Harley Davidson Forums banner

Trike Comfort - Or, when do you know it's time?

10963 Views 67 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Throttle Fiend
I'll try and keep this quick and dirty because I'm usually longwinded. Just turned 51 last week. I AM able to ride my 2022 FXLRST, but I've recently started considering 3 wheels for the following reasons (When I say 3 wheels, I specifically mean a TGU. Like the Road Glide 3, but want storage and a proper throne for my queen to sit on while traveling):

  • Multiple health issues (most tied to military/Persian Gulf service) that are troubling (eyesight/tinnitus-hearing loss/arthritis in both wrists and hands/minor balance issues (not while riding) and may get worse in a hurry
  • I want to start laying down serious miles. Have a goal of 20K this year regardless of bike, so I need something comfortable.
  • Bought the wife her first big bike, a Rebel 1100. If we travel together long distances, we'll either be trailering or riding on 3 (she refuses 2-up on 2 wheels)
  • Part of me says it's better to cut to the chase now. I know it may be a few years (minimum) before I need a trike, but the logical side says just switch to a TGU and deal with the fact that I'm not the badass I used to be
More specifically, for those who came from touring models or cruisers that were set up specifically so they could do touring:

  • Is the trike more comfortable than say, a Road Glide Special or Limited or a Street Glide Special or Ultra?
  • Was the transition difficult?
  • Did you have any regrets - thinking you switched too early and should've held out on twos longer?
I typically don't care what other people think, but for anyone who switched to 3 prior to age 60:
  • How was your reception by other bikers? Did you deal with a lot of crap?
  • Are you glad you did it when you did?

Thanks in advance for any advice. I'm really struggling with this so info from those who know would be great. My heart says fight it as long as I can, but my head says sometimes it's better to admit you ain't got it anymore and move on with what works best.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 5
1 - 11 of 68 Posts
Last September I went from an Electra Glide to a Freewheeler for two up riding. Ive got about 5600 miles on mine. My bad knees made this the right move for me. Being 67, I knew a change was needed.. The Freewheeler is a little different than the Tri Glide, but definitely close enough for comparison.

A lot of people say the trikes steer very heavy, while it does take some added input from a bike, to me, it's not that bad at all. Does take some reflex training not to counter steer. I also have a metric cruiser for one up riding and swap between bike and trike without an issue.

Watch the wider rear, especially pulling up to fuel pump and curbs on tight turns. You don't have to swing super wide, just by aware. Also remember front tire needs to be in middle of lane so rear tires aren't in ditch or other lane.

Don't put your feet down, a broken ankle is just waiting for you. Always set the foot brake. It's been an easy habit for me, it's right where a bike's kickstand is.

Brakes are good, ABS and integrated. I'm still getting used to the brakes some. You will feel a very slight pulse on the front brake lever that corresponds to you pushing on rear brake. I've talked to several trike owners and dealer, they say it's normal, but still fells weird.

Steering is of course different, you turn the direction you want to go. Slower speeds takes a different amount of turning than higher speeds. At higher speeds the steering can be a little twitchy, think a true sport car twitchy, not a dangerous twitchy. I've found it's much easier for a relaxed straight line riding if you place front tire a few inches from center. Most roads have a crown in the middle and front tire will want to wonder some. Yours has a 16 inch front tires while the Freewheeler has a 19 inch, so might not be an issue for you.

Set up rear suspension to your weight. There's an adjustment knob under seat that goes from 0 to 50. After several adjustments I found 7 to be about right for my wife's and my combined weight of about 300 pounds.

The 114 motor is a blast. I went from an 88 on my old EG so the 114 even with the extra trikes weight, it's a hot rod.

My wife loves the ride. Her main comment has been the centrifugal force pushing her to outside of corner is taking some getting used to. She was used to leaning with bike and on the trike there isn't any leaning. She laughs at me at times as I still lean time to time.

I feel like I just wrote a book. But just getting my trike and still having a bike, I can relate to the differences. Any questions, just ask away. Here's mine.

Wheel Tire Fuel tank Plant Vehicle
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 5
I've made several 400 mile one day trips and never felt anymore wore out than on two wheels. Wrist hasn't been an issue. For steering when you would normally push the bar side you wanted wanted to go, counter-steering, you push on the opposite side. My brain adopted this quickly without an issue. I had almost all the concerns you have. Biggest one the fear that I wouldn't feel like I was on two wheels, well that was not the case at all, my wind therapy is still there. A other concern was will others think I was over the hill. It's almost been exactly the opposite, folks ask me alot about the freedom on the trike. Plus, if they Donnie what I ride, piss on them. My wife loves riding the trike. First time in years it's her idea to take trike to dinner, etc.

For a prospective, here's video on two wheels

and same road on trike, if I didn't tell you I was on trike, would you know?

I suggest, do what you think is right, just don't let any "am I still in the air" thoughts concern you. FYI, I still have a bike and trike, since last September, about 1000 miles on bike and over 5000 on trike, so yea, I like the trike better.

Let me add a third video when I resenty changed camera positions, yes, I have two cameras.

See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Hopefully the videos showed that the wind is the wind, 2 or 3 wheels and the trike is simple, enjoyable and just down right fun.

Thanks for the Mustang compliment. My mother bought it new, I inherited when she passed. Will always be in the family.
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Almost every seat vendor has seats for the Freewheeler. My wife has taken 6 hour rides with me and didn't have issue with stock seat.

We did resenty add arm rests, she loves them. Got it from Amazon, was a little cheaper.

Vehicle Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive lighting

Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Land vehicle Vehicle

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Automotive lighting Tread

Font Screenshot Web page Software Multimedia

See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 3
Congrats on the new bike. Which color? Gotta post pictures. I'm sure you will love it. Make sure and let us know how the fairing is.

A few mods I made for comfort.

Mid frame heat shields and oil cooler cover. I live on dirt road and thought of rock being thrown up into oil cooler scared me.

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive fuel system

Then added driver drink holder and camera mount.

Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Hood Automotive tire Automotive design

Then trunk rack with additional bad, passenger backrest and drink holder.

Vehicle Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Automotive tire

Then added driver foot rests.

Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive tire

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive lighting

Think I done adding stuff for a while.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Sounds like you have a great plan. I actually found the stock seat is very comfortable. I've gone on several 400 and 600 mile trips and seat did well. You will find you are limited on passenger arm rests if you want them. FYI, mine is Stage 1 and runs great. But I had an 88 in an EG before that so big jump to the 114.
  • Like
Reactions: 2
I have a Grasshopper driver backrest that I use when riding alone.

Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Land vehicle Vehicle

When riding two up I take it off. With the Grasshopper or another backrest it's a tight fit for the passenger. My wife has "matured" over the years and her weight has shifted.

Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting

When riding two up I just use her as my backrest, works great.

Wheel Tire Land vehicle Vehicle Automotive tire
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 3
Definitely a cool bike, congrats.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Thanks! Your help and advice was very much appreciated! If I'm ever out your way, I'd be honored to buy you a beer, sir!
Come on out anytime. We have some great roads to ride in the Texas Hill.
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Definitely looking forward to some detailed ride reports on the new trike. Let me know if you need some help with the break in miles, I'll be happy to assist.
  • Like
  • Haha
Reactions: 2
Get some covers on those rear fenders or that shiney paint wont look good with stone chips .
I would prefer to have the fender showing in all its glory but better safe than stone chips
View attachment 826936
Agreed, I haven't gotten them yet and got my first major chip the other day.

Writing implement Wood Material property Paint Gas
See less See more
  • Sad
Reactions: 2
1 - 11 of 68 Posts