Four wheel motorcycles

For all those of the motorized 3-wheel persuasion.

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Four wheel motorcycles

Post by Ryck »

Last year I saw pictures of a BMW four wheel motorcycle in a bike magazine. I was wondering if anyone heard anything more about it. Was it a concept vehicle or will it really happen?

I also wonder if jurisdictions and insurance companies will consider such a vehicle a "car" or a "motorcycle".

I've always thought that if you straddle the vehicle and you don't have an shell covering you then you are a "motorcycle" no matter how many wheels you have on the pavement. Then I saw the T-Rex three-wheel motorcycle where you are "in" the vehicle and you do have something of a shell "covering" you.

Differences are starting to blurr! LOL

If you don't know what a T-Rex is ...

So, anyone heard any chatter from BMW about this?

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Re: Four wheel motorcycles

Post by WCLamb »

American Motorcyclist Association has run a survey trying to get a read on this very topic... what makes a motorcycle a motorcycle? Seems there's as many opinions as there are people.

As far as four-wheelers go, Hannigan Motorsports, who makes sidecars, trailers, and trike conversions has come up with different configurations for trikes... conventional, and ala "Spyder" with twin front wheels and a single in the rear. A couple years ago, they had a GoldWing 1800 on display at TourExpo that had undergone conversion front AND rear... in essence, an overgrown quad. I thought: "nice experiment -- but who would buy something like that? You'd never get it licensed, registered, or inspected. The state (any state) wouldn't know what to do with it!"


Well, RuthAnn Hannigan told me they'd sold the first one to someone in New Jersey (go figure!) and that they had no problem getting it legal... considered as a motorcycle, subject to all the rules and regulations of 2- and 3-wheelers, and it was being ridden. Can't say... I've never seen it or one like it.

According to their internet ad (LINK) :arrow: Hannigan it is only made for the GL1800. But then, RuthAnn was riding a BMW LT that they had triked a couple years ago (pretty!) so I don't see why they couldn't convert a Beemer to a quad, too. I just think the owner would end up getting hassled, pulled over by the LEOs all the time.

Personally, I'd have to wonder "what's the point?" A trike is for stability. Why a quad? Just because? Seems to be a pretty expensive proposition -- just to have something different.

I can't imagine the handling issues and what it would take to ride one of those things. I certainly wouldn't feel too confident doing 75 on the NJ Turnpike on one. But then, never having tried one, I can't say. All I know is, it ain't for me.

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Re: Four wheel motorcycles

Post by Spiritdream »

From what I've heard in the "rumor mill", the Hannigan is only legal in about 5 states, but I'm having a bit of trouble finding out which 5. Guess NJ is one of them? I did see a video once (YouTube, I think?) showing the Roadster being driven on a highway, and I think it was in Arkansas or Alabama - "A" stands out in my mind, that's all I remember.

I don't know about BMW, but the Hannigan is NOT a legal vehicle in Massachusetts - yes, I've asked the RMV & State Police, because my husband said that this is the only motorcycle he'd ride. According to Massachusetts, it fails to meet at least one of the "legal" definitions for a motorcycle (3 wheels or less), and it doesn't meet the "legal" requirements for an automobile (seatbelts, windshield with wipers, enclosure, etc).

Needless to say, hubby is NOT getting one - we don't have 40K+ to spend for what would basically be a fancy ATV. :lol: Find me the other states where it's legal though, and maybe I could get hubby to move!! :wink:
2007 Suzuki C50 Boulevard/Lehman Tramp Trike

Let your dreams run brave enough to follow...Author Unknown

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