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Steering your Trike

Trikes

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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 09:29 AM     #1
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Steering your Trike

This is what I posted to another trike learner. In another forum and I felt that its good info and decided to post it in here as well.

When I first started riding my trike. I felt I developed new muscles in places I knew there weren't any. The way I see it is. I kept steering the way I thought I should steer. Like when I steer a car. Where as I dont have one of my arms on an armrest. With nothing to rest either arm on. It becomes a constant push and pull. Steer and counter-steer. This is what hurts your arms and leaves you with that unsafe feeling of not being able to safely negotiate your turns.
I read what old school trikers did to safely accommodate their turns. Im sure this is what they came up with before steering dampeners came into the picture. Though, personally there's no need to jump out and buy that product. 1st off. if it's a serious turn. I do lean. It's what comes naturally, because of the 40 yrs of 2 wheel riding. And I'm sure that it helps. It would be unfortunate to find out that all ya had to do was to lean. To avoid going over.

This is what I found out to be successful at negotiating my turning.

lets say I'm tooling down a two lane back road at a good clip. In front of me I see the road turning to the left. In advance of entering the turn. I lock my right elbow. Not where you would stop blood flow. But where your arm is rigid or straight. My left arm does the pulling. This way the steer/ counter steer is determined by one arm. Not both. Its as simple as; Right turns, you lock your left arm and left turns, you lock your right arm. I only apply this technique when moving. In a parking lot or maneuvering around through town. I use both arms, without locking either.
Now as for possibly tipping over. I'm not trying to do that. But I'm always aware of that may happening. I would presume that happening because of crumby road conditions. Catching the lip of the tire. Too much speed for a surprise turn. If I'm reckless. The results will be from recklessness.
This winter, I plan on finding a parking lot that is iced over. Just to practice what a slide is all about on a trike.
Though I havent ever gotten my trike up on 2 wheels from cornering. I'm thinking that the feeling may not be that scary. Because its two wheels that I started riding on. I'll post after that experience, if I have an unfortunate mishap in my pants.

Just take it slow. Allow yourself to adjust to the new required riding techniques. Other riders on two wheels, that you may ride with,... havent a clue of what you have to relearn to sharpen your handling skills. Dont worry about keeping up. If their true friends. They'll wait up on you. And if not. There's plenty of us in here that are relearning, just what your going through.

zoood/RJ
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Old May 24th, 2010, 05:44 AM     #2
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Re: Steering your Trike

I know this is an old post but I'm new on the forum and looking for some info from experienced trikers. I'm in the process of researching for a trike build. I'm going to convert my FXST into a trike, and I was reading about the issue in turning. I have two questions. First, without raking out the front end...in other words, leaving the front end stock, does it increase the difficulty in turns? My wife isn't weak, but neither is she strong. Will it be too difficult for her to safely turn?

Second, you spoke about the possibility of coming up on two wheels. Would a wider rear axle minimize that possibility? I know the standard is 1/2 the length of the bike for width, but if you went a few inches more would it make it more stable in turns, or harder to turn?
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Old May 24th, 2010, 07:41 AM     #3
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Re: Steering your Trike

Keeping the front end stock will work just fine. Its just that depending on the amount of turning one does in a ride. Fatigue will be an accumulative factor. Raked front ends, requires less effort for steering. My comparison here is in relation to ones experience from riding a two wheeler before.

To answer your second question. Im sure I'd have to ride like a maniac to get my trike up on two wheels, ( front & a back). When you build / convert your scoot into a trike. One doesnt really push it to its limiteds. I know I dont.

Tri-glides are a couple of inches wider than my build. Though my tires are wider than theirs. I would think that you wouldnt have to go beyond 48" maximum for the rear. You'll be just fine. When I get into a hi-speed turn. I lean into it on the trike out of habit. But also I'd hate to find that if I lost control. That I could have avoided a mishap if only I leaned into the turn.

RJ

Quote: Originally Posted by S.Neill View Post
I know this is an old post but I'm new on the forum and looking for some info from experienced trikers. I'm in the process of researching for a trike build. I'm going to convert my FXST into a trike, and I was reading about the issue in turning. I have two questions. First, without raking out the front end...in other words, leaving the front end stock, does it increase the difficulty in turns? My wife isn't weak, but neither is she strong. Will it be too difficult for her to safely turn?

Second, you spoke about the possibility of coming up on two wheels. Would a wider rear axle minimize that possibility? I know the standard is 1/2 the length of the bike for width, but if you went a few inches more would it make it more stable in turns, or harder to turn?
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Old May 25th, 2010, 12:08 AM     #4
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Re: Steering your Trike

thanx for that, it helps. I'll let you all know how it goes, still deciding on exactly how to do it.
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