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Tips for Riding A Harley Davidson® Trike | Beginner Guide

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blog large image - Tips for Riding A Harley Davidson® Trike | Beginner Guide

Tips for Riding A Harley Davidson® Trike | Beginner Guide

Harley Davidson® trikes are loads of fun to ride, yet handle and perform slightly differently to a traditional motorcycle. There are three trike motorcycles on offer for Harley’s® 2021 line-up, Freewheeler™Tri Glide Ultra™ and CVO™ Tri Glide™. If you are new to owning one of these elite and versatile machines here are some helpful tips for riding a Harley Davidson® trike. 

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  1. Cornering On A Trike

Where traditional motorcycle riders rely heavily on “Counter Steering”, trikes use “Direct Steering”

Counter Steering is a riding technique that initiates a turn by pushing on the inside handlebar to lean a bike into a corner - The bars turn right, the bike leans left, and the bike then goes left. For this technique to work, the bike must travel at a speed faster than walking pace, due to the dynamics of the bike. 

Direct Steering is as it sounds, you turn the handlebars of the bike right, and the bike will go right. Direct steering only comes into play at slower speeds on a traditional bike. Because of the extra wheel on the trike, riders can only use direct steering. 

This admittedly feels unnatural, at first, especially after riding a traditional two-wheeled motorcycle. Yet given time, owners will quickly adjust to the unfamiliar dynamics and feel right at home. 



When approaching a corner, ensure your speed is consistent and controlled. Maintain a constant speed through the turn and throttle out once you are past the curve of the bend. Any unstable, jerky throttle twists may result in you losing control of the trike. Remember to adjust your road position for the widened size of the trike. Be smooth and balanced, as taking a corner too sharply can result in one of the wheels losing traction or coming off the ground.

  1. Practice Stopping Performance

The Harley Davidson® trikes are some of Harley’s® heaviest and largest vehicles. Pair that with impressive acceleration and torque, you best hope for some effective braking power. With the extra weight of the vehicle, it is recommended you allow yourself even more braking distance than you would usually leave on a traditional bike. Even with the added assistance of Harley’s® RDRS Technology on particular year models, riders must be knowledgeable of their own braking ability. Practice makes perfect, so familiarise yourself with your trikes braking limits.  



  1. Enabling Reverse Mode

The reverse mode on the trike is designed to assist riders in tight parking situations and is recommended not to be used extensively. Here's why…The trike reverse mode uses a very large starter motor, connected to the rear wheels and causes a significant drain on your battery - hence why Harley® recommends usage be limited.

Our Harley Davidson® factory trained technicians recommend using the reverse feature for roughly 20-30 seconds at a time. Leave a few minutes in between usage, so the motor can cool down, and the battery sufficiently warms up again. 



How To Engage The Reverse Mode On Your Harley Davidson® Trike:

Step 1: Start the Harley® Trike in neutral (The reverse operates off the starter engine, so must be out of gear to work)

Step 2: Disengage all braking components - such as a parking brake

Step 3: Push the “R” button on the left handlebar cluster, until the “R” light is visible on the speedometer. 

Step 4: Press and hold the “R” button to engage the Reverse mode, and the trike will begin rolling backwards! It's that easy!

Harley® trikes may not be the most common bikes on the road, yet they offer such a unique appeal with their ease of handling, improved comfort, and better stability. To check out our full range of new and used motorcycles today, visit us at Harley Davidson® Canberra, 281 CANBERRA AVE, FYSHWICK, ACT 2606. Call (02) 6185 0516 today!

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