Three wheeler

Three wheeler

A three wheeler is a vehicle with three wheels, either "human or people-powered vehicles" (HPV or PPV or velomobiles) or motorized vehicles in the form of a motorcycle, ATV or automobile. Other names for three-wheelers include Trikes, Tricars and Cyclecars. The term Tricycle is used somewhat interchangeably, but the term "three-wheeler" is more often applied to motor vehicles.

Many three-wheelers which exist in the form of motorcycle-based machines are often called trikes and often have the front single wheel and mechanics similar to that of a motorcycle and the rear axle similar to that of a car. Often such vehicles are owner–constructed using a portion of a rear–engine, rear–drive Volkswagen "Beetle" in combination with a motorcycle front end. Other trikes include "All Terrain Vehicles" (ATV) that are specially constructed for off road use. Three-wheeled automobiles can have either one wheel at the back and two at the front, (for example: Morgan Motor Company) or one wheel at the front and two at the back (for example: Reliant).

Three-wheeler cars, usually microcars, are often built for economy reasons, or as was the case in the UK, to take advantage of tax advantages, or as in the US to take advantage of the lower safety regulations, they are being classed as motorcycles. As a result of their light construction and often relaxed pollution reqirements, leading to higher efficiency, three-wheeled cars are usually very economical to run.


When the single wheel is in the front (the "delta" form, as in a child's pedal tricycle), the vehicle is inherently unstable in a braking turn, as the combined tipping forces at the center of gravity from turning and braking canrapidly extend beyond the triangle formed by the contact patches of the wheels. This type, if not tipped, also has a greater tendency to spin out ("swap ends") when handled roughly. As with any vehicle, it is only as safe as the rider.

With two wheels in the front (the "tadpole" form or "reverse trike") the vehicle is far more stable in braking turns, but remains more prone to overturning in normal turns compared to an equivalent four–wheeledvehicle.

Due to the incidence of injuries related to their use, a 10-year ban was placed on the sale of new three-wheeled ATVs in the United States in January of 1988.

In Pop Culture

One of the most famous three wheeled cars is the dirty yellow Reliant Regal Supervan III from the TV series Only Fools and Horses.

ee also

*Auto rickshaw
*Bubble car
*Reliant Robin
*T-Rex (automobile)
*Volkswagen GX3
*Corbin Sparrow
*Three wheeled car
*Tilting three wheeler

External links

* [ All about 3-wheeled ATVs]
* [ Online A-Z of 3-wheeled cars]
* [ Article on three-wheeled ATV safety from The American Academy of Pediatrics]
* [ Gallery of Japan three-wheelers]
* [ Theory and Practice of Three Wheel design. (English & Français)]
* [ Photo catalog of past and present three wheel motor vehicles. (street driven)]
* [ "Three Wheel Cars; Primary Factors that Determine Handling & Rollover Characteristics"] at Robert Q. Riley's website.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • three-wheeler — n 1.) BrE a car that has three wheels 2.) AmE a vehicle that has three wheels, especially a ↑motorcycle, ↑tricycle, or special ↑wheelchair …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • three-wheeler — three wheelers N COUNT A three wheeler is a bicycle or car with three wheels …   English dictionary

  • three-wheeler — [thrē′hwēl′ər, thrē′wēl′ər] n. a three wheeled vehicle, as a tricycle or a three wheeled motorcycle …   English World dictionary

  • three-wheeler — UK [ˌθriː ˈwiːlə(r)] / US [ˌθrɪ ˈwɪlər] / US [ˌθrɪ ˈhwɪlər] noun [countable] Word forms three wheeler : singular three wheeler plural three wheelers a vehicle that has three wheels …   English dictionary

  • three-wheeler — /three whee leuhr, wee /, n. a vehicle equipped with three wheels, as a tricycle, a motorcycle with a sidecar, or some small, experimental, or early model cars. [1885 90; three wheel(s) + ER1] * * * …   Universalium

  • three-wheeler — three wheel|er [ ,θri wilər, ,θri hwilər ] noun count a vehicle that has three wheels …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • three-wheeler — three′ wheel′er n. trs a vehicle equipped with three wheels, as a tricycle, a motorcycle with a sidecar, or some early model cars • Etymology: 1885–90 …   From formal English to slang

  • three-wheeler — three wheel·er …   English syllables

  • three-wheeler — /θri ˈwilə/ (say three weeluh) noun 1. a vehicle, especially a car, having three wheels. 2. → tricycle (def. 1) …   Australian English dictionary

  • three-wheeler — ˈ ̷ ̷|(h)wēlə(r) noun Etymology: three (I) + wheel + er : a vehicle with three wheels: as a. : tricycle b. : a motorcycle with a side …   Useful english dictionary

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