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A guy at the gun shop today was telling about the new HD trike and I said "Huh?" I didn't see one in the 06 catalog. Is there such a thing, maybe special order? He went so far as to say it leaned in the corners. I sorta remember maybe a sidecar setup that leaned, but not a trike.
 

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dusty67 said:
A guy at the gun shop today was telling about the new HD trike and I said "Huh?" I didn't see one in the 06 catalog. Is there such a thing, maybe special order? He went so far as to say it leaned in the corners. I sorta remember maybe a sidecar setup that leaned, but not a trike.

There are aftermarket companies that will do trike conversions, but , afaik, none are available from the HD factory.
 

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And there is at least one with independent suspension that can lean into the turns. I think it was an additional $3000 just for that option.
 

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Tell your friend to stick to guns. There are 5 major conversion companies. Lehman is the leader followed by Motor Trike, DFT, California Side Car, and Mystery Designs. DFT and Mystery use independant suspension, the rest use Ford 10" rear ends modified for the bike. The conversion kits run 12 to 20 thousand dollars on top of the cost of the bike. Mystery uses its own rolling chassis, the custom trikes run 40,000+. Excile Choppers also makes a '1 off for $60,000+ Motor Trike also makes a turn key on a Suzuki chassis. Harley stopped making the Servi-car in the (trike) years ago. Good Luck
 

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screwball said:
Tell your friend to stick to guns. There are 5 major conversion companies. Lehman is the leader followed by Motor Trike, DFT, California Side Car, and Mystery Designs. DFT and Mystery use independant suspension, the rest use Ford 10" rear ends modified for the bike. The conversion kits run 12 to 20 thousand dollars on top of the cost of the bike. Mystery uses its own rolling chassis, the custom trikes run 40,000+. Excile Choppers also makes a '1 off for $60,000+ Motor Trike also makes a turn key on a Suzuki chassis. Harley stopped making the Servi-car in the (trike) years ago. Good Luck
I am approaching the age where I am starting to find Trikes appealing. Can anyone expand upon the different manufacturers and the advantages/disadvantages of their designs? Also I am interested in the build quality and the service and support of the companies. Are there any sites out there that discuss the different conversions in detail?

THANKS!!!!
 

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My first Harley was a trike (chopped servi-car). I can give you a few disadvantages.
1. You can never miss a pot hole in the road. Having three wheels across a lane just about guarantees you're going to hit it.
2. If you try to ride it like a bike you'll end up in the ditch on the very first curve in the road (Don't ask how I know this). Learning how to steer while your senses are telling you to lean can get exciting real quick.
3. Trying to push it forward out of an intersection while sitting on the seat is a great way to get everyone laughing at you when the rear wheels roll up on your feet and stretch you out to the point you can't move until some kind soul pulls the POS back off your feet. :duh?: What can I say, I was 19 at the time.
Other than that, they're a kick in the pants to ride. I still have a soft spot for them and wouldn't mind building another.
 

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Heliman,

I recently converted my UltraClassic to a trike due to a bad knee. I did allot of research on the different trikes available, and could find little definitive information. The most overarching, but still very limited, website I found was www.trikes.org for Trike Riders International.

As for which brand is "best", it seems to be opinion based. I went with a Lehman, I felt they had the best construction, assembly and appearance--but they also cost a few more. Others, like California Sidecar, are cheaper but did not look as well made to me. One big driver is independent rear vs. solid no-lean axle (Lehman is no lean). I've talked with owners of both, and they each like their design better. The dealer that did my conversion, however, was strongly against the independent rear and sold me. He did both Hanningan (independent rear) and Lehman trikes, the ONLY bike he recommends the Hannigan for is a BMW--Lehman does not make a kit for that bike. I did sit on the BMW, and have a feeling it would feel strange in a corner, not to mention it was much wider than a Lehman.

Take a look at the mentioned website, and there are some articles if you do a Google. I did not find anything that said absolutely do not get X brand trike, but the bias appeared towards Lehman, followed by DFT and Trike Shop.
 

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McClendons said:
Heliman,

I recently converted my UltraClassic to a trike due to a bad knee. I did allot of research on the different trikes available, and could find little definitive information. The most overarching, but still very limited, website I found was www.trikes.org for Trike Riders International.

As for which brand is "best", it seems to be opinion based. I went with a Lehman, I felt they had the best construction, assembly and appearance--but they also cost a few more. Others, like California Sidecar, are cheaper but did not look as well made to me. One big driver is independent rear vs. solid no-lean axle (Lehman is no lean). I've talked with owners of both, and they each like their design better. The dealer that did my conversion, however, was strongly against the independent rear and sold me. He did both Hanningan (independent rear) and Lehman trikes, the ONLY bike he recommends the Hannigan for is a BMW--Lehman does not make a kit for that bike. I did sit on the BMW, and have a feeling it would feel strange in a corner, not to mention it was much wider than a Lehman.

Take a look at the mentioned website, and there are some articles if you do a Google. I did not find anything that said absolutely do not get X brand trike, but the bias appeared towards Lehman, followed by DFT and Trike Shop.
Thanks for the information! Fortunately I am able to control my bike at this point in time. However as more and more body parts fail I would like to have a safe alternative so I can keep on "riding into the sunset".
 

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McClendons

I too am considering a trike in the next year, due to a knee replacement. I have look at quite a few, but have not decided. I have ridden a Hannigan, but not a Lehman. What was the reason your dealer steered you away from a Hannigan? And what others did you consider and the reasoning. I have looked and still confused on which is best?
Thanks for a reply.

Mavrick
 

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Th dealer was largerly against the independant suspension-- they elan the wrong way in a turn just as a car does. His feeling if that for most riders,the extra lean is very disconcerting. I'm still getting used to not being able to lean INTO a turn-so I do beleive the Hanningan would be a bigger adjustment. His other issue was with the width, the hannigan tend to be even wider than Lehmans due to the indpendant rear-----the BMW he had was as wide as my wifes car. Evrything I read indiacted the Hannigan would ride slightly better at low speed, where a solid axle like Lehman will roam a little below 20 or so. I have not had that problem,and with good shocks (progressive) the ride is good.

I looked at CSC (too wide and did not appera well built--may have been the dealer), DFT (Just did not think the design complmented Harley as well as the Lehman did but looked retty well made--although not as well finished, but was cheaper), Some custom trikes (choice), and a brand sold at Trike Shop in Daytona, may have neen called Trike Shop (Once again, the Lehman had a better design for Harley and appeared to have better finish, at a proce of course).

I did look at the Trikes.Org site, and people tended to be happy with the main brands. Several did say that Lehman was best overall, but was priced similily.

One final selling point, The Lehman is DOT certified (insurance company liked), some (maybe all of) the others are not. Hope that helps, it is somewhat a personal call, I did like the looks of the Hannigan, excluding the width
 

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Quote from above - The dealer was largerly against the independant suspension--

The guy sells Lehman, what else would you expect him to say. He's not about to push independant suspension when his bread and butter is solid rear ends.

We have the DFT and wouldn't have anything else. Have 50k on it. Been all over the country on it. The statement that the DFT handles better at slow speed and the Lehman better at high speed is BS. I drove it to work yesterday on the freeway (120 miles round trip). Set the cruise on 80 both ways and it never wavers. Ran her up to 90 a couple of times to pass some cars. I usually don't push her that hard but once in a while it just feels good to run her up. As for leaning, there might be a little. I don't notice it. I do know this, I have never raised a wheel off the ground. I take corners at 10 to 15 mph over the posted limits for the corners and have no problems. It does begin to steer hard at those speeds. It's a motorcycle and doesn't like to be told where to go. It wants to lean, so yes, it does begin to fight you if you are going into the corner too fast. Same as with a sidecar but not as bad. As low as the center of gravity is with these things, I don't think you would ever flip one, on flat ground anyway. You would run off into the ditch first because of not being able to pull it through the corner. As far as the DFT not complimenting the Harley, it looks very clean and compliments it perfectly, I think. They make two body styles. The FL Smoothie is not my kind of style. I don't think it looks good but that's my personal opinion. We have the FL Touring body on ours. Go to this site and look for yourself, at the 2 body styles.

http://www.dfttrikes.com/kits/harley/all.php

I think Lehman makes a good trike conversion. My objection to them is their weight. When I was shopping I was told that the Lehamn adds approximately 300 pounds to the weight of the bike because of the solid rear car axle they use. Plus, I think their body styles look really bulky compared to the DFT body style. But again, that's my personal opinion. You have to decide for yourself. With the DFT we added 125 pounds to the weight of the bike. We all know Harley's are not the most powerful bike in the world and any weight you can keep off makes it better. I can't speak for the Lehmann because I don't know how they do their gearing but with the DFT you retain the exact same gearing ratio's that you have when it is 2 wheels. They use your oem rear sprocket and belt and mount the sprocket on the side of their differential. That way you have direct drive right to the wheel not through the differential. They use half axles. to drive the wheels. We have 235R60-16 tires on it and they are less than a 1/4 of an inch larger in diameter than the Dunlop 402's. Our speedo might read just a hair slow because of this difference in tire size.

My problem with the Hannigan is the width. If I remember correctly, it's a foot wider than our DFT. Our DFT is 48" outside of the tire to outside of the tire. Other than that I know nothing about them, except what I've read on their site.

We test drove a Lehman when we were looking to convert. It was on an Evo Softail. It felt under powered but other than that it rode nice and handled ok. I can't remember that it handled any better or worse in the corners than our DFT.

If you're interested, go to this site. We are the blue and ice Ultra at the bottom of the page. My wife calls it our "Trike For Two" as shown on the truck lid.

http://www.dfttrikes.com/customer_pages/customer2.php

My thoughts are that you shouldn't get too hung up on the type of suspension. I think they are both good in their own way. We load this sucker down when we go on vacation and it handles and rides really nice. I see more of the country myself now, as I don't have to be watching for every oil slick or piece of gravel or spot of sand in the road or in the corners. I'm getting too old to fight with those heavy 2 wheeled things any longer and this way I'm still in the wind and have the old Harley singing to me.

For you guys that are just starting to think about it, good luck in your choice. They are a lot of money so you need to be certain of which way you want to go. My vote is on the independent suspension. But they are fun, too.

By the way, someone on here mentioned the reverse from Champion Sidecar and that it was too expensive. Let me tell you, I wouldn't be without it. Yes, you can get off and push the thing around, but why should you? And if you're in the wrong place at times, they still get heavy trying to push them around. Why worry about where you're going to park and have to think about pushing it out? Park the sucker and back out. No muss, no fuss. With installation it's around $1600 or you can do it yourself and save around $400. Expensive? What the heck is $1600 or less compared to the $13,000 or so you're going to put into it?

That's my thought. Good luck.
 

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Three Wheel Interest

For those of you interested in trikes and three wheelers, I suggest looking into an organization called "Brothers-of-the-Thrid-Wheel". They have a website and forum, and a quarterly rag for its membership.
 

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It's was in there stock news the other day............
Sparky88
 
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