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A Little Extra Help Is All You Need

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Stability and safety are two main selling points of MiniTrike, manufactured by Tow-Pac, Inc.  With a price tag between $2,599 and $3,299, depending on wheel size, the MiniTrike does not come cheap; but so is your safety.  In this case, the word “trike” is a little misleading since the entire set-up actually has four, not three wheels.  In essence, the Minitrike is a pair of “training wheels” fitted to a scooter, or a motorcycle.

The name Tow-Pac was brought to my attention by Mike and by news that Becky in Houston, who had earlier this year suffered a broken leg from a scooter-related accident, recently purchased a Honda Helix outfitted with such a device.  The proliferation of namely, maxi-scooters and their popularity among middle-age crowd looking for an alternative, gas-saving form of transportation have brought on an unforeseen downside (to which the MiniTrike could be viewed as a solution).

So I thought that I’ve understood the whole attraction surrounding Tow-Pac (yes, the stability and safety) until my eyes nearly popped out as I saw these pictures on Modern Vespa before I fell off my seat…

MP5? (photo courtesy of jodeg on MV)

MP5? (photo courtesy of jodeg on MV)

MP3 fitted with MiniTrike kit (photo courtesy of jodeg in MV)

MP3 fitted with MiniTrike kit (photo courtesy of jodeg on MV)

According to Jo Anne (aka jodeg on MV):

“Someone posted a pic of it on the MP3 forum (on Modern Vespa), and I was off and running. I test rode one, we ordered it, and my husband installed it. Yes, it has FIVE wheels now! I LOVE IT! My husband is in the process of installing brake lights on the fenders of the trike, which will make sure people know I’m STOPPING.

I thought this would really help me — I’m not tall, not strong and not young, so I’ve had trouble holding the MP3 up during slow turns or when I stop on a slanted road, for example. I’ve had my MP3 for over a year now, and really love it, didn’t want to give it up, so this was a solution for me. So far it’s been great!”

With such an overwhelmingly positive review of the Tow-Pac MiniTrike kit, there’s no doubt that more scooter enthusiasts will find those two extra wheels very helpful.  There are certainly confidence-inspiring!

Look at some more real-life applications of the MiniTrike, courtesy of Tow-Pac, Inc:

Honda Helix fitted with MiniTrike

Honda Helix fitted with MiniTrike

Honda Silverwing fitted with MiniTrike

Honda Silverwing fitted with MiniTrike

Aprilia Scarabeo fitted with MiniTrike

Aprilia Scarabeo fitted with MiniTrike

At this time, personally, I value too much the original design of Piaggio MP3 and its remarkable ability to lean as it corners to contemplate fitting two extra wheels to it, so the answer is “not for me.”  But I certainly get it when wise people like Jo Anne, Becky, and the Rainwaters (who own several conversions) who favor the transitions from two-, or three-wheel scooters to four-, or five-wheel road machines.  I totally get it!  We all do whatever it takes to keep riding because the open roads call for us.–Lorenzo

My Piaggio MP3 500--not ready for Tow-Pac, not yet anyway

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Wednesday, September 3, 2008 7:03 am

    Whatever it takes to be on the road. I would miss being able to lean though. And I certainly would spend the extra cash on an MP3 to begin with and then put the minitrike on it. But if I already had one and needed the extra support…

    Your MP3-500 looks great. I definitely need to get one of those.

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

    • dino permalink
      Wednesday, October 28, 2009 6:46 pm

      dont buy a new one .the owner wouldnt refund the person who made a mistake and bought this fiasco.thinking he was getting a quality product ont a item from the acme company like wiley cotote.

  2. Michael permalink
    Wednesday, September 3, 2008 8:41 am

    I can’t believe somebody did that to a MP3. A scooter yes.

  3. astromags permalink
    Thursday, September 4, 2008 4:26 pm

    Hey MV Lurker. When you are going to actually post something? Or at least come out of your shell.

  4. astromags permalink
    Thursday, September 4, 2008 4:28 pm

    … and just when I thought the stock MP3 couldn’t get any uglier.

  5. Thursday, September 4, 2008 5:52 pm

    Lurker? I’ve been underestimated, again.

    Ugliness is in the eyes of the beholder. You riding w/us this Saturday?–Lorenzo

  6. Sunday, September 7, 2008 12:41 am

    “Safety” is the internet buzzword when it comes to powered two wheelers, yet it seems manifestly unsafe to ride if you are unable to control the vehicle. I see a difference between an experienced rider who is forced by circumstances to (traditionally) add a third wheel, but a newcomer to riding forced to use extra support seems risky to me. Scootering at any price?

  7. SSMC permalink
    Tuesday, December 16, 2008 11:53 pm

    There is a factory trike that has the two wheels in the back and still leans its called TheAutoMoto the whole thing costs $3800 here is the link http://www.theautomoto.com i just don’t see how buying a 6k scooter and adding 3k to it would be affordable for most people. might as well buy a convertible . just my opinion.
    SSMC.

  8. dino permalink
    Wednesday, October 28, 2009 6:03 pm

    unfortunatly the owner of the company is cheap.made 5 people who made this thing lose there jobs because a 500 hp ford truck and a 250,000 dollar home were more important than quality .i recomend anyone who wants a trike conversion to look elseware i welded this thing for 9 years my welds dont break .the present welders are crap not fit to weld the Titanic let alone weld something that your life depends on .its now good for one thing ….an anchor period .

  9. dino permalink
    Wednesday, October 28, 2009 6:10 pm

    if you buy a tow-pac now you should let me shoot you in the head youll die fast no pain .with this piece of crap there making now death is certain .i welded this then it woulnd break and a true welder made this not some schmuck in his garage .ive welded for 30 years never have i seen crap with a 50 foot c like this before and ive welded on the aircraft carrier i served in the navy .that ship wont sink .the new tow-pac is a noose on whom ever buys it .you buy one now YOUR A FRIGGEN MORON.IF YOU BUY THIS JUST SEND ME YOUR MONEY ILL BUY SOMETHING BETTER

  10. dino permalink
    Wednesday, October 28, 2009 6:31 pm

    i welded this for a long time my welds were so strong that it broke the sub frame of a honda bike it was on .the new one is a piece of 1.5 inch hot rolled steel (owner is to cheap for cold rolled ).this new one will bend and probably kill you . russian roulet with a machine gun is safer than this thing .please dont risk your lives with this albatross.you might as well invite the grim reaper along to save him a trip to the bottom of the rivine youll eventually end up in .

  11. dino permalink
    Wednesday, October 28, 2009 6:41 pm

    dont buy a new one youll be dead within 5 months

    • Wednesday, October 28, 2009 7:03 pm

      Dino,
      Hey, man, little surprised to see so much negative talk about Tow-Pac? Is it all true what you’ve said?
      These “replacement welders”, how terrible are they, really? It appears that you have a lotta beef to pick with the Tow-Pac company.
      Nevertheless, I am interested in hearing what you have to say (and surely many other readers would, too). So could you just give us a little more info and reconstruct the time-line of what happened recently at Tow-Pac, if possible?

      State your point calmly,

      _Lorenzo

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