TRIKES HELD CENTER STAGE at Dealer Expo, with a handful of the main manufacturers sitting smack in the middle of the Indiana Convention Center. And in talking with the various companies, it appears that the trike market is growing as more older riders, women and entry-level enthusiasts are seeking out three wheels over two.
Doug Lindholm, Roadsmith Trikes’ general manager, said the company’s new conversion kit for Honda’s venerable Gold Wing (a wildly popular platform for the trike treatment) is applicable for 2012 models and upward. Lindholm pointed out that the new conversion uses the same chassis and driveline as the older kit, but matches the revamped Gold Wing’s body styling.
In addition to building the matching styling features, Lindholm said that the company made improvements to the manufacturing process to help ease installation, such as the new running boards that he said are not only easier to install but also offer a sturdier base. Paint-matched side panels also offer a more streamlined transition from bike to trike. Roadsmith redesigned the bumper to make it more “body-oriented,” he continued, and the trunk is slightly larger and includes a retractable wire support for the trunk lid.
The company’s Comfort Controls are the first forward controls built specifically for the Wing, Lindholm said. In addition to working with a converted bike, they will also work with the stock touring motorcycle.
He added that the product is a good item for dealers who have a lot of Gold Wing riders in their customer base. The controls move both foot pegs and the brake and shift levers forward 3 inches and down 1 inch. The changes, he said, go a long way toward addressing one of the most common complaints from Gold Wing riders — the cramped cockpit, especially for those with long legs. Moving the pegs and controls forward also help a rider reach the ground more quickly when coming to a stop, he explained. The controls are designed to work with floorboards and aftermarket heel-toe shifters.
South Dakota-based Lehman Trikes was showcasing its new Monarch II LLS conversion kit for the Gold Wing and Renegade LLS kit for Harley-Davidson FLH models. Both kits feature the company’s new independent rear suspension (LLS is an acronym for Limited Lean Suspension) and an optional adjustable lean control, a system that allows riders to control their desired level of cornering performance.
The bodies in each of the kits were redesigned to house the new suspension setup, which also includes dual coil-over shocks and dual H-arms. The Monarch features a reverse as standard, while the backup gear comes as an option for the Renegade. Both have standard parking brakes and a number of available accessories.
Shortly before Dealer Expo, Lehman unveiled its new EZ Steer accessory and Hawg EFX running boards. The former is a rake kit designed to improve handling and ease of steering, while the latter offers style and function. The platforms feature a steel subframe and weather protection, and reportedly help reduce vibration in the fenders. — Dennis Johnson
This story originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of Dealernews.