Fatal crash shines light on three wheel motorcycle safety

Published: Jul. 16, 2018 at 7:19 PM CDT
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A novelty just few years ago, three-wheeled motorcycles have become mainstream.

"What's really cool about the whole trike phenomenon is that it's allowing people who probably wouldn't be riding a motorcycle to be in the wind," said Terry Rymer from Black Hills Harley-Davidson. "To be just like everyone else and be a part of motorcycling in general. So that's probably the coolest piece of it and, yeah, we're selling a lot of them."

But a fatal interstate accident involving a trike on Saturday turned a spotlight on trike safety.

Riders like Dave and Vonnie Forney of Summerset like them because they're they put less strain on the riders.

"It's so comfortable and easier to pack things in," said Dave. "You don't have to buy extra saddle bags."

And there's a perception they are safer.

"The main reason I wouldn't get on a two wheeler is I know a lot of people -- including my dad -- who almost died on one," said Vonnie.

But are they safer? The motorcycle safety foundation says be careful oversimplifying. There are crucial differences that riders need to be aware of. Particularly turning. On a two wheeler you lean. On a three wheeler, "You use your shoulders more. Instead of leaning," said Dave.

"It's more like a four-wheeler, almost," said Vonnie.

"Almost like a four wheeler, yeah," added Dave.

And all the motorcycling tips apply, the foundation says: Wear protective clothing. Wear bright reflective colors. Beware of other vehicles' blind spots.

In Saturday's fatal accident in Box Elder, a women lost control of her three wheeled motorcycle and landed in a ditch. Her 62-year-old male passenger died on the scene. The state Highway Patrol had not yet released the names of those involved.

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