The trike is most often a conventional motorcycle with a V-twin and a customized drive train and rear axle.
But about 10 years ago, Bombardier introduced the Spyder. Instead of having two wheels in the back, Bombardier moved the two wheels to the front.
So why would they move two wheels from the back to the front? The reason is stability, especially around corners.
The reverse trike idea took off, and in the last 10 years, Bombardier has sold more than 120,000 of them, and now, other manufacturers have jumped into the market.
Polaris has taken the idea even further. It put two seats in its machine, lowered the frame, and put in a bigger engine.
Wednesday, in Sturgis, company drivers were showing off the stability factor in a hair raising demonstration for customers such as Ken Pickering of Seattle.
“Well three wheels are always safer. It’s got seat belts. It would be something that would be fun to run around on the weekends,” Ken Pickering said.
Stability is a big thing for these customers, but equally big is the seats.
“Honestly the number one enjoyment factor that we hear from customers is that you get to sit side-by-side with your passenger. So, it’s a shared, unique riding experience on the road,” Becca Dzernian with Polaris Marketing said.
Up the street, another company is selling yet another reverse trike called the Vanderhall. It looks more like a sports car than a trike, and some states register it as an autocycle.
But Vanderhall has put the power to the front wheels, giving it even greater stability.
“Stability, giving you that good solid hookup when you accelerate.” Daniel Boyer with Vanderhall said.
And Vanderhall has been thinking a lot about acceleration. It’s put a 180 horsepower engine in the machine.
“And the machine is only 1,450 pounds. So it goes fast. Very fast,” Boyer said.
These machines will never replace the experience of leaning into a curve on a regular motorcycle. But the reverse trikes are making inroads into the world of bikes.