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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.

2015 Can-Am Spyder F3—First Ride Review

2015 Can-Am Spyder F3

Ken Lee
October 15, 2014

The Spyder F3’s new cruiser-style riding posture yields functional advantages for body positioning plus a lower overall Center of Gravity. (Photos by Riles & Nelson) Can-Am recently invited a group of journalists to sample its latest Spyder roadster on a two-day ride through rolling countryside... Read more »

Motor Trike F6B Raptor—First Ride

F6B Raptor

James Parchman
October 2, 2014

Take your choice: Luxury or Sport, Motor Trike’s Adventure series includes conversions of Honda’s Gold Wing and F6B. It’s hard to fathom, but with its bright red fenders, tank cover and trunk, contrasted with a blacked-out engine area, the Motor Trike Raptor trike appears even sportier than the... Read more »

2015 Can-Am Spyder F3 – First Look Review

Can-Am-Spyder-F3-S_featured

Greg Drevenstedt
September 26, 2014

2015 Can-Am Spyder F3-S in Pure Magnesium Metallic/Steel Black Metallic After giving everyone a tease with the release of a single official photo but no specs for the all-new 2015 Can-Am Spyder F3, BRP has finally revealed the full monty on the fourth model to be added to its three-wheeled roadster lineup. Since... Read more »

2015 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler: Ridden & Rated

web-TS2-BJN39968

Greg Drevenstedt
August 27, 2014

As the only OEM other than BRP building trikes in-house, Harley-Davidson satisfies some of the growing demand for three-wheelers. Following the release of the Low Rider, SuperLow 1200T and Street 500/750 earlier this year, Harley-Davidson recently launched its full 2015 lineup in Sonoma, California.... Read more »

2014 Ural Gear-Up—Road Test

Ural Gear-Up Flying the chair

Mark Tuttle
June 3, 2014

Flying the chair in right turns—or even just for the heck of it—is fun and a basic sidecar-driving skill. The Ural’s chair lifts a bit too easily without a passenger inside, so 90-100 pounds of ballast (in this case bags of pea pebbles) or gear is recommended. The last time we tested a Ural sidecar... Read more »

2014 Trike Buyers Guide

Hannigan Honda 1800

Rider Magazine Staff
April 2, 2014

CAN-AM: Is the Can-Am Spyder a trike? That’s up to you to decide. Before you do, consider the Spyder’s ABS that can monitor and control each wheel separately, the traction control that prevents unwanted wheelspin and the optional semiautomatic transmission that uses automotive-style paddle... Read more »

2014 Ural Motorcycles Lineup – First Look

2014 Ural Patrol

Rider Magazine Staff
January 30, 2014

2014 Ural Patrol   Ural Motorcycles, a Russian manufacturer of motorcycles with sidecars, is launching its 2014 model lineup. The new Urals feature electronic fuel injection, disc brakes on all three wheels, a hydraulic steering damper and dozens of other upgrades–the biggest package of improvements... Read more »

Four Ferries on Two Wheels—Tour Testing the 2013 Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS

Cumberland River Ferry

James Parchman
January 13, 2014

“Wow, that’s a big scooter you’re on. I ride a Honda 1800 Goldwing, myself,” said Captain Rick Turner, pilot of the Ohio River ferry Loni Jo. “See all the motorcycles on here? It’s like this most weekends. Motorcycle riders love a ferry.” Indeed. Chugging towards the Kentucky shore, the... Read more »

Scooter Shootout: 2014 BMW C 650 GT / 2013 Honda Silver Wing / 2013 Suzuki Burgman 650

Scooter Group Photo

Bill Stermer
December 5, 2013

The Suzuki Burgman (left), BMW C 650 GT (center) and Honda Silver Wing (right) all have liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder engines, anti-lock brakes and fuel injection. Scooters are often seen as something less, something that one learns and practices upon until he or she is ready for a real machine. You know,... Read more »

2014 Can-Am Spyder RT – First Ride Review

2014 Spyder RT

Mark Tuttle
September 15, 2013

They say good things come in threes. For fans of the Can-Am Spyder RT “roadster,” now that saying doesn’t just apply to the number of wheels on this sporty touring machine. For 2014 Can-Am—a division of Bombardier Recreational Products based in Valcourt, Quebec, Canada—has replaced the 998cc,... 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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