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Mixed two and three wheelers on a ride


New member
I do about 98% of my riding alone . Hereabouts the cruiser riders are big on riding in groups. Now and then I will join in on a charity ride and find myself having to deal with the semi-organized chaos that seems part and parcel with that type of ride. Unfamiliar riding companions of unknown skills along with some unruly sorts that want to "ride their own ride" within the group.

These days it seems that more and more of the trike machines turn up. It strikes me that they don't fit in a staggered (staggering?) motorcycle formation very well both in line and particularly when cornering (apples & oranges?) The operators seem to drive a bit more conservatively than those on two wheels as well stringing out the group.

My thought was that it would be better if the bikes and the trikes were grouped separately. Has anyone on the board any experience with this? I'm thinking that sidecar equipped bikes may present a similar situation and someone has already addressed this issue.

FWIW some auto's are joining in the "rides" It just gets better all the time!
I ply on both sides of the motorcycling road

Owning and being active in both the local BMW Club and HOG Group. I also teach group riding at the HOG Club using the materials supplied jointly by MSF and the HD Riders Edge program. I say this just so you will know I have a little experience in this matter.
We teach that a trike of sidecar should have the space of two vehicles. In a staggered formation the left hand vehicle leads, the right hand vehicle is a minimum a second behind, the third vehicle is in the left lane minimum one second behind the second, two seconds behind the lead bike. So you always have one second between each bike, two seconds between the bikes in the same lane.
In the above example a trike or sidecar in the second position would be two seconds behind the lead vehicle and two seconds in front of the third vehicle. The trike or sidecar has the full use of the lane. Many times a sidecar will ride with the two wheels in the left track. A trike is more problematic as the crown almost always comes into play on a two lane road. It is up to the trike to find his comfort zone. I will defer to someone who rides one to chime in.
So long answer to a short question. Don't stagger with one in a staggered formation, keep two seconds in front and behind. At least that's the way we do it.
My "other" ride is a gl1800 trike. When on a group ride,I prefer to ride tail position for serveral reasons. 1) trikes stop shorter than bikes. 2) gravel,them rear car tires will spit out gravel. 3)It's harder to read road conditions when behind a trike.4) when parking,let the 2 wheelers have choice spots,I can pretty much park anywhere. I did alot of the group thing in GWRRA. I'd rather break away in smaller group 3-5 and let everyone ride thier own pace.
FWIW some auto's are joining in the "rides" It just gets better all the time!

OMG! How gauche!
But this isn't this just the next logical extension of all the "trailering" to bike events which is done? Now they are just driving a cage to the event, as before, and merely skipping the trailer...
We have "Street Vibrations"' here in September. This is a Harley oriented event, but it actually can be fun for an Airhead, at least. I cannot believe the percentage of bone-stock Harleys which are trailered up from the SF bay area. That is a half day ride. Trailering a gold-plated show bike, OK, I get that. But really.......
Different licensng

Here in NV a trike is considered a bike, so you need a MC license to legally operate one.
Next door in CA, it is my understanding they are considered cars, so no additional licensing needed.
I should think the riding/licensing background of the trike operators would heavily color how a mixed trike/bike ride goes. Are trikes bikes, or cars, in your area?
Group/mixed rides

I have been on a lot of rides in groups. Besides the 2 wheel 3 wheel thing there is the fast/slow thing and all the other things that make you wonder whats going on. It seems the key to the whole thing is the leader putting it all together-much harder with big events/groups. At the start, if it is put together well it will all take care of itself. If you find your self on a big ride that is obviously getting out of control offer to help out. Try and take the best points of past rides to make the next one better. :gerg:
That is like mixing BMW and Harleys on a ride.

You end up with the faster riders hanging back to have fun in the curves, and the lower riders feeling guilt about holding everyone up and making them wait, or worse, how they ruined their floorboards.

Next you will have dogs and cats living together in harmony.