Do Trike Motorcycles Have Reverse? [Explained]


It’s safe to say that most of the newest trike motorcycles have a reverse gear. It’s an essential addition to these heavy vehicles since it would be difficult to move them backward by hand! When it comes to aftermarket trike conversions, it’s good to know that in many cases the reverse system is not standard in these packages. But the good news is that many kit manufacturers offer an electric or even mechanical trike reverse system as an option.

If you would like to learn more about reverse systems on trike motorcycles, or just want to know how to add a reverse gear to your trike, you are in the right place!

Without further ado, let’s check which factory trike motorcycles feature a reverse system.

Do Trike Motorcycles Have Reverse?

Based on our research, the trike motorcycles that come with a reverse system are as follows:

Model Reverse
Piaggio MP3 500 Yes
Yamaha Tricity 300 No
Yamaha Niken GT No
Harley Davidson Freewheeler Yes
Harley Davidson Tri Glide Ultra Yes
Harley Davidson CVO Tri Glide Yes
Can-Am Spyder Yes
Cam-Am Ryker Yes
Polaris Slingshot Yes
Arcimoto FUV Yes
Ural Baikal Limited Edition Yes

Based on the chart, all major trike manufacturers except Yamaha offer a reverse system on their newest trike motorcycles. Thus, we can say that a reverse gear on trikes is already standard equipment, and for good reason.

Not only are these vehicles significantly heavier than conventional motorcycles, but they are also more difficult to move by hand due to the extra wheels.

But thanks to their reverse gear, you don’t have to walk these trike motorcycles backward! Instead, you can simply put them in reverse by pressing a button.

Do all Harley Trikes Have Reverse?

Yes, the good news is that every factory Harley trike comes with a reverse system! If you are considering purchasing an aftermarket Harley trike conversion, keep in mind that the reverse system is typically available as an option on these machines.

Do Harley Freewheelers Have Reverse?

Yes, just like its bigger brothers, the Harley Freewheeler is also equipped with a reverse system, as well as a parking brake.

Electric vs. Mechanical Trike Reverse Systems

It’s also good to know that two different reverse systems are available for Harley trike conversions.

In the past, the electric reverse was more prevalent on Harley trikes. Simply put, this electric reverse system is a small (and not very durable) electric motor connected to the rear wheel.

The system is powered by the battery on the motorcycle and is designed for only short periods of use.

The drawback of this system is that extended use can drain the battery or even damage the electric motor. Also, these low-powered systems can’t move the motorcycle on steep inclines.

Because of these concerns, mechanical reverse systems are becoming more common on Harley trike conversions.

A mechanical reverse on a Harley trike is an extra gear added to the transmission. So contrary to popular belief, installing this system doesn’t mean losing a forward gear!

As the name implies, a mechanical reverse uses the power of the engine instead of electricity. The main advantage of this design is that the reverse speed can be easily controlled by the throttle.

What’s more, they are powerful enough that parking on slopes is not an issue.

That’s why mechanical trike reverse kits are so popular!

Drawbacks?

First, they are much harder to install compared to the electric version. This is because it directly connects to the motorcycle’s transmission.

Another main con of these systems is their hefty price tags as mechanical trike reverse kits cost about $1,500 without the cost of the installation!

How do You Reverse a Harley Trike?

If your Harley trike features an electric reverse system, you can reverse it by following these simple steps:

  1. Start the engine and put it in neutral.
  2. Disengage the parking brake.
  3. Turn the reverse activation switch on. (A red indicator light should appear on the dashboard.) If both the neutral and the activation light are on, you can use the horn button to reverse your Harley. (Keep in mind that the right buttons to activate and start the reverse may vary depending on the system’s manufacturer. On certain models, it can be activated with the light button, or you need to press and hold the horn button while pressing the start button at the same time. If you can’t find the right buttons, don’t hesitate to check the reverse kit’s manual.)
  4. Make sure that the area behind the bike is clear.
  5. Press the horn button. Instead of making a sound, it should start moving the bike backward.
  6. Disable the system by pressing the activation switch. Make sure the indicator light disappears on the dashboard.

Here’s a good video guide on how to reverse a Harley trike:

How do you Reset the Reverse on a Harley-Davidson Trike?

If your Harley trike isn’t reversing the problem is probably caused by the fuse. You can reset the reverse fuse on a Harley-Davidson trike by following these steps:

  1. Remove the triangular-shaped fiberglass cover on the right side of the motorcycle (You can locate it behind your leg if you sit on the trike.)
  2. In many cases the fuse is kicked out just a little bit, so at first glance, it may seem to be okay. But in most cases, it really needs a reset!
  3. To reset it completely just press the red button on top until the fuse completely pops out.
  4. Then carefully push the fuse back in until you hear a “click” sound.
  5. Replace the side cover and try to reverse the trike.

If you are looking for a great tutorial on how to reset the reverse on a Harley trike, don’t miss this informative video:

Conclusion

It’s safe to say that nearly all new factory trike motorcycles are equipped with a reverse system. When it comes to aftermarket trike kit conversions, electric reverse kits are available for many models. These systems are cheaper and easier to install than a mechanical reverse but have many limitations as well.

The main advantage of factory-made Harley trikes is that they come with a reverse system as standard.

If you want to add reverse to a Harley trike conversion, you can choose from electric and mechanical reverse kits. The mechanical reverse is more popular, since it’s more powerful, more durable, and can be operated by the throttle!

References

https://www.fixmyhog.com/post/shop-trike-reverse-system-overview/

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