Trike Suspension and Swingarm Dynamics
There are basically two common suspension systems currently in use on Trikes today. They can be identified as either “independent” or “solid axle.” Both systems each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.
Lehman “No Lean” Advantage
The Lehman “No Lean” philosophy begins with a solid, one-piece swingarm that is designed to be the most sturdy and inflexible in the industry. What this does is completely minimize the Trike’s ability to sway or roll to the outside of a corner. The noticeable benefits are increased stability and easier steering, especially at highway speeds. This is our simple “No Lean” philosophy that is responsible for the best handling Trikes for over 20 years!
At Lehman Trikes, we will not compromise performance and safety to achieve incremental gains in low speed ride compliance. We strongly feel that independent suspension technology that is appropriate for a 4-wheeled vehicle does not account for the unique characteristics of a 3-wheeled vehicle using a motorcycle front-end.
Please compare the ride quality and high speed of a Lehman Trike to that of any other design. You will appreciate our beautifully simple philosophy and our characteristically high level of performance.
- What is “No-Lean” suspension?
The single greatest factor that determines how a Trike performs is swing-arm design. No other single component has such an impact on handling and ride quality.
“No-Lean” refers to the Lehman proprietary design, which minimizes flex in the swing-arm and rear-end system. This design features a differential rear-end with internal solid axles. The Lehman swing-arm is a one piece reinforced design, specially constructed to reduce all torsion effects.
- Why should the swingarm be so rigid?
Performance. The way to maximize stability and improve handling is to use the most rigid one-piece swing-arm possible. Using a rigid swing-arm ensures that while cornering, all three wheels remain firmly planted on the ground, while the center of gravity stays where it belongs – centered over the rear end. Flex within the swing-arm would cause the Trike to lean resulting in decreased stability and heavier steering.
- How does “No-Lean” suspension compare to independent suspension systems?
“No-Lean” is the exact opposite of independent suspension. Independent platforms are designed to allow shock compression on one side of the Trike while allowing extension on the opposite side. For this reason, body roll or “sway” must be expected. Body roll shifts the center of gravity to the outside wheel in curves and creates a less stable condition. To compensate for this, the rider must slow down or the Trike may tip over. In effect, a Trike with independent suspension will tip easier and faster, due to the center of gravity shifting towards the outside of the Trike. The addition of anti-sway devices simply limits this tendency by restricting the independent movement, which also limits the smooth ride benefits.
No other motorcycle-Trike conversion is as stable or handles as well as the Lehman “No-Lean” Trike.