I found out through a Costly Investment, that the Tow Pac will indeed NOT WORK for me! So much so, that I will be listing it on Craigslist within the next few days. Tow-Pac only allows Refunds, if the Kit has not been installed. Mine has not only been installed, but ridden 200 miles as well.
Here is my Review of the Tow-Pac, based on my 200 mile ride back from Meridian, Texas Thursday evening and Friday:
- Looks GREAT!
- Easy to maintain.
- No Welding involved during installation.
- Wheels & Frame will come off within a few minutes, with the removal of 4 Bolts.
- Stable & Level Platform when stopped!
- Keeping my feet up when I stop!
- EASY to turn when going slow!
- EASY to park! (I did a U-Turn within 2 Parking Spots, so I could park heading out, instead of having to back out.)
- SENSITIVE Steering! The faster I went, the more sensitive the steering became. I could turn the handlebars with my thumbs, at one point. When I took my left hand off of the grip to give an oncoming Biker "The Wave", the handlebar began to shake in my right hand. I grabbed the left grip again, and just nodded at the rider as he went by. Unlike traditional 2-Wheel Riding, where you can LEAN the bike into a turn, and the front wheel gradually responds, the Trike setup is different. It can get twitchy when turning at high speeds, and fling you, rather than turn you, in the direction you want to go.
- Speed! Between 25-40-mph, the handlebar would shake left to right. As I increased speed to 45+-mph, the shaking would disappear. I have read, and understand, that this effect is inherent in Trikes as a whole, and even the $32K Gold Wings experience this. So, it didn't surprise me when this happened. The highest speed I attained during my return ride, and one that I felt comfortable with, was 55-mph (Actual via GPS)/60-mph (Speedo Indicated). I left Hamilton (I stayed overnight there, since the Installer didn't finish up until about 5 PM on Thursday.) at 10:15 AM, and got home about 3:30 or 4'ish Friday afternoon. I stopped along the way for Rest Stops and Lunch, in Lampasas, Marble Falls, and Blanco. Each time I got back on the Trike, I thought I was getting more comfortable, and attempted to increase my speed to 60-mph. With a few seconds of reaching 60, I'd back it back down to 55-mph again. Meanwhile, other vehicles are doing 70+-mph, and with me doing 55-mph, I could only let them pass me when we reached a Passing Lane, or if the roadway up ahead was clear. Twice, I tried to pull over to the shoulder to allow others to pass, but the Trike wanted to pull me more to the right, and I would have a difficult time trying to bring it back to the left again (See "ROAD CROWN" below...). So, I just stayed in my lane, and let my "HANDICAP TAG" say it all for me! Let me clarify, that I "DID" have more than sufficient throttle left, and could have gone faster, however, 55-mph was my Comfort Zone!
- Stability & Suspension! While the Trike felt stable most of the trip, there were times when, due to the unevenness of the road, one of the Outrigger Wheels would come off of the ground, and bounce back and forth with the other Outrigger Wheel. Basically, a Teeter-Totter effect between the two wheels, using my Rear Center Scooter Wheel as the Pivot Point. NOT A GOOD THING AT 55 MPH!!! The Suspension was EXTREMELY HARSH, since the Outrigger Wheels are on a Torsion Bar Suspension System. The Stock Scooter Suspension appeared almost non-existent, as the feel of each and every crevice or stone was picked up by the wheels, and the shock/vibration transmitted to the handlebars and seat.
- Uncomfortable Ride! One thing I have never experienced (or never "THOUGHT" I had.....) Driving a car, or riding a Scooter, is "ROAD CROWN"!!! What is "ROAD CROWN"??? It's the slight pitch of the road, that causes it to roll to the right, to allow for water run-off during Rain (YEAH!!! Like we know what RAIN is down here.....). We don't normally notice Road Crown while we're in a car, because we're in a stable 4-Wheel Platform. Now, if the Road Crown is more pronounced, you'll definitely notice it, as you have to turn the steering wheel harder or more to the left, to keep the car straight. Likewise, we don't notice Road Crown while riding a Scooter, because we instinctively keep vertical via Leaning and the Scooters natural forward force. If you try to lean a Scooter left or right while riding a straight line, it will right itself vertical, without any assistance from the Rider. Now, on a Trike, you're definitely aware of Road Crown, at every waking moment. I experienced Road Crown the entire ride back to New Braunfels. While the Trike rode slightly pitched to the right at all times, I would offset this unusual feeling by sliding my butt to the left in the saddle. At times, the Road Crown was so pronounced, I had to sit partly on the left side of the saddle, and the middle at the same time. My standard view going straight on the road, was the left side of my windshield, instead of looking over the center of it, as I usually do. At one point, while I was leaving Marble Falls, there was an "S" Curve, heading up a steep hill, while crossing the bridge over the Lake. The bottom part of the "S", Road Crowned to the right, while the top part of the "S", Road Crowned to the left. Try shifting in your seat from extreme left to extreme right, within a matter of seconds at 45-mph! NOT FUN! As I found myself leaning to the left to compensate for the Road Crown while riding, it dawned on me, that I didn't feel quite in control of the Scooter. My hands were on both grips, my feet were on both front floorboards, and I was sitting offset in the saddle to the left. If I would have had to "PULL" myself harder to the left or right, due to uneven roadway, and I pulled too much, I may over pull the handlebar, and send myself flying off of the roadway. Unlike a 2-Wheel Scooter, where you can expect to slide on your left or right side when you go down, a Trike is different. On a Trike, you know, that it will either fling you out of the saddle to the forward left or right, or... you'll stay in the saddle, and it'll roll, with you right underneath it! Not a warm fuzzy feeling!!! I'll take my chances with the Traditional 2-Wheel Slide, over a Roll any day!
In closing, let me say that the Tow-Pac Kit is a GREAT KIT, and that it was properly Installed, Balanced, and Aligned according to the instructions by the Tow-Pac Dealer. However, it does not allow the Scooter to react as a Traditional 2-Wheel Scooter, and the Original Characteristics are forever gone. No more Leaning into a turn, no more Vertical Ride, and no more Soft Suspension. I told Ann, that riding a Trike, felt like Driving a Car backwards... it's unnatural! I did not feel Safe or Comfortable on the Trike, nor was ANY... emphasis on "ANY"... of my 200 mile trip enjoyable! I passed a lot of beautiful scenery that I never saw, because I was too focused on watching the roadway ahead... way ahead! Could it get easier to ride, as I get more experience on it? Sure! But I’m not going to risk my Life, trying to do so. Scootering is supposed to be fun… not scary. I WAS aware of the Steering vs Leaning and the Road Crowning before I made my purchase, but I was not aware of the amount of Road Crown I would experience. Between the Sensitive Steering and the Road Crown, I was completely exhausted when I got home yesterday. My Driveway looked like a Finish Line after the Tour De France! BEAUTIFUL!!! Therefore, I'm selling the Tow-Pac, and going back to my 2-Wheel Scooter mode. I'll just have to take it easy, throw on a couple more knee braces, and ride for however long I can in the future! I'm removing the kit this week, and I'll set it aside in the garage, while I get my Burgy back on its 2-Wheels again.
ASSISTANCE PLEASE: Has anyone removed the upper side panels (with the Burgman 400 Logo) from your scooter? If so, any info on how to remove it, would be most appreciated. I know the first step, is to remove the Passenger Backrest, and also the Passenger Hand Rails. After that, I'm not certain what or where to pull. THANKS!
Anyone want to buy a slightly used Tow-Pac Trike Kit? I'll give you a HELLUVA DEAL!!! This Mini-Trike Kit can be used on ANY Scooter, with the $250 purchase of the Brackets for your particular scooter from the Tow-Pac Dealer.