Thursday, February 25, 2010

Down The Rabbit Hole: Lehman Monarch II

This is a Lehman Monarch II trike. It's based on a GL1800 Gold Wing. It weighs a claimed 1,148 pounds, is 112 inches long and 54 inches wide, and has a 4.5-cubic-foot trunk under the standard Gold Wing top box.

And there's one just like this one in my garage.

It's here for an article I'm writing on trikes for Rider. I intend to ride it every day, weather permitting, for 30 days to see what the three-wheeled world looks like from the inside. Motorcyclists are getting older every year, and some are feeling their age more than others. For them, trikes represent a way to keep riding past the point where the difficulty of holding up a heavy two-wheeler would otherwise force them to hang up their helmets for good.

As soon as I get some pesky insurance issues ironed out, the V-Strom will be hooked up to a Battery Tender and covered up for a nice long snooze while I unlearn countersteering and putting my foot down at stoplights. I'll keep you posted as the test progresses, and I hope to shoot a video or two, as well.

Oh, I see that face you're making. Fine, go ahead and scoff, you...scoffer. But first look me square in the eye and tell me you're not the least bit curious what it's like to ride a 100-horsepower trike. Hah. I thought so.


Anonymous said...

What was that three-wheeler that came out around in the mid-'80s? I seem to recall that was some fun.

But the real question, I suppose, is: Does the Monarch II have reverse?

Jerry Smith said...

You might be thinking of the Tri-Hawk. I drove one for a couple of weeks in 1984, and it was a hoot.

Yes, the Monarch has reverse, just like the Gold Wing it's based on.

Thomas Kinzer said...

You have my deepest sympathies in this difficult and painful time.

I hope you are back on 2 wheels again very soon.

Anonymous said...

Yep -- the Tri-Hawk. I seem to recall its seating was much lower to the ground. But it wasn't a trike, was it -- the single wheel was in the back? So, is there any comparison between that and this?

Jerry Smith said...

No. The Trihawk (the correct spelling, as I just now discovered) was a front-wheel-drive, two-seater car with a single, mid-mounted rear wheel. It felt car-like in just about every way. Here's some background:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info and link, Jerry. Sometimes I'm amazed at how crazy I was at one time, riding around at speed in a motorized bucket on three wheels.