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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As someone mention earlier, I'm no expert on trikes. I'm here reporting the opinion of two other Gold Wing owners and myself, all of which are still on two wheels.

We're not comparing the ride quality of a trike to a stock GL1800. What we're comparing is the seat of the pants sensation between three different trike kits experienced by three different GL1800 riders with no trike experience.

After over 1,600 miles of traveling between 4 different trike builders we all came to the following consensus:

Trike builders using the same company kits can differ in ride quality. It is very wise that if one is in the market for a particular trike kit and plan to use a particular builder to test ride what he/she builds before you sign a contract or money changes hands.

Champion Trikes of the three are easiest to build according to our 4 different builders questioned. The Champion utilizes a solid rear suspension and when set up properly gives great traction and straight smooth road ride ability. We three feel that once the roads becomes less than perfect (like NYC roads) then the ride becomes quite jarring. Even with ground effects added one can still place their feet on the ground if needed. Maintenance we're told is very simple by all builders. Good bang for the buck here.

CSC Trikes (California Side Cars) have the most complex rear suspension of the three, utilizing a sophisticated independent rear suspension. We're told of a few maintenance short comings that may become an issue in the far future, such as lack of lubrication points for metal to metal contacting moving parts and a nylon disk replacement at 20K miles regarding the shaft drive. It was also mentioned that the CSC kit is mounted on one of the lesser strong points of the GL1800. Though this may never become an issue.

The ride quality was excellent, the CSC rides over bumps and road imperfections nearly flawlessly. It tracks securely around sharp curves. This kit was in the middle price range of the three tested.

Hannigan Trikes utilizes an independent rear suspension that looks far less complex than the CSC suspension, yet delivers the better ride, of the three trikes tested by us. This kit also utilizes the OEM swingarm.

Hannigan allows one to go from mild to wild depending on how much wild, one's wallet can stand. From the only weight bearing ground effects of the three kits tested, to a lighted LED whale tail worthy of a perch on a Lamborghini. This kit is the longest of the three as well as the widest at 62.5".

All of the above Trikes tested had the optional raked front end EZ steer installed.

Special thanks to Doug Cady of Trike Traders in Kissimmee Florida who gave us his undivided attention and the use of all three of his masterpieces to test ride and compare earlier today.

We won't get into trunk capacities, weight, and other related comparisons since they can easily be found at www.triketraders.com or elsewhere over the internet.

Hannigan, what Batman rides off duty. 8)



 

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I believe I'm the one that cptdenny is refering to his above writting. He now states that a total of 3 riders posted a total of some 1,400 miles on different trikes, and also since riding other additional trikes, has been able to change his thought on at least one make of trike. (Champion). While this is still not alot of time on trikes itself, I do believe his above write-up, this time, is very fair for all three makes listed, and I for one will thank you for taking the time for testing, and this write-up.

For gman10, who wrote second about if anyone knows much about DFT. Their plant is in Addison, Illinois, near Chicago, and about 15 miles away from me. Before I did my Champion, I strongly considered the DFT for my 2000 gl1500. You are right about using many of the OEM parts over, which includes the diff, brake rotor, and some other major parts which I really can't remember. I saw all this very well since they are a major display at the Chicago Motorcycle Show every year. Over a couple of years, at the show, I asked about total cost, including installation. Three years ago, I was told about $13,000 total, and this past Feb '06 show, was told $15,000, on a 1800. While DFT might be a nice kit, (don't know, never ridden one), I just think for something that uses so many of the OEM parts, vs having to manufacture new parts, the total should be way lower, not the highest total cost trike that I've ever seen. A year ago about, my 1800 Champion trike came in well less than $10,000, INCLUDING everything. I not trying to get any DFT owners mad, or bad rapping the product, it's just I feel their price is way out of line.

Ride safe.
 

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First, I applaud the person(s) who did the ride evaluations. It takes real fortitude to put yourself out there and risk getting flamed. Second, there are a few purpose built IRS trikes. CSC and DFT are the two that are the most common trikes. Third, from strictly a base price perspective, the Lehman, the DFT, and the EML are the most expensive trikes in the marketplace. The caveat here is the number of options that you choose to put on your trike. Fourth, generally speaking an IRS trike will cost more than a solid axle trike.
I wish that all trikes were available in all areas of the country. For us some trikes were eliminated due to lack of trunk space, and some due to price. Two of our final three were eliminated due to lack of easily reachable dealers/installers. In the end we choose the Champion kit for our GL1800.
Mike
 
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EZRIDERS said:
First, I applaud the person(s) who did the ride evaluations. It takes real fortitude to put yourself out there and risk getting flamed. Second, there are a few purpose built IRS trikes. CSC and DFT are the two that are the most common trikes. Third, from strictly a base price perspective, the Lehman, the DFT, and the EML are the most expensive trikes in the marketplace. The caveat here is the number of options that you choose to put on your trike. Fourth, generally speaking an IRS trike will cost more than a solid axle trike.
I wish that all trikes were available in all areas of the country. For us some trikes were eliminated due to lack of trunk space, and some due to price. Two of our final three were eliminated due to lack of easily reachable dealers/installers. In the end we choose the Champion kit for our GL1800.
Mike
Ditto. And we have been pleased with the choice.

Ride safe.
 

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All the major kits are good, let's not get into bashing each others choices, because that's what it comes down to, choice!

Some choose Champion, some CSC, or Hannigan, DFT, Leman, Motortrike and on and on.......

What do you say, we all made the right choice for each of us and enjoy the sport....

I picked mine because I liked the looks of it and I'm sure you did the same....

Ride safe 8)
 

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Thanks for the comparison and your opinion of the trikes you tested. Good stuff. I agree with KYBLUE...all are good and suit their different owners...just like autos and other brands of m/c. The important thing is we ride!

I choose Motor Trike because they are sorta close to me (270 miles in Troup, TX) and the installer is 60. He has a good reputation and there were no demos to ride around here so I went with him without riding any. I really like my MT and know I would like any of the others mentioned here. I triked my '02 in Sept. '05.

Last November I went by Murray, KY and stopped at Hannigan Motorsports. They have a great operation there and gave me a tour through all of their mfg. areas. They had about 12 different trikes and sidecars on the showroom floor. They put a sidecar on a Triumph 2300 cc bike that is a killer in looks. They sidecar and trike BMW LT's and HD along with the GW and several Honda bikes.

They build the rear section and IRS in house...along with a spare gas tank built into the rear frame, not taking up trunk space. (an option) Neat. I rode a GW demo and it seemed that the rear end was a little noisy...but it rode and drove very well. I just went five miles or so and this is not a good demo of how good their trike is. The whale tail is something else.

Tri-Car. They had their tri-car in the showroom...WOW it was really nice. No demo, but was for sale for $45K...it even had air conditioning...Okay, ya fill a large cooler in the front of the passenger compartment and a fan blows cooled air on the passenger, not the rider...knockout looks and top quality fit and finish. It is a huge sidecar molded into the kit in one piece. The rear drive is a solid axel and 107" wide. If I win the lottery I will...

They were VERY nice and showed me everything they had and do. You could look through a window and see them painting the kit.

If I win the lottery, I will buy one of each brand....it is hell being old and poor!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What does "DFT" Trikes stand for?

Does DFT offer a ground effects package for the GL1800?

How about a website for them that has a price list.
 

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Capt. Denny. I own the companion bike to yours! I purchased it from Trike Traders last year as well. There is a thread here somewhere where I posted some pics if you're inclined to search. I am thrilled with the trike and it definitely turns heads wherever I go.

Love it!

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Breaker said:
Capt. Denny. I own the companion bike to yours! I purchased it from Trike Traders last year as well. There is a thread here somewhere where I posted some pics if you're inclined to search. I am thrilled with the trike and it definitely turns heads wherever I go.

Love it!

Ed
I see you went with the aux gas tank as well. You got some chick-magnet there. 8)

My riding buddy dropped his Wing off at Trike Traders yesterday, now we wait to see the transformation. He went with the Champion kit. He should have it by next weekend. :D
 
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