Bikes, Trikes and the likes

I have been trying to convince my lovely wife to ride… on her own bike.  From experience I realize she is safer on the back of my bike, or on a three wheeled machine that doesn’t require great sense of balance, confidence on two wheels and nerves of steel.  Don’t get me wrong, I love riding with my wife on the back, and I trust her driving skills on four wheels, but she has had a spill on a scooter that did shake her confidence, and confidence is key to safe riding. I know how much fun she would have on her own machine. But, safety first! The only 3 wheeled options I have found so far on the market are – a custom trike conversion, motorcycle sidecar, and the CanAM Spyder.

Lets review one at a time.

The custom trike conversion is usually a kit that you have to put together yourself on a doner bike or an expensive Harley-Davidson custom option. You can find them used from $15k-$30k in price but believe me, it will be hard to find one that matches your taste since they are all custom. But here is the problem, “They make your ass look fat.” said my wife. Despite the fact that I am a person who knows appearances do not define a persons value, I cannot deny that trikes make EVERYONE’S ass look wider than they actual are. OK, so “no” on a trike.

The Ural sidecar is a favourite of mine, made in Russia, built on the original BMW boxer engine and frame, however it is awkward to drive if you are used to two wheels, takes a bit of extra training. You can also purchase (relatively inexpensively) a sidecar that I have seen installed on a Triumph Scrambler that looks great and preforms well. But… “It looks like a boys bike.” said my wife. Yes, it does look like a military bike out of an Indiana Jones movie… that is because it is a military bike popularized in the third Indiana Jones movie and seen in many WWII movies. “No” to the Ural.

The Can-Am Spyder is a cool looking machine. A unique 3 wheel design with two in the front, super easy to ride, good visibility, drives like a car, even has reverse. And, hey, it looks a lot like a snow mobile. “It looks like a snow mobile.” said my wife. It does look like a snow mobile because it was designed by BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products) the same company that builds planes, like the Dash 8, and the Ski-doo and Sea-doo. “No” to the Spyder.

And then the answer presented itself on the road in my neighbourhood. The Piaggio MP3 scooter, three wheels, easy to drive. I have yet to test drive it but it looks like a safe, easy to drive, cute option that might convince my wife to ride. “Oh, cute, I like that.” said my wife. I see potential!

Windscreen for my V-Strom 650

20150618_195040I don’t know if you noticed from an earlier post this windscreen.  Yes, it is home made, by me.  I have been testing it for 2 years,  in all kinds of riding conditions and it works like a charm.  For those of us that have tall upper bodies and the standard OEM windscreen doesn’t do the trick, an extension is essential.  I have played with all kinds of different designs by different manufacturers and found them all wanting in just that extra bit of height required to clear your shoulders and head, without buffeting.  So I made my own.  Not only did it take care of the problem of buffeting it also increase my fuel range, with slightly better aerodynamics.

Tell me if you have experienced the same thing.  Most windshields either direct the wind right into my head and shoulders or created this backwash buffeting that hits me in the side of the head or my passenger behind me.  My last bike, Suzuki Boulevard C50, the angle of the windscreen was aimed right at my head.  The only bike I have tried where this hasn’t been an issue is the Harley Street Glide King, and I realized it isn’t from the angle of the windscreen but how far away it is from the rider.  So I came up with a bracket system to hold a piece of lexan any shape and size, further away from the rider.

I am in the process of sorting out mass production to offer it for sale.  Stay tuned.


Honda scooter – Giorno

20150623_144737I love this little bike, the Honda Giorno.  A few interesting facts… there is a compartment under the seat that can hold a full face sized helmet, it gets insane gas mileage (50+km/litre) and it is very affordable.  Compare this to the Vespa, I think the Honda will be better.  I heard from a dealer once that Vespa quality has declined recently because they make most of the parts in China.