by Brian Robinson
While our Two Wheelin' editor Brian Robinson tries to spend as much time as he can on two wheels, his duties here at MotorWeek keep him mostly test driving vehicles with four. But he may have found the best of both worlds in one new model that has three.
Seeing a trike on the road used to be a rare occasion, and chances are, it was put together in somebody's garage. Now you can't go for weekend ride without seeing three or four of them, and they sure have come a long way.
Based on the Victory Vision touring motorcycle, the Lehman CrossBow is definitely not the vehicle to cruise around on if you're looking to fly under the radar. This slick looking luxury touring trike is sure to stand out in any crowd.
Lehman's custom bodywork blends seamlessly with the swoopy lines of the Vision, making it appear as if it was designed to be a trike all along.
The large fiberglass rear fenders cover up 15-inch wheels wearing 205/60 rubber as they slope down to a point at the rear, blending in very nicely with the dual exhaust tips.
It's underneath all of that body work, however, were Lehman has put its 25 years of trike building experience to good use. Much of the stock Victory hardware is maintained, right down to the drive belt.
But even with all of that body work, the engine is still the centerpiece of this luxury cruiser. The fuel injected, 106-cubic-inch 50-degree V-Twin is unchanged from the Victory Vision. It makes an impressive 92 horsepower and an even more impressive 109 pound-feet of torque.
The large, plush leather seat, relaxed riding position, and pull back handle bars combine to make for an all-day comfortable cruising machine. Throw in cruise control and four-speaker sound system and there's even more reason to leave the car in the garage.
But don't get too comfortable. While it may hold itself up at stop signs, you do still have to shift gears for yourself. Not that it's that much of a chore with a surprisingly light clutch pull and smooth shifting Victory six-speed.
Our Crossbow came equipped with optional reverse. It works well enough, but it's incredibly slow. So unless you have a lot more patience than me, you'll find yourself using old-fashioned leg power. Do yourself a favor and park facing uphill. The right fender mounted parking brake will help keep it in place.
Being my first experience on a big, traditional road-going trike I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was a solid and comfortable luxury cruising machine that's fairly easy to get used to.
But as easy as it is to eat up miles on the highway, when the road gets twisty things get a little more difficult.
If you want to hustle the Crossbow around corners it will take a little muscle. It's best to keep your arms straight and use your whole upper body to push on the handlebars.
You won't be chasing any sportbikes down in this thing, but you should have no problem keeping up with your cruiser buddies.
When it comes to storage, there's plenty of it. You will have to be a bit flexible with your packing, though, as the fender compartments, while roomy, are a bit oddly shaped. All three luggage areas are lockable with the ignition key.
Adjustable windscreen, heated seat, and heated hand grips all make chilly morning departures more pleasant.
With so many luxury features, you can expect a car-like price. The Crossbow starts at $33,995. Considering the Victory Vision that it's based on retails for over $23,000, you're looking at about $10,000 for the conversion. And as with any custom built vehicle, you can find plenty of ways to spend more if you'd like.
So, despite that price, it's easy to understand why there are more and more trikes like this Lehman Crossbow on the road. They're surprisingly entertaining and allow you to rack up some serious miles in car like comfort; while still giving you that open air motorcycle experienceâ€¦ truly the best of both worlds.