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)
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 Silverwing 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