The New Trikes

OK, we've all seen BRP's Spyder and Piaggio's MP3 — you know, those mutants featuring two wheels in the front and a single drive wheel in the rear. Well, those trikes are tame compared to the TriRod F3 Adrenaline, Cirbin V13R and T-Rex, a trio of high-priced three-wheelers which may or may not still be in production as we post this article online.

Oh, and did we mention these trikes were rather pricey?

TriRod Motorcycles, a privately held San Diego-based startup, plans to offer two versions of its newly developed three-wheeled vehicle. The first, the F3 Adrenaline, is presented in what could be called a custom-look. Retail priced at $55,000, it features a 120 cubic inch engine, adjustable Penske Racing shocks, 20-inch rims with 325 series Pirelli tires, carbon fiber bodywork and billet aluminum parts throughout. Expected to retail for about $35,000, the X-Plorer is a touring model with 2,800 cubic inches of storage in removable saddlebags, a large windshield, 6.2-gallon fuel tank and floorboards.

TriRod leaders — including Harley-Davidson veteran Clyde Fessler — say they chose the two-by-one layout (two wheels in front, one in back) rather than the traditional one-by-two trike configuration because of superior handling, stability, and rollover resistance.

"TriRod's platform offers increased safety and stability over traditional motorcycles while adding a whole new level of thrilling performance," says Robert Miller, TriRod Motorcycles co-founder and chairman.

"We believe motorcycle and car enthusiasts are looking for something new and exciting," says Paul Seiter, co-founder and CEO of TriRod Motorcycles. "The F3 Adrenaline offers people a whole new way to enjoy motorcycling. And, with it being a down market, this is exactly what dealers need to stoke sales."

Big Bike Jacksonville, a custom motorcycle dealership in Jacksonville, Fla., signed up as TriRod's first dealer.

"We were introduced to the project some time ago and quickly jumped at the opportunity to get involved at the ground level," says Keith Berryman, owner of Big Bike Jacksonville. "We cater to a segment of the motorcycle market that embraces forward thinking and exotic products like the TriRod. We believe this platform will start an entire new industry and we want to be a part of that."

TriRod Motorcycles is taking orders now for the 2008 F3 Adrenaline, which is scheduled to start shipping during the second quarter of 2008. The company is taking reservations for its Touring model.

"Even though we haven't made our official public debut, orders are coming in," Seiter says. "Because production is limited, we wanted to open pre-orders and reservations up to everyone. Based on initial response, we are afraid that our first two years of production will sell out quickly. If customers are going to have to wait, we wanted to be sure to make it first come, first served."

All production units will be sold through TriRod's U.S. dealer network. The network is currently being set up. No TriRod's will be sold in the first year outside of the United States. The company has set up a reservation system on its website.

"We want to be able to partner with strong dealers," Seiter says. "We're getting the word out and selectively interviewing dealers now."

The makers of the Cirbin V-13R (yeah, it's "Cirbin" and not "Corbin") say their vehicle was designed to be fun, stylish and performance-driven, with particular attention paid to driving position, steering geometry and centralized weight distribution. Another key factor: It had to be affordable to own.