Reverse trikes aren’t new, but recently introduced models, like the Polaris Slingshot, have brought them back into the limelight. The Tri-Magnum from R.Q. Riley Enterprises in Phoenix, Arizona is one of the old breed. It’s been around in kit form since the early 1980s, and the plans are still available for the bargain price of just $95. That’s 200 times cheaper than the cheapest Slingshot.
Of course you’ll need to provide your own donor motorcycle, source some bits from a VW Beetle, fabricate a steel chassis and build the composite fiberglass bodywork yourself. But at the end of the day you’ll have something quite unusual.
The Tri-Magnum three-wheeler is based around a custom fabricated steel frame, the front suspension and steering comes from a VW Beetle, while the drivetrain comes courtesy of a motorcycle. Several different drivetrains have been used in the past. The original prototype was built using a Kawasaki KZ900 engine and transmission, however the company recommends the engine and transmission from the Honda Gold Wing – especially models fitted with the electric reverse option.
Power output of the drivetrain clearly depends on the engine choice, however with the Goldwing GL1800 engine, the Tri-Magnum has a comparable power to weight ration to a 3,500 lb (1,587 kg) car with a 350 horsepower engine – which is better than the current Audi S4’s power to weight ratio (1,735 kg / 3,825 lbs and 329 hp).
Inside, the Tri-Magnum trike has room for two. Just. Access is through a forward tilting canopy which provides the largest possible opening. It’s pretty cosy in the cabin, and it probably isn’t the best choice for long road trips. Seating is side-by-side, and the contoured seat is custom-built and molded into the body. A solid bulkhead at the rear of the cabin separates the occupants from the rear-mounted engine, provides rear-collision protection and also acts as a roll-over bar.
So if you’re digging the ’80s styling, have an old Goldwing lying around, and a spare $95, you know what your project is this coming winter.
Source: RQ Riley Enterprises