You Can Buy a Trike to Save Money on Gas

What is a Trike you may ask. A trike is simply a three wheel motorcycle. If you don’t like the idea of riding a motorcycle, don’t stop reading just yet. You might be surprised how car like some of these three wheel motorcycles are. They are not all like the classic three wheel Harley you might see in a local parade. Many smaller independent manufactures are producing car like vehicles with three wheels instead of four. There are a number of reasons for three wheels, one of the biggest is it is easier to get a new vehicle certified as a motorcycle in the US than it is to have it certified as a car. The thing that you and I can benefit from is the incredible gas mileage that these three wheel motorcycles get.

Do to their lighter weight and smaller engines, many of these vehicles could potentially double the miles per gallon you are currently getting in an average passenger car. Or better yet, you can go with an electric and not use any gas at all. To see what is coming to the world of electric three wheel motorcycles , you just might be surprised what you will be able to park in your driveway in the near future. Do you live outside the US? You might be able to get your hands on a Carver  a very exciting cross between a motorcycle and a car that will have you hunting for corners to carve up.

Are you convinced yet that a three wheel motorcycle just might be what you are looking for to save money at the pump? Then why not head over to google and do a search for ‘three wheel car’? Who knows, you may find yourself riding around in a ‘motorcycle’ that really feels a lot more like a car.

If you want to get an idea of what trikes are currently available for purchase you can go to the Three Wheel Motorcycles site.

The Advantages Of 3 Wheeled Motorcycle Trikes You See

3 Wheel motorcycle trikes are becoming more and more popular as gas prices go up and the population in 1st world countries ages. What makes three wheeled motorcycle trikes so popular? Well first it would be best to explain what they are.

Motorcycle trikes are just regular motorcycles that have 3 wheels instead of 2. The regular trike has 2 wheels in the back of the cycle and the reverse trike has two wheels at the front of the cycle.

The reason they are popular with aging or handicapped people is that they are much easier to ride than the regular two wheeled version. The extra wheel adds stability when driving, especially while cornering.

While no one would say they are “safe” they are still thought to be safer by many. Motorcycles in general have much higher rates of accident injuries than cars and you will need to get special insurance for this type of vehicle.

They are also popular since they use way less gas then most cars. Motorcycles get in the range of 33 to 70 miles per gallon. While there are some cars that can get this many miles per gallon, trikes are usually much less expensive to buy, especially used trikes.

There is also the cool factor to consider as well as the fun factor. Riding a trike is often seen as much hipper than driving a car and you get the fun of having the wind blowing in your face and the ability to be more in touch with your surroundings.

You can buy trikes that are custom made from any motorcycle with a trike conversion kit or buy a already made trike, such as a Harley powered trike.

What about the Motorcycle trike suspension set up

Arguable, there are three basic suspension systems, which can be used on a motorcycle-based trike. Live axle. De-dion axle and Independent.

In this article, we will examine the pros and cons of each system in an attempt to determine which is the most suitable in the construction of a motorcycle based trike using conventional motorcycle telescopic fork steering.

We are deliberately omitting the commonest home build set up which is best described as, “rigid” or, “hard tail” as this does not represent a suspension configuration and is also technically not sanctioned by the construction and use regulations for a vehicle with more than two wheels.

We will begin with the configuration most common with professional motorcycle trike builders:

Independent suspension

This set up is to be found on most four wheeled vehicle having sporting aspirations and has the huge advantage of being able to deflect minor bumps and road imperfections without disturbing the camber castor angle of the deflecting wheel or the plane of the vehicle. This configuration is by far the optimum set up for use in a four-wheeled vehicle and probably explains its attraction to the trike scene.

Its main disadvantage when applied to a three-wheeled vehicle is inability to control body roll. With only three wheels, when one independent rear wheel is deflected, the vehicle leans in that direction causing the entire vehicle to roll the opposite way during cornering, requiring heavy anti roll bars or very stiff springing to address the problem. Axles donors are plentiful, Sierra and BMW being the commonest.

De-Dion axle

Possibly the ideal axle set up for a three-wheeled motorcycle.

This configuration has the advantage of no camber displacement on rebound, reducing the undesirable roll effect of the independent suspension set up without the use of heavy anti roll bars or stiff spring shock combinations. The De-Dion axle shares the benefits of the independent axle by having the differential unit static mounted in the frame while the wheel hubs move up and down using a trailing arm system connected by a rigid beam from hub to hub controlling the body roll.

Main disadvantage of this system is weight and cost, De-Dion axles are rare. Rover P6 axles spring to mind but are few and far between these days, however, it is possible to manufacture a De-Dion style axle from the common independent axle cars, for example: Sierra and BMW.

Live axle

As used in most 70′s and 80′s rear wheel drive cars, these axles were cheap to manufacture and very plentiful. Not so plentiful these days and scarcer still in final drive ratios suiting motorcycle trikes.

The humble Reliant and Ford Escort/Capri axles are the live axles of choice for most builders as they are available in high final drive ratios, suiting the majority of motorbikes.

Disadvantages of the live axle are constantly varying camber castor angle during pre-load and rebound affecting the plane of the vehicle leading to a shaking at the head stock. This is hugely offset however by the stability of the vehicle during cornering making high cornering speeds a real possibility whilst not compromising weight or ride comfort Designed sensibly, as in the popular Rhino trike range, a live axle set up can be the optimum arrangement for a motorcycle trike. Very important with a live axle trike is choice of front tire and tire pressure with a flat section wide front tire running relatively low tire pressure being the optimum choice.

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