I have very little personal experience with these three-wheeled animals, unless you consider the Big Wheel I loved as a kid growing up in the desert of New Mexico. Boy, I rode the wheels off that thing. Anyway, I have had an eye on the adult variety of these machines for a few years now and have my own favorites.
I think it can be stated without too much dissent that the major trike manufacturers are Lehman, Motor Trike, DFT Trikes, and Boss Hoss. Each has been in business for quite a while and turn out some beautiful products. Motor Trike has its manufacturing plant and HQ just outside a little town called Troup in East Texas. They have a few different models available, but I am partial to the “Trog” line. The Trog is specifically set up for Harley Davidson models and works with the Electra Glide, Road King, Heritage, Fat Boy, and even the Deuce and V-Rod. Motor Trike also makes kits for a variety of metric bikes and even has one for the Triumph for those interested in an English trike. Drop them a note for more info on their various kits, conversions, and installation. http://motortrike.com/
DFT is located in Addison, Illinois and has been turning out wonderful kits for a long time now. They have been adding new dealers all year and those include Genes H-D Repair of Smithfield, RI, Arnolds Motor Sales of Zanesville, OH, Texas Trike Werx of Belton, TX and Longbow Motorcycles in Rome, GA. Truth is they have dealers all over the country as well as located internationally. I suppose this lets you know their popularity. DFT makes kits for both Harley and Honda and both sets are really good looking. For more info on them, please be sure to check out their site at http://www.dfttrikes.com
Lehman makes the other, and perhaps most well known, trike on the market today. They have a couple manufacturing plants with the original still residing in Alberta, Canada and the newest plant in Spearfish, South Dakota. Mr. Lehman created the first trike for his wife because she could not take her kids on a standard bike… and the rest is history. The brand took off and is now publicly traded on the market. Lehman is also the only manufacturer to have a factory sponsored trike owner’s group. But, perhaps the most impressive program that Lehman offers is the “Good Turn Trike” program. This began in the 90’s when Lehman built a trike with special controls and components for a man who had lost his leg and could no longer ride. This has become a regular program of the company and Lehman installs kits free of charge for customers on a case-by-case basis. Now that is good PR. Harleys, Victorys, and metrics accept the Lehman kits and conversions. For more detailed info visit Lehman Trikes directly at http://www.lehmantrikes.com/
Lest we forget the Boss Hoss… this company has been making trikes for at least ten years and introduced the first V-8 powered bike in 1990. In fact, in 2006 Boss Hoss received full vehicle approval from the European Commission making them the only globally approved V-8 motorcycle! That is a pretty beefy achievement. And speaking of beefy, you have not been on a muscle bike until you have been on a Chevy V-8 powered two (or three) wheeler. Boss Hoss is famous for their crazy car like trike bodies. They look like the back ends of a ’57 Chevy with a nice trunk and tons of space for two to ride comfortably and very, very quickly. Check them out at http://www.bosshoss.com
Yup, it is a three-wheeled world all right and there is a lot more power out there than was available to my Big Wheel and me thirty some-odd years ago. Check back for the next installment when we look at a few custom trikes and eventually get to sidecar hacks.
Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,