States Are Making it Easier for Trike Riders
No special license needed
At least two more states – Colorado and Wyoming – have reclassified trikes so anyone with a driver’s license can hop on and go for a spin without having a motorcycle license or special endorsement.
In its nationwide effort, the trike industry has convinced at least 30 states to recognize the distinction between motorcycles and trikes, allowing the more mainstream driver’s license requirement.
Trike market on the rise
With an expected growth rate of nearly 14 percent annually for the next three years, it’s no wonder that industry experts are looking at the new trike market with a wolfish grin. Market watchers believe the trike niche is still in its introductory stage with the potential for rapid growth once the models reach more widespread acceptance.
Offering better stability than motorcycles, trikes appeal to those looking for a potentially safer ride. And, within the trike genre, the so-called “reverse” or “tadpole” trikes – those with two front wheels – are seen as the most stable.
With balance removed as a prerequisite, trikes also appeal to those who have never ridden a motorcycle, yet are drawn by the perception of being able to experience a ride similar to that of a bike without as much risk.
New trike varieties on the horizon
Some longtime motorcyclists intrigued by the concept have taken to a type of hybrid, a traditional motorcycle body fitted with an extra front wheel, complete with its own suspension. Called “leaning” or “tilting” models, the vehicles offer increased stability while retaining the open-air feel of riding a two-wheeler.
Though in its relative infancy, the trike sector is seeing considerable innovation, including one model sleekly styled along the lines of a typical auto exoskeleton. Electric models are also in the development stages.
The trike is already being welcomed into the pantheon of industrial vehicles. One national overnight delivery service is using an electric trike for its ground deliveries in one test market in the U.S.
And, for those who find their thrills in experimental vehicles, one inventor in France has concocted a trike that uses rainwater for propulsion. With 35 gallons of water under 6,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, the trike went from 0 – 62 miles per hour in 0.55 seconds. It topped out at 162 mph in an eighth of a mile. Don’t look for a production model anytime soon.