have many advantages over regular motorcycles: You don't have to put your
feet down when you stop. You can take a passenger without fear that you will
tip over the bike and spill the passenger into the road.
Most significant others like this feature. Some wives, in fact, have refused
to ride pillion with their
husbands until they converted their bike to a trike. You can ride over metal
grated bridges with no fear.
You can take the trike down a dirt or gravel road with ease. You won't get
fatigued in stop and go traffic.
Trikes do have some
disadvantages over motorcycles: They get poorer gas mileage. You won't be
able to drag
your knee on the twisties. You have to make sure you get it in gear when
stopped or it may roll away to parts
unknown. You have to resist the temptation to put your foot down when you
stop, otherwise, the rear wheel may
run over your foot. You have to remember that the rear end is wider than the
front or you may run into the
island at your favorite gas station or toll booth. And most important, you
steer a trike
like a car -- countersteering doesn't work.
Trikes definitely seem more stable than regular motorcycles.
To be an
individual...Stand out in a crowd... When a large group of bikers pulls
into a Wal-Mart parking lot and there is one trike with them...Which
vehicle is the one that the gawkers surround? Is it the bright shinny
$20,000 + Harley? Is it the super fast and sleek rice rocket? It it
the latest pressed out, Jap Cruiser Harley wannabe with all the plastic
chrome goodies? Hell no...It's the $1,200 home built trike with the
spray can paint job...Why is that you say? I have 2 reasons...1. It's
uniqueness draws a crowd. 2. A lot of people dream of building
something that they can say was their concept from pipe dream to
A trike is within most arm chair wrench turners budgets and skill
levels. A tripod vehicle is a stable and simple platform to build on.
The parts can be found in most junk yards. I guess if you have ever
driven by a junk yard and felt the urge to revive something cool out of
all the metal going to waste...Feeling your own constructive juices
flowing...Then you know what triking means to a lot of us. Even if it
never makes it past the "I could do that" stage... The appeal is still
Well then again, it's the freedom of threedom. I had a sidecar rig
setup so I could take the family along on trips. The wife thought it
was just an elaborate trap to off her...And with the kiddo along it was
a very uncomfortable and underpowered way to go for a trip of any
length. The trike on the other hand fits a 3 of us nicely and since
it's much lighter than the original VW it was made from...Has no such
shortfalls in the power area.
My wife of 19 years says she knows the real reason though...She say's
it's because of all the split tail cuties that ask for a ride. I just
tell her nah but deep down inside I know, It's not where you get your
appetite...as long as you come home for the meal...
I hope this helps you understand some of the perspectives of trikerdom
and why three wheels vice two. Oh yeah, I do love the wind in my (now
thinning) hair also...
WHY A VW TRIKE?
|As you get more involved
with the idea of Trikeing and this motley crew that you have found here,
(BTW FORUM) you will find that the VW is by far the Trike of choice
for more than 90 % of the Trike builders out there and for good reason.
The VW rear section from any old bug makes up about 2/3`s of the needed
parts to build a Trike and it comes in one nice neat package. From that
point its fairly easy to build just about any type and style of Trike that
your little heart desires. There are litterly hundreds of other motors that
can be adapted to the VW transaxle, or you can build the little 1600cc
stocker up to a race worthy motor and anything you want in between. The VW
transaxle comes in standard 4 speed, simi auto or what is known as the auto
stick version and even a full automatic from the Fastback and Squareback
models are out there. Any one of them will make a great beginning for your
Then of course as others have already stated, you can choose just about any
FWR car you want and cut the back off, and add a front end and you got
instant Trike. Last but not least, you can take any combination of motor and
trans and build a frame and suspension to carry it and get on down the road
on your own special creation. Your any limited by your own ability or lack
There is all the help and information you could want right here. The next
step is to just decide what you want and get started. I doubt that you can
think of anything that hasn't already been done by several guys out there so
when you need a little help or advice, just ask, someone will jump in and
tell you what you need to know.
While on vacation, on the trike, my
friend Rod Bouder and I were entering a town in Montana called Alder.
The town had a casino and a restaurant and motel and a little store/gas
station. It was a little late and I asked if there was a mechanic around
and they told me there was and showed me where he lived. I got the trike
over to his place and he said that I could use his garage to work on it.
So I parked it for the night and we got a room The next day I pulled the
trike into Doug's garage and pulled the back off so we could get to the
engine. It was leaking oil out of the front and it was decided it was
shot. We went over to the restaurant for lunch and there was a guy there
who said he remembered a place in Divide (about 60 miles north of Dillon)
that worked on VW's. He found the place in the phone book and we called
them. They had a rebuilt 1600 DP for $1150. with a $200. core charge.
Having no choice now I had to pay it. Doug took me over to Divide the
next day in his pick up truck, picked up the engine and back to Alder.
Got the parts exchanged and got the engine mounted back into the trike,
went to start it and then found that I also had a froze up Alt. Now I
wasn't sure where to get one for the VW. Called the guy in Divide and yes
he had one, so Doug tossed me the keys to his truck and said he had work
to do, I know how to drive so go get it. Which I did.
We got everything mounted and
started it, ran it for 10 min. at 1500 RMP then drained the oil and put
new oil in. The next morning Doug adjusted the valves. and we put the
back on it. As I was getting ready to leave I asked Doug how much I owed
him, he said "well, the oil cost $14.00." That was all he wanted. I was
amazed and gave him $100.00. Thanks Doug!!!!!!
All I'm saying here is that
having a VW type 1 the engine was available and it wasn't any
problem for me to change out. Had it been some other type engine it
may have been a problem