We first reported on Tilting Motor Works way back in 2007. Bob Mighell had just built his second tilting trike, a V-Max, to address the problem of too little power from his initial build, a Honda Rebel proof of concept, but even at that early stage, he knew he was on the right track because his trikes worked very well. In fact, he took that V-Max trike to Bonneville and set a record for three wheelers of 132 mph back in 2012, which should pretty well answer any questions about how stable his conversions are at speed.
In the years since, the company has grown and their product line has expanded, now offering bolt on replacement front ends for many Harley Davidson models and the Honda Gold Wing. We just saw a tilting front conversion for the Honda from Lazareth and Tilting Motor Works offers a Made in the USA option, for those on this side of the pond. I see Bob Mighell recently visited Jay Leno's garage for a little demo ride and Jay really liked the tilting trikes, so I thought we were long overdue for a second look.
As long as you don't cut or drill into the frame, the tilting front end is really no different for registration purposes than adding a sidecar. It's still a motorcycle so all of the front end tilting conversions they offer are bolt on replacements. They turn and counter steer just like a regular two wheel motorcycle and the build quality looks to be first rate.
They also offer TiltLock which will bring the bike to a vertical position if switched on below about 3 mph, and I thought this was pretty cool:
If you drop the bike it will usually lean over until the floorboard touches the ground and then stop. The outboard wheel may lift off the ground. With TiltLock the bike can right itself from that position.
Since many riders who opt for a three wheeler in the first place are doing so because of concerns about balancing and lifting a heavy bike if it falls over, this feature allows them to continue to lean in the turns like a two wheeler yet have the tip over protection of a standard trike. Nice.
MSRP is $9,995 plus installation for the standard model when installed and tested by a TMW-certified dealer or by TMW in Washington. MSRP for the advanced model with TiltLockTM is $12,995 plus installation.
When you have the ability to lean in the turns, the motorcycle still behaves like a motorcycle, but you get the added braking power of an extra front wheel and added stability in poor traction conditions. This could really move some riders to try out a trike who might shy away if they lost the ability to enjoy the turns.
The current production unit is designed to fit all models in Harley-Davidson’s Touring line including the Road King, Road Glide, Street Glide and Electra Glide models. We are now also equipped to handle Softails, Dynas, and V-Rods such as the Heritage Softail Classic, the Softail Deluxe, the Fat Boy, and the Super Glide.
In addition, TMW can now convert Honda Gold Wing GL1800s and related models including the Gold Wing Valkyrie and F6B.
His conversions are selling well and I can see why. One of these days, I'm going to have to find my way onto one of these leaning trikes to see what they're like. They look like a lot of fun. If you've even considered a trike, I'd suggest you try one of these before committing to a fixed model or something like a Can-Am Spyder. They make a lot of sense to me.