SAE WCX 2019 – Braking and Swerving Capabilities of Three-wheeled Motorcycles

Title: Braking and Swerving Capabilities of Three-wheeled Motorcycles

Authors: Nathan Rose, Neal Carter, William Neale, and Nathan Mckelvey

Published by: SAE International 


This paper reports testing and analysis of the braking and swerving capabilities of on-road, three-wheeled motorcycles. A three-wheeled vehicle has handling and stability characteristics that differ both from two-wheeled motorcycles and from four-wheeled vehicles. The data reported in this paper will enable accident reconstructionists to consider these different characteristics when analyzing a three-wheeled motorcycle operator’s ability to brake or swerve to avoid a crash. The testing in this study utilized two riders operating two Harley-Davidson Tri-Glide motorcycles with two wheels in the rear and one in the front. Testing was also conducted with ballast to explore the influence of passenger or cargo weight.  Numerous studies have documented the braking capabilities of two-wheeled motorcycles with riders of varying skill

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