Top 10 Best Trike Motorcycles You Can Buy In 2022
Two wheels good; three wheels better?by Harry Fisher, on LISTEN 10:18
For many, a trike offers all the disadvantages of a car with all the disadvantages of a motorcycle: you can’t filter through traffic and you’ll get wet and cold! But, there are a lot of people who ride a trike for practical reasons, and not only that, but there is a whole new generation of three-wheeled motorcycles that are forcing us to completely revise our opinion of trikes. Here’s our list of the best three-wheelers available today:
Harley Davidson CVO Tri-Glide - $49,999
The CVO Tri-Glide is the spiritual successor to the famous Servicar, which was produced between 1932 and 1973. While the Servicar was designed as a commercial solution for small businesses, the TriGlide is purely a leisure motorcycle.
Powered by a 116cu.in version of the Harley Davidson v-twin engine, the TriGlide is the daddy of all trikes, with all-day two-up touring comfort and all the bells and whistles you could ever need. It also has a slightly off-putting price tag of nearly $50,000.
Also available from Harley Davidson is the Freewheeler, a stripped-down trike powered by a Milwaukee Eight 114cu.in. engine and costing a not-insignificant $20,000 less.
Can Am Spyder RT - $23,898
The Can Am Spyder RT is the reverse Harley TriGlide, if you like, with two wheels at the front but with the same all-day touring comfort and practicality.
The 998cc BRP-Rotax V-twin engine produces 106 horsepower but it does have to pull along 929 pounds of weight, driving through a six-speed manual gearbox.
Strangely, the twin front wheels reduce the effort needed to steer the Can Am compared to the Harley TriGlide and the comfort is supreme, while costing half as much as the Harley
Can Am Spyder F3-T - $21,999
If the RT is just too big, then there is also the Spyder F3-T, which is a much more sporting proposition. Not a huge amount lighter than the Spyder RT, it looks a whole lot smaller due to not being the full touring model.
The F3-T features a three-cylinder, 1330cc engine producing 115 horsepower. There’s also ABS, traction control, a semi-automatic six-speed gearbox, adjustable rear air suspension, stability control, and panniers for a modicum of practicality.
Good wind protection from the small screen and, while it’s not the prettiest trike out there, it is certainly distinctive, with a much more modern appearance than the Harley Freewheeler, not to mention better performance.
Yamaha Niken - $15,999
The Yamaha Niken is the bike that really set the cat amongst the pigeons in motorcycling. Here was the first ‘sports three-wheeler’, as opposed to a bloated touring trike or scooter.
The Yamaha Niken is basically an MT-09 naked sports bike with a complex (and heavy) twin front wheel set-up that allows the bike to lean in corners.
The front suspension arrangement is similar to that of the Kymco CV3 (see below) in that there are two fork legs per wheel, which gives the Niken a very heavy front end look, although the wheels are set apart no wider than the handlebars.
Astonishing grip from the front wheels, especially when braking on loose or slippery surfaces, and the clever suspension has enough travel to lean the bike right over in the corners, allowing the rider to easily get his or her knee down. A brilliant motorcycle looking for a market.
Polaris Sligshot - $35,799
Is it a car or is it a trike? It follows the pattern of Can-Am trikes in having two wide-spaced front wheels and a single, driven, rear wheel. The difference with the Slingshot is the side-by-side seating arrangement, complete with a steering wheel and optional full weather protection in the form of a full-size windscreen and removable roof.
Huge power from the 2,384cc, four-cylinder engine - 173 horsepower, to be exact, propelling the Slingshot to a top speed of 125mph. Full electronic rider (driver?) aids, including ABS, traction control, electronic stability control, and even power steering.
This is possibly the closest you could get to a motorcycle while sitting in a car seat.
Can Am Ryker - $8,999
Firmly aimed at the younger end of the market, the Can Am Ryker is the smallest model in the Can Am range but by no means the least exciting.
A whole lot lighter and more agile than the Spyder models, it can still thrill with its choice of twin-cylinder 600cc (50 horsepower) or three-cylinder 900cc (82 horsepower) engine driving through a stepless CVT transmission.
Starkly simple, with no frills: just jump on and ride, making the Ryker perfect for the younger or less experienced rider. You can even change the body panels to change the color and performing back tire-screeching take-offs from the lights just puts a huge grin on your face.
Yamaha Tricity - $10,740
As the name implies, the Yamaha Tricity is designed for the urban environment. First launched in 2014 with a 125cc engine, this was soon enlarged due to consumer demand and the Tricity is now available with either a 155cc or 292cc single-cylinder engine.
Featuring an innovative front suspension that allows the bike to lean in corners, much like the Piaggio MP3 500 or Gilera Fuoco, but a lot simpler and, therefore, cheaper to produce, not to mention lighter in weight.
Kymco CV3 - $Price Not Yet Available
Ultra-stylish and powerful, the Kymco CV3 features a parallel twin, 550cc engine for impressive performance in and out of the city.
The front suspension allows the CV3 to lean but looks heavy with its four fork legs - two per wheel. On the road, however, it proves to be a fine-handling bike, with the added security and stability offered by the twin front wheels.
Kymco is a Taiwanese manufacturer and enjoys a very good reputation for the quality of the engineering and the fit and finish of their products.
Piaggio MP3 500 - $9,999
From the makers of the Vespa comes the MP3 500. As the name suggests, it is powered by a 500cc single-cylinder engine, producing 40 horsepower, and boasts both ABS and traction control alongside the independently sprung front wheels to allow it to lean in the corners.
As with all Piaggio products, the MP3 500 is beautifully built and fast, with excellent ergonomics, even if this does mean the price will be on the high side for a scooter.
Gilera Fuoco - $9,700
From the same stable as the Piaggio MP3 500, the Gilera Fuoco 500 shares the same running gear as that bike but manages to be a more sporting option in the world of three-wheel, leaning scooters.
The use of two wheels at the front might seem like an over-complication but they do offer vastly improved grip when cornering as well as when braking, while keeping them independently sprung means they can cope with uneven road surfaces brilliantly.
The Gilera also features an automatic locking mechanism that keeps the bike upright without having to put your feet down when you come to a stop. Twisting the throttle to get going releases the lock and it can also be locked when you park to obviate the need for a side stand.
The Different Types of Three-Wheelers
There are several configurations of three-wheeled motorcycle: the traditional one-wheel-at-the-front, two-wheels-at-the-back as epitomized by the Harley Davidson Servicar, and, more recently, by the Tri-Glide from the same company. Then there is the reverse solution, as epitomized by Can-Am, with two wheels at the front.
There is a new generation of three-wheelers, however, with two wheels mounted closely side-by-side at the front, making the bike no wider than a traditional two-wheeler but offering vastly improved grip and stability, even if it is at the expense of increased complexity and weight.
How much does a trike motorcycle cost?
You can buy a three-wheeled motorcycle for as little as a few thousand dollars right up to the Harley Davidson CVO TriGlide at $50,000
Is a trike safer than a motorcycle?
They are certainly much more stable and offer better cornering and braking grip but, on the other hand, aren’t as maneuverable as normal two-wheelers, although the new breed of narrow-track trikes are just as good as two-wheeled motorcycles.
Which motorcycle trike is best?
That depends on what you want to do with it. Commuting or riding in the city? Then one of the scooter trikes is best but if you’re heading out onto the open road, a Harley, Can Am, or Polaris would be best.
Is it hard to ride a trike motorcycle?
Absolutely not. All the scooters are twist-and-go, while the Can Am Ryker has an automatic gearbox. Also, you don’t have to learn to balance on a trike!
Can I drive a trike on a full car Licence?
Yes, you can drive a trike on a full car licence.