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Vegas Teacher

Trikes - Harley/Honda/CanAM?

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Hello all,

I was going to put this on my insurance question but I thought I would just start a new thread.....

My wife and I are thinking about a motorcycle / Trike. 

Can anybody give me any opinions on the Harley Davidson Trike, Honda Goldwing Trike or the CanAM Spider. Will they fit or meet the weight requirements to get into a toy hauler or not, or are they short enough to fit on the back of the cab? Or how much bed do I need to have space. I am assuming they make them in a two seat configuration.

Any opinions or advice is welcome.

Later,

Vegas Teacher - Cory Ossana

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We haul a Can Am Spyder in our Cyclone toy hauler. We also have a Rampage lift on the Freightliner for our Harley Davidson Road Glide. Rampage makes an adapter that will also load a Spyder.

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It all depends on your level of experience as a rider, especially with the three you choices you have listed. The Honda will be the most trouble free, most likely followed by the Can Am, but maybe the Harley. The Can Am is a much different vehicle as compared to the other two. Have you considered a Polaris Spyder, side by side seating three wheel? They are quite fun. 

Rod

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2 hours ago, lappir said:

It all depends on your level of experience as a rider, especially with the three you choices you have listed. The Honda will be the most trouble free, most likely followed by the Can Am, but maybe the Harley. The Can Am is a much different vehicle as compared to the other two. Have you considered a Polaris Spyder, side by side seating three wheel? They are quite fun. 

Rod

What is the spyder, no I have not? I will have to look them up for sure.

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4 hours ago, lappir said:

It all depends on your level of experience as a rider, especially with the three you choices you have listed. The Honda will be the most trouble free, most likely followed by the Can Am, but maybe the Harley. The Can Am is a much different vehicle as compared to the other two. Have you considered a Polaris Spyder, side by side seating three wheel? They are quite fun. 

Rod

It is a Polaris slingshot not spider. 

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Wife has a CanAm Spyder. I have a Street Glide. Both fit in toy hauler. She has put over 50k miles on 3 Spyders and never been left on side of road. I cant say the same. We rode the Spyder double down the west coast with about 10 others and had a great time. The Spyder is by far the safest. The newer ones with the 1330 engine are actually better on fuel than my Harley 110, and go for a year between service.

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10 hours ago, kurtsara said:

It is a Polaris slingshot not spider. 

You are correct. The spider is the Can Am. I knew that but apparently my fingers didn't respond to what I thought. Anyway The Slingshot is the only Motorized three wheeled vehicle I have driven on the road. Did ride one of the early Honda three wheeler's once and that was enough. Of course like everyone I did enjoy my tricycle  in my youth. 

 

Rod

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The Slingshot is a much wider, and longer vehicle.  It would take up a lot of room in a toyhauler, and I doubt it would fit on the truckbed.  It's also more like a car to operate.

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SERVICE!  My local Honda dealer won't work on a Honda older than 10 years. Says he can't get parts. Every thing breaks down from time to time but is there a dealer to fix it is the question.  Most states have a good number of Harley service centers. Lots of low mileage Harleys owned by gray haired men that thought they wanted to be a biker that are now for sale cheep. Good luck!

Edited by DJohns

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Above is good point.   I have several old bikes, and work on them myself.re are shops that work on old bikes, but they're hard to find .  Can -Ams have a good track record.  Harley dealers are plentiful.  Pick your poison.

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1 hour ago, DJohns said:

SERVICE!  My local Honda dealer won't work on a Honda older than 10 years. Says he can't get parts. Every thing breaks down from time to time but is there a dealer to fix it is the question.  Most states have a good number of Harley service centers. Lots of low mileage Harleys owned by gray haired men that thought they wanted to be a biker that are now for sale cheep. Good luck!

You couldn’t give me a Harley, well you could but then I would trade for a more reliable bike, like a Honda

Edited by kurtsara

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One of those goldwings with a frame break!  I was seriously looking at going BACK to a wing when I started reading about Honda dealers that won't work on older (10 years)  Hondas.   Just a fact.

Edited by DJohns

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Honda GoldWing frame issue was the first year of the aluminum frame.  That was many years ago.  They don't even make that frame any more.  As for Honda dealers not working on older bikes, it's the fact that the "technicians" are kids who don't know points from slow speed jets.  If they cant diagnose it with a laptop, they're sunk.  Take an old car into a dealer and see if the reaction is any different.

Harleys have gotten quite good in recent years, so those would be fine too.

But it still comes down to what's engineered to be a trike, and what's had a pair of wheels grafted on.

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Then there are side car rigs...

Anyways back to trikes and “Y architecture” machines - some  test rides would sort out which layout you prefer.

Wind in the face machines are very personal. Avoid making a decision on stories from four score year ago and what someone else says is perfect for them. Hop on and ride a few.

The machine must make you smile and feel like a kid within approx 5 to 9 seconds of riding off. Well maybe except for “cruiser style” where you have to have “The Cruiser Scowl” going at all times to show how much fun you are having...

If you choose a 3 wheeler remember you are choosing to give up one of a motorcycle’s main features: The Zoom Factor - a 2 wheeler zooms around corners by leaning over so you have g force only down through the backside and feet not the sideways carsick style.... you have no sensation that you are going to fall out the door.

I met a 1500 Gold Wing the other day with the cutest little pair of rear landing gear wheels complete with spats painted to match the bike being ridden by a smaller statured man who looked to be and I’m guessing here north of 80... they deployed for stopping and raised when he rode off...

 

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Solid axle HD trike can be a rough ride depending on the road. 

Lots of different vendors for Honda trike kits, some with solid axles, some with independent suspensions. 

I know a few folks with Spyders and they LOVE them.  Not a very big dealer network, but you might want to research their reliability.  Could be a large dealer network is not needed.

There are so many independent repair shops that work on Japanese bikes in the US that a 10-yr old bike is no issue.  And yes, it is EASY to get parts for old Goldwings...considering the previous version of the Wing is only 3 years old (the 1832 Wing was in production from 2001 - 2017).  Now a GL1500 Wing might have issues getting SOME parts, but that bike has been out of production for almost 20 years, so...

There is also a company that produces a replacement front end that has 2 wheels and leans.  I do NOT mean the Yamaha Nikken.  The one I mean is a kit.  I know they have kits for HD.  They probably make kits for others.  You'd have to research that.  The overall width of the bike remains about the same as a regular 2-wheel bike..

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3-wheelers have their place.  That is NOT in my garage.  I have friends that ride them, they are handicap'd and can't hold up a bike.  I have a Harley-Davidson now and love it.  I have owned Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Susucky and prior HDs.  It's your choice on scoot manufacture.  Saying that, I have rode my friends trikes.  It was enough to convince me I will never own one.  Personally, if I want more than 2 wheels, I'll buy a convertible car/jeep/UTV, etc.  You lose the motorcycle feel on 2 wheels so what is the sense of having one?  Don't get me started on those snowmobiles with wheels..... what a joke.  But, in the end, do what makes *you* happy.

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snowmobiles with wheels?

Now that you mention it what with traction control, vehicle stability system, and Blizzak mocassins a CanAm might go pretty good in the snow on road.

But they ride way different than a snowmobile.

We were out for a little coffee ride one weekday evening and one rider needed to stop at a store. We parked near 2 H-D trikes and waited while rider went in the store. Another guy with us started commenting about that would be the day he would ever ride a trike etc etc. The trike riders came out - a couple in their 70’s, she making her way walking with 2 arm crutches. They went on to tell us they’ve been riding together for 50 years and she can no longer ride a two wheeler so he rides a trike too as support for her. They were planning a trip to Halifax, NS which is 2900 miles east of us give or take. Talking guy never got in on the conversation because of the size 12 foot in his mouth. We give him a good razzing. I’ll just shaddap next time he says.

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On 6/2/2020 at 5:49 AM, DJohns said:

Lots of low mileage Harleys owned by gray haired men that thought they wanted to be a biker that are now for sale cheep.

I resemble that statement.  Back in 2011 sold my '04 HD RK Classic.  Thankfully another gray haired man got it and uses it regularly.  I paid it forward to him.  He had helped his brother and cousin buy bikes and they helped him buy mine.

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22 hours ago, noteven said:

Wind in the face machines are very personal. Avoid making a decision on stories from four score year ago and what someone else says is perfect for them. Hop on and ride a few.

If you choose a 3 wheeler remember you are choosing to give up one of a motorcycle’s main features: The Zoom Factor - a 2 wheeler zooms around corners by leaning over so you have g force only down through the backside and feet not the sideways carsick style.... you have no sensation that you are going to fall out the door.

I agree with what you said about taking advantage of the availability of test rides and deciding for yourself.  And you're right about the zoom factor.  My Wisconsin Harley is a Trike and my Florida Harley is a 2-wheeler.  I love riding them both for different reasons but they are my reasons and they are right for me.

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17 hours ago, noteven said:

Talking guy never got in on the conversation because of the size 12 foot in his mouth. We give him a good razzing. I’ll just shaddap next time he says.

LOVE IT!!!  Yeah, those people who talk negatively about trikes are more willing to give up riding than to ride something else.  Cut off their nose to spite their face. 

To choose to stop riding is one thing.  Making ignorant comments about someone else's choice so they can keep riding is another.

Edited by remoandiris

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On 6/2/2020 at 10:29 AM, rickeieio said:

Honda GoldWing frame issue was the first year of the aluminum frame.  That was many years ago.  They don't even make that frame any more.  As for Honda dealers not working on older bikes, it's the fact that the "technicians" are kids who don't know points from slow speed jets.  If they cant diagnose it with a laptop, they're sunk.  Take an old car into a dealer and see if the reaction is any different.

Harleys have gotten quite good in recent years, so those would be fine too.

But it still comes down to what's engineered to be a trike, and what's had a pair of wheels grafted on.

I just took my 25 year old chevy pickup in to the dealer for trans problem and they fixed it and did a great job.

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I happen to be one of the aforementioned gray haired old bikers.  Ours does get ridden plenty though.  No TT (tavern to tavern) riders here.  Couple hundred miles is about right for an nice ride out to lunch and back.  Anyway....   you wouldn't catch these particular gray haired old bikers on anything but a Harley, but in all fairness the quality and reliability factor on any new machine is going to be good.  Sure, might get a lemon, but by and large you can expect about zero issues on a new machine that you maintain properly.  Any of your choices have the size and weight to fit on the deck of an hdt or in a toy hauler with no problem, so no worries there.

You are looking at some apples, and some oranges, and somebody threw a banana in the bowl there as well.  The Polaris Slingshot is NOT a motorcycle.  It has a steering wheel and seat belts, and may be a fun little convertible to drive, but it is NOT a motorcycle, and please don't bring them to Sturgis, but I digress.  You are really looking at two apples (the Harley and the Honda) which feel kinda sorta like a motorcycle with the single front wheel, and one orange (the Can Am) which really doesn't feel like a motorcycle with the wider front end, despite being able to throw a leg over it and having handle bars.  Nothing against a Can Am, lots of folks like them, but they just don't feel like you are on a motorcycle.  Particularly if it is an automatic.  And of course as others have mentioned, an actual two wheeled motorcycle is a whole different riding experience.

So I guess my question in helping guide your decision, may come down to "why a trike"?  Again, nothing against a trike, I know lots of folks who ride and love them, but for YOU, why a trike?  Are you new to riding and unsure about a motorcycle and think you will be more able to handle a trike?  Maybe a physical limitation that prevents riding a two wheeler?  Planning on pulling a trailer with it?  Think it is safer than a motorcycle?  Just don't want to put your feet down?   Worried about having a reverse gear?   So what is your reasoning on a trike, and just as importantly, how do you intend to ride it?  TT rider?  Running errands around town?  Long day trips?  Cross country road trips?  Pulling a little pop up?  If you plan on riding with a regular group often, what are they riding?  Bringing in the dog?

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4 hours ago, Hot Rod said:

may come down to "why a trike"? 

Oh my, you just boiled it down to the essence.  I wish I'd thought of that.

Cory, if you like wind in the face, and your wife does too, consider taking a riding course at a local high school or trade school.  I've done it twice and had a blast.  Then, you might just decide to buy a couple of the smaller bikes available now, like the re-incarnation of the Honda minis of the past, or some other pint size bundle of fun.  Keep to the back roads and off the highways, and have a ball, while you get used to handling a bike, and decide on what direction to take before spending large coin.$$$

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I thought of that after my post as well.  Most harley dealers have a rider training course several times a year.  It was an all day course and used to (maybe still does) cost about $250, and you end the day with all the paperwork to go down to the bmv and get your complete unrestricted motorcycle endorsement.  And the best part is they supply the motorcycles, so you get to mess up and drop their bike and not scratch up yours.  Any you WILL drop it one or twice.  Any old biker that tells you they never dropped their bike is simply a liar.  Any rider of any skill lever can benefit from a beginner or advanced skills course.

I also heartily agree, go out and pick up an old used Honda or Yamaha cruiser for under $2000, learn on it, drop it a few times, figure out what you like and don't like about riding and how and where you like to ride, and THEN go spend the big money on your dream bike or trike.  You can always get your money back out of that cheap bike for the next guy to learn on.

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