|Lou Dial, riding his three-wheeled motorcycle in San Diego, is among a growing group of aging riders taking up trikes. (Denis Poroy/ Associated Press)|
Uneasy riders comfortably turn to trikes
LOS ANGELES - A growing group of aging motorcyclists is taking up trikes: three-wheeled motorcycles that provide the stability and nearly all the comforts of a car while allowing riders to feel the wind in their face.
Motorcycle industry analysts expect to see more trikes on the road in the coming years as baby boomers, the largest group of motorcycle owners in the country, age out of their two wheelers.
“Boomers are a very important segment of the motorcycle market,’’ said Ty Van Hooydonk, a spokesman for the Motorcycle Industry Council. “They are staying more active than past generations.’’
People born between 1946 and 1964 make up 43 percent of motorcycle owners in the United States, or 4.5 million out of 10.4 million, according to a 2008 survey by the trade group.
Trikes allow riders with arthritis, back pain, and other physical ailments to go on long-distance rides comfortably. Some come with reverse gears so riders don’t have to push the motorcycles into a parking space. Their size makes them hard to miss.
“People in cars tend to ignore motorcycles. Trikes are a fairly big and therefore more visible,’’ said Jim McGrath, 75, of Chula Vista, whose bright red, low-riding Rewaco trike measures 12.5 feet long and 6 feet wide.
“It’s a real traffic stopper. You pull into a gas station and people want to talk about it.’’