When were 3-wheelers banned from sale?

Just wondering when exactly the 3-wheelers (ATC250's, Tri-Z's etc) were banned, and what were the circumstances which caused their removal from sale? I know a lot of people got hurt on them, but I have heard that there was a court ruling which virtually killed them overnight. I have also heard (from an American friend) that Honda in particular were left with literally hundreds of trikes that were returned from dealers who could no longer sell them. I had an ATC250RF '85 model, and it was great fun, but it did take some getting used to coming off a two-wheeler. The last model I believe that was available in Australia was the ATC250RG '86 model. Does anyone know the full story? I would've thought quad's are just as dangerous.....

In the U.S. "Manufacturing of the three-wheeler was banned in 1988, and when the decrees expired in 1998, manufacturers agreed to an ATV Action Plan in which they agreed not to market or sell three-wheeled ATV’s"

Hi Chris,

See the following link for the history of ATV's. Here is a quote from the article

"Nevertheless, on April 28, 1988, the U.S. ATV distributors entered into an unprecedented 10-year agreement with the CPSC called the Final Consent Decree. Under the agreement, the ATV industry made a $100 million commitment to expand existing safety programs. Among the many components of this agreement, free training and training incentives were offered to owners and purchasers of new ATVs. Additionally, distributors would no longer market three-wheeled ATVs, repurchasing any unsold three-wheel models from dealer inventory."

ATV 101


All I know is it wasn't soon enough. those things were death on wheels.

Only if you didn't know how to ride/race one!!

Only if you didn't know how to ride/race one!!

Yeah, you needed a Mullet to make them handle properly!


88...my bud had a kaw tecate...was a kx 250 on 3 wheels

was one baddd muthaf*kka...that thing would go 90 mph...

three wheels are for tricycles...only...

i loved by big wheel when i was a kid.had an adjustable seat.wore the front wheel down to nothing...

don't make toys like that anymore...i had a green bike with a sissy bar, banana seat with green flecks and three speed gears on the frame bar that looked like a quick shifter.

can't find those anymore...


was a kx 250 on 3 wheels

God forbid, what were they thinking when they made that thing? :)

Yeah, the ATC250 2 strokes were basically a CR250 on three wheels too, awesome to ride, I loved it. :D Had CR motor, watercooled, 10 inches of travel front and rear, gold rims etc. Was extremely fast, I don't think 80+MPH would be exaggerating, although on three wheels it seemed like 150+. Thanks to everyone for the explanations (ATV101 etc) :)

I looked at a Tri-Z that was for sale at the time, but it was in pretty rough shape, so I kept looking and eventually found my old ATC. Actually I have only ever seen two Tri-Z's in my life in Australia, trikes in general were/are very scarce over here, as they were only ever imported in small numbers. I think Queensland had the largest number of trikes back in the day. :)

back in the day,i bought two of those 250r's honda type :devil:mabye an 85/86 model and made one out of two.this was my first 2 stroke rebuild.what a blast!!the only problem was i think the carb was off a 100 or something would start and idle give it gas is would sit there and bog then just take off like a bat out of hell!!!

All I know is it wasn't soon enough. those things were death on wheels.

AHAHAHA. Thats like saying spoons are dangerous because they can get you fat.

Get a clue.

My buddy had one (atc), i hate riding it the Damn machine itself it was psycho

Then he blew it up. And had me rebuild it but didn't order the parts, then stopped being friendly and long story short not a buddy if none anymore.

But i have an ATC250r engine in parts in my basement....

Edited by zotis777

I spent a majority of my youth riding around on an ATC 110. Saved up money from odd jobs. Paid just over a grand. I loved it. I never wore any safety gear. When it was muddy I'd just wear shorts and shoes. Even with no suspension I'd still jump it. When fourwheelers came out I never thought they'd catch on due to the heavy steering and extra weight. I finally destroyed it when riding on the street in the snow. I came around a corner and hit a car head on. This day I was actually wearing a helmet-to help keep warm. Saved my life.

Yeah, you needed a Mullet to make them handle properly!



Don't forget the 30 pack...

I had an 84 atc 250r air cooled in 2009 mint condition, sold it wish I still had it....

Ok let me clear this up a little. Story goes like this: kid see friends riding new 1985 honda atc 250r. Kids ask parents to get him one. Parents go to dealer and sales person being there to sale only and not inform. Does not inform parents these are high racing machines meant for Experienced riders. Parents take 250r to kid. Kid jumps on race machine and tries to show off new ride to friends and foes. Kid crash and busted heads, bones etc. government steps in and places ban on trikes for 10 years. All manufactures stop producing them as they will not make $ without sales in North America. 10 years pass manufactures and raking $ on 4 wheelers so why sale trikes. End of story. I love trikes, here is a build I'm working On Currently. Enjoy.

Edited by KDXRon
quick vid of a couple of my trikes.

We got 87's in Canada and apparently, in extremely rare numbers 1988 model years too (sold in 87, marked as 88). USA stopped after 86 and didn't get 87's or 88's. I haven't heard of any 88's being anything but Big Red's though, no 250R's or 350X's. 

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