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trikes

These Pictures Perfectly Illustrate Every Motorcycle Segment

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by Luke Zietsman

Over the years, motorcycles have evolved into several segments, and these pictures will help you make sense of them all.

Until around the ’80s, motorcycles were more or less just considered motorcycles. Aside from the recently established dirt bike class, other bikes were all lumped together.

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The Trike File Is Now Open

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Legends Suspension Systems Save the Day
By DaCat

Being part of the Hamsters for 30+ years and building custom bikes, I never thought of owning a Trike. One night 10 years ago, as we were admiring all the custom one-of-a-kind bikes at Sturgis, a buddy says to me, “You know what the next big thing is going to be……. Trikes”.

I’m like what? And he says, “Think about it. We are all getting older.” Well guess what… I bought a Trike.

Because of a major bike accident a few years ago, I’ve lost my ability to close or grip with my right hand. It’s become a major problem to hold up a heavy bagger. I decided I can’t risk this anymore with my wife on the back.

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Charles Metz DeDion-Bouton Motor Tricycle

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The unique Orient “Autogo;” One Part Runabout— One Part Tricycle.

Charles Metz was bullish on the potential of his DeDion-Bouton motor tricycle to transfer motor power from the track to the street. In 1899 he took his conviction a step further with the development of the unique Orient “Autogo;” one part runabout— one part tricycle.

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Visually Impaired Patriots Experiencing the Road to hold its fifth annual motorcycle ride

By General Posts

VIPER ride founders John Carter (former Marine) and T J Oman (retired Navy Lieutenant Commander) at a previous event

by Erik S. Hanley from https://www.jsonline.com

A motorcycle ride supporting veterans with disabilities is rumbling through Oak Creek later this month

When T.J. Oman, a retired Navy lieutenant commander in Wisconsin, reached out to a fellow veteran in Minnesota about the fifth VIPER ride, he learned the man had been diagnosed with cancer and had months to live.

VIPER, or Visually Impaired Patriots Experiencing the Road, will hold its fifth annual motorcycle ride on Aug. 22 in Oak Creek at the Oelschlaeger-Dallmann American Legion Post 434, 9327 S. Shepard Ave. The Minnesota man has traveled to the Milwaukee area for every past VIPER event, but his sister was keeping this year’s announcement from him because of his diagnosis, Oman, one of the VIPER ride founders, said.

“I messed up her plans because when I didn’t see his application this year, I put together an email and sent it to a batch of people curious about their absence,” Oman said.

Now that he knows the ride is happening, despite his diagnosis, that veteran is coming to ride.

Motorcycle owners, known as “pilots,” are partnered with a veteran called a “tailgunner.” The duos stay together throughout the day’s events. Volunteers are known as the “groundcrew” and they work to give directions, welcome participants, set up food and drinks, clean up and more.

“We’re looking forward to it this year because we missed it last year,” said John Carter, a former Marine and co-founder of the VIPER ride. The 2020 ride was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Initially only for blind veterans, the ride recently became “the VIPER ride plus+” expanding to allow veterans with any physical disability that prevents them from operating a motorcycle. There is no cost to participants.

“We don’t charge anybody a dime, this is not a fundraiser,” Carter said.

2021 VIPER ride schedule of events
Early in the morning, breakfast will be offered, Carter said. The 50-mile, 90-minute ride through Milwaukee County will kick off around 11 a.m. with two-wheel motorcycles, trikes and motorcycles with sidecars. This will be the first year incorporating a lot of freeway driving with the entire return trip on the interstate, Oman said. After the ride, a big luncheon with live music will be held.

Overall, Carter estimated the event will last from about 8 a.m. to 3:30 or 4 p.m.

All motorcycles large enough to carry a passenger safely are allowed on the ride. Organizers validate every driver’s license for a motorcycle endorsement, get a copy of everyone’s insurance and perform a full safety inspection on every motorcycle.

“It takes a little bit of time but everything we do is all about the VIPER ride and participants,” Oman said. “The reason we do this is the social side of it, just to hang out and talk with these guys. Some of these guys are true heroes.”

The ride will be escorted by police on motorcycles. Oman said the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office has been a supporter “from the very beginning.” Additionally, officers from the Milwaukee Police Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol have ridden with the group.

“We couldn’t do it without them,” Carter said.

In the past, the ride lasted substantially longer, Oman said. The first two years the ride went out to Kettle Moraine and East Troy, totaling 111 miles round trip. The second year was a little shorter but still hit triple digits on the odometer. After two years, some veterans said it was a little long, Oman said.

Pilots and Tailgunners enjoying the open road

VIPER rides have nationwide participation
Oman, who served on a nuclear submarine during his tenure in the Navy, said this year was the smallest group of participants since they started with 30 tailgunners and between 50-55 motorcycle pilots. In the past, the event had about 50 tailgunners and as many as 120 motorcycles.

Oman attributed the smaller sign-up numbers to the cancellation of the ride in 2020.

“The out of sight, out of mind mentality affected us,” he said. Oman said many were likely still hesitant to come out and do anything in a group as well given the surging number of delta variant cases.

Registration for the ride itself ended in June, but Carter said everyone is welcome to attend the other festivities.

“We match up pilot and tailgunner and put time and effort into making sure we match the tailgunner and the pilot for size,” Carter said. “We try to get it all finalized in June so we know what we’re doing.”

In the event’s inaugural year, participants from across the country, encompassing 15 different states, attended the ride. Carter said one regular rider travels from Mesa, Arizona every year.

“He takes a train here, travels three to four days, rides that morning, then takes a bus back,” he said.

While many friendships were gained from the event, some early-year participants have been lost.

“I never really foresaw the impact and the long-term effect but a lot of these guys, the pilots and the tailgunners, have become lifelong friends,” Oman said. “They communicate year-round, they maintain contact, it has become a family and as a result of that we’ve lost a few.”

One veteran and big supporter of the event died a few months ago, Oman said. The group is “breaking the rules” and letting his wife and daughter ride with them this year in his honor.

“They’re part of the VIPER family,” Oman said.

The VIPER ride website has a memorial page for participants that have passed to “keep their memory alive as part of the ride,” Oman said.

“Unfortunately, the list keeps growing, but I guess part of living is dying,” he said.

Supporting veterans with disabilities

Oman said he’d been trying to convince Carter to do a motorcycle ride for the blind in the past. Carter, who became the president of the Blinded Veterans Association of Wisconsin, was looking to enhance recruitment for the organization. Out to lunch one day, the two came up with the VIPER ride.

“We mutually agreed it would be a good tool for recruitment,” Oman said, adding he’d been involved with motorcycle rides for the blind in the past.

Carter said one goal for the event was to get blind veterans back out into the fresh air “experiencing something they wouldn’t experience again.”

“Once you lose your sight you don’t want to participate in much, many don’t,” he said.

Carter wasn’t thrilled about the motorcycles, but Oman convinced him to get on a trike with a friend every year for the VIPER ride. For Oman, he doesn’t need convincing.

“I don’t need much of a reason to ride a motorcycle,” he laughed. He still invites Carter out for other rides but with no success.

“Motorcycles scare the liver out of me,” Carter said.

Veterans’ campaigner Simon Weston gets special gift on 60th birthday

By General Posts

by Enda Mullen from https://www.coventrytelegraph.net

Veterans’ campaigner Simon Weston says 60th birthday gift of Triumph trike is dream come true.

It followed a crowdfunding campaign organised by former Meriden Triumph engineer Norman Hyde.

Veterans’ campaigner and Falkland War survivor Simon Weston has been presented with an extra-special gift to mark his 60th birthday in the shape of a Triumph trike.

Simon signed up for the British Army at 15. Aged 20, when serving in the Welsh Guards, he was aboard the logistics ship RFA Sir Galahad – laden with fuels and ammunition – when it was bombed by the Argentine Air Force during the conflict in the South Atlantic.

He suffered horrific injuries and underwent prolonged reconstructive surgery.

At times Simon said he was close to giving in, but courage and determination saw him emerge positively as a strong advocate for troops’ and veterans’ rights.

Along with his many charitable activities he gives inspirational talks on achieving mental wellness. Awarded the OBE in 1992, Simon was made a CBE in 2016.

Veterans’ campaigner and Falkland War survivor Simon Weston has been presented with an extra-special gift to mark his 60th birthday in the shape of a Triumph trike.

The gift was the result of a crowd-funding campaign which had its roots in a chance conversation at a presentation given by Simon two years ago.

Simon revealed to former Meriden Triumph engineer and world speed record holder Norman Hyde that he would really love a trike like the one ridden by Billy Connolly on his TV travel series.

It spurred Norman into action and he decided to embark on a mission to fulfil Simon’s dream.

He said: “Knowing what Simon had given to our country and knowing what good people there are in the bike world, from manufacturers and importers, through dealers to clubs and riders, I immediately said ‘leave it to me, I’ll fix it’.”

Norman organised crowdfunding and the £25,000 project got off to a fabulous start when Triumph Motorcycles, which is based in Hinckley, donated a new 1,200cc Bonneville for conversion.

Trike Design of Caerphilly South Wales (coincidentally Simon’s home town) was chosen to convert the two-wheeler and adapt controls for Simon, who has fingers missing from both hands.

“This is a dream come true,” said Simon of the crowdfunded Triumph trike, which was presented to him a few days before his 60th birthday.

“I can’t thank Norman Hyde and all the people who made this happen enough.”

Donations ranging from £5 to four-figure sums came from individuals and the trade, often accompanied by messages of affection for Simon.

The Triumph Owners MCC (TOMCC) made a substantial contribution as did the Duke of Richmond (the Goodwood Estate) and the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), which is based in Coventry.

Simon’s helmet was donated by LS2 and the Held clothing company are making bespoke gloves.

Hank Hancock of Trike Design (TD), specialists in three-wheeler conversions and adaptation for disabled riders, took on the job with enthusiasm.

The Triumph is fitted with TD’s latest Brookland Sport design, with boot space inside the smooth GRP mouldings.

The 17-inch wheels have independent suspension with an anti-roll bar and the final transmission from the chain to twin shafts is via a differential.

Trike Design’s Robin Davies designed and fitted the specially adapted controls.

Kliktronic press-button electric gear shifting means that Simon can change up with a finger on his right hand and down with his left thumb.

Foot pedals for the throttle, brakes and clutch are similarly arranged to car controls.

“I soon worked out how to ride, and especially how to stop,” said Simon, who hopes to persuade his wife Lucy to travel on the pillion seat.

The presentation was held on Trike Design’s forecourt.

Those in attendance included several representing the TOMCC, including club chairman Ken Talbot and members who rode in from Shropshire, Max Roberts of Triumph Motorcycles, Dave Priddle of LS2 helmets and two motorcycle-mounted officers from the national police-run initiative BikeSafe; PC Richard Gibbs and PC Paul Rees.

Triumph Motorcycles has historic connections to Coventry.

Triumph, in its many guises, was born out of a company founded by Siegfried Bettmann, who had emigrated from Nuremberg, in 1884.

It went on to make bicycles before moving on to motorcycles and later cars.

The motorcycle making side of the business was originally based in Coventry and subsequently in Meriden.

A new company, Triumph Motorcycles, based in Hinckley, gained the name rights of the company in the 1980s and is now one of the world’s major motorcycle manufacturers.

Gearhead’s Trike Story

By General Posts

by Tim Graves with photos from Sam Burns

That old trike was a real Frankenstein’s monster. She was the back end of a Corvair of a 1960 vintage and a front end of a Honda CB 500. She had a full-size keg gas tank on the chariot bed over the engine. The driver seat was a plastic Baja bucket. The passenger seat was none.

Just a little history of what started me on the biker’s road.

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Interviews with Bator International and Jay Leno: “Walter: The Missing Link” Documentary

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“Walter: The Missing Link” Documentary
Final interviews are shot with Bator International and Jay Leno

Slinger, Wisconsin – April 25, 2021 – After eight years of development and delays due to the pandemic, The Edge Ltd. shot the final interviews for the “Walter” documentary with Bator International and Jay Leno in California last week. The Bator interview with motorcycle broker/restorer Glenn Bator was shot at the Bator facility northwest of Los Angeles and the Leno interview was shot at Jay’s Garage in Burbank. The interview topics included Walter’s provenance, restoration, and the caretaking of rare and historic motorcycles. Producer James Cutting thanks Glenn, Jay, and the EPIC Creative team for their support of the “Walter” documentary.

“Walter: The Missing Link – Discovery of a Centennial Motorcycle” is the story of the last-known Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Truck in existence, affectionately known as Walter. This documentary chronicles the life and times of Walter the forecar from its early days of service on the streets of Old Milwaukee, through many decades of desolation stored in a horse barn, and then decades of restoration to eventually become the most valuable service motorcycle in the world. Along the way, the producer explores the history of three-wheeled motorcycles; the Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s development of commercial service and delivery motorcycles, and most importantly documents one man’s adventure in restoring a motorcycle that had been in his family for nearly a century. Independent producer James Cutting considers the discovery of Walter to be the most extraordinary barn-find of our times.

“Walter: The Missing Link – Discovery of a Centennial Motorcycle” documentary will be released in 2021. A late-summer premiere is planned in Milwaukee.

For more “Walter” documentary content visit www.walterdoc.com

Discovery of a Centennial Motorcycle Documentary

By General Posts

“Walter: The Missing Link – Discovery of a Centennial Motorcycle” Documentary – Coming Soon

Slinger, Wisconsin – March 8, 2021 – The Edge Ltd., producer of “Hogslayer: The Unapproachable Legend,” announces the release of “Walter: The Missing Link – Discovery of a Centennial Motorcycle” documentary.

Walter is a feature-length narrative documentary featuring Walter, a 1913 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Truck, and his former caretaker Michael W. Schuster. A meticulous restoration by Ally Schuster and his grandson Michael, Walter ultimately became an acknowledged motorcycle artifact recognized as the last-known Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Truck in existence.

In 1913 an unusual motorcycle negotiates through the mud-rutted streets of old Milwaukee. This is one of the first Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Truck forecars and represents a unique early venture in commercial service delivery motorcycles for the Motor Company. Fast-forward to the present-day as that very same motorcycle truck negotiates through the world of motorcycle collectible artifacts. This is the last-known Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Truck in existence, a remarkable motorcycle affectionately known as Walter.

This documentary chronicles the life and times of Walter the forecar from its early days of service, through many decades of desolation stored in a horse barn, and then many years of restoration to eventually become the most valuable service motorcycle in the world. Along the way, the producer explores the history of three-wheeled vehicles; the Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s development of commercial service motorcycles, and most importantly documents one man’s adventure in restoring a motorcycle that has been in his family for a century. Independent producer James Cutting considers the discovery of Walter to be the most extraordinary barn-find of our times. In the end, Walter delivers a lesson to embrace our past and forge relationships for our future.

“Walter: The Missing Link – Discovery of a Centennial Motorcycle” documentary will be released in 2021. A late-summer premiere is planned in Milwaukee. For more information please contact executive producer James Cutting.

For more “Walter” documentary content visit www.walterdoc.com

Friend Walter on Facebook @Walterthemissinglinkmotorcycledocumentary

“Walter” documentary trailer –

 

Which Three-Wheeler Fits Your Style?

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We offer a brief history of the Three-wheeled vehicle, and take a guess at the lifestyle each fits best.

In 2007, BRP put its three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder on the market and sold 2500 units in the U.S. By 2015, it had sold 1 million units globally. In 2017, it estimated the U.S. three-wheel industry to be good for approximately 40,000 sales a year, and that industry includes competition from historic names like Harley-Davidson and Morgan. Some bikers scoff at the three-legged mechanical portmanteau called an autocycle, but they’re here to stay; in 2020, BRP more than doubled its 2019 volume in the U.S.

Maybe you’re considering joining the growing crowd but aren’t sure which saddle to throw a leg over, here is a brief history of three-wheelers and the people who love them.

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