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.
Another Independence Day is upon us, and I found myself contemplating the nature, indeed the culture, of patriotism. It’s no secret that motorcyclists have a tendency to value liberty and freedom, and the bikes themselves become something of rolling shrines. Sometimes this takes the form of a paintjob; other times serious bodywork, but always with the underlying celebration of our core values. I’ve picked a few examples of just what I’m talking about here, so join me while I show you what I’ve got in mind.
Continue reading for my look at the Fourth of July, 2016.
It might seem strange to us to see these funny, backward trikes, but they really aren’t anything new. In 1884, Edward Butler debuted plans for his Butler Petrol Cycle. It was a three-wheeled motorcycle — two front steering wheels and a single rear drive wheel — powered by a liquid-cooled, 600 cc flat-twin four-stroke engine.
Starting at $22,399, the Spyder ST-S is a far cry from Butler’s design — for starters, the Spyder ST-S has brakes, the Butler Petrol Cycle didn’t — but I’m sure he would be impressed with what Can-Am has done with his concept.
Continue reading for my review of the Can-Am Spyder ST-S.
Historically, trikes have been something of an oddity. Sure, you had the old Harley-Davidson Servi-Car, a utility trike that saw production from 1932 until 1973. Widely used, the model that was popular with delivery services and for basic transportation actually saw service with police departments into the ’90s (tell me more about how unreliable those old Harley engines were...). Consequently, many of these civilian and surplus army/police models found their way into circulation, and a new type of rider was born.
After an early short spike in interest, Servi-Cars were relegated to the realm of collectors and riders with special needs. During the ’60s and ’70s, the trike culture boomed again with lots of home-job rides on the road that ran with a wide variety of engines, to include a few designs that were basically a motorcycle front-end welded to the ass-end of a VW Beetle. This particular sub-culture also waned, but never completely went away, and you can still see these Frankenstein creations from time to time out on the road, and especially at motor shows and events such as Cruisin’ the Coast around the nation. This kind of ride exists, true enough, but it’s still rather niche.
Continue reading for more on trikes.
Harley-Davidson’s “Project Rushmore” is a bold initiative, and it has brought us a surprising number of innovations and upgraded components from a company with something of a take-it-or-leave-it reputation. As much as I would like to say they invented all of them, the truth is that H-D is catching up with the rest of the world. It has been a long time coming, but they are catching up. Most of the Rushmore features made their way onto the big touring bikes with a few bleeding over into the performance models, and in this case, into the trike range.
Introduced in the Fall of 2014, and released for public consumption as a 2015 model, the Harley Freewheeler sees some Rushmore yummy-goodness on a slightly different platform. This three-wheeled creation combines tripod stability with a high-performance motor for a sporty ride without all the usual trike trappings, unusual to say the least, so let’s take a look at this new breed shall we?
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Freewheeler.
The funny backwards trikes in Can-Am’s sport stable for 2016 include the Spyder RS and the RS-S. Featuring the Rotax high-torque engine and 12 gallons of cargo space, these performance-minded siblings are a blend of motorcycle and car technologies to bring you a fun ride that corners like it’s on rails. No, they don’t lean, so it’s not exactly like riding a motorcycle, but not everyone is looking for the same experience.
For stability, you can’t beat three wheels. (Okay, you can beat it with four, but let’s stay in the motorcycle world here.) For riders looking for an in the wind experience but without the worry of wrestling the weight of a two-wheeler, these Spyders are the bomb-diggity. Add a little sporty performance and you can turn funny into fun in a hurry.
Continue reading for my review of the Can-Am Spyder RS and RS-S.
It’s now cool to be seen on a trike. No longer is a trike the ride of old guys too infirm to hold up a two-wheeler. Two things excite me about the Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra: it’s a Harley and it’s one of a Harley’s Project Rushmore bikes. As a biker’s ol’ lady, right away I’m excited about a new Harley with that Harley look, feel and sound. Add to that what I know about Project Rushmore, and I already know I’m going to like the Tri Glide Ultra (FLHTCUTG).
Continue reading to see my review on Harley-Davidson’s Tri Glide Ultra.
Is it still a motorcycle — or a bike — when it has three wheels? Is it really worth an argument? I don’t think so. The touring stable at the Can-Am farm includes the Spyder RT, RT-S, and RT Limited for the 2017 model year. All the rides feature the Rotax high-torque engine and 41 gallons of cargo space. They are tourers, of course, so think of them as full dressers: saddlebags — each big enough for a full-face helmet — and top case, heated handgrips, big adjustable windscreen, and full passenger ensconcement with adjustable floorboards.
For someone new to the wind (usually I’d say “new to two wheels” but that doesn’t apply here), you have a very stable riding platform; and for experienced folks, you have a ride that is comfortable and it’s easy to adapt to the differences. It’s a heavier ride than you’re used to so you might feel like you really have to crank the throttle, but it’s really a nice, comfortable and relaxed ride.
Continue reading for my review of the Can-Am Spyder RT lineup.
Trimming down the 2016 stable for 2017, Can-Am offers the F3-S and F3-S Daytona 500 in the sport cruising line and the F3-T as their cruiser-touring model. All of the F3 models come with a Dynamic Power Steering (DPS) function that delivers variable steering assistance based on wheel angle and forward vehicle speed. In reverse, it decreases sensitivity as speed increases for controllable backing operations.
Sport cruising, or touring, whatever you’re looking for, you can find in the Spyder F3 — except for a ride with two wheels, of course.
Continue reading for my review of the Can-Am F3 stable.