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Old 30 Jan 2011
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A hesitant hello from Denmark

Hi everyone,

Er, I don't know how to put this, but I'm contemplating buying a "threewheeler" to go touring in. In fact, I'm thinking of buying it, for the sole purpose of touring.
I have a rather fragile foo on one side, so standing on pegs (or pedals on a push bike) for too long and on too rough a terrain will fracture the foot, hence I'm looking for something that could alleviate that problem.

So, when Morgan (Morgan Motor company in the UK) said they'd bring out a threewheeler again, I was listening. I realise it's not a two-wheeler Tenere, BMW, or Honda, but "your" style of touring is the closest to what I want to do. Besides, strictly speaking, it is a motorcycle in most countries in that it is the only way to register it.

It will come with a 1800cc V-twin engine (I presume Harley Davidson), but my real purpose of this post is to hear what problems you foresee with that type of vehicle, as opposed to a "real" motorcycle.

I realise that I'll probably hear a lot of "that's not a motorcycle", but that's okay. I post because your type of travel is really great, and I'd like to be able to do something similar.
Here's a picture of an old (really old: From the thirties) Morgan Threewheeler:




ACE Cycle Cars (cycle-car.com) has been making a reproduction of the old one for years, and are now licensed by Morgan Motors:




And the new "Morgan Three Wheeler 2011" I'm contemplating:




Is this a thoroughly stupid idea, or do you think it's doable?

Cons I foresee, as opposed to a two-wheeled, "proper" motorcycle:

A) It's heavier: It weighs in at about 500kgs/1100lbs
B) It's much wider than a motorcycle, so no filtering or going down a too narrow tracks.
C) It will run into problems if going down mud where cars have made two tracks, becase the front wheels will perhaps fit, but the rear wheel will be in the middle, in effect having three "tracks".
D) It's lower, so in traffic there might (?) be a bigger possibility of not being seen.
E) It can't be rolled into a hotel foyer or room.

Pros:
A) The front wheel wont' slide away from under me with a little bit of mud.
B) It has a (small) "boot"
C) it has a passenger seat, so someone can sit besides me if I so choose.
D) I don't have to stand on pegs and risk fracturing my foot.
E) I will be a tad more protected from the weather than on a proper motorcycle (you still have to wear a helmet and some sort of leather/motorcycle jacket

That's from the top of my head, and perhaps it should have been in a thread of it's own, but it's the reason I signed up, so any feedback will be welcomed


Edit: I forgot to mention, I'm male, and 38 years old with no kids.

Last edited by TwoUpFront; 30 Jan 2011 at 13:10. Reason: Added a bit at the end
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Old 30 Jan 2011
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My only experience with three wheels is with a motorcycle with a sidecar but one thing I see as a problem for touring on dirt roads is that the thirth wheel is in the center of the vehicle.

Unpaved roads have often worn out tracks where the wheels of the cars go and a higher part of road in the center. With a threewheeler, the two front wheels will be low in the tracks and the thirth wheel will be bumping on the higher center part of the road.

As long as you stay on paved roads, any vehicle will do. I think you will get a lot of attention and questions from local people when you park a threewheeler in front of a café ;-)
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Old 30 Jan 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrijt View Post
My only experience with three wheels is with a motorcycle with a sidecar but one thing I see as a problem for touring on dirt roads is that the thirth wheel is in the center of the vehicle.

Unpaved roads have often worn out tracks where the wheels of the cars go and a higher part of road in the center. With a threewheeler, the two front wheels will be low in the tracks and the thirth wheel will be bumping on the higher center part of the road.
Yes, that's what I'm thinking too. If the ruts are too deep, that will be a problem.

Quote:
As long as you stay on paved roads, any vehicle will do. I think you will get a lot of attention and questions from local people when you park a threewheeler in front of a café ;-)
LOL, I have no intention of using it as a "café cruiser". It's just the closest I can get to a motorcycle without actually buying a twowheeler, or a tippy motorcycle with sidecar with the stability of a reliant robin:

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Old 30 Jan 2011
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At some of the BMW rallys in California we see a few of the Grinnall scorpions.
Trikes, Specialist Sports Cars and Kit Car Manufacturer
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Old 30 Jan 2011
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Ough, I don't like that one at all!

I'd sooner buy a "real" four wheel Morgan, or even a diesel Volvo rather than that thing. It's very plasticky and looks like a toy.

I guess I'm a bit old school when it comes to this sort of thing. I like old school motorbikes, cars and so on.

Although, it looks like a fun car for track days. Excellent for that sort of thing.


I have just realised that there's another "pro" of a threewheeler set-up - even if it were a motorcycle trike (two in the rear):
It will be far more difficult to lift the front and drag into a white van.
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Old 30 Jan 2011
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Hello and . Have you checked out the CAN AM Spyder? A friend of mine bought the RT-S last year and I got to play with it for a while. But, same issue with the rear-wheel in the center and riding on rutted roads. Other than that, pretty cool ride.
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Old 30 Jan 2011
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I fancy one of these...



The Blackjack ZERO

My 1200 sport is getting worried!
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Old 30 Jan 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.REX63 View Post
Hello and . Have you checked out the CAN AM Spyder? A friend of mine bought the RT-S last year and I got to play with it for a while. But, same issue with the rear-wheel in the center and riding on rutted roads. Other than that, pretty cool ride.

Thank you

Yes, I have seen the Can Am. I saw it on the web first a few years back, and then when I was in NY this summer, I saw a "live" on. I took a bunch of pictures of it, because it's so weird and looks like great fun.

But (I don't mean to be ungrateful) - and this i why I'm not getting me one of those: For all intents and purposes it is a "real" motorcycle, meaning I will have loads of weight on my left foot (the bad one), the moment the ground is rough. Another problem I see is the very low profile tubeless tyres, which will make it impossible to deflate them should it be needed.

It also seems much too modern to be fixed on the go, whereas the old school threewheeler(s) I have posted are made from an aluminium shell set on a tubular - and easy to get to - frame.

I even consider buying a real old threewheeler, but I foresee a lot of problems fiddling with an engine that is 80 years old.

Come to think of it, all of these - including the can am and the morgans, would probably all sputter and die in any sort of wading situation.

On the other hand, the "door" sills will pretty much stop any kind of wading anyway
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Old 30 Jan 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingdoctor View Post
I fancy one of these...



The Blackjack ZERO

My 1200 sport is getting worried!

Hehe, that one is probably the closest to the "original" of the lot. I like that one!
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  #10  
Old 30 Jan 2011
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Ha ha, I just found this picture of a a morgan with front "saddle" bags (it's a link, because it's a big picture):

http://www.mtwc.co.uk/bulletin/images/2011-01-large.png

Edit:
I found some threewheeler racing shots if you guys might be interested (there's even a video or two):

The Morgan Three Wheeler Club

Last edited by TwoUpFront; 30 Jan 2011 at 16:44. Reason: Added a bit
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  #11  
Old 30 Jan 2011
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A funny idea but why a 3-wheeler ? Its difficult to find, nobody in the third world can repair it etc.

Why not a sidecar outfit, I think somebody even made a 2-wheel drive.

Or just a car. If you want lightweight and cheaper, find a Citroen 2CV, its proven itself on the Paris-Peking of yesteryears.
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Old 30 Jan 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbekkerh View Post
A funny idea but why a 3-wheeler ? Its difficult to find, nobody in the third world can repair it etc.
The Morgan threewheeler (the new one) uses a V-twin Harley engine coupled to a Mazda gearbox. It's pretty simple. And most things in their other vehicles are bog standard parts: Engine, suspension etc., so I think it will be the same with their threewheeler: Morgan is a small company, so they don't go invent some new type of drive, use fancy proprietary y engines or anything. The new Threewheeler isn't even made on an ash frame, it's a tubular frame and the skin is "lift off" aluminium. I can't see that that sort of vehicle will be any more difficult to repair than a modern singing dancing motorcycle. You even have more space to work with.


Quote:
Why not a sidecar outfit, I think somebody even made a 2-wheel drive.
Too tippy, and it doesn't get around my - real - problem of not being able to stand on the pegs.

Quote:
Or just a car. If you want lightweight and cheaper, find a Citroen 2CV, its proven itself on the Paris-Peking of yesteryears.
True, but I don't think I'm getting any driving thrills from that.

The threewheelers have you set very low, close to the ground, it's well-powered (even the 80 year old ones), has lots of power to spare and have you out in the open.

I think it's basically a fun drive, inviting to the same kind of winding roads "proper" motorcyclists like.

I have driven a four-wheel Morgan, but a threeweheeler is even narrower - so narrow in fact, you will drive with one arm out of the cockpit, and you're even closer to the ground and no "car-windscreen", so I imagine it feels even more like driving a cart.



Besides, I like the look of it
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Old 31 Jan 2011
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whoo......, those 3 wheelers look great man,
like you said ,the trhill will be a lot more then in a car,(with some
open exhaust pipes).

And i love the fact that you like to do things a bit different,i want to say:
Go for it!!
But go for a model with abit of ground clearance if you want to take a dirtroad,or go to countrys where they have bad roads.

Saludos and Good luck
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Old 31 Jan 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anaconda moto View Post
whoo......, those 3 wheelers look great man,
like you said ,the trhill will be a lot more then in a car,(with some
open exhaust pipes).
I think it will be noisy sitting behind the engine and having the exhaust pipes almost next to you


Quote:
And i love the fact that you like to do things a bit different,i want to say:
Go for it!!
Thanks, my "canoe" is this rowboat, which I have outfitted with feathering oars and a sliding seat:

Kevlar Guide Boats


Quote:
But go for a model with abit of ground clearance if you want to take a dirtroad,or go to countrys where they have bad roads.

Saludos and Good luck
I don't know how much clearance the different ones have or will have, but the new 2011 Morgan looks to have some reasonable clearance and a pretty short wheel base. I was thinking I might be able to fit a full length skid plate under it to help it along. But at least it doesn't look extremely low:




I'll fire an email away to Morgan tomorrow, so I can get on the waiting list for one - it will propably take a while before it's my turn, leaving me to plan and save money in the meantime, or perhaps finding me an oldtimer if the wait is too long.

Last edited by TwoUpFront; 31 Jan 2011 at 01:39. Reason: spelling
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Old 1 Feb 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoUpFront View Post
I'll fire an email away to Morgan tomorrow, so I can get on the waiting list for one - it will propably take a while before it's my turn, leaving me to plan and save money in the meantime, or perhaps finding me an oldtimer if the wait is too long.
Apparently it can take upwards of a year or more if I pay the deposit now to get on the waiting list.

I think I'm going to give it a week to ponder my options before committing.
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