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Third wheels

October 30, 2010
By Karin Elton

You may have heard the saying that the family that trikes together, stays together. No? Well the Hibl family of Marshall finds it to be true.

Sharon Hibl, her husband, Donald, their son, Jeremy, and their older son, Kendall, and his wife, Adrian, all enjoy riding around the area on their three-wheeled motorcycles.

Donald Hibl has been riding two-wheelers since the 1980s, but after a triple bypass followed by a stroke that left him weakened, he decided to try the easier-to-handle three-wheeled variety of motorcycle.

Article Photos

From left, Kendall Hibl, Adrian Hibl, Donald Hibl, Jeremy Hibl and Sharon Hibl rode their three-wheeled motorcycles to Camden State Park recently.

"You don't have to balance it at a stoplight or on the highway," he said.

Sharon Hibl said she has never felt comfortable riding a two-wheeler but has now completed her license requirements to ride her three-wheeler, a 1977 Hondamatic.

Sharon surprised her husband when she said she was willing to ride a three-wheeler.

"That threw me for a spin," he said.

Sharon inspired her daughter-in-law, Adrian, to get her three-wheeler license.

"She said, 'if you can ride one, so can I,'" Sharon said.

"And I proved it," Adrian Hibl said. "And did you one more - I can ride a clutch."

Adrian now has a permit.

Sharon said with a written permit, "you have one year's time to practice, but you can't ride at night, you have to wear a helmet - protective gear - and you can't have passengers."

With a two-wheeler license, she said, "you can ride a three-wheeler, but with a three-wheeler license, you can't operate a two-wheeler."

The family, who are originally from Dickinson, N.D., and moved to Marshall in 2008, now has four trikes and a fifth one that used to be a two wheeler - a 1978 Yamaha 650 - that is being refashioned into a three-wheeler.

"Mark (Kalhoff) at Liberator Trikes in Canby is doing the conversion," Donald Hibl said.

Kalhoff said that the trike market has increased.

"Harley Davidson just came out with its own trike," he said. "It has recognized that there is a market for them."

Kalhoff said trikes are good for baby boomers who may not want to give up their bike as they age.

"If they are not comfortable on a two-wheeled bike," he said, "a lot them are really enjoying trikes."

Although there is a wide range in age of trike enthusiasts, he said.

"The younger set like to get creative with the design," he said.

The bikes are good for touring, or riding long distances, also.

"They have a greater stability," he said.

They are also good if you are "smaller in stature," he said.

The trikes have opened up a new world for the Hibls. Sharon said they rarely went on family vacations, but now they do more things together.

"We like to do things as a family," she said.

They bought the trikes using They bought a Coke trike and a 2004 Suzuki from North Carolina. A trucking company shipped them to Marshall. The red trike with the Coca Cola signage is in the process of being worked on and will be driven by Adrian.

"We had it parked near the road and it's getting a lot of attention," Don said of the Coke trike.

They are getting an easy steer device installed. Sharon had one installed at Paul's Cycle Service in Marshall and said it allows a greater range of steering motion.

"It kicks it out four and a half degrees," she said.

Sharon said she drives her trike rain or shine.

"I have rain gear," she said.

Last year, they rode their trikes as often as they could.

"The only time we could not ride them was from Dec. 1 until about the second week of March," she said.

She said she has to schedule knee surgery soon, "but I can't do it when it's trike riding season."



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