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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

GL1800 trike

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This is the trike version of the Honda Goldwing 1800, one of the best tourers around. A trike means you never have to lean into a turn or put your feet on the pavement when you stop at a ligh

, but you still get the open-air thrills of riding a motorcycle. This particular bike has plenty of power and some nice, cushy appointments to let you enjoy the wind in your face in comfort and luxury. This is a great bike for relaxing, long-distance touring.

Specs & Features

The Honda GL1800 Goldwing Trike features a liquid-cooled, 1832cc, 6-cylinder engine, which packs plenty of punch and is more than adequate to move the bike’s 892lbs at breathtaking speeds. A comfortable seat and adjustable windscreen ensure you stay happy for as far as the 6.6-gallon fuel tank will take you, and 6.75 cubic feet of trunk space allows you to take plenty with you on your trip.

History

Trikes have been around about as long as motorcycles. Some people prefer them for the simple safety and security of having a balanced frame, as the worry of spills disappears with the addition of a third point of contact with the ground. The Honda Trike has been a popular choice since it established the new trend in touring bikes with its introduction in 1975. Bike or trike, the series has a rich 30-year history as an excellent touring motorcycle.

All the Trikes that Southwest Trikes sells are conversions from existing motorcycles. The kits they use are from Motor Trike and they can convert your Harley or a Honda motorcycle (or they offer one from Honda already build). All Motor Trike kits are manufactured using Air Ride Suspension (patent pending) as standard equipment. They offer true suspension—letting the shock absorbers do what they were designed for—to dampen sudden and rapid motion. The product is unique in that the ride quality and handling characteristics split the difference between the traditional solid axle design and the independent rear suspensions being offered today. I did not know that there was so much interest in Trikes until I met with Jim, Don and Kathy from Southwest Trikes. One thing that I did notice is that these Trike conversions are really attractive looking packages. Aside from that there are multiple reasons for the popularity. Some folks do not like holding up that big Honda Gold Wing with their toes or have a handicap that prevents them from doing so. Also, there are a growing number of people that just want the luxury of having three wheels to tour. Start looking around and you will see more and more of them populating the highways and streets in your neighborhood.

The Ride

Last month I got to ride a new Honda Gold Wing. I was very impressed with the motorcycle. The one thing that I did not like about the Honda was the seat height. It is a big motorcycle and weighs in around 800 pounds. The only time that this was a concern was while parking or stopped at a light. My poor toes would have liked a massage at the end of day. Not with the Trike. After you mount, you never have to put your feet down again. Not even to back it up. All of the Honda Gold Wing motorcycles provide a reverse. How nice. I understand that they also offer reverse on some of the Harley’s that they convert. Anyway, after I started across the parking lot, I ran over a recessed sewer lid. What a strange feeling to have the bike lean without having to correct for the lean. You just keep going straight without giving it a second thought.

After turning onto Cave Creek road the bike felt great. I did notice, and I was warned, that when you turn you have to allow for the wide rear end. When I turned the corner I noticed that the inside tire comes close to the curb. Riding down Cave Creek was a blast. You just sit there and enjoy the ride. The Trike runs down the road like it is on rails. Straight and solid with only the occasional dip in the payment to remind you that you are not on a motorcycle as you lookout over the handlebars. Stopping at stoplights and parking could not be easier. You get to sit there in complete comfort. No concern about putting one or two feet down to hold up your ride. You feel as thought you have more time and you can look around more. Now with the Honda Gold Wing, you have more options than most people have in a car. This is a great time to fiddle with the radio or seat or handle grip warmer. Or, if you have a GPS you can fiddle with it and not be bothered by holding up your bike.

The only thing that I did not like about the Trike was I found that while turning in town, you have to apply a fair amount of pressure to the handlebars to make sharp turns. It will turn, no problem, but the resistance is noticeable. I was told that the Gold Wing is the only Trike that does that and they have a cure for it. If you rake the front-end a little, (with an existing kit) the trike turns like it has power steering. On this Trike I would recommend the kit. The on-ramp to the 101 was a great treat. This three wheeler runs down the ramp at a great clip. It is not as fast as the Honda Gold Wing motorcycle, but it runs pretty strong. Again it is solid and comfortable. You can tell there is a differential under you, but it is not a distraction. On the 101 the Trike gives you a great feeling of stability. If you tend to look around, you do not wander around in your lane as you sometimes do on a motorcycle. On the highway it runs down the road straight as an arrow and making lane changes is a breeze. This Trike is as comfortable as sitting on a couch. But you still have the wind in your face and the roar of the six cylinder Honda propelling you down this concrete path.

Summary

A fun machine for sure and really great looking. If you ever wanted a Trike, you do not have to give up your ride. They can convert your motorcycle, provided it is a Harley or Honda. I did not have any sensation that there would ever be a problem with the inside wheel coming up. You would really have to work at getting it off of the ground. This Trike corners like a cat. One other thing that is great about this ride is that it will provide a new market to some people that can’t ride a conventional motorcycle. As they say, it is all the same wind and more people that can enjoy the motorcycle arena the better. By the way, you do need a motorcycle license to operate these Trikes.

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