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Gents,
Been riding on and off for oh, close to 50 years, plus or minus. I'm 6' 2.5" and presently (not proud of it), plus or minus about 245 lbs. The wife is well, I won't say about weight but, she and I tax the weight limits of our '08 Wing. I can still handle it fairly well on all given surfaces and speeds. The only time handling starts to become an issue is, unlevel surfaces when parking and or getting ready to take off, gravely surfaces and things like that.
Back a long time ago, I used to frown at "Trikes" thinking, "man, those are ugly" and, "I wouldn't be caught dead on one". But, as time, ergonomics, strength, stability, AGE, and thought processes change, TRIKES are really looking better and better to me, oh, and the wife.

So, just wondering, I've seen some fair deals on Trikes in Craigslist from time to time. There's been even a couple that I wish I'd have been ready at the time, I'd have jumped on them, no matter where in the country they were. A quick plane ride and we'd find ourselves cruising back home on our new trike. But, those are just few and far between. So, with all that being said, I've read on here but, can't remember what post or thread it was mentioned in that it's somewhat cheaper to trike you're existing bike than to buy one.

Well, in the history of the automobile and just about everything man made, it's normally the opposite. It's normally cheaper to buy a trike than have an existing one built. NOBODY recoops money they've installed in bikes/cars/trucks/motorhomes/spaceships/submarines/ etc.

And, to those have real experience with DIFFERENTLY BUILT trikes, which would you prefer, independent rear suspension or, solid rear axle types?

There used to be a trike builder just outside of Spearfish SD, called Lehman Trikes. Don't know if they still exist or not. California Trikes was another. I'm sure there's quite a few out there. We live in Lake Havasu City AZ so, I don't know where the closest trike (for Wings) might be, maybe Phoenix? I may not mind a drive to another state or even maybe a few states away if there's some company that is well known for great work and "reasonable" pricing.

Anyway, what's all your thoughts on this?
Scott

P.S. By the way, our present Wing is an '08 Level II, Caliente Red with right around 38,000 miles on it.
 

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You have asked a lot of good questions, but the answer to most of them comes down to personal preference.
The most important thing is to find a good installer with a good reputation.
Most kits are good kits, and most have a few issues occasionally, so to me it all comes down to looks. I prefer MotorTrike.
I have owned both solid axle and independent suspension and prefer independent.
Triking your own generally runs somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000 depending on the kit you choose and the options that you add. A good chunk of that cost is labor and that holds true if you decide to buy one already done.
I have triked 3 that I had as well as bought already done. Generally speaking, if you are satisfied with what you have and it’s in good shape, that is a good option. If you want to upgrade, that is also a good option.
Many think they can’t ride a trike without a rake kit. I can’t adress the longer kits, but I prefer no rake kit on a MotorTrike for several reasons.
To me trikes are just as much fun as two wheelers but some don’t agree. It all comes down to what you like and your personal preferences.
Good luck with your research.
 

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I have a 2010 wing that I triked out last season, and I can honestly say: "that I will never "regret" my decision to go "three".................I am 68 years old, and have always had a bike since I was 15 years old...in either my parents garage while in school, (Honda 50cc) or my own garage (lost count how many).... BUT i can say I have NEVER regretted triking this 2010 Goldwing out...
I paid approx $10,000 to have it built, and this included a raked out front forks, as well as having it Trazzionized..(5.5 % rake) ROADSMITH MODEL....There is many makes and models of trikes out there, and all's I can say is to do your homework, before diving right in, and ordering one....IT'S LIKE SAYING "WHAT'S BETTER? Chevy or Ford, or Dodge...BUT i can honestly say, that I true'ly enjoy riding a trike now, and will never go back ..... I feel it's safer, then two wheels, BUT then again, this is only my opinion, and others may disagree... ENJOY!!!!!

Ronnie
 

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Test ride them all, i think you'll find the longer wheelbase models ride better (Roadsmith & California Sidecar)
I Triked my 05 in 2016 with 55k on it. Drove to California 3 days after it was done, couldn't be happier.
Go to the trike forum and you can find a lot of info.
Good Luck
 

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One of the best builders in our area is called Saltsmans Wings....he presently has a couple on the floor ready to go and another couple in various stages of completing the Trike conversion. He also has a Facebook page...not advertising for him or anything, but just like his work...Ph (270)259-3454...Leitchfield, Ky.
 
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One of the best builders in our area is called Saltsmans Wings....he presently has a couple on the floor ready to go and another couple in various stages of completing the Trike conversion. He also has a Facebook page...not advertising for him or anything, but just like his work...Ph (270)259-3454...Leitchfield, Ky.

Couldn't agree more. Randy at Saltsman's Wings is a real stand-up guy and is very meticulous with his work. I know that Leitchfield Ky is a long way from Az, but would be a great excuse for a long ride. Like Mailman, I have no connection with Saltsman's Wings but like the man and his work.
 
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You might check out the TrikeTalk.com forum - pretty good source of info on different Goldwing trike conversions and others


Pretty wide range of cost to a conversion depending on brand, extras & type of paint job you go with,

expect to layout $9,500 to $10,500 for basic kit and $13,000 to $16,000 as you add more options to basic kit


Installation (plan between $3,500 to $5,500) would depend on kit & shop chosen to do the work and would be added on top of those price ranges -


I've been considering a basic Roadsmith conversion with one color paint, independent suspension and a few other extras, so I'm looking at about $16,000 including install (done by a shop here in Texas)
 

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I reverse triked my 2010 Wing with the Endeavor kit for under $11,000 including shipping to and from the trike builder to my home. I have 23,000 miles on it since it was reverse triked. Feel free to message me with any questions.
 

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Below is a report I posted in 2014 after triking my 05. Since then I have come to appreciate the trike even more. I had my hip replaced in 2017, so part of the reason for triking (pain) went away, but I am still not sorry I did it. I'm coming up on 71 and the trike fits me/us very well.

I highly recommend a rake kit, independent rear suspension and auxiliary fuel tank.


"I triked my 05 wing in 2014 at 59,100 miles. I purchased the wing new in 05 with the intent of keeping and riding it for as long as possible, AKA “forever”.
My wife and I have used the wing mostly for touring and have ridden every great motorcycle road in California and just about every good road west of the Mississippi including Canada, so those are very high quality miles.
Anyway, I was starting to have back and leg pain issues making it difficult for me to handle the wing in low-speed situations, parking lots, etc. with the wife on the back (she may have gotten a tiny bit heavier but that is not to be mentioned).
Had a talk with my wife and we decided we want to keep riding for as long as possible, so we decided to go the trike route. I was really reluctant to give up my two-wheeled wing, but gave in as we had started riding less because of my issues.
Took the wing to JBJ Cycles in Santa Ana, CA (sadly no longer in business) and ordered a CSC Cobra XL kit with;
• 6 degree easy-steer rake kit
• 3.5 gallon auxiliary fuel tank
• Standard wheels
• Ground effects
• Billet Silver matching paint
• Performance brakes
• Trunk light and carpet kit
• Reverse mounted Michelin Activ (rear sportbike tire) on front (recommended by JBJ)
• Clear bra on rear fenders and ground effects
• Stock front forks have been serviced regularly and I have never had an issue, so just had the installer check them, he did, said they looked good and we left them alone
• Kit came with a tow hitch but I did not have it installed (it just bolts on)
JBJ did a really nice job on our install. Total cost for kit and install was around $17,500. I did not skimp on anything.
I dropped by several times and took pictures of all the build details.
The billet silver color match from CSC is perfect.
Leaving JBJ was the first time in my life to ride a trike. Took me about 30 minutes to stop trying to put my feet down and turn instead of lean/counter-steer. After that it was super easy. It is definitely a different vehicle.
Picked up the trike on Thursday Oct 2, 2014, packed it up and left for a 6 day trip three days later on Sunday.
The road trip was from Huntington Beach up the Coast through Santa Barbara, Cambria, Highway 1 through Big Sur, Carmel, Napa Valley, over to Bodega Bay and back home through Cambria. About 1,100 miles. My observations:
• Looking out over the bars at highway speed, there is no difference except, of course when I need to turn.
• Gotta remember that rear fender is sticking out when parking and stopping at gas pumps, but I had no problems.
• My 05 speedo read high by about 5.6% before, now per GPS it is high by 2 mph at 70 (2.8%).
• Cruising sweet spot seems to be between 3000-3200 rpm’s about 70-72 mph, a little slower than it was with two wheels, I suppose because it pushes more air now.
• Still plenty of power but a little less acceleration than before.
• Highway mileage at 70 ish mph dropped from about 35 to about 30-31.
• The aux fuel tank is awesome, 10 gallons total.
• Ride is a lot better over bumps, etc. than the two-wheel wing. I ran the recommended 40 psi front, 28 rear. (I have since dropped the rear to 25 psi for a plusher ride.)
• Love making u-turns.
• Highway 1 was fun, of course the trike takes more arm work to turn than my two-wheel wing did, but it just takes getting used to.
• I used reverse a few times and in Bodega Bay (cold and wet) sure enough, the damned reverse button stuck. Sprayed WD40 in it and got it unstuck and then didn’t use it anymore. I found that the trike is really easy to push around, I only need to use the wing’s reverse in case of backing up steep hills, easy to avoid.
• Brakes work great. Had to use them only once in anger when a moron cut me off at 70 mph on Hwy 101.
• I did not get an emergency brake and am glad. Don’t think it is needed. I stopped on steep grades a couple of times on Hwy 1 and used first gear. After the trip I picked up a small plastic wheel chock from an auto parts store to keep in the top box.
• The CSC “XL” kit is a good idea, the extra cargo space is very useful.
• It’s a head-turner and draws a crowd. Everywhere we go people stop and stare and asked questions. I can see wheels turning in guys heads and, BTW, I could pick up (albeit somewhat elderly) women all day long with this thing.
• The CSC aux fuel tank is in parallel and at the same height as the stock tank, so no valves or pumps and the stock gauge still works. On the way home I tested the fuel gauge. The low fuel indicator light started blinking about 20 miles from home and then went solid. The gauge went to half a tick above red (empty). When I filled it, it took 7.7 gallons so I had 2.3 left, about 70 miles. So about 90 miles after blinking starts.
I like it a lot and it will extend our riding for more years than would have been otherwise possible."

BTW, I have run the trike up to about 95 mph (the basic obligatory tail-gunner speed at the annual Death Valley Ride) and it is smooth as glass at that speed. Pretty sure it could do 100+.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Man,
You guys are GREAT! I cannot express how much I appreciate all of you taking the time and effort to help here. Some of you have PMd me and that's also very, very much appreciated. The one and only time we (the CEO and me) took a ride on a trike was at a Wingstuff event, during a Christmas rally there in their old location of Lake Forest CA. But, for those you that know Wingstuff and, where they are now, that was QUITE a while ago.

And, we took TWO test drives during that event. One, was on the triked Wing and the other, was "IN" a Stallion three wheeler. Well, I'm sorry to say, that the triked Wing as a bit of a dissapointment. It VIBRATED in the handlebars througout the entire RPM band and shifting and speeds. I don't remember the year or model or who made it. But, ANY Wing with any vibration is at least from my experience (we've owned 5 Wings), is completely rare. So, while I was trying to gather a feeling for handling, braking, turning, stopping and all that, I couldn't really concentrate on all that 'cause that thing was bugging the heck out of me while operating it.

As stated, the second test drive was a Stallion. Well, I can't remember all that much about it. If I recall anything, it might be that it was fairly fast on acceleration.

Anyway, thanks again to all of you. Christmas is upon us as you all know so, when the dust settles (and the bank accounts settle down), we'll push forward on this after the first. It's gonna be interesting for sure. The problem with us is, we live WAAAAAAY out there in the southwest desert so, getting a good feeling for a trike, who builds them, test driving them etc., might have to be a trip to some place that has more of them. We'll see, thanks again to all.
Scott
 

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Gotta Love this site and the great group of fellow riders willing to share their knowledge and experiences!
 
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You can spend anywhere from 7 to 17 thousand depending on which trike kit. I have heard the independent is the way to go and a raked front end. Just remember your 08 is like 11 years old. If you have alot of miles on it, you might think again about dropping another 15,000 dollars on a 9,000 dollar bike. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You can spend anywhere from 7 to 17 thousand depending on which trike kit. I have heard the independent is the way to go and a raked front end. Just remember your 08 is like 11 years old. If you have alot of miles on it, you might think again about dropping another 15,000 dollars on a 9,000 dollar bike. Good luck.
Wild Turkey,
At present, our '08 has roughly 38K on the clock. That's not a lot in Wing-miles. In fact, it's quite few based on just how many these fine engines can actually run before anything heavy is needed. But, yes, it's an 11 year old bike and, well, this is why I'm asking questions. To put quite a bit into that old of a bike, even though it's got a relatively low amount of miles, is something we need to really evaluate.
Scott
 
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Fire Up,

My sister and her husband bought an '08 Wing with just under 14,000 miles on it earlier this year and turned it over to the Road Smith guys in Spring, TX to do a conversion on it. I don't know what she spent on the bike or the conversion, but she is so happy with it and she loves riding it. The bike is beautiful and the conversion looks fantastic!!! She was having hip problems with her previous bike and when I got my first wing in '16 (it was an '04 with 7,000 miles on it), she wanted to ride it with her husband to see if it would be comfortable after more than 30 minutes riding. Well, an hour later, I was having to tell her times up!!! We got back to her house and she got off as passenger and she said she was having no issues with her hips. They traded in their two bikes on an '09 Wing and haven't looked back since. Whatever you do, make sure you do your research, do some test rides if possible and shop around. You'll find what you want and you'll enjoy it afterwards.
 

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I triked my 07 back 2 years ago. I went with a California Sidecar Viper conversion. Mine included the 6 degree rake and I had the color matched floorboards installed along with a optional CSC hitch and the optional passenger comfort anti roll bar. Also had the leather look fender covers installed as well. For everything, parts and installation, out the door I was at $13,500. I am really happy that I had it done and the installer beat the price for any other CSC place I could find. I used Complete Cycle down in Rome, Ga. When I had mine done, I had to contact him to get the arrangements and appointment set up. When it came time, I drove down there and got there late Wed afternoon and dropped the bike off. I picked up a room at a hotel in Rome. On Thur morn, the work started and I was invited to hang out in the shop and watch the progress. Same with Fri and the work was finished by Fri afternoon. I stuck around for one more night to putz around and get used to riding a trike. I left town Sat morning. Harold Pollard is the owner and is actually the uncle of Kevin Dodd of KD Cycles and introduced him to the business. For CSC, I would say that Complete Cycles is definitely a place to consider but for Roadsmith, then KD Cycle would be a good bet.
 

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I triked my 2009 Royal Star Venture two years after I bought it. Hannigan independent rear suspension. Took about a week to get used to not feeling liking it was going to toss me off the high side. Within 6 months I was hanging in with my friends who where still stuck on two wheels (smile) as we rode the curvies.
I eventually traded for my 2008 GL1800 with a 2013 Motor Trike Razor also independent rear suspension.
I had the RSV conversion done with their rake kit. It DID make a difference, easier steering. I do not know if my GL1800 has a rake kit or not but I know that it steers noticeably easier than the RSV. I am sorry that I did not have the "running boards" installed on the RSV and I wish the GL1800 came with them. But both trikes rode/ride well, handle great and I only wish I had gone "trike" sooner! The view from the drivers seat looks exactly the same on a trike as on two wheels. Gravel roads no longer create butt puckers. The only draw back I've found with the trike is that it's wide back tire surface can cause a slight hydroplane increase if you tend to use a bit more throttle than necessary on wet roads.
 

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Fire Up,

My sister and her husband bought an '08 Wing with just under 14,000 miles on it earlier this year and turned it over to the Road Smith guys in Spring, TX to do a conversion on it. I don't know what she spent on the bike or the conversion, but she is so happy with it and she loves riding it. The bike is beautiful and the conversion looks fantastic!!! She was having hip problems with her previous bike and when I got my first wing in '16 (it was an '04 with 7,000 miles on it), she wanted to ride it with her husband to see if it would be comfortable after more than 30 minutes riding. Well, an hour later, I was having to tell her times up!!! We got back to her house and she got off as passenger and she said she was having no issues with her hips. They traded in their two bikes on an '09 Wing and haven't looked back since. Whatever you do, make sure you do your research, do some test rides if possible and shop around. You'll find what you want and you'll enjoy it afterwards.
griffalo,
Sounds like a good story but, I'm a bit confused in the end. You say they (your sister) purchased an '08 earlier this year and triked it. And, that they really liked it. But, at the end of your post, you say they traded in "both bikes" for an '09 and haven't looked back. So, they DIDN'T like the trike or, ?
Scott
 

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Scott, sorry for the confusion. I should have read that again before posting. They actually had two bikes (other brands) that they rode. Due to my sisters hip problems, they hadn’t ridden in a while. The bikes were sitting in the garage not being used. After test riding my Wing, they traded both bikes for an ‘09 Wing. About a year later, they test rode a trike cause my sister wanted her own ride, but the Wing was too big for her to handle. She fell in love with the Wing trike and wanted one. They found the ‘08 and had it triked. They both love riding it and sometimes ride together and sometimes ride their own Wings.

My apologies for not being clearer than a glass of mud earlier.


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