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Three-Wheeled Motorcycle

Beginner's Trike Riding Tips

| 06/23/2020

Three-wheeled motorcycles offer a different experience on the road. The extra wheel alters how the motorcycle handles, which means even experienced motorcycle riders can benefit from specific trike riding tips. We've gathered up some basic strategies to help you prepare for a riding course, refresh your memory, or get a glimpse of what riding a trike is like. If you have any questions or want to explore trikes for sale, head over to Extreme Powersports. Our dealership is based in Columbus, Georgia, and we also proudly serve those in Auburn, Alabama.

Starting The Trike

The first step is starting up the trike.

  • make sure the brakes are engaged
  • engage the clutch
  • shift into first gear
  • release the brakes
  • release the clutch as you increase the throttle

Shifting Gears

The next step is shifting the gears. The process is similar to the one used in manual transmission cars.

  • drop the throttle
  • engage the clutch
  • shift to the gear you want
  • let the clutch out.

Always shift gears carefully because it's easy to lose control of the trike. Try to shift only when you are driving in a straight line, which will make the process easier. As long as you shift correctly, you won't suffer a stalled engine or a trike jerking forward.


It'd be a pretty boring trike ride if you only went in a straight line! Once you hit the open road, you'll need to turn in order to follow your route and pass slowpoke motorists.

Turning On A Bike VS A Trike

On a two-wheeled motorcycle, the rider users "counter steering" to turn. The rider must lean to counter centrifugal forces. This allows riders to turn without tipping over.

On a three-wheeled motorcycle, the rider uses "direct steering" instead. The process is similar to how you steer your car. But instead of moving a steering wheel to turn, the rider simply tilts the trike's handlebars to turn. This difference in steering makes trikes easier to control and easier on the body.

Turning On A Trike

Once you spot an upcoming turn:

  • begin slowing down
  • maintain your speed as you approach the turn
  • turn the handlebars the appropriate direction
  • wait until you exit the corner before hitting the throttle again (this extra boost helps you return to your previous speed)

Focus on executing a smooth turn. If the turn is jerky, it can cause you to lose control of your trike. Remember to account for your trike's width, which is much larger than a two-wheeled motorcycle, and how that will affect the angle that you take the turn. Taking a corner too sharply could result in one of the wheels coming off the ground.

Stopping On A Trike

Remember that trikes are big, heavy vehicles. They'll need plenty of space in order to come to a full stop. Give yourself plenty of time to start braking as you come up to the stop sign, row of stopped cars, and so on. Avoid slamming on the brakes as much as possible. Hard braking can lock up the wheels and cause you to lose control of the trike.

Most trike models come with a brake system for the front wheel(s) and a brake system for the back wheel(s). If you want to only engage one system, choose the back wheel brake. If you want to use both systems to get more braking power, try to engage them at the same time.

Practice, Practice, Practice

No one masters new skills overnight. Dedicate time to practicing riding your trike. Start slow by cruising around an empty parking lot or low-traffic residential road. As you gain confidence and experience, you can head out on higher speed routes. Soon you'll be conquering the freeway!

Ready to shop trikes for sale? Check out the selection of models at Extreme Powersports. Our friendly staff is always happy to answer your questions and help you find the perfect model for your lifestyle, so stop by and visit our dealership today. We are located in Columbus, Georgia, and also proudly serve those in Auburn, Alabama.

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