Which 3 Wheeler Fits Your Style?

Image Credit: Illustration by Ryan Olbrysh - Car and Driver
From the car and driver
In 2007, BRP launched its three-wheel Can-Am Spyder and sold 2,500 units in the US. By 2015, BRP had sold 1 million units worldwide. In 2017, the U.S. three-wheeler industry was estimated to have sales of approximately 40,000 a year, and that industry includes competition from historic names like Harley-Davidson and Morgan. Some bikers mock the three-legged mechanical portmanteau known as the autocycle, but they're here to stay. In 2020, BRP more than doubled its volume in the US in 2019.
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Dare to compare
هل لديك الجرأة على مقارنة مزايا فول الصويا الأمريك
يؤكد استعراض شامل حديث نشره طرف خارجي أن فول الصويا الأمريكي يتفوق على غيره الأنوحاع الأخرى من بيث.
You may be considering joining the growing crowd, but not sure which saddle to throw a leg over. Here is a brief history of tricycles and the people who love them.
The ancestors
Indian Dispatch-Tow: Indian developed its tricycle to help a Packard car dealer who didn't want to send two mechanics to deliver customer cars. He needed something that a single mechanic could drag behind the customer's car and then drive back to the store. The dispatch tow went on sale in 1931 with a 45 cubic inch V-twin and a claimed top speed of 65 mph. Manufactured temporarily until 1952, they are usually found in museums or rot in barns. Dispatch tow owners tend to wear bushy mustaches and ride in slippers. They also own an Airedale called "Champ" and a bank.
Harley-Davidson Servi-Car: During the Great Depression, Harley tried to outperform Indian and buyers and created the Servi-Car in 1932. The 24-horsepower 45-cubic-inch tricycle was an instant hit, working as utility vehicles for 41 years for everyone from the military to drug store delivery boys. Servi-car lovers have at least one leather hat, a drawer full of black concert T-shirts, the “Band of Brothers” box set and a contemporary costume - maybe a policeman, maybe an ice cream man - to match a Servi car paint job.
VW Trike: The Hot Rod legend and the father of "Rat Fink", Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, turned a Servi car into a VW Trike by adding a set of Honda forks and a seat to the 36 hp The engine and rear of a 1957 Beetle screwed up. Roth inspired a lot of imitators, the resulting horde of extravagant Wacky Races trikes that captivate Elvis and Hells Angels. VW Trike drivers have at least three leather vests, a past they won't talk about to strangers, a Full Metal Jacket DVD, and a wooden mallet or crowbar with names that we can't print.
The reboots
Photo credit: Motor Trike
Rather than turning a Beetle drivetrain into a tricycle, these companies started with the front end of a motorcycle and developed kits to add a two-wheeled rear end: Lehman, Motor Trike, and Roadsmith Trikes. Lehman is no more, but Motor Trike and Roadsmith are still converting tourers and cruisers made by the major motor brands. The modern equivalent of owning a bricklin kit car in the 1970s: owners keep the shelves full of Yacht Rock CDs, are loved by their nieces and nephews, and have a BBQ that costs as much as a good used car.
Harley-Davidson Tri-Glide and Freewheel: Harley returned to trike warfare in 2009 with its Tri-Glide models. Available in a 114- or 117-cubic-inch V-twin and up to 125 pound-feet of torque, the Tri-Glide connects a Street Glide front end to a living room section. The freewheeler made its debut in 2015 with a cruiser look and "Mini Ape Hanger" handlebars. The owners cater to those looking for the Harley experience without having to hold up 800 pounds. They have simple manners, loads of jokes from dad, excellent perks on prescription drugs, leather chaps over acid wash denim, iron asses betrayed by back and knee pain, and friends. What two-wheelers do these trikes ride on?
The outsider
Photo credit: Yamaha
Yamaha Niken: Yamaha, a motorcycle version of the Piaggio MP3 500 scooter, took its Tracer 900GT with two wheels and put two 15-inch scooter-sized wheels in the front that were only 16 inches apart. An 847-cc in-line three-cylinder delivers 104 horsepower and 60 pound-feet to the full-size rear wheel. The 600-pound Niken rides like a motorcycle, leans like a motorcycle, and falls like a motorcycle if you don't set foot when you stop. The additional contact surface at the front offers excellent grip in wet conditions. The trapeze frame keeps both front wheels planted on uncomfortable ground. The Niken is best for those who regularly ride in the rain, on the Pro Cycling World Tour, or in conflict areas and long to be asked, "What is this?" 38 times a day.
The modern autocycles
BRP Can-Am: The Can-Am Spyder debuted 14 years ago. It is a tricycle designed and operated like the snowmobiles that BRP also makes. The Can-Am range now includes three models in ten trim levels, with engines ranging from a 600cc Rotax, 50 horsepower, 38 pound-feet to a 1300cc Rotax, 115 horsepower, 96 pound-feet. Feels like a motorcycle up high, drives like a car down, has a semi-automatic transmission and a brake pedal that works on all three wheels. The owners want mosquitos in their teeth, but also stability and plenty of storage space and have a fetish for 12-in-1 devices such as the Bacon Press & Griddle.
Image credit: Morgan
Morgan 3 Wheeler: This will end production in 2021, while Morgan equips a new version with a European emissions-compliant engine. We're including it because Morgan is the old school king, who built tricycles from 1909 to 1953 and resumed trading in 2011. The model from Malvern, England came with a scone and a flat cap and was the Just One Tricycle that a driver with a white scarf could say, "Do do!" and not be ignored or pulped.
Vanderhall: The Provo, Utah company makes autocycles named after famous California locations. All but a fairing of the Venice and Carmel are built on a monocoque aluminum chassis and are powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder from GM production with 194 hp and 203 pound-feet. The battery-electric Edison is powered by two 70 hp electric motors. The owners played water polo in college, still wore sun visors, have yellow Labradors with matching goggles, and both the owner and the dog are called "Chip".
The wild
Photo credit: Polaris
Polaris Slingshot: If the Slingshot had another wheel, it would be a KTM X-Bow. Infinitely customizable and so low that it could be "high in the center of a hickory nut," as one commentator put it, Polaris revealed numerous updates for 2021. These include a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder in-house that can hold up to 203 horsepower and more makes 144 pound-feet and paddle shifters. Slingshot owners are the Lamborghini buyers of the tricycle world, so they have never met a neon hue, aftermarket mod, or mirror that they disliked. Somebody's working on a scissor door kit for it somewhere.
Campagna T-Rex: The T-Rex line offers Italian carbon fiber bodies, German and Japanese engines at intergalactic prices. The entry-level T-Rex 16S is powered by a 1.65-liter inline-six from BMW that has 160 horsepower, 129 pound-feet and starts at $ 59,999. When you upgrade to the T-Rex RR, you get a 1.44-liter, in-line four-cylinder Kawasaki 200-horsepower, 116.5 pound-foot engine that costs $ 65,999. If the slingshot is a Lamborghini, it is a Cizeta Moroder V16T. The owners have a lot of money, too many cell phones, a tequila collection, a pet alligator by the infinity pool, a suite in a city hotel, and 16 copies of Scarface.
The wishful thinker
Elio Motors and Aptera: Both were founded more than ten years ago and promise extremely efficient tricycles. Neither of them have ever sold a vehicle. We're not saying they'll never sell vehicles, but potential owners usually have pockets full of Pokémon cards and believe Pikachu is real.
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Future cars to wait for: 2021-2025

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