How to Ride a Trike

March 25th, 2019 by

Trike motorcycles offer a unique way to get out on the road. Their extra wheel provides improved stability while their ergonomic design makes riding much easier on your body. The difference in design also means it takes a different approach to ride them.

Here at Myers-Duren Harley-Davidson®, we work to make your life easier. That’s why we rounded up the following tips on riding Harley trikes below. It can be helpful to read through before your beginner’s class or to refresh up on your technique. If you have any questions or want to look at models for sale, visit our dealership. We proudly serve those in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Bixby, and Glenpool Oklahoma as well as Oklahoma statewide.


Your typical two-wheeled motorcycle relies on the rider’s body weight to turn in a process called “counter steering”. It’s part of what makes riding bikes exhausting!

With trike motorcycles, there is no need to use your body weight to turn. You’ll use a method called direct steering, much like you do with your car. Simply turn the trike’s handlebars in the direction you want to go.

You will need to adjust your speed as you approach a turn. You’ll want to slow down a decent amount, then maintain your speed as you approach the turn. After you get through the corner, you can hit the throttle again. This boost of power pulls you out of the turn and back to normal driving.

Starting and Shifting

Harley trikes rely on manual transmissions. Before you can start your vehicle, you will need your brakes to be engaged. Then you can engage the clutch, get into first gear, release the brakes, and release the clutch while also increasing the throttle.

If you want to change gears, you’ll first drop the throttle. Next you’ll engage the clutch, shift, and release the clutch. It’s not all that different from changing gears in a manual transmission car.

It’s important to carefully shift gears on your trike because it is easy to lose control. You also want to avoid jerking forward or having an engine stall. It helps to shift while you are going in a straight line.


Keep in mind that trike motorcycles are beasts of machines and it’ll take some effort to bring them to a stop. Give yourself plenty of room to come to a full stop and begin braking far in advance. Slamming on your brakes should be avoided when possible since hard braking can lock up the wheels and cause you to lose control of the vehicle.

Most trike models will have one brake system for the front wheel and another for the back wheels. If you only want to engage one set of brakes, choose the back wheels. If you engage both, you will get more stopping power. Just aim for engaging them at the same time!


Like any new skill, it’s important to practice riding your trike. Begin with mastering the basics in an empty parking lot or low traffic residential road. As you get better, you can head out on higher speed roads. It’s important to not head out on the highway until you are ready, but before you know it you’ll be a trike riding pro!

Ready to look at Harley trikes for sale? Visit Myers-Duren Harley-Davidson. We offer a range of trike motorcycles for sale. Our knowledgeable staff can answer your questions and help direct you to the ideal model for your unique needs, riding ability, and budget. We proudly serve those in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Bixby, and Glenpool Oklahoma as well as Oklahoma statewide.

Posted in Micellaneous