scooter. Like sidecars, trikes don’t lean when they go around corners, which gives riders a greater sense of stability and safety during road tests. Reviews indicate that many trike riders also appreciate not having to raise the machine off a sidestand, not having to put their feet down at stops, and not being concerned about tipping over, a common concern regarding motorcycles.


Sidecar + Scooter + Trike Motorcycle Standouts

Motorcycle guides discuss the fact that sidecars are quite rare these days, and the only major manufacturer of sidecar–equipped motorcycles is Ural, a Russian manufacturer. With old–school, utilitarian styling, Ural offers several models, from the entry–level Ural T with single–wheel drive to the military–spec Ural Gear–Up with two–wheel drive. Independent manufacturers such as Hannigan Motorsports, based in Kentucky, build sidecars for a variety of touring, sport–touring and dual–sport motorcycles. Scooters are manufactured by many companies, including Aprilia, Honda, Kymco, Piaggio, Suzuki, Vespa, Yamaha, and others. Most trikes are sold as conversions, but some motorcycle reviews discuss motorbikes that are mass–produced, such as the Harley–Davidson Tri–Glide and the Can–Am Spyder, a unique roadster with two wheels in front. Trike conversions are offered for many cruisers, touring bikes and scooters by companies such as Hannigan Motorsports, Motor Trike, Danson, Tow–Pac and Lehman.

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