Drive A Motorcycle Trike

A classic trike.

Motorcycle trikes are fairly new on the highways and often draw interest and curiosity from fellow motorists. Simply, they are motorcycles with three wheels which significantly improve stability for the driver. Trikes are are typically Gold Wing motorcycles that have been converted to two wheels in the rear. A company called BRP also sells another version of a trike with two front wheels called the Can-Am Spyder Roadster. Safety is a primary reason people convert to trikes as they are safer to ride over uneven terrain, such as grates or railroad tracks, and they are more stable when riding with two people on a bike.


1. Drive the trike around in a parking lot to get used to the turning radius. The driving controls on the trike are the same as a normal motorcycle so no change is needed there. Practice leaving the trike in first gear and, while cruising at low speeds, doing figure eights, one after the other. This routine will have you accustomed to the wider turning radius.

2. Steer the trike as you would a car. Use the push-pull steering technique with the handlebars. This means that if you want to turn right, pull the right handlegrip towards you and push the left away from you. Do the opposite for a left-hand turn. This technique helps with sharp turns as you will find it easier to push and pull at the same time when the tendency for motorcycle riders might be to just pull in the direction you want to turn.

3. Remember that you do not need to put your foot down when you stop the bike. The three wheels support the bike when stopped. If you put your foot down, you run the risk of running over your own foot.

4. Drive the trike in a traffic or freeway situation as you would a car. Never try to ride in between cars, often called “lane splits,” as doing so runs the risk of serious injury or death due to the extra width of the trike, and it is illegal in every state except California.

5. Apply constant pressure on the handlebars for tight turns, such as on and off ramps on the freeway. As the turns decrease in radius and become sharper, the turning angle will become noticeably more difficult to maintain. Approach freeway exits and entrances with caution while becoming familiar with the trike.