trike conversions

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Trailduster, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. Trailduster

    Trailduster Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    111
    Just wondering if anyone has any experience having a trike conversion done on their bike? Due to some physical problems thinking about doing this with my Road King. At this point am wanting a independent suspension but am open to brands. As said just wondering.
    #1
  2. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,790
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    The cost of a trike conversion, with reverse gear, plus the value of your road King would get you a long way towards a new water cooled TriGlide.
    #2
  3. warkshop

    warkshop uncbob

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    609
    Location:
    Marietta, Ohio, USA
    Beware the training wheel setups that call themselves trike kits,,,4 wheels do not make a trike. I have sold many sidecars to folk who tried those nasty things first and wished they hadn't wasted their hard earned dollars.

    Good quality, properly installed trike conversions do a great job. Those clever folks from Canada, with a shop down here now, Liehmann (sic, no doubt) offer and excellent product and well proven over a very long time frame.

    I would also say that you can get a lot more bang for the buck with a sidecar, even a high end sidecar installed is markedly less dollars than a decent trike kit, more passenger comfort and the flexibility of being able to change either bike or hack down the road if you chose. Plus you can take 2 passengers if you chose,,,or fill the tub with groceries.

    Being a die hard sidecar guy i like to say that trikes only have 2 things going for them, they don't fall over and everyone else has one. For many people the second reason is enough to buy,,,,,should it be?

    Oh and the other reason, Mama says she doesn't want to ride 'over there' and prefers riding behind himself. Good, valid point. But! If one takes Mama for a nice sidecar ride i have found that resistance goes right out the window. She finds she is no longer looking at the back of himself's head, can stretch out her legs and likes this new experience.
    #3
  4. Trailduster

    Trailduster Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    111
    Thanks so far, as said lots of cost true but the try glides are live axles. Have ridden them and compared to a independent suspension such as champion or motor trike they handle poorly. The new water cooled hd's are a little nicer but still not a complete water cooled motor.
    As far as sidecars I like them Wife says NO WAY and she has ridden in a Ural a few times. As said thanks so far for the response
    #4
  5. kshansen

    kshansen kshansen

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    Central NY
    For some reason this reminded me of something I heard years ago while at a ride with a group of sidecars up in Canada. A couple of the ladies who were riding as passengers had complained about all the stops for sight seeing. Seems it was interfering with their knitting! Let's see you do that riding a trike!:lol3
    #5
  6. pagomichaelh

    pagomichaelh Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Tafuna, American Samoa
    [​IMG]

    Not very practical, nor associated with the geriatric crowd, but ever since I saw something like this as a kid in the 60's, I've wanted one,

    Or this
    [​IMG]

    Could always sell it, and keep the babe.

    Maybe in another lifetime. :)
    #6
  7. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,163
    Location:
    Middleburg, Pa. (Snyder County)
    We do trikes and we do sidecars. If you are set on a trike we feel Hannigan does a great job with their products.
    However a Hannigan sidecar would do very well on your bike as well. It would cost less than a trike conversion and provide more storage as we.
    Sidecar? As far as your passenger goes she can still ride on the rear of the bike if it is setup properly.
    #7
  8. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,271
    Location:
    Minnesota
    [​IMG]

    I've run into folks in something along these lines, I find it hard to relate too them.WTF
    #8
  9. Trailduster

    Trailduster Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    111
    LOL I know what you mean,even though I'm an old hot rodder at heart it's like having a T Bucket with a blown big block…..I don't get it
    #9
  10. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,271
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Exactly :wink:
    #10
  11. Tork

    Tork Pinsetter

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,550
    Location:
    Duvall, WA.
    Have always liked the Liberty sidecars on HD , do not need or want a three wheeled M/C but if, when I do it will be a sidecar .

    Good Luck on finding the right ride for your future .
    #11
  12. josephscotthall

    josephscotthall n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    7
    I converted my Softail Crossbones to a trike to haul my dog around with a Frankenstein swingarm & straight axle rear end and a custom Model A truck bed. I also added a Champion reverse to the transmission. I love it but do wish I had gone with an independent rear for a better ride on bad roads.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. toothwater

    toothwater n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Midwest
    Not much of a harley fan....but I like dat.
    #13
  14. warkshop

    warkshop uncbob

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    609
    Location:
    Marietta, Ohio, USA
    Normally not a trike fan but damn, i like that! You might consider running as low as safely possible air in those fat rear tires, might take some of the harshness away. I don't think independent is the only way to get a good ride. Different rear shocks,,,adjustments?

    Or you could run more old time style rims with tall, old style tires with more sidewall height ,,,and again minimal air. Often this issue can boil down to how fast (or not) one choses to go on these rural roads.

    I was surprised when i read how low the Harley manual suggested running the tires on my 1937 ULH! Of course lower speed were assumed back then,,,for most folk anyway. Horsepower was also so low the tires sure weren't stressed from that!
    #14
  15. DirtyDR

    DirtyDR Dana

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,630
    Location:
    Edwards,Colorado
    One of my custom welder friends builds his own trikes from scratch. All of the fabrication is done by hand in the shop.

    This one has a Buick V6 in it;

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This one a guy up in Aspen paid Blue to build for him and then told Blue to just hang onto it and ride it because he didn't want to. Crate 572 in this one:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,271
    Location:
    Minnesota
    This one a guy up in Aspen paid Blue to build for him and then told Blue to just hang onto it and ride it because he didn't want to. Crate 572 in this one:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][/QUOTE]

    Dana I wonder what you and such a guy from Aspen have in common ? Colorado drivers license.:cry
    This guys playing show and tell but he doesn't have much to say but he's assuring us all his credit line is excellent. I wonder if he's done the 4 corners tour on it ??:evil
    #16
  17. DirtyDR

    DirtyDR Dana

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,630
    Location:
    Edwards,Colorado
    Dana I wonder what you and such a guy from Aspen have in common ? Colorado drivers license.:cry
    This guys playing show and tell but he doesn't have much to say but he's assuring us all his credit line is excellent. I wonder if he's done the 4 corners tour on it ??:evil[/QUOTE]

    The car show is in Moab and Blue, the builder not the owner, rides it out there for the party. I do not believe the owner has ever driven it, he just told Blue to hang on to it and ride it. He did pay completely for the build.

    Here is Blue:

    [​IMG]

    Here is me:

    [​IMG]

    Nothing in common. By the way Blue does not live in Aspen.
    #17
  18. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,070
    Location:
    Northern Vermont
    My wife wouldn't stop screaming. It got really annoying after a few miles. That's why I ride with my dog now.
    #18
  19. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,271
    Location:
    Minnesota
    The car show is in Moab and Blue, the builder not the owner, rides it out there for the party. I do not believe the owner has ever driven it, he just told Blue to hang on to it and ride it. He did pay completely for the build.

    Here is Blue:



    Nothing in common. By the way Blue does not live in Aspen.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks, I am not surprised Blue doesn't live in Aspen.DB
    #19
  20. jaydmc

    jaydmc Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,111
    We do both trikes and sidecars, For some people a trike is the better way to go, for many a sidecar is the better way to go, for me I will always go with a sidecar. Both have their pro's and con's.
    Stay away from the "fake" trikes where they keep the rear wheel on the bike. For one they are not legal in many states as they now must meet car regulations, Washington state is the only state I know of that has ever enforced this however but more importantly, there are enough safety issues with them when you go to swerve that they are not allowed on the training range for the sidecar trike education program (s/tep) Why not take a S/tep class and try both? I would also be glad to talk with you about both sidecars and trikes as well as independent verses non independent suspension on trikes.
    Also think about your passenger, Some passengers find as they age that sitting behind some on the bike can cause hip issues on a long ride while in a sidecar they can move around and the view is often better. Other people find it easy to get onto the rear of a trike but hard to get into some sidecars, some sidecars are a lot easier then others to get in and out of.
    Jay G
    DMC sidecars
    www.dmcsidecars.com
    866-638-1793
    #20