|SMART ASS EXPOSED
October 14 2006.
A new company specialising in trike conversions of Yamaha and Honda motorcycles will be officially launched at the International Motorcycle and Scooter Show.
Tri-Kit was set up this summer in Portishead, near Bristol, to convert a Yamaha Royal Star Venture for a woman rider with an injured knee who didn't want to trade down. The first production model came off the line in September.
One of the team behind the company, John Angeletta, said the challenge was to achieve a true motorcycling conversion, utilising as much of the original bike as possible and sporting the appearance of a factory produced product.
"There are many trike kits available on the market, ranging from home DIY to the rear-engined VW kits, but we felt the body sculpture was essential to the overall appearance and we've invested many man-hours of development into getting the right look."
And the final look certainly makes it stand out in a crowd - hence it's been nicknamed the 'smart ass'!
The Tri-Kit package is competitively priced with three conversion options - the kit only is available from £8,000; or get a key-ready customised trike from £18,000. Any colour scheme, including airbrush, will be considered.
John Angeletta says great effort is made to maintain a bike feel. "Rider height, handling and performance are essential elements. Sitting four inches from the road surface is OK when cruising the inter-places, but not a fully safe and practical option for long distance cruising, especially in inclement weather."
For the luxury of cruise control, full CD/radio/cassette audio centre and pilot to pillion intercom, Tri-Kit conversions are based on the Yamaha Royal Star Venture and Honda Gold Wing.
Tri-Kit's self-conversion option would take two mechanically minded people over 40 hours to complete, using the assembly manual supplied. Some retro-fitting is usually required due to the manufactures' changes to year models and suitable alloy wheels and tyres will also need to be selected.
Prior to assembly, original panniers, rear wheel/tyre/hub and rear lighting are discarded, but the retail prices of genuine Yamaha and Honda items exceeds £4,000, so it is possible to recover some of the capital cost by selling the parts.
The first Tri-Kit production model, 001, was painted in original Yamaha silver and grey metallic livery and sports combination LED position and brake lighting, plus a matching third brake light fitted to the top box. To satisfy VOSA, amber LED indicator lighting is fitted to the rear, with side repeaters on the wheel arches. Forward facing amber width lighting is also fitted to the front of each wheel arch.
The trike is fitted with 16", four lug TSW sports alloy wheels with 8" Dunlop Sports radial tyres. The front tyre is the standard factory recommended Dunlop. The lockable trunk has a larger capacity than the original two panniers and the original top box is retained with the addition of a small carry rack.
To complete the conversion, stainless steel 50mm exhausts have been manufactured (with bolt in baffles) and fitted to the original down pipes. The exhausts also come with changeable end pipes.
John Angeletta explains the conversion enabled its customer to keep her original bike and continue motorcycling. "Without the trike conversion, she would have had to give up riding altogether because her knee injury made it impossible to support the Venture - the trike gives her the option to continue to enjoy the open road with a smart ass!"
The 001 trike can be seen on Stand CX18.
For further information: Tri-kit 0845 310 5678 or firstname.lastname@example.org