Motorcycle Forum banner
1 - 4 of 12 Posts

Premium Member
Joined
10,538 Posts
The three wheelers were dangerous from the get go. The four wheelers were probably worse. The dealers knew. We crashed the stupid things when they were introduced. We sold a few, and it took the public a while to figure out how easy they were to crash. Then the legal eagles go on the scene. There was also a dead time for fancy cast wheels. Some of the early ones failed. The Comcast riveted wheel by Honda was the first to get back on the road.
3 and 4 wheelers are for folks that can not ride a motorcycle. The closest Yamaha shop sells more 3 wheelers than bikes.

UK
 

Premium Member
Joined
10,538 Posts
How exactly are four wheelers even worse (dangerous) than 3 wheelers?

Following your logic, 2 wheelers are for those who can't ride unicycles, and anything with wheels are for those who can't walk.
That would be following your logic not mine. My post was based on practical application, not logic or theory.
The early Honda had no suspension and bouncy tyres. That is where the danger lay. Launching a 4 wheel Honda off the practice tee at the Banff Springs Hotel golf course, resulted in a big bounce and flip. Doing the same with the 3 wheel Honda would result in less air and a tip. Tipping the 3 wheeler was less dangerous than flipping the 4 wheeler.
Crossing a drainage ditch at the side of a rural road, can result in a flip of both. The 3 wheeler offers an easier escape route. The 4 wheeler can land on you.
Further: the 3 wheeler has a 90cc 4 stroke engine, the 4 wheeler a 250cc 2 stroke engine. The 4 wheeler is faster, so when you get to the scene of the crash, the 4 wheeler was often going a lot faster. This is real world stuff. There are plenty more examples. The dealers often get to test the new stuff. Our conclusion was the 4 wheel Honda Odessy was dangerous from the get go. But only dangerous when riden / driven in places and at speeds, that might cause a crash. Just like dirt bikes. It is just that having a heavier item on top of you is a problem.

The modern three wheel vehicles are mostly for paved roads, and will have much different results. Spend some time in the showroom and ask the purchasers, why they are buying 3 wheels instead of 2.

UK
 

Premium Member
Joined
10,538 Posts
The logic I was following was your statement that things with 3 & 4 wheels are for people who can't ride on 2 wheels (inaccurate assumption).

What you are choosing to pick for comparison are a single model of three wheeler (early honda 90 ATC) vs Honda Odessy (dune buggy). A Honda 350X (like the OP posted in the pic) has full suspension and is VERY fast! You are also assuming that in a roll-over (which happens MUCH easier on ANY 3 wheeled vehicle with a single front wheel) the rider will have the mental clarity to instantly pick a safe escape route.

Compare apples to apples. Compare a Reliant Robin VS. Volkswagon Beetle. Which is safer and WHY?

As to why modern vehicles are making so many 3 wheeled vehicles. It IS NOT because they are safer. It is because they can skirt the safety and licensing restrictions that the US govt. puts on 4 wheeled vehicles, as they are classified as motorcycles. But I'm sure you already know that (I know you are an intelligent person). Not sure why you are pretending to be be ignorant of the simple physics.
Not pretending anything. Just recounting some history for the sake of conversation, which is what I thought we did on forums such as this. I referred to the 3 wheeler from the get go, which was implying the early 90cc model, and then the seventies dune buggy as you called it. I gave no credit to the rider abilities, just reported some actual crashes. Without studying physics we rode them, and found out first hand how easy it was to roll over a three wheeler, and flip or roll over the 4 wheeler.

I have no knowledge of the legalities re safety issues, of the more modern units, and to save time will not question how you know.
We will be away from the keyboard for quite a while.

UK
 

Premium Member
Joined
10,538 Posts
Harley had a patent on a trike with both wheels forward and active, leaning suspension and steering at least 10 years ago. I think they didn't renew the patent about that time and didn't have plans to build it. I think I remember it was based on the V-rod platform.

I have all ideas these companies are many years ahead of what we THINK we know they are up to. :)
Honda has had design competitions for their staff, forever. Some stuff from fourty years ago might seem futuristic to many. And then they build a 105 step thru scooter thing, that is ancient technology, but will probably sell well. Paint it orange and it is a CT90 in fancy trim.

UK
 
1 - 4 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top