There are PLENTY of people who treat the "trikers" like they are subhuman for needing (or wanting) a third wheel, then there are the step-children of the trike community...you have seen them, you know what I am talking about....the bolt-on trike kits....or less affectionately referred to as "training wheels". While many people refer to them as "training wheels" in a negative connotation, these kits help fill a very necessary void in the powersport industry. A lot of people who want to keep riding NEED something...the problem with that is, our budgets don't always cooperate.....let me give you a little background before I go any further....
These kits entered the market place about 20 years ago. Invented by a couple of guys in Illinois, they have spawned two companies that do very well for themselves. Voyager Trike kits have been around longer than any of the bolt-on kits, then the close second would be the Tow Pac Insta trike.....after that, things sort of trail downhill from their. After those two kits, all of them are basically garage built knock offs. Trigg, Richland Roadster, Danson....they are all copied kits...and many of them have even been dealt blows through various litigation of patent infringement.
I won't go as far as to disparage any of the kits....they have their select places in the market........ Well, ok, I take that back...if you plan on buying a kit from "Safer Wholesale", because it is half the price of the other kits...do me a favor, send me your money and I can collect a box of scrap metal and a picture and say "build this"....that is basically what you are doing......Buying a box of metal. I hope you have some diamond tipped drill bits, a welder and a lot of patience and know-how. A nearby machine shop would also be helpful. Check out the reviews...it isn't pretty. How someone hasn't paid an angry visit to that place, I will never know. If the price is "TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE"...it is....and please believe me, buy any kit you want...JUST DON'T BUY THIS KIT....ok...enough of that tangent.
There are people who would say they want a "real trike". If they start the conversation saying that...I will ask them about their budget. If they say $10k-$15k, then I will gladly sell them on the merits of a Champion or Lehman Trike kit. If they say "less than $5K"....a Voyager it is!
The nice thing is, the Voyager trike kit can fit SO MANY bikes that cannot be retrofitted with a conventional trike. When you are spending 40% vs a conventional trike...I think its reasonable to say the PROS far exceed any CONS. The fact of the matter is that with a Voyager trike, you will get SIMILAR riding characteristics WITHOUT permanently modifying your motorcycle. AT HALF the cost. If you are looking to "get into" the trike market and are not completely convinced, spending $4000 to test it out is a great way to do it. If it turns out, its just not your cup of tea, take the kit off and SELL IT...recoup the majority of your money. No harm no foul.
In some cases, I have had people who want to ride two wheels, but when they want to ride with their spouse, the added weight makes them nervous....enter the Voyager trike kit. The convertible nature of the kit makes is an excellent option....the simply flexibility.
-Cost--less than half the cost of most conventional trike conversions ($4000 vs $10,000)
-Fitment...can fit MOST major motorcycle models
-User installation can be done in about 4 hours
-Flexible, can go back and forth between "trike" and 2 wheels in less than 10 minutes
-With the purchase of mounting hardware, you can transfer these kits to another bike, if so inclined
-Rear wheel remains the drive wheel
-Not a "TRUE" trike, will have three wheels across the back
It might now be a true trike...but it is definitely a solid solution.
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)