R18 Reverse Trike Kit for the Honda Gold Wing GL1800 and F6B - Will all trikes eventually be reverse trikes?

Honda Gold Wing reverse trike kit from Sturgis Motoren

Honda Gold Wing reverse trike kit from Sturgis Motoren

There are a lot of trike conversions available, but very few kits put the dual wheels up front, Qtec Engineering is one, offering a Harley Davidson kit, and Hannigan has a Gold Wing quad, but they never offered it as a reverse trike, so when I noticed this Gold Wing for sale, I was curious. Could this pull away some high end Can-Am Spyder sales?

Over in Holland, Sturgis Motoren, a Gold Wing entusiast company, decided it was time to bring the Wing into the reverse trike world and they've designed a kit that adds a whole new front end to either the GL1800 or the F6B. The complete kit offers two wheel independent suspension, an extra radiator to keep things cool and all of the necessary bodywork to make the unit look like it's a natural part of the bike. They made their own rims, too. If your Gold Wing was equipped with an airbag and ABS, they still work after the changeover. The whole trike weighs about 1100 pounds and fuel economy is said to be about 30 miles per gallon which is actually better than the Can-Am.

Honda Gold Wing reverse trike kit from Sturgis Motoren

Honda Gold Wing reverse trike kit from Sturgis Motoren

The conversion must be done by certified installers, no DIY kits, for liability reasons, but what you get seems to be a pretty high end unit with all of the Gold Wing luxury and reliability plus the extra stability of three wheels and a ride guaranteed to attract attention when you show up at the next Wing gathering.

So what does all of this cost? Well, it's not cheap. Compared to a Can-Am which can range from a base price of about $15,000 and run up to $30,000 depending upon model and options, the R18 kit is $15,500 plus $700 for matching paint and $1200 for the installation and this is on top of the Gold Wing itself, so high $30k or $40K total? The one I found for sale is a demo unit that was at Daytona and it has a Buy it Now price of $40K.

Wing World Magazine had a nice write up and they say there will be four dealers in the USA that will carry the kits, two in Florida, one in California and one in Missouri, which is the importer.

Anyone thinking of a Gold Wing trike won't be put off by the price of this conversion though whether it will siphon off any Can-Am sales is hard to say. I do think we'll start to see more quality reverse trike kits as time goes on and I'm actually surprised we haven't seen more already. Interesting.

Link: Gold Wing Reverse Trike on eBay
Link: Sturgis Motoren

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Comments

  1. Yeti2bikes says

    I’ve never ridden a newer Gold Wing or a Can Am. Do they have a reverse gear? I can see the trike option for older gents that may not be able to hold up a heavy cruiser, but I’ve got to wonder if you can back that bad boy up.

    • Tinus says

      Goldwings do have the ability to back up, older versions had a lever on the left hand side you had to pul, and then press the starter with the engine running in neutral.
      Maybe on newer versions there’s a more sophisticated mechanism.
      Bit I think you’re right: backing up with a bike this large and heavy I think is quite a challenge.

      • Randy Davis says

        Unfortunately there is a lot of miss and missing information in the article. I have owned a Spyder RT since the spring of 2011 and this year traded it for a new RT 2014 model. My fuel mileage is constantly higher than 32mpg with a high of 39.7 (tracked on Fuelly.com).

        It has a geared reverse the same as any car and power steering so reversed can handle any situation including backing up hill.

        Since the RT (reverse trike) was designed from the ground up it has many features you won’t get in most conversions, front or back:
        1. 3 wheel ABS brakes
        2. Power steering
        3. Traction control
        4. Skid control
        5. Turning radius/speed monitoring to prevent lifting a wheel
        6. Up to 240 per tank of fuel
        This is still a motorcycle and parallels 2 wheel bikes in every regard other than cornering. It corners flat and nimbly and while you do not lay it over in corners it is no less exciting. I have no fear of gravel on corners or wet road markings.

        This has nothing to do about limitations but if you are old school or fixed on 2 wheels then you will not enjoy riding the future.

        • Baldeagle says

          Amen to that. Traded my 2012 RT for the 2014 RTL. Wouldn’t trade ot for a twoly. Not a single computer controlled safety feature in any of these kit trikes. Bombardier builds great jets. They build great trikes too.

  2. OMMAG says

    My take on trikes and quads is that if this is where you are at vis a vis riding motorcyles then it is time to admit your limitations and buy a convertible sports car.

    I recommend 60s Brits like Triumph, Austin and MG.

    • Paul Crowe says

      it is time to admit your limitations and buy a convertible sports car

      But why? Riding motorcycles is purely a choice to begin with, not a necessity, and if someone gets more joy from riding, whether a bike, trike or quad, than they believe they would get from driving in a car, and if they have the wherewithal to buy something like this, then they should do as they please.

      I can appreciate what you say, but if someone can ride safely and enjoy it, then there’s no reason to drive a car instead. You, from your comment, might be better off making another choice and you should be free to do so, but as long as we are free, let’s concentrate on increasing the choices for everyone. Though I do rather like this setup, I might not choose a trike either, but if someone else does, I’ll smile and wave as he goes by.

      • OMMAG says

        I’m all for choice. I’m suggesting that it is a good thing to do some self evaluation when faced with making decisions about the sports in which we engage.

        Maybe the three and four wheel bike mutations are good for a lot of people.

        I’m at the point now where my own stamina and tolerance for the rigours of riding sport bikes is a big factor in limiting my riding time. So, I look at touring/cruisers as the next step to stay on two wheels for the next while.

        Still, there are many days I would love to be behind a windshield and sitting in a comfy bucket seat with the wind blowing around the cockpit of a raspy little TR3 or such. I’m even considering that it might be better to bypass the geezer bikes all together.

        Cheers!

        • Jim says

          And maybe you should for I fear you would not be welcome among the two and three riders I know. I have been a GWRRA member for 27 years and had an accident years ago that put me in a position of stop riding or convert. My fellow members encouraged me to convert. Although I felt 3 wheels was no longer a motorcycle it is those fellow members that helped me realize what I would be missing. So go buy your mg and enjoy I will still wave when I ride by on my 3 wheels.

  3. Der Verge says

    Someone has finally taken the last step required in turning the Goldwing in to a true RV. Now if you could only get one in a diesel pusher……..

    Don’t get me wrong, the conversion looks spot on. Those “bikes” are just too damn big.

  4. Sportster Mike says

    It used to be the case round our way that if you’re a Biker who is getting old(er) you build a Lotus/Caterham 7 – as 3 wheelers here in England had bad conatations (Reliant Robin etc)

    And so as I get older – I’ve tried out a few.. I can get in em – can’t get out of em!! especially the ‘normal’ size models, SVs are OK

    and yes, stuck in traffic as you would be on one of these reverse trikes of course…

    • Paul Crowe says

      I know what you mean. I’ve squeezed into a variety of little roadsters and I can’t imagine going very far in them. And then there was the time my neighbor, who was running a Top Alcohol dragster, encouraged me to slide down into the seat to get a feel for what it was like. Big mistake. Ever try to get back out of one of those? It’s like sitting inside a small mouthed canning jar. Once in you might need a hammer to extract yourself. :-)

    • Randy Davis says

      Not sure why you say stuck in traffic is more likely than with 2 wheel? Other than the odd fool that rides between cars at speed (it is illegal to do so in most states) I wait in line with the 2 wheelers.

  5. Randy says

    I assume the performance of these conversions will be far above some rickety old English sports car. But, I’m kind of in agreement with OMMAG, just that a Vette or Cobra would be my choice.

    As I get older (I’m 59) and weaker (especially my lower back) i’m going to smaller, lighter, more upright bikes (have an NCX now, the FZ07 is my next bike). I’ve not ridden a trike, Naturally, i’m somewhat interested in the experience but not enough to seek one out for a test ride. I’ve my share of medical issues and can appreciate the decision to go to something that won’t fall over (!) and shatter that new hip/knee/spine construct. But, those buyers aren’t enough to be the basis of a business model.

    When I see a modern reverse trike on the road I admit I always wonder, why? Why is that person on a trike instead of a motorcycle? Unlike HD trikes, which I almost always see with a clump of HD riders and assume is a shaky oldster trying to get some more rides in before the sun sets, the reverse trike is a singleton or in a small mixed group.I’ll admit again that I wonder about the modern trike driver/rider’s commitment. I’m a long time dirt rider and have watched the whole birth and evolution of ATV’s. Perhaps I’m elitist here but to me the ATV (for purely recreational use anyway) is a much lower level commitment than learning to ride a even a small dirtbike. BTW, I detest the damn things – many ATV’ers think nothing of destroying a nice single track. I’ve seen nice sidehill single tracks that have existed for decades turned into 8 foot wide scars in a single season. So, I think most modern trikes are sold to people too timid to go down the path of becoming a motorcyclist.

    • Alex says

      They’re very popular with disabled folks: the Can-Am’s an auto so one can be missing a hand or foot and still ride. If your sense of balance is no longer up to original factory specifications (head injury, vestibular damage, even some prescription meds) balancing a two wheeler may be beyond you. People with bad backs who can’t take the chance of dropping a bike because they’d never be able to pick it up again. Those aren’t huge markets, but they’re worth going after.

      • Randy Davis says

        Yes, it has endless possibilities for people with disabilities but by far the greatest # of riders are average men and women ranging from the teen’s to 70+. Ride one, you’ll figure it out.

      • Randy says

        i can appreciate that – I underwent a three level cervical fusion 18 months ago. I sold my Sprint RS ahead of time as, I guess, an act of acceptance. But I wonder if this segment is even a small fraction of the sales of these modern trikes.

    • Randy Davis says

      I have owned Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Harley 2 wheelers since I was 16, I am now 59 and while quite capable of riding any 2 wheel (short legs makes it hard to ride some models) but since trying the CanAm Spyder I am hooked.

  6. Stevils says

    I can understand the point behind these trike conversions, but it seems like it would lack a lot of what draws me to motorcycling.

    If they had a decently sized trike that actually leaned, like a Piaggio MP3, then I could see much more interest, though it would likely be much more complex and expensive.

  7. Mark L. says

    As a past owner of a HD VR1000, several bimotas, Ducatis, GSXR Ltd, Moto Guzzi, Buells, Interceptors, and spending years working on the various Roehr motorcycles, I never got Goldwings and “their type” of bikes until my wife and I were stranded in Atlanta on a holiday weekend 4 years ago with no flights and no Rental cars available.

    So we bought a Suzuki Cavalcade and rode home the next day. 850 miles for a first ride. I still have the Cavalcade. You might have seen it in the Suzuki manufacturers tent at the Indy MotoGP round in 2010. It’s that nice.

    It is parked in my garage next to my Buells, ZX7RR, ST1100, Lotus Esprit SE, supercharged Jag and our 125cc scooter that has seen thousands of miles in the country where we love just outside Ozark, MO.

    Which coincidentally is 6 miles from Gene’s Touring Gallery, the US importer for this.

    Before you condemn the different, you might try it. besides, your opinion carries much more weight when you speak from experience.

    I have found that I enjoy just about every motor vehicle I have ever tried in one way or another.

    Mark L.

  8. marc says

    having owned 2 sidecar hacks, goldwing with a champ car and custom v-strom with a champ car,i can see the FUN in riding these trikes. like every brand hero they think thiers is the best. DONT KNOCK IT TILL YOU TRY IT.

  9. Sportster Mike says

    @Randy

    Here in England we can filter pass cars – as long as its not too fast ie stationary traffic go past at 15mph or so and get to the front of the queue… and if its moving then legally a little bit faster than the cars
    I try not to go too nuts….

  10. Mike says

    To each their own. If you`re gonna ride a trike the “reverse trike” is the way to go. 3 wheeled atvs were abandoned by major manufactures decades ago, due to lawsuits resulting from injuries due to the instability of the 2rear 1front wheel design.
    With all the kids gravitating towards quads & the “old folks” switching to trikes it makes you wonder about the future of 2 wheeled bikes.

  11. Jon Talasay says

    While the R-18 is a step in the correct direction (RT style) there are several problems with this design. Aerodynamically the large frontal area will cause and unstable handling condition especially in wind or while running at higher speeds. To compensate they will need to run high caster angles which will hurt steering ease. Also the frame is built way over the top from a structural standpoint. There is now up front storage due to this over the top construction. I see no anti-sway bar which is a must on any multi wheel vehicle. And this kit is at least twice as expensive than the much more refined Endeavor trike systems.
    The body is a must pick this design which does not allow for multiple choices on look. Wheels are custom so you have to buy wheels from R-18, again unlike the Endeavor kit which is totally customizable and uses standard automotive wheels and assemblies so the end user may go wild with there own ideas.

    But it is a wheels forward that does not lean which is two the the correct items in the world of trike physics. As originally stated “a step in the right direction”

Let us know what you think