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 Motorcycle Safety
 General Discussion
 Trikes vs reverse trikes
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Male Advanced Member
1117 Posts

Jacksonville, NC

Moto Guzzi

2007 Breva V750 ie

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  11:10 AM                       Like
I have heard various assertions about the inherent safety of reverse trikes (two wheels in front) compared to normal trikes (two wheels in back). Some have said the reverse trike is safer than the normal one, others have said the normal ones are safer, and others have said that they are about equally safe (or unsafe), just different.

Is there any physical reason that one kind should be safer or more stable than the other, all other factors being equal?

Is there any research to show which one is safer in actual use?

(If this question more properly belongs in another forum, please move it.)

Advanced Member
1700 Posts

Stratford, CT



Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 12/07/2011 :  11:52 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I think 2 wheels in front are more stable in cornering, all things being equal.

I think the bigger issue is if the trikes have a high CG, which both the traditional trike, and a CanAm Spyder have.

In one respect, the Spyder is designed from the start as a trike, where most other traditional trikes are kits added and not engineered from front to rear. Still, the Spyder seems to need, (but at least it did get) electronic stability control, power steering etc.

Ever see the English trike/car Reliant? They sure tipped over easily. The much older reverse trike Morgan was low and long, and seemed to handle well (at least for the time period). On the other end of the spectrum, the reverse trike T-rex is supposed to be capable of more than 1 g cornering.

In the case of Morgans or T-rex, generations apart, but they both have lower CG's.

ps: I forgot to mention Thoroughbred Stallion, which is a traditional trike, but MAY have a relatively low CG. It may corner well.

Edited by - rkfire on 12/07/2011 12:08 PM
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Male Moderator
1484 Posts

Evanston, IL



Posted - 12/08/2011 :  3:46 AM
The Can-Am also has stability control to monitor and adjust brakes and power to prevent roll over. Take it from one who has rolled a single front wheel trike on its side. It is all too easy. Notice there are no more 3 wheel ATVs. They were deemed too dangerous.
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Male Senior Member
382 Posts

Arlington, Va


Sprint ST

Posted - 12/08/2011 :  4:35 PM
I participated in the beta test of the can am spyders before the traction control was finalized (I'll never call it fully dialed in the way it abruptly cuts power). It was all to easy to get a front wheel in the air on a tight corner, even with the appropriate trike/atv body posture. However, the electronics package gives the purpose built machines that added advantage.
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