2017 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra
Harley-Davidson’s three-wheeled Tri Glide Ultra moved into the 2017 model year with a handful of improvements and a brand-spanking new engine. The factory powers it with its powerful Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine introduced last year that cranks out over 100 pounds o’ grunt to place it well into the power-cruiser category, even though H-D markets it as a tour bike. Exhaust components rerouting addressed heat problems from prior model-years, and the King of Paint added a couple of new, two-tone paint schemes to the palette for 2017, as well as a 115th Anniversary model for 2018. Harley’s target market for this beast mainly consists of persons who are unwilling or unable to manage one of their admittedly top-heavy, two-wheeled tourers for one reason or another, and I’ve always considered it to be a very laudable thing to try and make sure that anyone who wants bugs in their teeth can have it.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra.
2017 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler
American riders have had a love affair with the Harley trike ever since the original Servi-Car hit the streets all the way back in 1932, and that’s a fling that Harley-Davidson is still trying to take to the bank with the 2018 Freewheeler. This newest iteration of their naked trike is a real hotrod running the all-new Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine that cranks out 100-plus pound-feet of torque to push it well into the power-cruiser bracket. Last year saw some significant improvements as well as some fairly major structural differences with the tour-tastic Tri Glide Ultra, so let’s see what else Harley packed onto its stoplight-burning trike.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Freewheeler.
After Yamaha, Kawasaki is high on three wheels
We saw Yamaha’s fancy new Leaning Multi-Wheeler (LMW) launched at the 45th Tokyo International Motor show last year. A stunning three-wheeled machine called the Niken which is based on the hugely popular MT-09 platform.
Crazy as it might sound, it looks like the Niken is slowly feeling the heat of the competition. And it is coming from none other than its green nemesis, Kawasaki with a new electric-powered concept.
Coming hot on the heels of Yamaha acquiring leaning front-end technology from the Norway-based Brudeli Tech Holding AS this week, Kawasaki has teased the J concept motorcycle/three-wheeler in all seriousness. And it comes with an “Attack mode.”
Does Yamaha Have More Leaning Trikes On The Horizon?
The saga of the leaning backwards trikes continues into 2018. In an interesting turn of events, it seems that Yamaha has acquired some leaning front-end technology from the Norway-based Brudeli Tech Holding AS. Why so interesting, you ask? Well, let’s take a moment for some backstory for those of you who are not yet in the loop.
Continue reading for more on the patent acquisition.
2018 Can-Am Spyder RT
Can-Am, under the Bombardier Recreational Products banner, carries its premium touring trike into the 2018 model year with the Spyder RT and RT Limited models. It drops the RT-S from last year’s lineup, so it’s all up to the remaining two to cover all the long-distance bases. From what I can see so far, it looks like ’mission accomplie’ for the Canadian manufacturer. A 115-horsepower Rotax mill pushes the vehicle with room for rider, passenger and 41 gallons of storage split fore and aft. Weather protection and comfort-related features abound, and it’s plain to see that Can-Am looks to take on the two-wheeled touring ’status quo’ with the RT range. Can BRP pull out a win against traditional rides with its unusual configuration and sport-trike stigma? So far, so good; so what do you say we take a look at these two unusual creations that are creating their own niche. Market? We don’t need no stinkin’ market, we’ll make our own damn market. Right guys?
Continue reading for my review of the Can-Am Spyder RT and RT Limited.
2018 is here. And these top dogs are heading our way
Aspirin taken, ate some food, drank that much-needed water and took a hot shower. Hangover time is over and getting my head around the fact that I have to wake up early to work depressed me at first. But luckily the excitement brought with the launch of these new machines means we and I get to see them on our roads pretty soon, and I cannot wait to unveil the secrets they behold.
Unveiled at the back end of 2017, these hot machines give new life goals and expectations, not just for riders, but also to other manufacturers giving them no option but to up their game as well. Thanks to this, competition keeps getting hotter by the day, and we are ultimately rewarded with machines that beam innovation and technology.
Here are the top picks that are touted to take the market by storm in 2018:
2019 Yamaha Niken
Yamaha looks to redefine what we think of when we hear the word “trike.” We had a taste with Piaggio’s MP3 scooter that used a clever parallelogram to articulate the front end so it can lean into the turns like a two-wheeler. Now we have the all-new Niken (literally: two sword) that brings the leaning trike concept into the realm of full-size bikes. Based on the popular FZ/MT-09, the Niken LMW (Leaning Multi-Wheel) doubles the size (and number) of the front contact patch(es) for greater safety and traction with the proven 847 cc Crossplane Concept engine to drive the thing. With over 100 ponies on tap and its fancy front end with gobs of traction, the Niken seems set to deliver a ride that is limited only by your own skills and testicular fortitude. The Tuning Fork Company has teased us with hints and nuggets over the last year and more, and finally we get to take a good long look at this new way to build a trike. Hopefully the liars, er, lawyers will stay out of it this time.
Continue reading for my first look at the Yamaha Niken.
Yamaha is stepping up their game with the production ready 2018 Niken.
There is two-wheeler, and then there is three-wheeler. But Yamaha says that their new motorcycle or whatever the heck it is, is a Leaning Multi-Wheeler (LMW).
A fancy marketing acronym for sure used first at the 2016 Tokyo Motor Show when the brand had put up the leaning three-wheel version of the Yamaha FZ-09 on display.
Launched at the ongoing 45th Tokyo International Motor show, the Japanese brand set the pace with this stunning three-wheeled machine called the Niken (probably formed by the diminution of ‘Ni’ which means ’two’ and ‘Ken’ which means ‘sword’ in Japanese).
It is a three-wheeled motorcycle based on the hugely popular MT-09 platform that gets double the grip on the front and heightened ride stability for carving corners with minimal effort.
A 0-62 in 0.55 seconds. What sorcery is this?
To put things into perspective, that is less than the time it took for you even to read half of the title of this article.
One of my fondest memory of my childhood was a red tricycle my dad gifted me for my birthday. It used to be my transportation, dinner table, shopping cart and a lot of other things. In fact, I even learned my first drift lessons on that tricycle. But then one day, life happened, and I never saw it again.
Fast forward a couple of decades and out comes this French lunatic known as François Gissy who just made the fastest accelerating thing on three wheels ever. Making use of a 6000 psi water tank, he did the 0-60 in half a second and went all the way to 162 mph.
Polaris Slingshot announced its 2018 line-up of three wheeled roadsters with enhanced performance and styling.
Introduced to the world in 2014, Polaris manufactured Slingshot was the three-wheeled motorcycle that had a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, side-by-side bucket seats, gear stick, pedals and three point seat belts. Made for having loads of fun on an open racetrack, these machines will also behave on our streets if you are in the right state.
For 2018, the brand has shown more interest in this concept by launching newer versions of the existing models. They have also added another higher end variant of their SLR flagship model and calling it the SLR. Along with this announcement, the brand is making good use of theirIndian Motorcycle stint to bring in the industry leading Ride Command infotainment system onto their roadster series.
2016 - 2018 Piaggio MP3 500 Sport
Back in 2006, Piaggio introduced the world to its MP3 scooter, further expanding the backwards trike concept out of the “big bike” sector and into the scooter realm. This was an important step, and the factory has been hard at work to incorporate more features and performance normally only seen on bigger (and more expensive) bikes into this little ride. Powered by a 493 cc engine with the convenience of CVT transmission, the parallelogram front end gives the MP3 family more motorcycle-type cornering than other scooters. After a hiatus in 2017, the MP3 500 Sport returns to the U.S. market for 2018.
Continue reading for my review of the Piaggio MP3 500 ABS.
Polaris Industries Inc. is issuing a recall on select MY17 Slingshot models, to include the SL and SLR variants as well as the base model. The factory has discovered that the torque applied to certain fasteners within the steering system may not have been as high as one might have hoped. Consequently, the steering may not perform as expected, and that could lead to an unsafe driving condition or even a crash.
Continue reading for more on the Slingshot recall.
Drakkar From Imaginactive
Imaginactive is the brainchild of one Charles Bombardier of BRP royalty, and it draws on some of the best engineering and design talent in the world to come up with fresh new ideas, as well as improvements on existing designs. Today, I want to take a look at one of their more interesting concept vehicles, the Drakkar trike designed in collaboration with Ashish Thulkar from the Indian Institute of Science. It’s a three-wheeler intended for off-road enduro environments and it sure does look the part.
Continue reading for my look at the Drakkar.
Let’s imagine Al Gore was right; Manbearpig and global warming are real and the EPA has declared unrestricted war on both. Extensive studies indicate that reindeer flatulence is a significant contributor to the worldwide greenhouse-gas totals, and the EPA used some its newly-acquired firepower to strike a blow against reindeer farts for the sake of mankind. As you can imagine, this leaves ol’ Kris Kringle in a bit of a pickle what with Christmas upon us, so what’s a guy to do?
Continue reading for our picks for Santa’s solution.