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RAKE AND TRAIL FOR TRIKES

 

For information about rake and trail click on the fork geometry and measurement button below in the links area.

 

I asked a couple of known trike builders the question concerning rake.  All the  the answers all seemed to agree.......

 

I think you pretty well covered it. A VW trike with a long rake, in my opinion, looks better,

rides better and makes more sense because your front wheel in leaning into the turn.

This takes a lot of stress off the front end and front wheel.

On the other hand, a V8 trike or any other trike with a lot of weight on

the front end can't handle a long raked front end because of the

downward stress of the extra weight. They have to have a heavy front

end that is fairly vertical or you bend components in a hurry.

Another thing that determines rake-ability is the type of front end. If

you are riding on tubes there comes a point fairly early in the game

where the tubes will not operate correctly. I like springers for this reason

and LOVE girders. A 12 over girder leading down the road is hard to beat

and they ride like Granny's rocking chair.

For VW or other rear engine trikes the rake is a matter of choice and

esthetics. Too much is made of it. I've built two with stock Gold Wing

rake and they rode great. I built two with springers and they rode great and I looked BA_A_A_AD!!!!

Build it for you and get the look YOU want. Chances are good that it will

ride great. If it doesn't, fix it. It's called adventure!

 

Another answer:

From past experience in riding different models of trikes from bugs

to V8's..I've found that the straighter the forks (less rake) the

more front end wobble on low speeds and bumps, definitely a

steering damper needed there, although it is more prominent on

heavy front end machines like the V8's or front engine trikes.  Long

rake also helps alleviate the washout sensation when taking off from

a start and turning. It also helps if the trike has at least a front

end weight of 10% of the total weight of the machine and rider

amount of rake. The longer the rake the more apt to go with

springers or girders as the motorcycle type forks were not meant to

flex parallel to the ground but to ride up and down in the sliders. As

for stability (and looks) I like the springers if ya can get a heavy

enough spring for them to not be susceptible to bottoming out on

speed bumps or potholes...jus my 2 cents worth...

 
 

Another input....

 

My  rake is 42 degrees, trail is 1 1/2". Corners like a dream at all speeds. taking curves a

little  In fact I find myself faster than I probably should be,

The point I wish to make is this.   I have seen and

read several times on the BTW forum that rake and trail don't matter to much on a Trike. I say,

Bull Shit to that statement. Rake is of no concern, but anytime

you have more that about 4" of trail, your steering will be hard at speeds above 30mph.  

 

And my statement!!!

 

The rake on my own trike is around 55 degrees, my trail is about 1 inch. I have to agree with the above statement.  Just my own humble opinion.

 

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