OPINION - Three Wheeler Feedback

Mar. 01, 2005 By Rick Sieman
Comments On February 2004 DON'T ASK!
Recently I received a bunch of email in the DON'T ASK column... some of it hate filled... regarding something I said about three wheelers back in February. I decided to run it alone. Here it is, along with my response.

you suck. your opinion on 3 wheelers sucks. i'm not going to even waste my time getting into an intellectual discussion on the matter. i'm not going to waste my time trying to sound intelligent and make good points such as bringing up the statistics on how many MORE people have wrecked on 2 wheelers as opposed to 3 wheelers or how much more stable 3 wheelers are as compared to 2 wheelers. i'm not going to waste my time doing that because it's probably already been done before, it probably will be done again because i'm sure you will be seeing or already have seen many more e-mails doing this, and also because no matter how strong of an arguement i make, i simply will NOT change your stubborn ignorant mind. so i will not waste time doing that.

instead, i will simply say that you, as a human being, suck. i saw your picture, and the way you look even sucks!! instead of worrying about 3 wheelers, maybe you should look in the mirror and give some of your attention to your fat, out-of-shape, pathetic belly. you got more chins than china town, pal! go ahead, have another double cheeseburger with extra mayo, extra bacon, extra cheese, and a side order of grease to go with it, tough guy. gobble all that down while thinking you're some kind of superior specimen of a life form in this universe.

i will end by saying this: if you think you matter, you don't. if you think your opinion matters, it doesn't. if you think that this entire universe would come to a complete stop if the almighty YOU just suddenly weren't here, it wouldn't. if you think anyone will remember you 1000 years after your are gone, they won't. you are nothing. you are just one grain of sand in the sahara desert; just one drop of water in the pacific ocean. nothing more. well, with that belly, i guess you could be considered as TWO grains of sand while all the rest of us count as one.

now hurry up and finish that burger before it gets cold, and don't forget to wash it down with a super size order of fries and a super size soft drink. hurry up; dessert is waiting.

someone who takes your opinion and impolitely flushes down the toilet.
F*** You



Dear Mr. Siemen,
In response to your February column of Don't Ask, in which you criticize three-wheelers and comment on "their design flaws" that give them the handling of "Something like a coffee table on three wheels with a 750 Honda four motor on top of it for a high center of gravity" I offer this rebuttal.

Lets talk about stability for a minute. How is it that a dirtbike needs a kickstand or a 3rd reference point to the ground in order to stand up on its own, when it is considered more stable then a three-wheeler? The Three-wheeler has around 5 times more contact with the ground, and has a lower center of gravity. HOW can it be more unstable then a 2 wheeler?

I'd also like to know what makes and models you rode, and for how long did you ride them? How long was your last dirtbike test? Are you aware of the differences between the very early designs (Such as the ATC90, and ATC110) vs the later designs such as the 350X, and Busguy's 250ES? I'd like a honest reply.

Your derogatory comments towards three-wheelers are picked up and used as fodder from many anti off-road groups. In fact, one law firm who "specializes" in off-road incidents including QUADS uses your statement in your "Semi-official losers list" that you created during your time at Dirtbike magazine. http://www.bennettlawfirm.com/atv/slide11.html Talking bad about a machine with your buddies is one thing, doing it in a highly regarded magazine read around the world, where it would be available for use against the off-roading community is a whole other thing that will ultimately come back and hurt you and your dirtbike riding just as much as it does us three-wheeler enthusiasts. You know as well as everyone else riding areas are not getting easy to come by anymore, and all the enviro nuts like the Sierra Club need is an "industry expert" talking about a dislike for three-wheelers or any other off-road machine for their wheels of miss-information to get turning.

If you really feel that strong of a hate for three-wheelers, then please consider doing me, and perhaps the entire off-road culture a favor. Instead of repeatedly voicing your degrading opinion of these machines on your column, Don't even post the messages or make replies to them. You have greatly upset the three-wheeler enthusiasts community because of the amount of time and effort we spend on trying to promote safety and good riding on these machines to the general public. We are striving to make people understand that it is NOT the machine that is at fault, but the user, just like anything else. Then you come out with a column or make some comment that flushes all of it down the sh***er. That's all I have to say, except that you will probably be seeing a slight increase in email regarding this issue in the future.

Billy Golightly


Why anyone would want advice from such an absolutely perfect MORON like you is beyond me.

By the way, the embarrassing part is not someone seeing your spelling or grammar, but having to admit that you are stupid enough to idolize this thing called Super WHAT???

Dude if you would loose about 60lbs. SUPER HUNKY, you would have a lot more time to focus on other things besides how to modify your world to accommodate "SUPER HUNKY".

And what makes you think we should feel privileged to have you read and then grade our letters, you're so very fortunate you even have one person who still reads you're CRAP.


Mark Thrash


Well, sir I guess you fancy yourself some sort of expert on off road vehicles, however your diatribes on three wheelers really display your ignorance. I have to stay that the most unstable and poorly designed offroad vehicle is anything on 2 wheels. Far more people get hurt on motorcycles that 3 or 4 wheeled atvs. I hope one day to see the end of the "dangerous two wheeled monstrosity" known as an off road motorcycle. I have quads and 3 wheelers and can out perform most quads on either of my ATC 250r 3 wheelers. The quad is a sissy machine compared to the ATC 250r. Bring on those crappy motorcycles and if you ride with me you will probably fall off, especially with you being a wore out antique. Its people like you that think you actually know something, that is really funny. You need to get back to your room at the retirement community before your missed. Remember to take some Geritol, we out here don't want you to hurt yourself on those dangerous motorcycles!

Mark Bright


I decided to answer all the three wheeler questions, accusations, insults and such at one time. First off, some background is on order. For those who don't who I am, or what my riding experience is, here's a brief synopsis:

After riding both street and dirt for 10 years, I started Dirt Bike Magazine in 1971. During my first stint at Dirt Bike, I rode literally hundreds of different dirt bikes, from minis to four strokes.

I then went to Modern Cycle as editorial director and was in charge of Modern Cycle, Dirt Rider, Mini/BMX Action and Street Bike magazines. Again, I had the chance to ride everything from BMX bikes to MXers to road rockets, and everything in between.

After that, I returned to the helm of Dirt Bike for seven years. During that time, I rode the first three wheelers and Odysseys that Honda brought out. Until 1985, I tested at least one three or four wheeler per issue. When I first tested the three wheelers, something was dreadfully wrong with these creations from the git-go. More on that later.

After Dirt Bike, I took over Off-Road magazine for about four years. There I tested trucks and the occasional quad, as well as raced trucks professionally on the SCORE and HRDA circuit.

I returned to Dirt Bike a third time, this trip as Senior Editor, which allowed me to continue racing trucks for about six years. During this time, I used Quads now and then to pre-run a course. I never used a three wheeler.

Which brings us to Old Bike Journal for a few years, and eventually to Off-Road.com, which you're reading now.

Now, to the three wheeler itself.

No other off-road vehicle was ever taken off the market willingly by the manufacturers. None. Nada. Zip.

Why? Simply because they were getting sick and tired of getting sued and losing. Ever heard of an ATV leg break? It never existed until the three wheelers became popular. In the ATV leg break, the pilot rides over his own leg with rear tire, breaking it and twisting it during the snap. Then, when the leg is released, the broken bones are pulled back in placed by the stretched tendons and muscles. In the process, muscles and nerves are pinned by the broken bones, often severing and cutting them. Fixing an ATV break was a nightmare and the number of people who have a serious limp is scary.

Injuries aside, the concept of a backward triangle being propelled at speed is frightening, at the least.

Question: What's the best thing about a three wheeler?
Answer: Anybody can ride one. It takes no skill.

Question: What's the worst thing about a three wheeler?
Answer: Anybody can ride one. It takes no skill.

That, in a nutshell, is what makes the three wheeler a genuine mess. People who have no skills whatsoever take the controls and wobble into the distance. That's when the real trouble starts. While it's no problem controlling a three wheeler during slow going, when you go fast and hit a bump, all hell breaks loose.

When you ride a two wheeler, you learn to respect the bike immediately. It wobbles, won't stay upright easily and scares you. You know that if you do something stupid, you're going to get hurt. Bad. As the bike gains speed, it becomes more stable. The exact opposite of riding a three wheeler.

Yes, a three wheeler is very stable when it's at rest. A bike is not very stable at rest. But the purpose of an off-road vehicle is to move. And this is where the three wheeler has its problem. At anything over running speeds, the trike is incredibly unstable on anything that might be considered a mild obstacle for a bike. And there's the hard to shake habit of putting a leg down to save the trike and resultant run over the lower leg.

But the biggest drawback to the three wheeler, is that the jerk factor is so high. You see more newbies, irritating people, pinheads and outright assholes on trikes, buzzing campsites, spinning donuts in crowded conditions, driving wildly without helmets ... or shirts ... or boots ... or in flip-flops.

Yep, you see the worst of the worst on trikes.

That's my opinion. I welcome yours.

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