In my journey in to the trike market some, 16 years ago, I never imagined that I, today, would have created what I would describe as the perfect trike. When I started my journey I was not prepared for some of the challenges converting customers own bikes to trikes would present but I had a stubborn desire to create a machine that gave effortless and safe riding.
I learnt that not all motorcycles are suitable to be triked because of the geometry of their design as a bike. Some of the most problematic issues was steering wobble, extreme tank slap as it is known or heavy steering. I designed a unit we now call the easy steer, which on certain trikes helped enormously in making the steering lighter and eliminating the wobble.
The other issue was suspension. Most independent suspension allows the trike to lean the opposite way to the bend you are going around and in doing so makes the steering very heavy and disconcerting for the passenger. This is why we chose the zero flex swing arm system, which keeps you in a vertical plane around bends.
I then set about finding a bike that had the correct geometry in alignment with trike building needs, the right amount of power and a pedigree following. This was no easy task but we succeeded. The finished trike had no steering wobbles, no tank slap and effortless steering around bends. I then sent it for test riding by 3 experienced trike riders. All of them came back and confirmed I had achieved what I set out to do.
Today’s trike building market is open to all with a welder , some of those people who home build trikes; do not have liability insurance, a pedigree in engineering and design or are x-ray tested coded welders.
They assume steel is steel but that could not be further from the truth. Certain steel tube can sheer under stress. The finished item has to be absolutely safe as someone’s life will depend on it. People do not realise that, if someone they sell their home built trike to, has an accident and it is deemed the construction or materials used in the construction are at fault, then the builder of that trike can be sued for everything they own. Sadly I knew someone who bought a home made trike. He was going on holiday with his son on the back and the trike disintegrated on the motorway, resulting in both parties sustaining severe brain injuries.
Safety always has been and always will be my primary concern in the design of my trikes. There is a lot more to building a safe trike than just welding an axle to the rear of a bike. After 16 years I am absolutely confident that I have created ‘the perfect trike’.