This is my review on the Trinity trike kit for the Burgman 650. It was a long wait but was worth it in the end. I am going to compare it to the Danson kit as I had it for past few years and put lots of time on it. I am in no way degrading the Danson kit, it works very well and does what it is designed to do and I consider it the best of the “outrigger” solutions available. For me, it really worked great once I had it adjusted to the way I wanted it for my driving style.
Trinity was about half the price as it comes in smaller boxes if you don't order wheels, tires and fenders, which can be picked up locally. I would guess you could do the same with Danson. I don't know if they sell it separately, since I bought the whole kit. It had to be shipped by truck transport, but the Trinity came by UPS, so it was quicker and cheaper.
Both the Danson and Trinity were some of the first ones produced so there was more time involved putting them together than they claim (nothing goes as planned!). With the Danson, some body parts have to be taken off and cut which I did not know at the time, so I had to replace the lower side shields which will cost me $400 here in Canada and the 2 back body pieces which I left off for now, but they will probably cost a bit more. With the Trinity install, there is no cutting of body plastic.
Some of the holes did not line up on the water jet cut side plates on the Trinity, so that was a bit of drilling out I had to do. But the new ones are being made with the CNC milling machine method, so the next ones should be no problem. Putting together the Trinity would take a lot less time, I could now do it in less than a day, but for someone new it is not quite as easy, but if you can turn a wrench then no problem.
This was one area of concern to me. If you use the stock muffler without the lifters Trinity sends, you are going to have to raise the back of the bike up so muffler does not hit the axle tube. You’ll need about 4 inches of clearance when bike is not loaded. Maybe the stock muffler can be modified. I have a Leo Vince and it was no problem to cut and bend the pipe to line it up right.
First drive impressions-
I did not like the Danson at first, it was very rough and pulled to the right really bad. I spent a lot of time adjusting to get it to track straight and not lean to outside in corners. I adjusted and test drove it many times until I had it driving great. I had to adjust the outrigger wheels down a lot and add air shocks to move the outer wheels up and down far enough so I would have traction on grass or bad roads. I could never get the left tire to wear even, it was always scuffed but the right tire was okay. Many times I would try to line up the rear tires with the front by measuring and running straight edges from the side of back tires up to front and getting them even. But still no luck with scuffing, although it did not affect the ride or handling, just some noise from the tire I think.
The Trinity I did not like my first ride either, it was a bit different. I would feel it more in the handle bars when I would hit a pot hole, but I’ve learned that's how trikes react. With 3 wheels in the back, the Danson is different. If you hit a hole with one, the other 2 carry you over it without much side to side reaction. I was also holding the handle bars too tight, so I loosened up on them and that helped a lot. I don't notice it now. I had same feeling the first time I taxied my ultralight – all the while I was thinking, “How am I ever going to like this??”
I am surprised how quiet the Trinity is. At first, all I could hear is the muffler putting and a little belt noise because it was running to one side, (but adjusted that later). I always found the Danson to be very noisy -- like something was always twisting or metal torquing with more moving parts to it.
It has been about the same, maybe a bit better with the Trinity.
It is better with the Trinity. I had my center tire adjusted higher than normal on the Danson, so naturally I would loose some breaking power.
The Danson would lean to one side when I dismounted and I did not like that, I fixed the Danson by dropping the wheels down even further, but still it had a slight lean. I notice things like that, since I’m very picky with how things look.
The Trinity is straight. My Trinity sits lower than my Danson, and therefore looks better to me. I hate to see a bike or trike with the ass end up in the air, so that's why I used my own shocks minus the lifters supplied by Trinity (and I modified the muffler).
Tweaking & Setup-
None needed with the Trinity, just adjust the shocks and tire air pressure. The Danson has lots of adjustments to get it to drive better, Trinity is set to go right from the start.
Comfort When Driving-
I think they are about both about the same. I thought that the Trinity is better on smooth roads, and the Danson was better on rough roads. But, my wife doesn't agree. She likes the Trinity way better! The bumps no longer hurt her neck, and the Trinity sets lower than our Danson did. She does not slide forward in the seat during the ride, and she says it is smoother.
Both feel about the same at highway speeds, but Trinity will turn quicker with same effort. I noticed a big difference going around a clover leafs. I really had to slow down with the Danson to get around comfortably. The Trinity can take the flatter corners much better. At slow speed the Trinity will really turn sharp -- like going around in tight circles in my yard. I could not do that with my Danson.
Both are good at this at highway speed, I can take hands off both with no ill effect, and after hitting bumps they will both straighten out immediately with no problem.
Stability In Turns-
The Danson has more lean, even with my outside tires adjusted way down. Trinity has very little lean, so it is better for the twisties. I just noticed on my last ride, I was not leaning my body to the inside of the turn like I was on the Danson, now I just sit up straight in most of the turns.
Off road and Gravel Roads-
The Trinity wins here, now I can go through the grass and back roads here in Nova Scotia without worry. I got hung up a few times with the Danson and was a bit embarrassed when I’d hear shouts of, “Take the training wheels off!” and even worse when I had to get help from Harley guys to get unstuck. I got stopped by the Police once and had to pull over. When attempting to leave out, the center wheel did not have enough contact to get back on highway and I had to get off and push it back on the road.
People are not impressed with something that you had to get off and push to get going. But it is the way I had my Danson set up. Most Dansons probably would not react as badly as mine. That's when I said to myself, I need a true trike, not a 4 wheeler. I had to take off easy or spin my back tire. I would always throw up the gravel in my yard. It was hard on my back tire so with the Danson, I had to try to stick to good roads.
Workmanship and Materials-
The Trinity is all aircraft aluminum and stainless steel bolts and a beautiful piece of work with nice welds that you don't have to cover up, and light weight. The Danson is all steel framing which has to be covered with fiberglass parts or a body and is heavier. There are 2 shocks in back on the Trinity (in the stock positions) and currently 6 on a Danson, but mine had 4, so I don't know how the extra 2 affect performance.
Adding a Body-
The body I built for the Danson was a bit too deep in the back end for my liking, I had to make it that way to hide the center wheel. It bothered me some that it was not a true trike, even driving alone I would be thinking of 3 wheels on the back and it was just not a trike in my mind, I know it’s me, I’m eccentric and a perfectionist.
I can make a nicer and sportier body for the Trinity because it is lower and don't have to hide the center wheel. The fiberglass cover by the passengers foot rest on the Danson gave me some problems at first, forgot to lift my feet up when I was starting to move ahead and my foot got jammed between it and the ground. I just about broke my ankle; also it was in the way for my wife getting on. She was putting her weight on it when she tried to get on. When I built my body I made sure it would not jam my foot, but push it out for safety.
Comments From Others-
They all like the looks and quality of work on the Trinity way better and hearing them say it's a trike (not training wheels like I had on it before) is kind of nice. One guy said “You finally grew up and threw away the training wheels!!”
When I would go to a biker get together, someone would get down and look under the body to see how it was made, then get up and say “It has 3 wheels!” Their branding the outer wheels as outriggers or training wheels felt just like someone calling my 100+mph super scooter a moped!
These are just my impressions of both kits. I did like my Danson, but it is different than the Danson you can buy today, mine has a shorter wheel base and has 2 air shocks and the side wheels adjusted way down to give me more stability.
I like the Trinity better in every way; it is just a big improvement over the training wheel type of trikes heretofore available for the Burgman’s. Something else may come along like independent suspension, power steering and leaning into the turns, so there will always be improvements to be made. I look forward to them with eager anticipation, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying what I have now!