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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.

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 »

BMW C 600 Sport / C 650 GT Scooters – First Ride

BMW-C-600-Sport-action2

Mark Tuttle
March 28, 2012

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 need to get there, dang it, and ASAP.... Read more »

Getting V-Maxified: A California Helicopter Pilot’s Radical Roadstercycle

The Roadstercycle's seating position is part cruiser, part race car.

Paul Garson
January 6, 2012

Los Angeles resident Jack Fleming tests experimental helicopters for a living, not exactly a safe profession, but a lot more fun than piloting an office desk. So when he wanted something to commute to work on, he looked for a vehicle with a bit more flair, although it wouldn’t be taking to the air.... Read more »

2011 Lehman Storm Road Test

2011 Lehman Storm Trike Engine

Bill Stermer
December 2, 2011

photography by Bill Stermer and Mark Tuttle [This 2011 Lehman Storm Road Test was originally published in the December 2011 issue of Rider magazine] Lehman’s trike conversions have been around since 1985, and its Harley-Davidson and Honda Gold Wing conversions have been a staple on American roads... Read more »

2011 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive Road Test

2011 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive front action

Greg Drevenstedt
October 6, 2011

Over the past few years we’ve tested quite a few machines with “automatic” transmissions: the SE5-equipped Can-Am Spyder, the electric-shift Yamaha FJR1300AE, the dual-clutch Honda VFR1200F DCT, the hydromechanical HFT-equipped Honda DN-01, as well as CVT-equipped scooters and the Aprilia Mana... Read more »

2011 Can-Am Spyder RS-S Road Test

Can-Am Spyder RS-S front action

Greg Drevenstedt
September 14, 2011

photography by Kevin Wing Hustling the Can-Am Spyder RS-S down a curvy road is an experience like no other, a full-body workout that is the most fun you can have on three wheels. When Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), the Canadian company best known for its Ski-Doo snowmobiles and Sea-Doo watercraft,... Read more »

2012 Can-Am Spyder RS and RT — First Look

2012 Can-Am Spyder RT Limited

Rider Magazine
July 15, 2011

2012 Can-Am Spyder RT Limited in Lava Bronze Metallic Our soon-to-be-delivered September issue features a full test of the 2012 Can-Am Spyder RS-S, the sportiest of BRP’s three-wheeled roadsters. Equipped with a 106-horsepower (claimed) 998cc Rotax V-twin, a state-of-the-art Vehicle Stability System... 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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