2014 Trike Buyers Guide
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 shifters. There’s also electronically controlled power steering and a reverse gear, both standard. Three models are available: the sporty RS and sport-touring ST are both powered by a 998cc V-twin, and the luxury-touring RT with integrated luggage (all models have a front trunk) is powered by an all-new 1,330cc in-line triple.
CHAMPION:Champion Trikes offers factory-installed kits or lets you do it yourself. Available models include Harley-Davidson Dyna, FLH, FLS and Sportster; Honda GL1500, GL1800, VTX1300 and VTX1800; and Kawasaki Vulcan 900 and 1700. Choose from solid-axle or independent rear suspension; IRS is available with optional Variable Sway Control that firms or softens the suspension. Options include lower accent panels, reverse gear for Harleys, EZ-Steer, light bars, trailer hitches, parking brakes and factory color-matched paint. Prices start at $4,995. Champion also makes sidecars, tow-behind trailers and hard saddlebags.
Champion Trikes, (714) 847-1539,
FALCON:You don’t need to start with a big-bore motorcycle to build a trike. Falcon Trikes makes a conversion kit for the Suzuki Burgman 650 scooter. The kit starts at $6,495 with options like matching paint, a light set, a trailer hitch and freight adding another $1,500 or so. The kit uses an independent axle, comes with a fiberglass body, reverse gear and 15-inch tires on cast aluminum wheels, and adds 218 pounds to the weight of your stock Burgman. Falcon is working on kits for the Suzuki Burgman 400 and the Honda Silver Wing 600.
Falcon Trikes, (720) 384-8942,
HANNIGAN:Hannigan trikes feature independent rear suspension with an anti-sway bar and twin trailing arms that move up and away from bumps for the best handling and ride. Options include Steer Lite with Fork Assurance Safety Technology, a 180 Wide Front End Kit, foot fairings, auxiliary fuel tanks, electric reverse, trailer hitches, chrome bumpers, light bars, fender guards, keyless entry and premium wheels. BMW, Harley-Davidson, Indian, Kawasaki, Triumph and Yamaha conversions are available at prices ranging from $7,495 to $8,995 plus paint, installation and options through Hannigan’s factory-trained authorized dealers, and from the factory in Murray, Kentucky.
Hannigan Motorsports, (270) 753-4256,
HARLEY-DAVIDSON:Harley-Davidson’s Tri Glide Ultra Classic is a frame-up trike from America’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer. It features the new Twin-Cooled High Output Twin Cam 103 engine, linked braking that applies the front and rear brakes together when the foot pedal is applied, and a new parking brake system activated by a foot pedal on the left side of the trike. The new Batwing fairing has a Splitstream vent to reduce head buffeting. And of course there are as many factory options and accessories for the Tri Glide as there are for other H-D models.
LEHMAN:Starting at $7,700, Lehman Trike kits fit Harley-Davidson FLH, FLT, Dyna, Softail and Sportster; Honda GL1800 and F6B; Kawasaki Vulcan 900; Suzuki C50 Boulevard; and Victory Vision and Kingpin. Choose Lehman’s No-Lean solid axle, or Limited Lean Suspension (LLS), which comes with an optional Adjustable Lean Control that firms up or softens the suspension as needed. Popular options include modified triple trees, Hawg EFX (Harley) and Wing EFX (Honda) running boards, a mechanical reverse gear for Harley models, hitch kits, EZ Steer, light bars, wheel upgrades and factory color-matched paint.
Lehman Trikes, (605) 642-2111,
MOTOR TRIKE:Motor Trike offers conversion kits for Harley-Davidson FL Series, Sportster, Softail, V-Rod and Dyna; Honda F6B, GL1800, GL1500, VTX1800 and 1300, Valkyrie, Valkyrie Interstate, 750 Shadow Aero and 1100 Sabre; Victory Cross Country, Cross Roads, Hard-Ball and Kingpin; Kawasaki Vulcan 900, 1700 and 2000; Triumph Rocket III; Suzuki Burgman 650; Star Stratoliner and Road Star 1700. Kits must be ordered and installed by authorized dealers. Rear-end options are solid axle and independent rear suspension. Popular options include wheel upgrades, trailer hitches, fog lights, a rake kit, trunk carpeting and light bars. Prices range from $4,995 to $8,995, not including paint, shipping and installation.
Motor Trike, (800) 908-7453,
MYSTERY DESIGNS:Mystery Designs sells complete conversion kits that you adapt to the belt- or chain-driven bike of your choice. The kits can be installed by anyone, the company says, or by a Mystery dealer. Choose a body kit or go with the open-axle look. Both independent suspensions and fixed axles are available at prices ranging from $3,400 for a fixed axle to $8,500 for an independent rear end and a body package. Mystery also offers the Tiltster, a tilting conversion kit that leans into and out of corners for easier control and better handling.
Mystery Designs, (214) 467-0991,
ROADSMITH:Roadsmith started out building VW-powered trikes back in 1972 and now makes conversions for Honda, Harley-Davidson, Victory and Indian motorcycles. Most trikes are sold and installed by one of 120 dealers. Roadsmith claims to be the first to use independent rear suspension––which it still uses exclusively today––as well as auxiliary fuel tanks, automotive-style disc brakes and an electric reverse for belt-driven models. Popular options include raked triple trees and heavy-duty sway bars. The cost of conversion ranges from $11,500 up to $18,000 for one with lots of options.
Roadsmith, (651) 777-7774,
(This Trike Buyers Guide was published in the New & Cool section of the April 2014 issue of Rider magazine.)