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2011 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Trike FLHXXX Review


by Marc Cantin ,

The current small-scale rage about three wheelers has encouraged Harley-Davidson to come out with a second three wheeled device, the Street Glide Trike, a less expensive and slightly down-level brother to the Tri Glide Ultra Classic launched as a 2010 model.

(Photo: Harley-Davidson)

Between testing the Can-Am Spyder, various Hannigan conversions and both Harley trikes, I can now tell both the common and different threads appropriate to each of the two configurations, the car-like 2fr-1rear on the Can-Am Spyder, vs the closer to a bike 1-2.

The Spyder’s 2-1 configuration makes the best of the complicated dynamics of these asymmetrical vehicles, such as excessive roll in corners if you push a little bit and the resulting impression that it is trying to throw you off. It gets even trickier if you are pushing hard, as the electronics actually cut power and apply the brakes to the outside front wheel – producing a “Depends” moment that I do not appreciate. They also weave in a straight line as the wide front tires follow groove after groove on the highway. You do not ride a Spyder, you drive it – actively – at any pace.

The motorcycle-like 1-2 configuration of both Harley trikes behaves more like a bike in a straight line, as they let inertia do the work of keeping you pointed in the right direction, with some fork flexing to help dampen bumps and lateral deviations.

Much like on 2-1 configurations, cornering at a touring pace on a Trike remains a sinecure. But attack a little and you run into the same issue as on the 2-1: inertia (The mythical “Centrifugal Force”) wants to throw you and your passenger off the bike. Having said that, you definitely ride both Harley 1-2s, letting them go along with only macro inputs to keep you on the path of happiness.

The Spyder comes with power steering, while the Harley models steer manually, with a steering damper to put some real juice into your upper body fitness program.

(Photo: Harley-Davidson)
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