A trike is a motorized three wheeled vehicle, often with an appearance closer to a motorcycle than to a car. These machines have increased in popularity in recent years, being seen as an excellent alternative to motorbikes. There are strict definitions of what most owners think of a trike as being. A motorcycle with a sidecar is not, for instance, seen as being one, despite the fact that it has three wheels.
Real trikes are usually custom made, trike motorcycle for sale often involving using a car engine as the power source. A popular engine that is used is one taken from a Volkswagen Beetle. Such an engine will give a three wheeled vehicle just the right amount of acceleration and speed.
One reason has been that they are seen as a more stable alternative to a motorcycle. This makes them perfect for those with stability problems – this form of vehicle provides the thrill of riding a two wheeled machine, with the increased feeling of safety provided by that extra wheel.
Another important development has been in the way that the machines look. Specialist firms have been keen to spruce up their trike designs, producing machines that look great, as well as offering the expected performance levels. There’s a whole culture that goes with riding these machines too. That culture places trike owners in the same bracket as motorcycle owners, distinct from those of us who drive cars and other four wheeled vehicles.
Indeed, there are regular get togethers in the uk where bikers and trike owners meet. As with other forms of transport, there are environmental concerns surrounding the three wheelers. Some manufacturers are looking to ease such worries by attempting to produce more environmentally friendly models. If you’re thinking of buying a trike, then the following is a useful starting point. This article covers the basics of trike ownership and is aimed at those looking to purchase a machine in the uk.
The first thing that you may not know about trikes is that they can be powered by either a car engine or a motorcycle engine. Which engine is providing the power will influence the weight of the vehicle and its performance. When you come to buy a machine, you’ll need to consider what you are legally qualified to ride. If in doubt, check with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
The weight of the machine will also make a difference to the testing standards that are applied. Once again, you need to check the legal status of your vehicle to make sure that you have a valid MOT certificate at all times. One question that confuses a lot of people is the issue of helmets. In the uk, at the time of writing, it is not a legal obligation to wear a helmet when wearing a motorized trike.
You will find that some police officers are unsure of this, mainly because seeing a trike on the road is still relatively rare. Many trike owners do decide to wear a helmet, finding that it offers protection from dirt, the weather and any other debris. The choice is yours, although it is certainly the case that there are some excellent trike designs available. The question of seat belts is far less obvious. The decision on whether or not you have to wear seat belts is down to the weight and age of your vehicle.
At the time of writing, this means that you do have to wear a seatbelt if your trike has an unladen weight of more than 410kg and was first used on or after 1 January 1965. Similarly, you would also need a seatbelt if your vehicle has an unladen weight of more than 255kg and was first used on or after 1 September 1970.
There is, however, an exception – if your machine has an unladen weight of less than 410kg and has a driver’s seat and the driver sets astride it, but only if the vehicle was constructed by someone who doesn’t usually build trikes. Confused? As you’ll see, some of the UK laws surrounding trike ownership are quite complex! The situation arises as a result of trikes being seen as halfway between a motorcycle and a car.