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Considering buying a Trike but have questions to ask? The team at Bikesure, the free-thinking motorcycle insurance broker, have put together some frequently asked questions to help you find out more about all things trike.
Do I need a helmet on a trike?
Helmets are only compulsory for motorcycles, not Trikes. However, it is highly recommended that you wear a helmet to protect your head in the event of an accident. It also protects you from the elements and debris getting flicked up by other road users. More information can be found on the MAG website.
Are there different types of trike?
Yes, there are many different types of trike, including factory-built, converted trikes and built-from-scratch models. There are also bike-engined and car-engined trikes. Trike wheels can be arranged in two configurations: delta or tadpole. A delta trike has one wheel in front and two in back, and the tadpole Trike has two wheels in front and one in back.
What options are available for people with disabilities?
Trikes are great vehicles for riders that are disabled. A wide range of adaptations can be made ranging from linked brake systems to trikes that can be driven from a wheelchair. Make sure you inform your insurance company of any modifications.
What licence do I need for a trike?
Since January 19th 2013, trikes are part of the motorcycle licence category. Formerly they came within the car category. For people with existing full car licences prior to January 19th 2013, nothing changes.
Only people with disabilities are permitted to take a driving test on a trike. If they wish to take a test on a trike, they will have to take a CBT (slightly amended to suit trikes). They will also have to complete a motorcycle theory test and a practical test (also slightly adapted to suit trikes). A disabled person taking a test on a trike will qualify for a licence restricted to trikes. It will not qualify them to ride motorcycles or drive cars.
If you’re not physically disabled and want to ride a trike you’ll now need to get the right provisional entitlement and complete CBT. Once you’ve passed your CBT you have 2 years to complete your full motorbike theory and practical tests or you’ll have to take your CBT again.
Able-bodied people who don’t hold a full car licence prior to January 19th 2013 will have to pass a motorcycle test before they can ride a trike. (Those who already hold a motorcycle licence will by default be able to ride trikes).
You’ll need a full category A1 motorbike licence to ride trikes up to power output 15kW, and a full category A motorbike licence to ride trikes with a power output more than 15kW.
For the latest information check the direct.gov website
What do I need to look out for Trike insurance-wise?
To get the best policy at the right price look for a specialist trike insurer. They will be able to offer cover tailored to your exact needs, including cover for any modifications you may have made to your trike, as well as disability modifications or if you have built the Trike from scratch.
The beauty of trikes is that they can be as individual as their owners, so to find a policy that meets your needs without costing the earth can be tricky. Many motorcycle insurance companies don’t really understand trikes or the specialist knowledge that trike owners have about their trike and the different ways that a trike is used. Bikesure offers specialist policies that can be tailored to your exact needs.
Some insurers offer discounts for owners’ club members. For example, Bikesure offers 15% off policies to Can-am Owners Club members.
How does riding a trike differ from riding a motorcycle?
Road RUNNER Motorcycle Touring and Travel has a useful guide to how to ride a trike, stating the differences between riding a trike and a motorcycle and what needs to be unlearnt if you have previous experience riding a motorcycle. Trikes have many advantages over regular motorcycles, such as you don’t have to put your feet down when you stop.
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