"I am not old enough for a trike..." If I had a dollar for every time I heard this, my days would consist of sand in my swim trunks and steady array of fruity drinks with umbrellas.
The another one I hear is "if you can't ride a real bike...don't ride" or my ALL TIME favorite, "I got rid of my trike or training wheels when I was three...." and while it has become easier to restrain myself from throat punching someone who says something that asinine, the fact of the matter is trikes and trike kits are often times a necessary item in the powersports industry. There absolutely is a place and a need for them on the road. Father time takes his toll on our bodies; bad knees, surgeries, amputations, arthritis, equilibrium issues...and countless other ailments. At the same, I have had countless customers of the fairer sex call me, frustrated at staring at the back of hubbies big head...she wants her own ride, but simply doesn't have the strength or quite possibly the confidence to hold up a motorcycle outside of the comfortable confines of her neighborhood. At any rate, there are COUNTLESS reasons to turn that two wheeled stallion into a three wheeled beast.
I have had the opportunity to own and ride just about EVERYTHING there is to ride. Bikes of various styles, sizes, riding preferences, seating positions, color, and sound.
-Harley Sportster 883 & 1200
-Yamaha V-Star 1100
-Honda VTX 1300 & 1800
-Ducati Montster (two Different Occasions)
-Suzuki SV 1000 (two different occasions)
-Harley Road King
-Suzuki TL 1000 (simply because Will M. won't pick it up...I KEEP IT NOW!)
.......and a few various others that escape my caffeine deprived memory.
I say all of that because, at the end of the day, some of my favorite riding has come in the saddle of a trike. Of COURSE, I love craving the curves and the sheer exhilaration of scraping a foot peg while I do my best Eddie Lawson or Valentino Rossi impersonation.....but kicking back and simply CRUISING, not having to worry about it sometimes....offers a relaxation I cannot explain.
Over the years, I have owned 2 Harley Sportsters which I converted using the "Frankenstein Trike" kit. I also have owned a Honda Goldwing GL1800 I converted using the Champion Sidecar system. There is something about kicking back and never having to put your feet down. Some would see "not leaning" and not carving the corners as imprisoning...but to the people who are faced with the idea of hanging up the chaps for good....a trike conversion could be the very thing to set your soul free.
Tony Molina has been in motorcycle industry for more than 15 years, from selling motorcycles in a large multi-line dealer, to owing and operating his very own independent repair shop. During this time, he has carved out a niche in the trike industry helping literally thousands of riders continue their passion for the open road.
For well over a decade, I have answered thousands upon thousands of phone calls concerning trikes and trike kits. Often times, I find myself answering many of the same questions over and over.
Finally, at the prodding of a wise and dear friend, I have decided to put these questions/answers in one place, hopefully, to provide a resource for the many people interested in building their trike and keeping that dream alive.
I hope you enjoy reading it, nearly as much as I enjoy writing it.
With Thoughtful Contributions from:
Ian, Isaiah and Micah
(AKA: The Molina Boys)