A car is only as good as the driver

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AJL Electronics
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Re: A car is only as good as the driver

Post by AJL Electronics » Tue May 13, 2014 8:25 am

I think the whole three wheeler prejudice thing is because of the poor driving standards. In a four wheeler, you can get away with most stupid things, like braking halfway around a fast bend etc.

The driving technique for a trike is the same largely as a motorcycle and when driven as such, are quick, stable and handle very well. Noisy at speed, yes. Also my Mk2 Robin's doors used to open at the leading edge slightly at 90MPH! I have been pulled and warned for speeding in the one I had.


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Re: A car is only as good as the driver

Post by Will Anderson » Tue May 13, 2014 8:31 pm

My father has been running Robins and Rialtos for over 30 years as he never bothered to sit a car test but graduated to them from solo bikes and outfits. He used them extensively for his work and has quite a few stories about them.

On snow he lost it on slush in the middle of the road spun it onto the verge and went backwards between the legs of a large road sign on the approach to a roundabout! :shock: It stalled, he started it up again, drove off the verge and continued his journey. He said he shut his eyes when he got near the sign and breathed out when he got to the other side. :roll:

He was travelling through a farm yard when the son of the farmer came belting out of a cattle court with a tractor and front loader - in a lowered position. :shock: It peeled the front bodywork off the car but left it intact and driveable - just without any lights! He put that back on the road.

He has only ever tipped one over once and he admits it was his fault for going into a bend on a single track road too quickly and touching the verge. The car went onto its side and his abiding memory was watching the tarmac zipping past the drivers window until it bounced off another verge and back onto its wheels. He got out to see a woman from the following car rushing up to ask him if he was ok. When he confirmed he was she then said "That was the most spectacular crash I have ever seen." to which my father reputedly said "It was the most spectacular crash I have ever been in!" There was a line of tools and work clothes scattered along the road where his toolbox had shattered the rear side window. It did not do the paintwork much good, destroyed the wing mirror and ground the door handle off. But it was repaired and put back on the road.

And, yes, he has been done for speeding in one at the age of 70+. It was as a result of overtaking someone towards the end of a rural 30 limit because the "old dodderer was going too slow". :twisted: :mrgreen: He tried to convince the officers that it was unwise to book someone in a Robin as they would be the laughing stock of the station. :P It didn't work but both the officers and Dad had a good laugh about it.


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SE5a 1973, SE5a 1972, Middlebridge 14, 42, P.O. Middlebridge 46 & 67

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Re: A car is only as good as the driver

Post by tony.idle » Tue May 13, 2014 10:48 pm

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: Brilliant. :D

Andy - it's definitely very similar to a bike & sidecar. Ease off on one of those at the wrong moment & it'll go bike over chair.


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Past: 2x5A, GTC. Current: SST, Smart, Hymer Motorhome, Rialto, Robin, Bug, MZ Skorpion x2.

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Re: A car is only as good as the driver

Post by AJL Electronics » Tue May 13, 2014 10:50 pm

I have never yet ridden a combination. Must give it a try sometime.


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Re: A car is only as good as the driver

Post by tony.idle » Tue May 13, 2014 11:35 pm

You should - they surprisingly fun to ride/drive. My experience came as a result of a broken ankle when I was in my 20s (full length cast needed). I had an old Norton ES2 at the time so I bought a sidecar chassis & a friend helped me fit it We bolted a board from just in front of the bike seat to the front of the sidecar chassis so I could ride it without putting any weight on my leg. I couldn't work, was bored silly, so I put a lot of time in on the "combination". I kept it on long after my cast was first shortened then removed because it was so much fun to ride.


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Past: 2x5A, GTC. Current: SST, Smart, Hymer Motorhome, Rialto, Robin, Bug, MZ Skorpion x2.

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Re: A car is only as good as the driver

Post by reliant-reviver » Wed May 14, 2014 9:22 am

I've had more Reliant 3 wheelers than I care to mention. But alas only had the opportunity to drive 2 for any great length, a '76 Robin Super Saloon and an '84 Rialto 2 poverty spec.
Loved every moment of them, I can remember taking the Robin to it's first MOT and feeling rather nerve racked by the whole experience as it was just a whole different experience, rattly, noisy and windy (door seals utterly dead) but soon grew to love it, even if it would only top out at 77mph (having pottered round for the first 100k of it's life!) once travelled 8 up in it. Don't think that did the cart springs much good!

The Rialto was in a different league for speed though with the HTE "yellow top" 850 motor and B stamp (2.78:1) axle would very happily cruise at 80 and I lost my bottle running it off the clock and it was still going. Used to take great pleasure upsetting snooty Germanic vehicle drivers by passing them.

There is certainly a driving style to them, and once acquainted with it, you can certainly motor.
I can recall 2 occasions I nearly came unstuck though -
attempting to out-accelerate an Audi who had moved out to over take on the dual carriage way coming out of Reading, it's a long uphill drag that flattens out before merging and taking a prompt bend to the left across a bridge. I duly entered this (infront) with a bit too much gusto at around 50. Fairly sure the rear inside lifted and as there was little road left to take to smooth out the line between the concrete walls I just prayed and held on tight. The Audi was no where to be seen ;-D

Second occasion was in the Robin, unlit single carriageway one evening. As per the old cartoon / joke a rabbit runs into the middle of the road an squats down in my headlights. Didn't fancy running over it at speed, evasive manoeuvres were "fun"


Philip Andrew.
'74 Robin Super Saloon, '84 SS1 1300, '86 SS1 1800ti, '87 SS1 1300
Previous: I lost count around fifty.

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