It’s hard to fathom, but with its bright red fenders, tank cover and trunk, contrasted with a blacked-out engine area, the Motor Trike Raptor trike appears even sportier than the Honda F6B two-wheeler upon which it’s based. The F6B Raptor is part of Motor Trike’s Adventure Series, which also includes the luxurious Gold Wing GL1800 conversion. The Raptor is its sleek, sport-touring brother.
My Raptor tester was equipped with an optional rear spoiler and Klock Werks Flare windscreen. Like the F6B, no cruise control is offered, and MT’s only additions up front are a small digital readout in the right speaker cover (voltmeter and air suspension psi) and a vertical switch for shock adjustment.
A lighted spoiler and dual chrome mufflers give the Raptor a hot-rod look and just the right amount of bark from its 6-cylinder engine. Once in overdrive fifth, downshifts were hardly ever required but brought out the Raptor’s snarl when you did. The beauty of Honda’s 1,800cc flat six is its smoothness and reliability, but there is all the power you desire with a twist of the throttle. Hardly any engine heat, either—the side-mounted radiators do their job well. My fuel mileage ranged between 30-34 mpg on regular gas, and one tank carried me 213 miles.
The Raptor’s trunk capacity is 4.6 cubic feet, large enough for my backpack and a small duffle. For long trips or two-up riding, consider adding a luggage rack. Many trikers choose to pull trailers, and my test machine was equipped with an optional trailer hitch.
The Raptor’s seat contributes to the sport-touring feel and proved comfortable throughout my trip. Grab handles are there for a passenger, but adding a backrest is almost a necessity for two-up riding. The height of the 14-inch Klock windscreen proved perfect for the wind and occasional rain I encountered, yet provided an unobstructed view.
The Raptor scales at about 1,200 pounds, and like the F6B has no reverse, but with a little forethought parking is easily managed. It’s easy to push on level paved surfaces, but you may require help on gravel or inclines, which won’t be hard to find based on my experience. I have never ridden a motorcycle that garnered so much attention and positive comments. An Arkansas crop duster even gave me a wing wave and then eagerly let me photograph the Raptor next to his $1 million Air Tractor.
The Raptor is 110 inches long and 55 inches across the rear fenders, the same as MT’s Gladiator and a bit narrower than some of the competition. Plenty wide for stability, but not too wide to take the fun out of the 1,200 miles of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas roads I covered during this test. My ride had the optional rake kit, and steered quickly and precisely without adverse roll or wheel slip (unless you really cranked on the power). A sporty rider won’t be disappointed with the Raptor’s handling on either two-lanes or Interstate highway, as it incorporates Motor Trike’s independent rear suspension, with air-ride shocks that adjust automatically or manually by the rider on the fly. With over 4 inches of travel in the back, a rider can easily dial it in to suit his style.
The basic Raptor kit for your F6B is $8,395 MSRP. Matching single-color paint is around $900. Motor Trike’s website (motortrike.com) lists the numerous options available. One of over 200 authorized MT dealers will spend 1-2 days doing the conversion, which will cost you approximately $1,000. Motor Trike’s warranty on the kit is three years or 60,000 miles.
Trikes are a growing part of the motorcycle universe and Motor Trike Inc. offers a quality product in all flavors, sizes and price points. If you have sport-touring inclinations, the sporty Honda F6B Raptor conversion might be your three-wheeled ticket.
(This article Triloci-Raptor was published in the October 2014 issue of Rider magazine.)