Important Guide on How to Ride Your New Fusion Trike.
PLEASE NOTE: Motorcycles and Trikes have inherent risks.
Always wear appropriate protective gear and ride within your comfort zone and ability.
Riding a trike is completely different from riding a bike, and riding techniques need to be learned. Trikes also behave differently to a bike on the road, especially when it comes to cornering and avoiding obstacles.
Trike riding techniques differ from trike to trike, depending on power delivery, centre of gravity, fork rake and trail, damping, handlebar length, handlebar width, braking ability, number of passengers, seating position of passengers, rider's seating position and rider's competence.
The following tips relate to the V-Max trike designed and built by Fusion Trikes, but most of these relate to other types of trikes as well.
On cold days, open the choke so the engine is idling slightly higher than normal after starting it and run the trike for a couple of kms before closing it again.
Always keep both hands on the handlebars while in motion to avoid "tank-slap". If you do take one or both hands off the handlebars and tank-slap occurs, immediately grab the bars again with both hands and close the throttle to avoid damage to the trike or being thrown off. Grip the handlebars firmly until the tank-slapping stops. A way to prevent this from happening is to fit a steering damper, available from Fusion Trikes as an optional extra.
The faster a bike corners, the more the rider must lean into the corner to counteract the centrifugal force. Trikes tend to under steer in a corner because they don't lean in a corner like a bike does. When cornering, pull on the inside handlebar while pushing on the outside handlebar. At the same time, lean into the corner. The faster you corner, the greater the "G" forces that are trying to throw you out of the corner, so the more pressure you must put on the handlebars and the more you must lean to counteract the centrifugal force.
Try not to change gear or brake whilst cornering. This could cause you to go wide if you stop concentrating on turning into the corner. Instead, change before or after the corner, and corner more slowly to avoid having to brake. Change down before the corner. The V-Max has enough compression to allow the engine to slow you down, if you aren't travelling too fast.
If you must brake, eg: because a car suddenly stopped in front of you instead of continuing through the corner, don't let up on the force you are using to keep your line in the corner. Again, leaning into the corner makes a big difference. Make leaning fun!
If you must change gear in a corner, learn the "2 finger" gear change, especially when cornering left. If you pull in the clutch with 4 fingers you lose the power to pull the handlebar at the same time. Instead, hold the handlebar with your two "outside" fingers and thumb whilst pulling in the clutch lever with your two "inside" fingers. This way, you keep a relatively firm grip on the handlebar whilst pulling in the clutch.
Cornering, changing gear and braking simultaneously require several things to be done at once. You must lean into the corner, pull on the inside handlebar, push the outside handlebar, pull in the clutch, change gear, pull on the handbrake and push on the footbrake. Practice this on a road without traffic until you can do it without thinking about it.
Braking in a corner is always more difficult when turning left and changing gear in a corner is more difficult when turning right because your outside arm is stretched furthest from your body and your outside wrist is at an unnatural angle to your arm.
The V-Max trike has independent rear suspension. Because you are sitting very close to it you will feel the suspension working when you travel over uneven ground. This is normal and you will get used to it very quickly.
Changing lanes on a dual carriageway is easy. Turn the handlebars slightly and you will move sideways. The 3-wheel stability allows you to look over your shoulder after you have indicated your intention to change lanes to make sure there are no vehicles in your way. The trike is also fast and powerful enough to allow you to accelerate away from anyone tailgating you. Changing down one or two gears before accelerating will make sure of that.
If you see a pothole in front of you, remember that there is a gap between the outside of the front tyre and the inside of the rear tyre. Allow the front tyre to pass close by the left or right lip of the pothole and, if it is not too big, the rear tyre will also miss it completely.
If you see a large object lying across the road, it is best to drive around it completely. If oncoming traffic prevents you from going right and there are obstacles on the left (eg: the curb), slow down and drive over the object slowly after first making sure it has no nails or other sharp objects sticking up on it. Slow right down to a crawl for ditches running across the road, ie: where the roads dept hasn't refilled a ditch properly yet.
If you cannot avoid riding over an obstacle, it is better to let a rear wheel hit the object than the front wheel. Insert anti-puncture fluid in your tyres to prevent blowouts.
When applying the hydraulic handbrake, press down firmly on the foot brake pedal to apply pressure to the rear braking system, then turn the valve half a turn forward to lock the pressure in the system. To release the hand brake, turn the valve the other way without putting pressure on the brake pedal.
The V-Max trike is light enough to sit on it and push it in reverse with your feet if you are on a flat surface or even a slightly inclined one. On a steeper gradient, turn on the engine, engage first gear and use it to move back and forth until you are facing the direction you want to go in.
THINK BEFORE YOU PARK! Assess the situation (gradient, other vehicles, available space, exit route) and park the trike in such a way that getting out again will be easy for you.
When mounting or dismounting from the trike, take care not to kick the rear mudguard or brake/indicator lights. If you have opted for a high rear box, making it difficult to swing your leg over, step up onto the nearest footrest and step over the saddle with your other foot.
To prevent wind buffeting at high speed, fit a large windshield, available from Fusion Trikes as an optional extra.
Have your trike serviced regularly at any Yamaha or your favourite dealer workshop.
Keep your trike clean and in excellent mechanical condition. The better you look after it, the better it will look after you.