How To Ride a Motorcycle Trike
By Walter F. Kern
Learning to ride a motorcycle trike is not as easy as it looks. Here are some pointers to get you going as a triker.
Here's How to Ride a Motorcycle Trike:
- The motorcycle trike controls are exactly the same as on a motorcycle. However, the steering is different and you need to get used to it.
- Start out driving the trike in a parking lot with your right hand in your back pocket. Leave the trike in first gear, steer it around the lot and do some figure-8s. Get used to the long pushes to turn corners.
- You steer a trike much like a car. You will find it easiest to use a push-pull steering technique. That is, when you want to turn right, pull the right grip toward you while pushing the left grip away from you. Similarly, for a left turn, pull the left grip toward you while pushing the right grip away from you. This technique is especially useful making turns on twisties. You will find it much easier to pull the grip on a hard turn than trying to only push the grip.
- You need to spend some time getting familiar with steering and evasive maneuvers. Your mind will keep telling you that you are on a bike. Train yourself to steer, not countersteer.
- Don't try to put your foot down when you stop. The rear wheel will run over it.
- Remember that the trike is wide and you have to compensate when you pull in next to a gasoline island or a toll plaza.
- Drive the trike in a traffic lane positioned much like a car.
- Turning long sweepers will be easy. Doing twisties will take some technique and a certain amount of muscle.
- Trikes can be altered to have more rake. This makes steering easier but judgment mistakes are easier to make too.
- Tight turns or decreasing radius turns on entrance and exit ramps are noticeably more difficult and require steady pressure.
- Do not assume that since you've been riding motorcycles for 30 years, that you already know how to ride a trike. You may find yourself in the ditch.
I also made a video that was once used to document taking "Flat Stanley" for a ride on my trike and teaching him how to ride a trike. You may find it somewhat silly unless you, too, have had to help your child or grandchild to complete a "Flat Stanley" school assignment. At any rate, you will learn more about how to ride a trike by watching the video. Watch the Video.
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