TreMoto Leaning Reverse Trike Developments

TreMoto leaning reverse trike

TreMoto leaning reverse trike

It's been over two years since we mentioned the TreMoto trike. They had just completed one prototype, based on a Ducati Monster 620, but it had over 2500 miles and things seemed to be working pretty well. Eddie Smith of TreMoto dropped me a note to let me know they were preparing for Pikes Peak with their trike based on a Kawasaki Z1000.

TreMoto leaning reverse trike

TreMoto leaning reverse trike

Even die hard two wheelers should take a look at this because in the dirt or blasting through turns where gravel is strewn across the road, you have to figure, the twin front wheels should give you a large margin of safety and control over a single wheel. The TreMoto leans 45 degrees, so you're not locked upright like a Can Am Spyder and at 464 pounds wet, and with inline 4 power, it should be enough to get and keep your attention.

TreMoto leaning reverse trike

TreMoto leaning reverse trike

Here's Eddie from TreMoto:

Yeah it's tons of fun to ride. Lately it's just been a lot of Pikes Peak prep, suspension settings, playing with ride height etc. The front end is pretty well dialed now, I can hang with sportbikes in the twisties. It's particularly good in low speed corners, hairpins and trail braking. The narrow little backroads are my favorite, so there's often gravel sand and dirt scattered in the middle of turns. This really freaks the two wheeled guys out but the TreMoto really doesn't seem to care. There is a lot of traction under braking so it's pretty easy to pick the rear wheel up. It doesn't really like to wheelie, but the rear slides/spins with more control than I have on a bike. Front wheels can be locked with no drama. Wet weight is 464lbs with 3 gallons of fuel with head/trail lights installed, so dry weight is 436lbs which is right on par with the stock Z1000 it's based on. Racing weight will be lighter still. On the same set of tires you can bomb down a gravel road with confidence, go drag knees in the parking lot or twisties and then ride to the drag strip and break 100mph on the 1/8 mile. I can't really think of any bikes that could do that, maybe a Multistrada?

We're also putting the finishing touches on a SuperTenere that we are setting up for a customer. It's not going to be as hard edged as the Z1000 or the Ducati but it should have good performance and be good for adventure riding.

TreMoto leaning reverse trike

TreMoto leaning reverse trike

Leaning trikes are showing some promise, with enclosed concepts like the TerraCraft and naked versions like the TreMoto, you can choose your personal preference, but once we made the transition from upright to leaning, the whole trike world took on a different tone and give bikers another option.

TreMoto leaning reverse trike

TreMoto leaning reverse trike

I'm really excited for the 91st running of the Pikes Peak Hillclimb. We ran in 2011, the last year of dirt, but missed last year due to the wildfires. For 2013 we are a lot more prepared, so it should again be a great event. The PPIHC organizers are awesome about allowing experimental and unique vehicles, so we will again run Exhibition Powersports alongside Greg Tracy and Chip Yates with their high powered electric bikes, some super bikes and the Milliken camber car.

Check out the TreMoto web site, they have lots of videos and if you're in the Colorado Springs area for Pikes Peak you can see it in action.

Link: TreMoto


  1. todd says

    Awesome. You can’t help but realize that CanAm really missed the boat when they when bolt-upright. This thing is probably so much more fun and safe feeling around fast corners than the Spider. I don’t really need an extra wheel on the front of my bike but if I had to decide between this and the CanAm it’s this by far.


    • Decline says

      Yeah…I actually like the look of this less than the CamAm, but would still choose this one. The upright is fine and can work well enough, but not so much in the dimensions the CamAm is. Obviously in something like the trex it behaved beautifully. (I don’t know why, the CamAm has often struck me as a trex shrunken down and riding position altered. And it just doesn’t quit work and has awkward feel to riding it I think)
      This seems much more “natural” for the size and position.

      • JP Kalishek says

        The upright really makes sense when one remembers Bombardier makes Ski-Doo snowmobiles. the Can Am is simply a street version of a ‘Doo.

  2. Scott123007 says

    Todd and Decline, You need to ride the Can-am to understand it. I will waste a two wheeler in the tight twisties. I would still prefer this bike because of the lean, but when I hear comments like yours about the Can-am, I can tell you’ve never ridden one.

    • todd says

      Even at the stay-in-line speeds when test rides are offered at events, the throw-your-ass-off feeling is still prominent. Sure, I’ve never tried to chase down a supermotard in the twisty stuff but I know enough. It’s not quite as bad as my old sidecar outfit or the ATC I rode as a kid but still enough to elicit the pucker effect and serious mid-corner throttle chop when pushing hard. Regardless, I rarely turn down free test rides…

      True, I’ve never ridden a leaning trike so, yes, I really have no basis for my comparisons.


    • Cab305 says

      “I will waste a two wheeler in the tight twisties.”

      On what a trike, LMFAO!!!!!! Sure thing buddy!

  3. william says

    Why are manufacturers still looking at trikes? Why not work to change the motorcycle laws to include 4 wheels and not just two and three, and use the leaning? I just do not understand the reasoning behind if it has four wheels its instantly a car. has a quad that I would love to ride. It is essentially the same design as above, with the exception that there are two rear tires and they lean as well. I know there are street legal quads, in Europe… I also know that in some southern states you can license your existing quad for the street, Those still do not do what Wesll’s bikes will do. If I save up enough, I’ll just contact him myself and have one built…

    • The boss says

      William you are a little behind on the Wesll bike although I believe in your passion to employ the EU road rules so manufacturers can take advantage of world wide Wesll have declared their bike pre-prototype and not even something they would make for the offroad community let alone the on road one and have no patent’s, They have said they are years away in that regard, as Vs the Tremoto which started a Patent process 3 years ago and is production ready and making bikes. So you shouldn’t let the legislation worry you about whether you’ll buy a TreMoto or not because you havent got the legislation to buy one and you havent got anyone the books so buy one and have your fun now dont try and wait for government to try and give you what you want and miss out in the meantime. Besides Wesll arent the only ones who wanted to do a n offroad bike 30 odd guys said they’d do it if Wesll didn’t.!!

    • Q-Bike says

      Wesll have no intention of producing either that quadricycle they have in videos or any other quadricycle for several years. They have said as much on their Facebook interest group page. They have backed this up by releasing plans of the snowmobile they have set out to produce instead and so have admitted defeat of the nationwide laws thing. TreMoto are currently under contract to look at developing a Quadricycle, I should know, I ordered it.

  4. JP Kalishek says

    back in the 80’s and 90’s MRC/Tamia had RC cars with a similar front and rear suspension set up.They of course used a sway bar to keep the body closer to level.
    Looking at the head on shot I suddenly recalled the cars.

  5. sfan says

    I like reverse trikes as a platform, especially for builders that exploit the design to push performance envelopes. I am much less of a fan of the aesthetics of just attaching the front assembly to a conventional bike frame. TerraCraft, by comparison exploits the opportunity for dramatically improved aerodynamics and lower center of gravity. The Aprilla Magnet design exercise is another example that I find inspiring:

    Other examples, in this case non-leaning designs that exploit cornering CG potential, include the VW GX3 and F3 Adrenaline from TriRod Motorcycles

    I am not a fan of the CanAm but I believe the design philosophy was heavily influenced by bringing ski-doo & ATV riding experiences to a non-sidecar motorcycle format.

  6. Tanshanomi says

    I just don’t get the whole tilting trike thing. I get that it has a few degrees more front wheel traction than a motorcycle, and I assume slightly more dynamic (gyroscopic) stability, but not really any more static stability, and the footprint is nearly the size of a small car. Sure, it gives you most of the riding sensations of a motorcycle, but so does…a motorcycle.

    In the end, it’s only slightly better at the things that motorcycles are bad at, while sacrificing most of the qualities that make motorcycles attractive to start with.

    • Renegade_Azzy says

      This is where one with the front wheels closer together, like the Aprilla MP3 functions well. Im with you on the footprint. Although I think that this bike, with the dual front, will be similar in width to my Strom with adventure style boxes on the sides.

    • says

      Methinks anyone who has ever lost a front end due to oil, gravel, a wet manhole cover etc. would be to differ.

      • Tanshanomi says

        I’ve been riding since 1980, and that has happened to me two times, once on slick crosswalk paint in the rain, and once on gravel. But the prospect of avoiding those two isolated incidents wouldn’t prompt me to trade the last third of a century on two wheels for a tilting trike. And I’ll bet you could lose it badly on gravel with that thing. Cars slide around on gravel, and they have four really wide tires. The thing about cars is that they don’t high-side when they regain traction again.

        • Roy W Fileger says

          If you remember your basic Trig, 3 points determine a plane. A 4 wheel vehicle cannot handle as good or better than the “Leaning Reverse trike”. I have ridden the narrow Piaggio MP3 and the wider vehicle like the TreMoto. One sacrifices NONE of the benefits of riding a motorcycle while providing tremendous benefits in all of the dangerous situations which frequently occur in daily riding a motorcycle.

          • todd says

            incorrect. There is a thing called suspension. It allows for all wheels to contact the ground regardless how un-flat the ground is. Besides, even without suspension – using your premise – a four wheel vehicle would be just as stable because it could never have less than three wheel on the ground at one time. Having more adds more traction and stability.

            Sure, a three wheeled vehicle is fun but I don’t kid myself.


  7. Renegade_Azzy says

    Got a question… Does this still steer like a bike, as in you press the handlebar down towards the way you want to go (aka countersteer) or like a quad?

  8. B50 Jim says

    I’m thinking that because it leans, it should countersteer like a bike. I’m also thinking it should corner like it’s on rails. An extra contact patch greatly increases cornering ability, and the rider won’t have to drag a knee; those of us who aren’t motorcycle gods would be able to ride this machine quite quickly; it would be an absolute hoot! About the kickstand — it looks like the bike needs it — is there any other means of keeping the bike upright when it’s parked?

    • BoxerFanatic says

      There is probably a lean lock for parking.

      But even fully leaned over, it probably isn’t too different from a side-stand angle, and probably still keeps itself off of it’s side.

      I have long wanted something like this, but recumbent, with the pilot seated between the front of the engine, and the front suspension.

      Basically like the hypothetical Aprilia Magnet design study.

      • GenWaylaid says

        I second that idea, with one alteration.

        Wouldn’t the weight distribution work better with the engine in front of the rider? It seems like you’d want almost 2/3 of the weight on the front to keep the contact patches evenly loaded. A recumbent rider can only be so far forward before their feet reach the front suspension. That leaves a space between their legs that might as well contain the next-heaviest part of the bike, the engine. I’ll admit one then has to be rather creative with the driveline design to avoid giving the rider a wedgie.

      • Paulinator says

        I built my kids a 25 pound version of that very thing…a lean-to-turn recumbent reverse trike with the rider seated an inch off the ground. Power came from a rear mounted weed-whacker engine, but that was still adequate to generate smiles as they threaded the pylons. Steering control came from a pair of side sticks. I’ve wondered about building a “big kids” version of it. Something that could detach retinas.

  9. stjohn says

    What’s with all the trikes? I love this blog, but I could do with far fewer trike articles, especially the ones pretending to be cars. But it’s not my blog, and if you’re going through a trike phase right now, that’s OK, it’s just not my cup of tea.

    I guess I see the oddball appeal though. It’s no surprise that some tri-wheeled vehicle or other regularly appears in the likes of Popular Mechanics and has for decades. But you would think, that if they were going to be anything other than a curiosity, they would have been by now.

    I just don’t see the point. They can’t perform like motorcycles, and you have to park them like cars. I’m just hoping the pendulum swings and you do a slew of articles on monowheels, because those things are awesome.

    • Bureau Against Monowheels says

      Please no mono wheels! The video of a dude crashing one of those is enough to cause nightmares.

      Otherwise, I agree about the need for an even set of wheels, 2 or 4.

  10. jrsjr says

    I looked and looked at the still photos on the TreMoto site trying to figure out what I don’t like about the looks of the bike until it finally came to me. The bike looks off to me because the whole front end sits too high off the ground. The tall stance of the front causes me to think “tricycle” instead of “BA motorcycle.” Why is that? I guess I am conditioned to associate “mean” with “low.” Is it just me? Why does the front have to sit up like that? Is it necessary?

    • Q-Bike says

      The ride height hasn’t changed but at the moment not being a production bike Tremoto have sourced what production wheels they can that suited and you can see from the pictures above the front wheels are bigger than the rear. That will all start to even out when you start seeing production. If Can Am can sell 120k Spyders and this can dance around it there will be plenty of bike options too (in that it wont just be a K1000) you are going to see heaps of these on the road. If the quad version handles just as well there will be just as many on the road in Europe as there is in the US. Can Am realise they need to improve their technology and have made a massive amount of patents on a leaning trike but whether that is to protect their product from someone doing it privately I dont know. Trust me Can Am NOBODY wants to deal with that terrible piece of equipment you have put on the street 50% of their own online user group dont like the flaws with it.

  11. John McDowell says

    I like it. It is a Piaggio MP3 on Steroids for sure. I too, wish I had the talent for the construction. I see an Enclosed one ( see “Go-One” as a design ) with say a 36″ outside width, simular to the ” Gold Wing” or “Fat Boy” with the bags attached.
    I believe a more aerodynamic style would benefit a small engine. But, like MickeyD

  12. B50 Jim says

    Why the kvetching about trikes? One of the first internal-combustion motorcycles on the market was Daimler’s 3-wheeler. True, he built a 2-wheeler earlier, but that was more like an old-style “boneshaker” with an engine, wooden-spoke wheels and all — and it had training wheels.

    If you sit on it and not in it; if it has handlebars and footpegs; if it has no more than three wheels, it’s a motorcycle.

  13. JSH says

    Cars slide around on gravel but they don’t fall down. Trikes have the same advantage. Yes, you may lose traction and slide but once the wheels regain traction again you continue on your way. I don’t really care about the footprint because everywhere I ride lanesplitting is illegal so the narrow width of a bike has very little advantage. I’ve ridden a MP3 and would live a motorcycle version.

    I’ve lost the front end on my bike 3 times in 18 years of riding. The first 2 I got up and dusted myself off. They last one involved a shattered femur and 9 months of recovery.

  14. Mike says

    I`m sure that this idea will work great & be lot`s of fun. Still…it`s going to be expensive & more complex than a MOTORCYCLE. A leaning car would be fun too. But it still wouldn`t be a MOTORCYCLE.
    Don`t understand all the criticism of Can Am. Harley Davidson has got back into building 2 rear wheeled trikes. Everyone knows what a great engineering concept that configuration is. Ageing “Boomers” buy kits to do this to all sorts of bikes. In the end none of them are MOTORCYCLES.

    • Roy W Fileger says

      A tilting reverse trike rides EXACTLY like a 2 wheeler except its better if you get into trouble.

  15. charlie says

    For a website called “the kneeslider” there sure are a lot of trikes and non-sporting vehicles coming up lately.

  16. B50 Jim says

    How many of us Kneeslider readers actually could slide our knees? A lot of ’em are prosthetics!

    • Tanshanomi says

      I’ve actually touched my knee to pavement while cornering exactly twice: Once on the road in 1984, once on the racetrack in 1986.

      The last quarter century, not so much.

    • todd says

      my boots typically scrape – or the sidestand or exhaust – depending on how straight my foot is on the peg. I don’t typically hang off the side to try to touch my knee on the ground. I imagine I easily could if I really climbed off but I don’t think it would make me round the corner any faster.


    • Nicolas says

      Last time I got my knee to slide, it took a couple weeks to get my skin to grow back … lol

      This site is great for pushing the enveloppe of the motorcycle world, in all applications, shapes and forms, from 0 wheels (that flying thingy recently) to 3 wheels. That’s why I like it !

  17. B50 JIm says

    Yep, I got my knee to slide once, too, right after my Yamaha and I parted company, and that was right after a 10-year-old rode his bicycle into my path. Net damage: One scared kid, one pretzeled bicycle wheel, one broken windscreen, one scraped batwing fairing, one scraped footpeg,one scraped turn signal, one ruined pair of blue jeans and one badly scraped knee that took weeks to heal. Everything else was easy to fix. I’ll leave kneesliding to the pros.

  18. Dano says

    B Five Oh Jim is correct, leave the knee dragging to those that have the correct machine and knowledge. I’ll be concise, a FLHTC is not a knee dragging machine. It was totaled! ‘Nuf said.
    I have ridden the Piaggio MP3 250 cc version. It was a hoot, cornered like it was on rails and sand did not present a big problem.
    Today I went to the auction at the Motorcyclepedia Museum in Newburgh , N.Y. It was a nice 150 mile ride (300) round trip. There were at least three versions of three wheelers there, on display, all of them from the ’30’s and earlier. One was definitely a machine that was for a person contemplating a divorce, the passenger sat up front in a wicker chair, over the front axle, crazy. It was based on an Indian M.C.
    The sad part of the day was the lack of money, better than 70% of the bikes crossing the stage didn’t meet their reserve.

  19. JamesBow says

    There is much more to it than just extra contact patch, the in a turn the outside wheel has much more centripetal force applied because of the longer lever arm. When a motogp rider is going around a corner they get as far off the bike towards the inside for a reason.

  20. Lttlcheeze says

    I don’t care what all of you say. I like the idea.
    My only concern is the one i’m surprised none of you brought up.
    If the outside wheel is getting so much extra force applied (as JamesBow mentioned), what is to keep this thing from trying to highside in every corner. I would see it as much more high side prone than any motorcycle (while pushing the limits obliviously). I would like to see the same concept with a Steering/Speed controlled lean.

  21. Peter says

    Does anybody know something about the leaning mechanism of this awesome ride? Looks like its free-to-caster… ?

  22. Q-Bike says

    The forces on the front wheels are evened out automatically by leaning into the corner the force applied down on the inside wheel equals the amount of force downward on the outside wheel or else you would sit up or fall in just like a two wheeler. Just like a two wheeler you are aiming for a as close to 1 Rad/minute of lateral force on the centre line of the rider and bike in the corner to maintain balance.

    The suspension style means the inside wheel is held on the ground and if anything the outside wheel is trying to slide away from you as it does BEFORE someone highsides. As it tries to slide away the inside wheel takes the majority of the force and tries to stand you up, these two battle back and forth in mirco-seconds with the suspension eating up all the forces and evening out the ride.

    A steering /speed controlled lean?? You mean what Harley couldnt make work on the Penstar and why Can Am havent come out with a leaning trike?

    Spped controlled lean for cornering exists on aircraft only as far as I know and it only is able to do that because it only has to deal with air resistance and can slide through that and not ground resistance. :)

  23. IronDave says

    I have been looking everyone for someone the sold the front ends to this. I knew that someone had to of thought of this already. I have a Single Turbo Chargered Busa with 215WHP that i am wanting to place this design to. It is going to set new level of fun to where i will be able to take the bike too. With the added weight on the front end the Busa should not be so much of a wheely monster as it is now with a 8″ stretch. Yes the front wheels love being off the ground no matter what. I would love to talk to someone about this would you please reply to this post thx