What are 3-wheel motorcycles called?


Just as two-wheel motorcycles are usually called “bikes”, three-wheel versions tend to be called “trikes”. The term refers to the positioning of the wheels that gives them their instantly recognizable Y configuration and describes the unique format of these motorized vehicles that lie somewhere between a bike and a motorcar. Some refer directly to a Can-Am Spyder or Can-Am Ryker. The names of these distinctive, easy-to-ride Can-Am models have now slipped into motorcyclists’ everyday language.




Converted motorcycles

A trike conversion involves converting a conventional or custom motorcycle to a machine with two rear wheels. This conversion can be done with a special kit but does require thorough mechanical know-how and homologation. It offers the advantage of preserving the characteristics of the original vehicle, while leaving it intact to restore it to its initial format if necessary.


Conventional trikes

Unlike motorcycle conversions based on an existing vehicle, conventional trikes are assembled from scratch using automobile and motorcycle components. Fully customized models can be obtained as a result. They are equipped with broad wheels ensuring a high degree of on-road stability, and a chassis that conceals the rear-mounted engine. The long, slightly elevated handlebars almost reach the seat, giving the vehicle a style of its own.


Reverse trikes

The reverse trike was introduced when the first Can-Am Spyder was released in 2007. The concept refers to a vehicle equipped with two wheels at the front, a characteristic that gives it more than a passing resemblance to a scorpion or a spider, hence the model name. This arrangement produces a number of benefits for all riders:

  • Greater stability: the reverse trike’s two front wheels result in excellent roadholding ability that beats that of conventional motorcycles. The rider retains full control of the trike as it gently stops... there’s no need to put a foot on the road!
  • Easy to ride: greater stability means higher confidence. In many parts of the world, a regular driver’s license is enough to ride Can-Am trikes. Beginners can enjoy the thrills of the open road without a care in the world.
  • Greater comfort: unlike converted motorcycles that are often awkward, these 3-wheelers place the emphasis on comfort. They are therefore ideally suited to long-distance touring where other vehicles may fall short.
  • An inimitable style: it cannot be denied, there is nothing that looks quite like a Can-Am On-Road vehicle! Stand out from the crowd with a modern machine that you don’t have to build yourself from spare parts or an existing bike.


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