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Nightfly
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do any of you guys, who ride 2 wheel motorcycles, think this is a good idea? I may be a tad behind as I am new to the term "autocycle." Not sure how many states have implemented a law such as this but apparently Maine is not the first.

They appear to be saying if it has three wheels, foot controls for throttle and brake and a steering wheel, it is an autocycle. If it has handle bar steering, hand controls for throttle and brake and three wheels, then it is still a motorcycle.

That would seem to leave Harley three wheelers and Honda three wheelers out in the cold, they are by definition still a motorcycle. Something seems to be afoot. As with most things, it would seem the appeal of greater sales trumps having better trained riders on the highways. Which reminds me, are they still considered riders?

https://www.pressherald.com/2019/07/14/maine-among-states-regulating-autocycles/comments/
 

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Moderator - Loves All Motorcycles
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We can largely thank Paul Elio for this...



Paul's company (that I'm still not convinced either isn't a scam or isn't so incompetent it shouldn't exist) wants to build three wheel cars that cost $6,800. Problem is that back when the project first started he ran into a roadblock that the car would be classified as a motorcycle, therefore requiring owners to have a motorcycle license and in some states, even wear a helmet. The guy wants to sell 250k of the things a year and those two roadblocks would definitely harm the possibility of hitting that number.

The other problem he then ran into is that he could get the car classified as a car, but then the car would be subject to crash testing and EPA regulations. And while he boasts about the car's supposed "simulated 5 star crash safety rating", I'm betting he knows the car will probably fail a crash test in its current design. Of course, he could beef up the car and install emissions equipment, but then that probably comes at odds with the target $6,800 price tag.

So he started lobbying to Congress, the NHTSA, and the States for a third classification. The Autocycle classification allows a company to build a three wheeled vehicle and not have to worry about the expensive components and safety of a car while also not having to worry about the legal requirements of motorcycles.

Personally? I'm a bit conflicted. Things like the Elio should be classified as a car. After all, it's literally just a car with a wheel missing. But the Slingshot or the Morgan 3 Wheeler? Well those are neither motorcycles nor cars, so what should they be?
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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A lot of states scratched their heads when the when the slingshot came out. I know that here in MD you could not register them when they first came out because the state didn't know how to classify them.
 

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On The Road Again!
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New Jersey classifies it as an Autocycle if it has a steering wheel and seats like a car. If it has handlebars like a Spyder, it's a motorcycle.
 

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Premium Member
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Motorcycles are bicycles with motors. Bi is two. Tri is three. If it has three wheels, it can not be a motorcycle. It can be a tricycle.

However the folks that make the rules, may think differently than me.

UK
 

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Nightfly
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4,601 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Motorcycles are bicycles with motors. Bi is two. Tri is three. If it has three wheels, it can not be a motorcycle. It can be a tricycle.

However the folks that make the rules, may think differently than me.

UK
In the possibility you find a politician to agree with you, I promise to not hold my breath.
 

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Follow the money and all things become clearer.
 
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American Legion Rider
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New Jersey classifies it as an Autocycle if it has a steering wheel and seats like a car. If it has handlebars like a Spyder, it's a motorcycle.
Then what do they call a Stallion? It has a steering wheel but sits like a motorcycle. Some even have heating and air-conditioning. It is certainly closer to a car than a motorcycle but has been classified as a trike since the very beginning.

Then you have that French car that has 2 wide wheels in front and 2 narrow in the rear. It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to change that car to a auto-cycle by removing one wheel, thereby having the ability to skip all the safety requirements of cars.

Yes, it's a confusing bag of worms. It should be motorcycles, trikes or cars. Period. Put your foot down and live with it. The heck with the troll Paul Elio and others like him.

But then I'm also for everyone having to use a motorcycle or trike as their first licensed vehicle too. It is after all a privilege to drive isn't it? Make it a true privilege. That would open the eyes of a lot of folks and we wouldn't just have one month where it's suggested to watch out for motorcycles.
 

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2021 CanAm Spyder RT
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I really don't care what you call the three wheel vehicles, I'm just glad that they are available on the market for those that want them. Clearly there are many more people that want the feeling of a motorcycle, or at least some of the feeling, without having to actually learn to ride a motorcycle. Vehicles like the Can-Am Spyder, the Slingshot and others allow the rider/driver to be open to the elements, unencumbered by the weight (and cost) of required automotive equipment, and yet not require the learning of balancing a heavy, motorized two wheeler (as well as the shifting and use of hand controls and other features of actual motorcycles). They also allow a motorcycle-like experience for those with physical disabilities that would make riding a traditional motorcycle difficult or impossible, as well as the older rider looking for something that they can safely handle despite decreased strength and flexibility.

All of us that ride are accepting the greater risk of injury or death as compared to driving a car or truck. Driving an "autocycle" allows the individual to have a somewhat similar experience by accepting the risks associated with a vehicle similar to a car, or as a trike, without it being subject to the rules that govern legal cars and trucks. Personally, I don't care for these particularly, having had the chance to ride a Spyder, to drive a Slingshot, and to try a traditional motorcycle trike. But I would choose any of these over having to be limited to traditional cars. Even a convertible, while nice, is not the same as being on any of the autocycles. Where the line gets really blurry is something like the Slingshot with a roof, where I would guess it feels even more car-like, or possibly like a really cheap and flimsy car whose rear end can readily break loose and cause you to lose control.

But clearly some of us in the two wheel riding community DO enjoy some of the advantages of cars while still riding a motorcycle. I love my Goldwing, a very real motorcycle, but I also enjoy having the cruise control, audio features, built in GPS navigation, a fairing for some protection from the elements, etc. In some ways, adding a third wheel could theoretically keep it a motorcycle but with the stability of a trike (in other words, no need to balance at slow speeds or stops). Something like the new Yamaha Niken, if the wheels could become upright and rigid when slowing to a walking pace or stopping, might end up being the perfect compromise.
 

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Nightfly
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I get where you're coming from Vito, I just don't agree. I would think any riding or driving skills you can acquire, be it on your lawn mower, farm tractor or by being required to have a stamp on your license, would be a positive thing.

It should not be about someone being able to ride and enjoy the wind blowing through their hair as reason for not having to take a test and pass it because the riding experience takes precedent over knowing how to handle the machine. If you want to ride the damn thing you should know how to handle it. I took a test for my CDL class A license, so should these three wheel riders.
 

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Driftless Rider
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1,554 Posts
I can see the point in more "staged" licenses for certain types of bikes, scoots and three wheelers.

MC license for anything over a certain size/power range. (like it's currently set up.)

A "Trike" license
. (things with handlebars and an extra wheel- standard trikes, Spyders)

Auto car- for 3 wheelers with steering wheel, foot accelerator (Slingshot, Morgan, Vanderhall, etc)

Frankly, if the Slingshot, Vanderhall, etc are legal, I see no reason cars the KTM Xbow shouldn't be allowed.:confused:
 

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Follow the money and all things become clearer.
Nailed it...our government, local to DC, is for sale...pony up the cash and "voters be damned".

Wells Fargo has a pension plan that is MASSIVELY underfunded...so what did they do?

Inject more cash into the fund...LOL>..YEAH!...RIGHT!

Nope!

They lobbied Congress to change the laws on how "funding" of pension funds is calculated...long story short, the fund went from a massive deficit to being "Over-funded" all with the stroke of a pen by the Congress/President...oh, and you'll love this...the new law allowed them to withdraw any over-funding and spend it however they please...crooks, crooks, crooks...
 
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