In case you haven’t noticed, Trikes are a growing market. Whether for health reasons, old age, or just because some people feel more secure on three wheels rather than two.Though Harley now makes their own in-house Trike, Gold Wing Trike conversions seem to be the most popular. There’s a good reason for that; the Gold Wing with its ultra-smooth 100 HP, water cooled six cylinder offers more than enough power and torque to pull the extra weight of a trike conversion. In addition, the Gold Wing has more standard luxury features than any other large touring bike, even on a base model Wing.
The top of the line Gold Wing comes with ABS, heated seats and grips, a navigation system, a killer stereo and even an air bag! If that isn’t enough, the after-market makes every gadget and chrome doo-dad you could ever desire.
While there are many companies making conversion kits for Gold Wing, one of the most sophisticated has to be the Cali sidecar trike called the Viper. One of the drawbacks on many of the trikes I’ve ridden is the heavy slow speed steering. The Viper takes care of that by adding a 6 degree rake to the front fork angle. Simply stated, problem solved.
The Viper conversion also offers a fully independent suspension with vertically stabilized opposing rocker mono shock. With independent suspension, if one wheel goes over a pothole, it doesn’t disrupt the entire suspension. In fact, the ride is ultra-smooth on the Viper.
Cali also does a great job of integrating the styling of the conversion kit with the lines of the 2012 Gold Wing. From every angle this is a sharp looking machine. The paint is a perfect match as well, and is of equal quality to Honda’s flagship bike. The trunk has 8 cubic feet of storage space in addition to the tour pack.
Out on the road while going straight, the Viper rides just like a Gold Wing. Its only when turning that you realize you’re on a trike since you steer it as you would a car rather than lean into a turn.
I got fairly aggressive around a few turns and never felt like I was lifting a wheel. At parking lot speeds, maneuvering was a breeze with the raked out front end making the trike easy to steer.With plenty of power and torque from the flat six motor, acceleration and passing power is abundant. Plus, you have Honda’s legendary reliability.