WHAT MAKES OUR TRIKES DIFFERENT?
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'.
Trike riding will never be the same again. The new Datum motorcycle trike has re-defined the trike market. And as a result of our engineering innovations, we are leading the way, with an exciting and comfortable ride. In the new Datum trike, our innovations and creations are the key ingredients for an effortless ride. Combined with, the power and performance, living and enjoyment takes on a new guise. Its light and at the same time, very capable.
Our pioneering design gives the Datum trike unique beauty and balance. This is a trike that invites you to get back out there on the path to immense pleasure and freedom. But it also has the focus in its design to provide a very easy to ride machine. At a glance, the clean lines appear sleek and simple. But look beneath the surface and you will soon find the innovative design and engineering that’s at the heart of every Datum trike.
IT TURNS OUT YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL
Some trikes on the market today are heavy to steer and it will get tiring as the miles pass. Well, those rules for Datum trikes are history. The new easy steer unit incorporated on every machine combined with the latest active suspension provides for a comfortable and effortless riding experience. There is also ample room on the rear luggage rack to carry your essentials with you, plus a small rack behind the passenger seat. So your luggage, from a backpack to a tent roll will simply fit. So where ever the road takes you, you just keep enjoying the journey.
DESIGNED WITH DISABLED RIDERS IN MIND
Our trikes have been specifically built to enable disabled or injured riders to continue to enjoy the open road. Learn about all the adaptions we've made to our trikes with these riders in mind.
This is a refinement and choice that surrounds you in every sense. We can deliver the trike in a standard colour or create a total transformation with the use of water graphics and custom paints. The only limitation is your imagination. And it makes you think again about what unique individual expression is all about.
The new Datum Trike is very capable in its performance. But it’s the way this very satisfying performance is delivered that’s uniquely special. This fine and beautifully designed machine can become a gentle cruiser all day long effortlessly and when needed hides some impressive acceleration, especially when you bear in mind it is only a 650cc power train.
Excitement and pleasure are always part of the ride. The new Datum trike offers the perfect blend of power control and ride comfort. Thrilling handling is balanced with precise straight-line stability. And there’s a soft deep throaty exhaust note that compliments the ride experience. Datum have spared no expense in the design and creation of this wonderful machine, utilising only the finest materials, a combination of 316 marine grade stainless steel and 304 stainless steel for endurance, strength and lasting cosmetic appearance.
AND THERE'S MORE
Whatever your ability or disability we are sure we can provide solutions so you can also enjoy this unique riding experience. From auto gear changer, to reverse gear, to single lever servo assisted braking technology, incorporating the latest performance tested superior brake lines from HEL performance.
So it’s over to you to choose your path to freedom and pleasure. This special machine comes to the market just under twenty thousand at an impressive £16,533.00 plus vat, on the road ready to go. And that alone is impressive.
Our mission at Datum was to; firstly, invest in creating a trike that was easy to ride for all abilities. This we have achieved without compromise. Then we went on to test different materials for capability, endurance and strength. A decision was reached as to the material we would use. And it was stainless steel.
Finally to compliment this fine stainless steel material, we use, only, a TIG welding process, carried out by certified, x-ray tested, coded welders.
The end result is as near to perfection as we can get. This is our commitment to our customers who are entitled to expect nothing less.
It's the suspension either makes or breaks it
If you make the wrong choice it is too late.
Many years ago when I started my career in motorcycle based trike building, I was asked which was best, independent suspension or, zero flex swing arm suspension.
As I had always used the system I designed, (the zero flex swing arm type) I needed to purchase an independent rear suspension trike kit to try it for myself.
I purchased the kit from a well respected trike builder and completed the build. I then went to tour Spain and Portugal for ten days. My pal was on my 1100 Drag star with the zero flex system and I was on a 1300 V4 Royal star a considerably more powerful machine. On a straight road I could leave him in the dust but when it came to bends he would out manoeuvre me with ease and the faster I went into the bend the more difficult it was to steer. So with test riding over, there was no competition between the two types.
It is all about the geometry and at Datum our priority was to create a trike that was available to all abilities without compromise.
So what are the differences and how do they affect the handling and enjoyment of the ride experience.
Our system prevents the trike from leaning over when you go in to corners or bends. Because of this the front tyre which is rounded stays vertical so the camber of the tyre does not influence the steering. The rider and pillion also stay in an upright position. The speed you go in to the bend makes no difference.
When a trike with independent suspension goes in to, say, a left hand bend it compresses the suspension on the right and the rider and pillion lean to the right. This in itself is disconcerting because the lean is in the direction of the force that wants to throw you off the trike. Same applies to a right hand bend. It also puts the front tyre on the wrong side of the radius, so the tyre now wants to turn right but you are steering left and the more you power in to the bend, the more it leans and the greater the resistance against your steering force.
So with this in mind, it raises the question as to why anyone would want a trike with independent suspension. In simple it is far easier to build a trike with independent suspension because the frame that the suspension bolts to does not move, so it gives you a corridor down the centre of the rear frame to run or attach your exhausts to.
We have just returned from the NEC motorcycle Live 2019 after running our stand there for 9 days. It was great talking to people about their own builds and sharing our knowledge with them. The one question we were asked more than anything else was about suspension. The conversations went like this. I wonder if you could help me, I’ve got a trike so I am not here to buy another one. Of course how can I help. Well I bought this great looking trike from---- and in a straight line it is great but trying to steer it round corners nearly rips your arms out of their sockets. I explained the geometry involved and why the trike he had was a problem and that pretty much all the independent suspension based trikes had the same issues. I asked him if he had put the same question to the company who built the trike. He said I went to see them shortly after I took delivery and rode it for about a week. I said it is great in a straight line but I am having a lot of trouble steering it round bends. Their answer was. “Well that’s the way we build them if you can’t steer it there is nothing we can do about that”.
At the NEC I met professional trike builders who have openly admitted that the steering and handling is an issue.
On a final note. A pal mine called bill, who I have known from the start of my trike building days had an accident on his trike and asked if there was anything I could do. His trike was an 1100 Drag star with independent suspension. It was severely twisted but Bill is getting on in years and his trike riding is his passion and life. So we agreed to repair and rebuild the trike. Bill was impatient to say the least as we were approaching the end of the rally, ride out season and he did not want to miss any. So I lent Bill one of our trikes until his was finished. When he left our workshop I informed him that you do not need any effort to steer our trike so enjoy. Our trikes also come as standard with an easy steer unit, designed by myself and patented in 2006. It took him a few miles to settle down to this easy to ride trike. Over the next few week Bill and his wife did all the rally’s with consummate ease.
We fixed his trike and off he went. I asked Bill to give us a call when he got home to make sure everything was ok with the rebuild. The phone rang. Terrific job thank you but your bloody easy steer has spoilt me, when I came to the first bend out of Oke I didn’t think I was going to make it round it, I had forgotten how much effort you have to use to steer it. Bills over all opinion of our trike was an amazing machine in power and performance.
But don't just read about it! See it in action for yourself!
Click the 'play triangle' at the bottom left of the video to view it.