Scorpion RT ─ A Reverse Trike You Might Like

Written by  Story By Fidel Sassoon Photos By Jack “I Take My Leave” Cofano Wednesday, 04 May 2016 20:46
Published in Trikes, Etc.
  Unless it’s got a Panhead, a long springer front end and skinny rear tires, regular old single front wheel trikes are not my cup of tea. Actually I can’t even remember when I last had a cup of tea so maybe what I’m saying is that single front wheel trikes are not my bag dude. Of course I’m fine if you’re a fan and more power to you if you’re riding one. Each to his (or her) own and leave them alone is my unofficial mantra and that pertains to all bikes or trikes. But, after experiencing what a reverse trike is like to ride (drive?), I’m totally on board with this design. It may not exactly feel or look like a motorcycle from the rider’s vantage point, but the inherent safety and ease with which a reverse trike can be ridden has won me over.

  Case in point, Barnett’s Magazine Online’s feature trike originally came from Brigette Bourget’s shop, Bourget’s Bike Works in Phoenix, Arizona, before what I’m pretty sure was (and still is) the unfortunate closing of the shop. There are some definite Bourget trademarks in this build like the drop seat frame that holds its engine oil within the tubing and the Bourget look that permeates this build from end to end. It’s too bad about this model called the Scorpion RT (reverse trike) no longer being in production from what I gather as it had a lot going for it from looks to engineering.

   You have to admit the beautifully formed 1.5-inch DOM tubing that looks like one continuous tube snaking around the S&S 117-inch engine is a work of trike art just by itself. Actually the tubing defines the lines of the bike and any sheet metal is just a bit of an add-on. What there is and it’s basically the cowl with its curvaceous side scoops, is nicely shaped and serves a function as a style point. I gotta admit I love how the seating area is formed from tubing and creates such a pleasing design. The lovely two-tone seat just blends into the tubing while looking like it was formed naturally by Mother Nature.

   The massive yet pleasingly curved swingarm operates via Progressive Suspension shocks and holds a massive 315/35x17 car tire mounted on a BBW 16-spoke mag. BBW’s own six-piston caliper works on the rear pulley sprocket to help bring things to a halt. Up front, peeking through the pair of BBW 17-inch wheels shod with 200/55x17 motorcycle tires and their more rounded profile lets you check out the four-pot Brembo calipers working on wavy rotors. Pretty carlike stuff going on here and that’s to be expected.

   What I didn’t expect, but really like is the splash pan or floor pan or whatever it’s correctly called that gives this ride a whole new feel from the seat. Not that you have to with a trike, but there’s no putting your feet down here at a stop and that’s okay. This is a whole new category of custom trikedom so why not? It does look cool and ties the midsection together nicely while hopefully keeping any kicked up crud off the rider or passenger. The floor just adds to the size and look without any detraction I can think of.

  Where this trike takes a high tech twist is the front end and all the engineering, time and fabrication that went into it. A very trick coil-over shock front end made up of striking billet A-arms and worked over somehow by BBW’s own steering rack and pinion setup mysteriously connected to a set of conventional handlebars handles the steering duties. Somehow I don’t think there’s a full turn lock-to-lock and I don’t know the effort involved in turning those two decent sized front wheels, but I’d give it a try. I know the somewhat similar Can-Am Spyder has power steering, but there’s no seeing that here.

   Maybe instead of just turning the bars, you turn the throttle hard instead and let the S&S 117 engine bring the back end around for you. It’s gotta be possible, although probably not recommended. Either way, I’d give it a shot as I’m completely sold on the stability and handling of a reverse trike. Oh by the way, this is a reverse trike in more than one aspect with its BAKER Drivetrain five-spped tranny incorporating a reverse gear for sensibility and keeping your cool when you’re trying to roll it into a parking space. Sometimes I think the most exciting part of watching a trike is witnessing someone parking one with authority as the whip it into reverse and hop off without having to put down a kickstand. Compared to foot-paddling a motorcycle, it’s over in a nano-second.

   It’s too bad that this different, yet extremely attractive custom trike isn’t still around other than what’s been already built. I got a feeling that Scorpion RT owners are pretty protective of what they’ve got and I don’t expect them to hop on a Harley-Davidson Tri Glide or anything like that as an alternative. Once you’ve gone reverse, there’s no going back.

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