Campagna T-Rex 14R
by Brian Robinson
Much like Mikey the Life Cereal kid, our Two Wheelin’ guy Brian Robinson will try anything… just about anywhere. So this week we found something new for him to try, and whatever you do, don’t call it a trike.
BRIAN ROBINSON: Our objective today is to find out what happens when you take one of the fastest sport bikes on the street, get rid of just about everything except for the powertrain, and wrap it in a go-kart-like tube chassis. Well, you get something like this, the Campagna T-Rex 14R.
There are not many vehicles out there that are truly unique, but the Kawasaki-based T-Rex certainly is and that makes me happy. It’s hard to believe this thing is actually street legal, and despite its transformation from motorcycle to something resembling a car, it is actually still titled as a motorcycle. Which means here in our home state of Maryland you need a motorcycle license and a helmet to pilot the T-Rex on public roads; although laws do vary by state.
But, the first obstacle you must tackle is just getting in, as much like shoe-horning into a Lotus Exige, it is a learned art. Fortunately, the steering wheel is removable to aid in the process. Once you’ve mastered that, everything else is easy, as the T-Rex has a no frills interior. You get a steering wheel, a pair of waterproof seats, adjustable pedals, and a shifter for the sequential manual transmission.
That’s about it except for reverse and a parking brake.
Gauges and switchgear come straight from the Kawasaki, as does the engine. It’s a 1352cc inline-4 that spins up 197-horsepower and 113 lb-ft. of torque and is buried underneath a bunch of unique looking fiberglass body work that includes a full network of air intakes to keep the monster motor happy.
A pair of 16-inch front wheels are set very wide for a 78-inch overall width and are wrapped in tire hugging fenders. The pointy front end features high mounted headlights, a small wind screen, and blends nicely into the roll bars that surround the passenger compartment.
Things really get interesting from the rear however, where you get a nice look at the fat, foot-wide, single rear tire, dual Kawasaki exhaust, and monstrous looking bodywork. As for storage, removable Givi sidecases come standard.
Driving, or riding to use the proper motorcycle term, is truly a one-of-a-kind experience as you’ve only got that 12-inches of rubber in back, applying 200-horsepower to the road. Combine that with a super willing throttle and close-to-immediate steering, and it’s truly a both hands on the wheel affair.
Suspension is obviously a custom setup with unequal length triangular arms up front, and dual shocks on the swingarm in back. Ride quality is surprisingly not harsh, but you do seriously hug the road. Also keep in mind, with three wide wheels, if there’s something in the road, chances are good that you’ll hit it with one of them.
Willwood brake discs and calipers occupy all three wheels. Feel is excellent, but they weren’t quite up to the task of hauling this thing down as quickly as I would have liked. Weight comes in just over 1,000 pounds. The overall build quality is quite good, with no exposed wiring or gaping panel gaps to be found.
While we’re still not sure whether the 2012 Campagna T-Rex 14R is more “car” or more “bike”, two things we are sure of: it’s not a trike and it’s expensive. Base price is a whopping $58,349. That’s almost 10-grand over a Porsche Boxster. Hmmm… It looks like this “pavement predator” is strictly for the well-to-do gear-head that already has just about every other possible motorized toy and needs a new play-thing to show off. If that’s you, buy…and enjoy!