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Motorcycle Glossary Dictionary Term - Trike

Trike: In general, a 3-wheeled vehicle created by stripping off the rear wheel of a motorcycle and replacing it with two automotive wheels attached to a special differential. The rear section is then covered with fiberglass and painted to match the bike. A trike is classified as a motorcycle in most places since a motorcycle is defined as a motorized vehicle with either two or three wheels.

There are many varieties of trikes. Some are based on car foundations such as the VW trikes. Some are custom made from the ground up. Most current trikes are motorcycle based. Trikes all have three wheels. Most trikes have one wheel in front and two wheels behind. Some trikes have two wheels in front and one wheel behind. Most trikes are steered by a regular motorcycle-style handlebar although you will see trikes that use a steering wheel.

The licensing of a trike is varied. Some areas classify it as a motorcycle. Some classify it as a car. Some place it under a special construction category.

In some states, you need a motorcycle endorsement to ride a trike. In others, a car registration is all that is required. In some, a special trike license is required. Check your local regulations.

Some insurance companies don't know much about trikes. They've heard of sidecars and list them on policies but trikes are not mentioned. When I registered my trike, the insurance man came out and took pictures of it. He'd never seen one before.

A person riding a trike is sometimes called a triker. There is an organization, Trike Riders International (TRI), that is devoted to triking. Their mission statement says: "TRI is the worldwide organization for owners and enthusiasts of three-wheeled motorcycle conversions and related motor vehicles based on that concept."

Here's an article about trikes. Here's a Trike Picture Gallery.

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